The scandal of foreign aid 8

Sen. Rand Paul introduces a Resolution in the Senate to attach conditions to the aid given by the US to Pakistan, Egypt and Libya. He makes a good case against  giving foreign aid in general, and states plainly that he would like to stop it, but stresses that he is only asking for it to be restricted. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he reminds the Senate, is asking for aid to be increased to Egypt where the US embassy has been attacked and the US flag burnt. Libyans killed the US ambassador, but their country continues to get US aid. In Pakistan the doctor who helped the US intelligence services discover the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden has been imprisoned for life, and Sen. Paul wants aid to be withheld until this innocent man is released. He points out that China, to which America is heavily  in debt, continues to receive development aid from American taxpayers. China gets $27 million a year in “economic development assistance”, and $71 million goes to Russia. But  for all the aid Americans give, they get nothing back; not even the protection of their embassies. He describes how Arab and African dictators spend vast sums of US taxpayers’ aid money on luxuries and grand living for themselves and their wives while their peoples remain in abject poverty.

The video is an hour long, and Sen. Paul is not a very good speaker, but he is worth listening to because he makes a compelling case. We don’t agree with him on every point he raises, but we too are against giving foreign aid. And we certainly agree that if it is to be given to badly governed states, it should buy something for the donor –  at the very least, protection for US embassies and diplomats.

Sen. Paul says he knows that all but ten or perhaps twenty Senators will vote against his Resolution. (In fact they voted 81-10 against it.) But the people they represent, he tells them, voters in every state in the Union, are overwhelmingly on his side.

 

(Video via Creeping Sahria)

Pursuing a mirage 0

Afghanistan has never been a nation-state as the West understands such a thing.

This report shows plainly enough that any plan to meld the Afghan tribes into one democratically governed nation is doomed to failure; but it also shows how hard it is for those who imagined it could succeed to see its naivity.

Even an Afghan member of the so-called parliament, trying to fit into the Western illusion, speaks of Afghanistan being “split” as if it were a nation that might be divided into two sides, whereas in fact the region is inhabited by a plurality of feuding fiefdoms, and “splintered” would be a better word to describe the humanscape (to coin a term). An even better word might be “crazed”, in the sense of a network of cracks.

It describes how President Karzai’s attempt to bring the Taliban into a central government is the very thing that will shatter such West-compliant unity as has been tentatively achieved. And it calls this a “paradox” rather than what it is – the proof of the impossibility of a hopeless, foolish, Western fantasy, the pursuit of a mirage.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, it tells us, still think they can prevent Afghanistan being “torn apart” – as if it had even been whole, or as if they really can make their fantasy come true.

The drive by President Hamid Karzai to strike a deal with Taliban leaders and their Pakistani backers is causing deep unease in Afghanistan’s minority communities, who fought the Taliban the longest and suffered the most during their rule.

The leaders of the country’s Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara communities, which make up close to half of Afghanistan’s population, are vowing to resist — and if necessary, fight — any deal that involves bringing members of the Taliban insurgency into a power-sharing arrangement with the government.

Alienated by discussions between President Karzai and the Pakistani military and intelligence officials, minority leaders are taking their first steps toward organizing against what they fear is Mr. Karzai’s long-held desire to restore the dominance of ethnic Pashtuns, who ruled the country for generations. …

“Karzai is giving Afghanistan back to the Taliban, and he is opening up the old schisms,” said Rehman Oghly, an Uzbek member of Parliament and once a member of an anti-Taliban militia. “If he wants to bring in the Taliban, and they begin to use force, then we will go back to civil war and Afghanistan will be split.”

The deepening estrangement of Afghanistan’s non-Pashtun communities presents a paradox for the Americans and their NATO partners. American commanders have concluded that only a political settlement can end the war. But in helping Mr. Karzai to make a deal, they risk reigniting Afghanistan’s ethnic strife.

