Patrick Cockburn: Pakistan is the root of the problem

belfasttelegraph.co.uk

The West can’t now lecture the Indian government about over-reacting

Saturday, 29 November 2008

I used to look out from the balcony of a first floor room in the al-Hamra hotel in Baghdad thinking that one day the hotel would be attacked and wondering from which direction the attack would come.

The general consensus among the correspondents and security men in the Hamra, which boasted 65 armed guards, was that the weak point in our defences was the single blast wall about 30 yards from the back of the hotel. On the other side of it was a public car park which anybody could enter.

The consensus view turned out to be all too correct. I was out of the hotel on 18 November 2005 when two vehicles driven by suicide bombers entered the car park. The first rammed the concrete wall and detonated his explosives, the idea being that the blast would open a breach enabling the second vehicle, packed with 1,000kg of explosives to reach the hotel. Continue reading