Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Fareed At Last, Fareed At Last

I've always admired Fareed Zakaria: he's obviously bright, and is extremely knowledgeable about foreign policy. Whereas he seems generally an admirer of President Obama for his thoughtful approach to foreign affairs, I think he's also open-eyed, circumspect, and honest. So I find this article heartening. And, as usual, my reaction is based entirely on the fact that it says something I've been saying for a while: Pakistan seems much more on board with us since Obama came to office. That's a very good thing, and one for which the current administration deserves significant credit.

First, the Obama administration de-fined the problem correctly. Senior ad-ministration officials stopped referring to America's efforts in Afghanistan and instead spoke constantly of "AfPak," to emphasize the notion that success in Afghanistan depended on actions taken in Pakistan. This dismayed the Pakistanis but they got the message. They were on notice to show they were part of the solution, not the problem.

Second, the administration used both sticks and carrots. For his first state dinner, Obama pointedly invited Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh—clearly not Pakistan's first choice. Obama made clear that America would continue to pursue the special relationship forged with India under the Bush administration, including a far-reaching deal on nuclear cooperation. But at the same time, the White House insisted it wanted a deep, long-term, and positive relationship with Pakistan. Sens. John Kerry and Dick Lugar put together the largest nonmilitary package of U.S. assistance for the country ever. Aid to the Pakistani military is also growing rapidly...

There are caveats:

These results are still tentative. Pakistan's military retains its obsession with India—how else to justify a vast budget in a small, poor nation? It has still not acted seriously against any of the major militant groups active against Afghanistan, India, or the United States. The Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani group, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and many smaller groups all operate with impunity within Pakistan. But the Pakistani military is doing more than it has before, and that counts as success in the world of foreign policy.

The Af-Pak region has defied outside influence forever, and it remains extremely fractionated and tribal. Still, it seems a ray of hope: a much-needed and long-awaited one.


  1. Umm just who I'd want watchin my back in a dark Alley on the "Arab Street"...the country where Bin Laden's hiding...
    And no posts on our first Retarded Vice President almost starting WW3 on his Israel trip???


  2. Other way around, Frankie: Israel is intent on starting WW3, and for the first time the US pushing back. And, yeah, I'm a MOT.

  3. Building houses on your own land is starting WW3???? Watta ya call 12 million Mexicans driving without insurance???
    I know, a low ball estimate...
    Seriously, if it wasn't for the Osirak operation in 1981, OK, the Iraqui's still probably wouldnt have figured out how to put a nuke together, but who doesn't like goold ole American Built Jets blowin up French Nuclear Reactors???
    Whats a "MOT"??


  4. I thought you'd know the term, which I used in answer to a question you asked in a previous thread.

  5. I used to have great respect for Israel and its people - until they began acting like Nazis - not all of them, but their branch of fundiligionist, god drunk land grabbers.

    I pity the remaining sane few who have tried their best to restrain the crazies, but who are tragically losing all they worked and sacrificed for.

    No, its not Joe Biden that wants to start the third world war. It is those who want to destroy the world in God's name.

    From: Haaretz - Israel's oldest daily newspaper. The author speaks about the fascist mentality that has engulfed Israel and is leading it to destruction. He specifically addresses the cover story of a recent issue of Commentary, "The Deadly Price of Pursuing Peace"

    "The essay has the seamless, compellingly elegant, hyper-lucid, parallel universe logic of a hallucination"

    The title of the article is: "Fear of peace will be the death of Israel" By Bradley Burston.


    It was beyond my understanding why an Israeli government which views the idea of a Palestinian Right of Return as tantamount to annihilation of the Jewish state, would set a legal precedent that paves the way for just such a right.

    Just as I was clueless as to why the Knesset was to vote Wednesday on a bill that would make aiding asylum seekers fleeing African genocide, granting them shelter, medical care, food, a crime subject to up to 20 years in prison.

    Or why there were vigorous new campaigns to increase gender segregation at the Western Wall and on public buses, and why women have been arrested and interrogated on suspicion of having worn prayer shawls while praying on their side of a barrier raised so that they would no longer be able to watch their sons' bar mitzvah on the mens' side.

    Or why a sudden and ferocious campaign against human rights organizations and charity work agencies in Israel is coinciding with new human rights outrages against Palestinians and foreigners, some of them unable to leave, others forced to.

    It was not until I saw the title of the Commentary piece that it all made sense.

    The right is terrified of peace. And, in the end, the right's fear of peace will be the death of Israel...



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