Talks between Mr. Karzai and the Pakistani leaders have been unfolding here and in Islamabad for several weeks, with some discussions involving bestowing legitimacy on Taliban insurgents.

The leaders of these minority communities say that President Karzai appears determined to hand Taliban leaders a share of power — and Pakistan a large degree of influence inside the country. The Americans, desperate to end their involvement here, are helping Mr. Karzai along and shunning the Afghan opposition, they say. …

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said he was worried about “the Tajik-Pashtun divide that has been so strong.” American and NATO leaders, he said, are trying to stifle any return to ethnic violence.

“It has the potential to really tear this country apart,” Admiral Mullen said in an interview. “That’s not what we are going to permit.” …

There are growing indications of ethnic fissures inside the army. …

Prominent Afghans have begun to organize along mostly ethnic lines. ….

Recently [President Karzai] he has told senior Afghan officials that he no longer believes that the Americans and NATO can prevail in Afghanistan and that they will probably leave soon. That fact may make Mr. Karzai more inclined to make a deal with both Pakistan and the Taliban.

As for the Pakistanis, their motives are even more opaque. For years, Pakistani leaders have denied supporting the Taliban, but evidence suggests that they continue to do so. In recent talks, the Pakistanis have offered Mr. Karzai a sort of strategic partnership — and one that involves giving at least one [of the] the most brutal Taliban groups, the Haqqani network, a measure of legitimacy in Afghanistan.

“Karzai has begun the ethnic war,” said Mohammed Mohaqeq, a Hazara leader and a former ally of the president. “The future is very dark.”

A Standing of Stans 1

American fighting men and women (heroes all, whatever their sexual proclivities) are being sacrificed to no purpose in the wretched region of feuding fiefdoms named Afghanistan. It may soon merge with Pakistan. Other stans may join them. There will be a whole Standing of Stans. And they will have Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal to promote jihad.

Because “the coalition forces”, which is to say the United States forces under Obama’s command, have lost the war they’ve been fighting there for – how many decades is it now?

It is not the fault of the US army.

It is because it has been organized into a community of social workers and nation builders.

Its orders are to win hearts and minds. The hearts of Afghans! The minds of Afghans!

Medals are to be awarded to soldiers for not shooting.

The ideal army for an America under an Obama presidency would be manned – so to speak – entirely with women and gay men with pacifist opinions. But with ethnic diversity of course.

Its motto would be: ‘Ask, tell, and no fighting please.”

Its perfect field commander – or rather, “feel commander” – would be Michelle Obama. She would soon have the troops armed only with spades and teaching the Afghans – victims of US aggression, one and all – to grow veggies instead of opium, and watch their fat intake to avoid becoming obese.

Until, that is, the Taliban objects to her being female and doing a job at the same time.

Then Obama could apologize to the Taliban and bring Michelle and the caring sharing land-army home and declare the war over.

Pakistan’s perilous argument with itself 0

Robert Spencer, profoundly expert on Islam, writes about the ambivalence of Pakistan’s leaders; how they are torn between a need to co-operate with America and a desire to assist the Taliban. It’s an argument between head and heart: serve their country’s real interests or yield to the emotional pull of Islam:

[The] Pakistani government …  receives billions from the United States in order to fight against the Taliban. The Senate voted last fall to triple the amount of non-military aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion annually — money that was supposed to go to build democracy and aid anti-terror efforts. “We should make clear to the people of Pakistan,” said a naïve and befuddled Sen. Richard Lugar (R.-Ind.), “that our interests are focused on democracy, pluralism, stability, and the fight against terrorism.”

The people of Pakistan undoubtedly know that, but it is not so clear that they’re actually on our side. In September 2008, the New York Times reported that “after the attacks of September 11, President Pervez Musharraf threw his lot in with the United States. Pakistan has helped track down al Qaeda suspects, launched a series of attacks against militants inside the tribal areas — a new offensive got under way just weeks ago — and given many assurances of devotion to the antiterrorist cause. For such efforts, Musharraf and the Pakistani government have been paid handsomely, receiving more than $10 billion in American money since 2001.” However, “the survival of Pakistan’s military and civilian leaders has depended on a double game: assuring the United States that they were vigorously repressing Islamic militants — and in some cases actually doing so — while simultaneously tolerating and assisting the same militants.”

