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Archive for the ‘South Asia’ Category

Nations have grievances.  Look at the Balkans, always fighting over some mid-fourteenth century slight.  But most leaders have the good sense to recognize that the rest of the world might find their problems slightly ridiculous.  Asif Zardari, widower of Benazir Bhutto and possessor of big enough balls to become famously corrupt in Pakistan – reflect, for a moment, on how corrupt you have to be in Pakistan for it even to be noticed – decides to take his issues to the Times.

But consider the history as seen by Pakistanis.  Twice in recent history America abandoned its democratic values to support dictators and manipulate and exploit us. In the 1980s, the United States supported Gen. Muhammad Zia ul-Haq’s iron rule against the Pakistani people while using Pakistan as a surrogate in the war against the Soviets in Afghanistan. That decade turned our peaceful nation into a “Kalashnikov and heroin” society — a nation defined by guns and drugs.

Did he say “peaceful”? (more…)

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For the first seventeen years of the Peloponnesian War, Athens and Sparta fought to something of a draw.  Sparta dominated the land, but could not breach Athens’ walls.  Athens dominated the sea, but could not march inland with enough force to defeat Sparta.

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Still trying to process all of my objections to the current Afghan strategy into something moderately coherent, so I’ll start with a very different story: Fritz Henderson was rather suddenly and unceremoniously dismissed as CEO of GM.

General Motors Co. Chief Executive Officer Fritz Henderson resigned after eight months on the job as directors concluded he hadn’t done enough to fix GM’s finances and culture, people familiar with the matter said…Henderson’s exit caps a tenure that included aborted deals to sell the Saturn, Saab and Opel units, a struggle to replace top managers such as Chief Financial Officer Ray Young, and U.S. market-share losses. (more…)

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Eight years.

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And then the riots were in China:

This shouldn’t be surprising.  It just is.

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Seems Pakistan wants money, well, just because:

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari told two top U.S. envoys that his country needs “unconditional support” in a range of areas to defeat the al-Qaida and Taliban fighters threatening its survival.

The sentiments reflect Pakistani dissatisfaction with American pledges to tack conditions onto billions in expected aid funds designed to help Pakistan end militancy in its borders.

Those conditions are just plain annoying, since all Pakistan wants to do with the money is put it in offshore banks and jihadi training camps.

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House arrest?  Wow, way to crack down.  They must be really mad.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20081211/wl_nm/us_india_mumbai_85

Extraditing him would show serious cooperation.  Killing him would show practicality – in an Indian prison, LeT’s long history of working with the Pakistani government in Kashmir is going to come out – but still show some amount of course correction.  But telling the guy he can’t leave his house for a little while?

This moment, by the way, is why Pakistan protects Osama so carefully, and why we will never catch him until we accept offending them.  If Osama were dead and gone, we would not be trying to hunt for terrorists in western Pakistan (there would still be terrorists, we just wouldn’t be looking for them).  If we were not looking for Osama, we wouldn’t really care whether Pakistan’s army was on its eastern or western frontier.  If we didn’t care where Pakistan deployed its army, there would be no one to object to India mobilizing its forces along the Line of Control/Radcliffe Line.  As the significantly larger force, India could always mobilize and wait, forcing Pakistan to either mobilize in return, exhausting its economy, or stand down and risk India picking off Pakistani Kashmir or whatever else it wanted…

Our government seems to miss the nuance that Pakistan wants the religious nutters, because they provide a force multiplier in Kashmir and keep us petrified that the Pakistani government will fall and they will rule the show.  At some point, then, we need to ask ourselves what we would do if Al Qaeda had a state.  Because it does.

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