a phrase no less true for being a commonplace, its presidency is one
of the world's least enviable posts," writes Roger Cohen in an
editorial in todays New York Times, titled "The Most Dangerous Job On
He writes, "Asif Ali Zardari, Pakistan's new president and the widower
of Benazir Bhutto, does not mince words about the growing Taliban
"It is my decision that we will go after them, we will free this
country," he told me in an interview. "Yes, this is my first priority
because I will have no country otherwise. I will be president of
After the massive bomb attack on the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad,
that's a fair question. Its finances in a freefall, its security
crumbling, nuclear-armed Pakistan stands at the brink just as a
civilian takes charge after the futile zigzagging of Gen. Pervez
Musharraf's U.S.-supported rule.
I asked Zardari, who took office this month, if the assassination of
his wife motivated him to confront Islamic militancy. "Of course," he
said, "It's my revenge. I take it every day."
He continued: "I will fight them because they are a cancer to my
society, not because of my wife only, but because they are a cancer,
yes, and they did kill the mother of my children, so their way of life
is what I want to kill; I will suck the oxygen out of their system so
there will be no Talibs."
Are you afraid? "I am concerned; I am not afraid," Zardari, 53, told
me. "Because I don't want to die so soon, I have a job to do."
Read the full editorial at--