What has changed since then? Only the regimes in both Islamabad and Washington, but neither the double game nor the false assumptions that continue to allow it to be played.

One fundamental assumption that all too many Pakistani officials hold is that when something goes wrong with society, it is because the people have faltered in their fidelity to Islam and only renewed religious fervor can solve the problem and restore prosperity to the nation and health to the society. This assumption militates against the idea that any amount of American aid will significantly alter the situation in Pakistan, or lessen popular support for the Islamic jihad of the Taliban and allied groups. For the Americans will always be infidels, no matter how much money they lavish upon the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Pakistan has struggled since its independence with the relationship between Western principles and Sharia norms. It was founded as a secular state, but Islamic activists resisted its secular character from the beginning. …

If Islamic orthodoxy were differently constituted, it wouldn’t be so vulnerable to exploitation by fanatics and demagogues who invoke religious principles as the basis of their legitimacy — but that’s precisely the problem. And it’s a problem that everyone who believes that the House of Islam can easily be secularized and fit into place as another ingredient in a global multicultural society should examine carefully. Especially those in Washington who keep showering more and more American billions upon the practitioners of the Pakistani double game.

Pakistan is a nuclear power. If its heart wins, it could wage nuclear jihad.

Posted under Afghanistan, Commentary, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Pakistan, United States by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Tagged with , , , ,

This post has 0 comments.

Permalink

The new-found riches of Afghanistan 0

The discovery in Afghanistan of vast deposits of iron, copper, cobalt, gold, niobium, and lithium — used in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys – must change any prognostications made for that benighted country.

At last there’s something there that the world wants other than opium. Afghanistan will surely become richer, and may even be dragged into the 21st century. But will it be less strife-torn, or more?

How will it change American plans to withdraw troops? How will China act? How will Russia? How will Pakistan (part of the find being on its border)? How will India?

American officials fear resource-hungry China will try to dominate the development of Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, which could upset the United States, given its heavy investment in the region. After winning the bid for its Aynak copper mine in Logar Province, China clearly wants more, American officials said.

And who among the Afghans will profit most from it?

Instead of bringing peace, the newfound mineral wealth could lead the Taliban to battle even more fiercely to regain control of the country.

The corruption that is already rampant in the Karzai government could also be amplified by the new wealth, particularly if a handful of well-connected oligarchs, some with personal ties to the president, gain control of the resources. Just last year, Afghanistan’s minister of mines was accused by American officials of accepting a $30 million bribe to award China the rights to develop its copper mine. …

Endless fights could erupt between the central government in Kabul and provincial and tribal leaders in mineral-rich districts.

Russians did the original prospecting that revealed the deposits, but the Soviets withdrew before they had time to assess their size, let alone exploit them. Americans found the Russian documentation and looked further.

In 2004, American geologists, sent to Afghanistan as part of a broader reconstruction effort, stumbled across an intriguing series of old charts and data at the library of the Afghan Geological Survey in Kabul that hinted at major mineral deposits in the country. They soon learned that the data had been collected by Soviet mining experts during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s, but cast aside when the Soviets withdrew in 1989.

During the chaos of the 1990s, when Afghanistan was mired in civil war and later ruled by the Taliban, a small group of Afghan geologists protected the charts by taking them home, and returned them to the Geological Survey’s library only after the American invasion and the ouster of the Taliban in 2001.

Armed with the old Russian charts, the United States Geological Survey began a series of aerial surveys of Afghanistan’s mineral resources in 2006, using advanced gravity and magnetic measuring equipment attached to an old Navy Orion P-3 aircraft that flew over about 70 percent of the country.

