What country actually financed Al Qaeda and got special thanks in the bipartisan commission on 9/11? What country’s secret service was connected with the hijackers, and might even have wired them a bit of bread now and then, to keep them going in those cold nights that sweep down from the American hinterland? Not Iraq. Not Iran. Not even Saudi Arabia. Pakistan.

Since then, the U.S. has given the Pakistan government a premium perverse incentive to look for Osama bin Laden at least until 2050, at which point the IP rights on Osama’s Buns of Steel video run out. Check out this Slate story about the latest Pakistan arms fair. You can’t get better than an arms fair – you can smell the death of the peasantry in the air! Cotton candy and mustard gas for everyone!

As delegations from a veritable Who's Who of pariah states—North Korea, Myanmar, Iran, Zimbabwe, Sudan—make the rounds, a Pakistani company shows off its new cluster bombs (which, the company press release notes, "can be used against soft targets"). A Bangladeshi delegation looks approvingly at a display of Pakistani tanks.

Pakistan's missiles, including the nuclear-capable Shaheen II, are displayed outside, behind a sign reading "Technological Demonstration—Not for Sale." It seems to be an oblique reference to the most notorious past IDEAS exhibitor—A.Q. Khan, the father of Pakistan's nuclear program and now the apparent mastermind of a global nuclear smuggling network. Four years ago, his company, Khan Research Laboratories, was at IDEAS handing out glossy brochures advertising specialized equipment for making a nuclear bomb.”

Bush claims that he does know Saddam Hus… Osama bin Laden attacked us. He knows that! He was told it on that scary plane ride he had that day. But he seemingly doesn’t know that our great ally is a big backdoor for arms to every regime he ever marked down as evil. Or, rather, he doesn’t care. Because the truth is, nothing changed in the Bush White House on 9/11. For those guys, terrorism is still small potatoes, and the real deal is the same plan Wolfowitz hauled out for Daddy in 92 – hyperpowerdom, concentrating on making sure that no “rival superpower” emerges to challenge the U.S. In other words, through the murk, the great neocon fear is still Russia and China. But by one of those ticking contradictions by which the coyote in the Road Runner cartoon is undone, the “easy conquest’ of Iraq has made the U.S. much more dependent on China, which has basically floated the financing of the war and the tax cuts by buying U.S. dollars and t notes.

Another floating bit of news for the past couple days has amused LI: Chalabi, according to a couple of stories, is courting Muktada al Sadr. And so Hitchen’s Lion of Freedom lies down with the Shari’a lamb of God, while Islamofascism comes full circle. Or something like that. It was all nonsense anyway. But the neocons, who have the sense of reality of Kamenev and Zinoviev in 1936, don’t really care. They do care about retaining courtier’s status in Bush’s court. They do intend to keep on the Wolfowitz course. And if this country gets ruined on its way to greatness, well, it is a survival of the fittest world out there.