The data from those flights was so promising that in 2007, the geologists returned for an even more sophisticated study, using an old British bomber equipped with instruments that offered a three-dimensional profile of mineral deposits below the earth’s surface. It was the most comprehensive geologic survey of Afghanistan ever conducted. …

But the results gathered dust for two more years, ignored by officials in both the American and Afghan governments. In 2009, a Pentagon task force that had created business development programs in Iraq was transferred to Afghanistan, and came upon the geological data. Until then, no one besides the geologists had bothered to look at the information — and no one had sought to translate the technical data to measure the potential economic value of the mineral deposits.

Soon, the Pentagon business development task force brought in teams of American mining experts to validate the survey’s findings …

Read it all – it’s a dramatic story.

Though probably not an introduction to a period of peace and co-operation.

Forked tongues (2) 0

Bearing out what we have said in the post immediately below about Muslims saying one thing to the West and another to their Muslim audience, today at Front Page Magazine, Michael van der Galien says this about a report written by Matt Walden, a fellow of Harvard, and issued by the London School of Economics:

Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI) has “an official policy” of support for the Taliban. The ISI, the report says, “provides funding and training” for the extremist Muslim group in neighboring Afghanistan. It adds that the agency even “has representatives on the so-called Quetta Shura, the Taliban’s leadership council, which is believed to meet in Pakistan.” …

“Pakistan appears to be playing a double-game of astonishing magnitude,” the report says. Pakistani president Asif Ali Zardari pretends to be enlightened, modern, a staunch ally of the West, and a supporter of the War on Terror, when dealing with Westerners. Not so, says Waldman in his report. The president apparently met with senior Taliban prisoners, promising them they would released as soon as possible, adding that they were only arrested because of American pressure.

“The Pakistan government’s apparent duplicity – and awareness of it among the American public and political establishment – could have enormous geopolitical implications. Without a change in Pakistani behaviour it will be difficult if not impossible for international forces and the Afghan government to make progress against the insurgency.” …

If true, and there’s every reason to believe it is, the report spells tremendous trouble. It is virtually impossible for the West and Kabul to defeat the Taliban if these terrorists are backed by the ISI.

Holy murder 4

John Brennan, who is Deputy National Security Adviser – Obama’s chief adviser on counter-terrorism[!] –  instructs the  nation that the terrorist enemy should not be described as jihadist because, he says,  jihad” does not mean “holy war” but only “a holy struggle, a legitimate tenet of Islam, meaning to purify oneself or one’s community”, and “there is nothing holy or legitimate or Islamic about murdering innocent men, women and children.” He  insists that “those plotting attacks on the United States should not be described in ‘religious terms’.”

Even if, like the Fort Hood jihadist for instance, they shout “Allahu Akbar” as they commit their mass murders?  (Enter Fort Hood massacre in our search slot for several posts on this Islamic atrocity.]

Is Brennan an idiot, or does he think everyone else is?

Here is today’s list of murderous terrorist attacks carried out in the name of Islam. It comes from that excellent, reliable, informative site The Religion of Peace, which publishes such a list every day:

2010.05.28 (Lahore, Pakistan) – Orthodox Sunni terrorists stage a bloody grenade and firearms assault on two mosques belonging to a minority sect. Over eighty worshippers are murdered.

2010.05.28 (Mogadishu, Somalia) – Two children are among three civilians blown to bits by Islamic militia bombers.

2010.05.27 (Mosul, Iraq) – Mujahideen gun down a civilian and mortar a factory, wounding eleven people.

2010.05.27 (Bajur, Pakistan) – A married couple and their son are brutally gunned down in their home by Islamic fundamentalists.

2010.05.26 (Mogadishu, Somalia) – Six people are counted dead following an al-Shabaab militia attack around a city square.

2010.05.26 (Mosul, Iraq) – Three policemen are murdered by Mujahideen.

These are all actions of Muslims pursuing jihad, a duty their religion lays on them.

We wonder what Brennan thinks the Taliban, with whom tens of thousand of American soldiers are engaged in battle, are all about?

Or – expert as he claims to be on counter-terrorism – what he thinks the motive was of the Muslims who carried out the attacks on 9/11?

Much as Brennan and Obama may hate the fact, that was a deeply religious act.

Many worlds, and worlds within worlds 0

Speaking of beheadings by Muslims (which we were yesterday – see the post below, An horrific murder scene): Daniel Pearl has been mis-remembered by Obama.

Pearl’s decapitation was shudderingly appalling, and the pious Muslims who butchered him were absolutely evil. It is also irritatingly, painfully, maddeningly true that Pearl acted stupidly when he deliberately sought out Islamic terrorists. Why did he not know that they would capture, torture, and kill him?  Did he think that as a journalist he was immune? Or did he feel his liberalism was adequate armor?

These are questions that cannot be answered. But the question of why Obama ignores the plain meaning of Pearl’s martyrdom and tries to endow it with a completely different one needs examination. And examined it is by Mark Steyn:

[Obama] came to say a few words about Daniel Pearl, upon signing the “Daniel Pearl Press Freedom Act.” Pearl was decapitated on video by jihadist Muslims in Karachi on Feb. 1, 2002. That’s how I’d put it. This is what the president of the United States said:

Obviously, the loss of Daniel Pearl was one of those moments that captured the world’s imagination because it reminded us of how valuable a free press is.”

Now Obama’s off the prompter, when his silver-tongued rhetoric invariably turns to sludge. But he’s talking about a dead man here, a guy murdered in public for all the world to see. Furthermore, the deceased’s family is standing all around him. And, even for a busy president, it’s the work of moments to come up with a sentence that would be respectful, moving and true. Indeed, for Obama, it’s the work of seconds, because he has a taxpayer-funded staff sitting around all day with nothing to do but provide him with that sentence.

Instead, he delivered the one above, which in its clumsiness and insipidness is most revealing. First of all, note the passivity: “The loss of Daniel Pearl.” He wasn’t “lost.” He was kidnapped and beheaded. He was murdered on a snuff video. He was specifically targeted, seized as a trophy, a high-value scalp. And the circumstances of his “loss” merit some vigor in the prose. Yet Obama can muster none. …

But what did the “loss” of Daniel Pearl mean? Well, says the president, it was “one of those moments that captured the world’s imagination.” Really? Evidently it never captured Obama’s imagination because, if it had, he could never have uttered anything so fatuous. He seems literally unable to imagine Pearl’s fate, and so, cruising on autopilot, he reaches for the all-purpose bromides of therapeutic sedation: “one of those moments” – you know, like Princess Di’s wedding, Janet Jackson’s wardrobe malfunction, whatever – “that captured the world’s imagination.”

Notice how reflexively Obama lapses into sentimental one-worldism: Despite our many zip codes, we are one people, with a single imagination. In fact, the murder of Daniel Pearl teaches just the opposite – that we are many worlds, and worlds within worlds. Some of them don’t even need an “imagination.” Across the planet, the video of an American getting his head sawed off did brisk business in the bazaars and madrassahs and Internet downloads. Excited young men e-mailed it to friends, from cell phone to cell phone, from Karachi to Jakarta to Khartoum to London to Toronto to Falls Church, Virginia. In the old days, you needed an “imagination” to conjure the juicy bits of a distant victory over the Great Satan. But in an age of high-tech barbarism the sight of Pearl’s severed head is a mere click away. …

The latest appropriation that his “loss” “reminded us of how valuable a free press is.” It was nothing to do with “freedom of the press.” By the standards of the Muslim world, Pakistan has a free-ish and very lively press. The problem is that some 80 percent of its people wish to live under the most extreme form of Sharia, and many of its youth are exported around the world in advance of that aim. The man convicted of Pearl’s murder was Omar Sheikh, a British subject, a London School of Economics student, and, like many jihadists from Osama to the Pantybomber, a monument to the peculiar burdens of a non-deprived childhood in the Muslim world. The man who actually did the deed was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who confessed in March 2007: “I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi.” But Obama’s not the kind to take “guilty” for an answer, so he’s arranging a hugely expensive trial for KSM amid the bright lights of Broadway.

Listen to his killer’s words: “The American Jew Daniel Pearl.” We hit the jackpot! And then we cut his head off. …

Daniel Pearl … [showed] in his calm, coherent final words [that he] understood why he was there:

“My name is Daniel Pearl. I am a Jewish American from Encino, California, USA …”

He didn’t have a prompter. But he spoke the truth. That’s all President Obama owed him – to do the same.

But Obama cannot even bring himself to state the truth that the Fort Hood terrorist, the Pantybomb terrorist, and the Times Square terrorist are all Muslims waging Islam’s war against America. So we don’t think that it was out of mere laziness that Obama made such a feeble and unfitting statement when he had to say something about Daniel Pearl. We strongly suspect that Obama has no pity for Pearl, doesn’t feel horrified by his beheading, and doesn’t even believe that it was profoundly wrong.

An horrific murder scene 2

Here’s a link to a video of three men being beheaded.

The Northeast Intelligence Network explain why they provided it:

Amid much controversy, the Northeast Intelligence Network was the first “legitimate” Western web site that provided the West the ability to view al Qaeda “beheading” videos. We did so at that time as we believed that Americans and the people of the West were being deceived by Islamic apologists and others who depicted the Islamic method of execution as relatively quick and painless. The beheadings were referenced in media in an almost cavalier manner, failing to reflect the truly vicious nature of the act and the Islamists who performed the act. The truth is that the beheadings performed in accordance with Islamic (Sharia) law are anything but – they are absolutely horrific and gruesome – and represent unspeakable evil. …

The execution … of three “spies” by the Taliban in Pakistan was filmed and uploaded so it could be shared – as an Islamic rallying cry – with other Islamists who want to see the implementation of Worldwide Sharia.

The following video is extremely graphic and should NOT be viewed by anyone under 18, or those who are hypersensitive to the most horrific of murder scenes.

We are posting the following video so that every American who continues to believe that Sharia law is not a threat to the West, and that the adherents to fundamentalist Islam are peaceful. The following video evidence will illustrate otherwise.

Video (GRAPHIC)

Posted under Afghanistan, Islam, jihad, Muslims, Pakistan by Jillian Becker on Friday, May 21, 2010

Tagged with , , , , ,

This post has 2 comments.

Permalink

A pointless yakfest 0

Why did the Dictator hold his “nuclear summit” with heads of state flocking to Washington to pay homage to his great leadership? Since it was about nothing of importance, and nothing of importance came of it, it was probably only to have heads of state flocking to pay homage to his great leadership. Just something His Modesty desired.

With his usual clear sight, Mark Steyn writes:

In years to come – assuming, for the purposes of argument, there are any years to come – scholars will look back at President Barack Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit and marvel. For once, the cheap comparisons with 1930s appeasement barely suffice: To be sure, in 1933, the great powers were meeting in Geneva and holding utopian arms-control talks even as Hitler was taking office in Berlin. But it’s difficult to imagine Neville Chamberlain in 1938 hosting a conference on the dangers of rearmament, and inviting America, France, Brazil, Liberia and Thailand …but not even mentioning Germany.

Yet that’s what Obama just did: He held a nuclear gabfest in 2010, the biggest meeting of world leaders on American soil since the founding of the United Nations 65 years ago – and Iran wasn’t on the agenda.

Granted that almost all of Obama’s exciting innovative “change we can believe in” turns out to have been exhumed direct from the sclerotic Seventies to stagger around like a rotting zombie in polyester bell-bottoms from some straight-to-video sequel, there’s still something almost touchingly quaint in the notion of an international summit on nuclear “nonproliferation” in the 21st century. Five years ago, when there was still a chance the world might prevent a nuclear Iran rather than pretending to “contain” it, I remember the bewildered look from a “nonproliferation expert” on a panel I was on after I suggested non-proliferation was a laughably obsolescent frame for this discussion. You could just about enforce nonproliferation back in the Cold War when the only official nuclear powers were the Big Five at the U.N. Security Council and the entry level for the nuclear club was extremely expensive and technologically sophisticated. Now it’s not. If Pakistan and North Korea can be nuclear powers, who can’t? North Korea’s population is starving. Its GDP per capita is lower than Ghana, lower than Zimbabwe, lower than Mongolia. Which is to say its GDP is all but undetectable.

Yet it’s a nuclear power.

That’s what anachronistic nonproliferation mumbo-jumbo gets you. If you read in the paper that New Zealand had decided to go nuclear, would you lose a moment’s sleep over it? Personally, I’d be rather heartened. It would be a sign that a pampered and somnolent developed world had woken up and concluded that betting your future on the kindness of strangers is a helluva gamble. What Obama and his empty showboaters failed even to acknowledge in their “security” summit is the reality of the Post-Big Five nuclear age: We’re on the brink of a world in which the wealthiest nations, from Canada to Norway to Japan, can barely project meaningful force to their own borders while the nickel ‘n’ dime basket-cases go nuclear.

How long do you think that arrangement will last? Iran has already offered to share its nuclear technology with Sudan. Sudan? Ring a vague bell? Remember that “Save Darfur” interpretative-dance fundraiser you went to, where someone read out a press release from George Clooney, and you all had a simply marvelous time? Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed – with machetes. That’s pretty labor-intensive. In the Congo, five and a half million have been slaughtered – and, again, in impressively primitive ways.

But a nuclear Sudan would be a model of self-restraint?

By the way, that’s another example of the self-indulgent irrelevance of Obama. The mound of corpses being piled up around the world today is not from high-tech nuclear states but from low-tech psycho states. It’s not that Britain has nukes, and poor old Sudan has to make do with machetes. It’s that the machete crowd are willing to kill on an industrial scale, and the high-tech guys can’t figure out a way to stop them. Perhaps for his next pointless yakfest the president might consider a machete nonproliferation initiative.

The Obama Happy Fairyland Security Summit was posited on the principle that there’s no difference between a Swiss nuke and a Syrian nuke. If you believe that, you’ll be thrilled by the big breakthrough agreement of the summit: Canada, Chile, Mexico and Ukraine have agreed to reduce their stocks of enriched uranium. Peace in our time! I have here a piece of paper from the prime minister of Canada!

This is the nuclear version of Janet Incompetano’s initial reaction to the Pantybomber – when she banned passengers from having paperback books on their laps for the last 45 minutes of the flight. In an age of freelance nukes, we shouldn’t be banning items but profiling threats. For 30 years, Iran has acted with extraterritorial impunity and without even the minimal courtesies of international relations – seizing embassies, taking out mob contracts on British novelists, seeding terrorist proxies in Lebanon and Gaza, blowing up community centers in Latin America. Washington’s pathetic fallback of “containment” is intended to prevent Tehran using a nuke, in the Middle East, Europe or anywhere else within range. There is no strategy for “containing” Iran’s leverage of its nuclear status to advance its interests more discreetly, and no strategy for “containing” the mullahs’ generosity to states and groups more inclined to use the technology. …

As we learned the hard way in Iraq and Afghanistan, stupid, ill-trained illiterates with primitive explosives who don’t care who they kill can inflict quite a lot of damage on the technologically advanced highly trained warriors of civilized states. That’s the “asymmetric warfare” that matters. So virtuously proclaiming oneself opposed to nuclear modernization ensures a planet divided into civilized states with unusable weapons and barbarous regimes happy to kill with whatever’s to hand.

So another grand week’s work for a president pressing full steam ahead into the post-American global order. The good news is that at least you don’t have to worry about a nuclear blitzkrieg from Winnipeg. Sleep easy.

Older Posts »