Friday, December 17, 2010

Pakistan as a Safe Haven -- A Lily for Obama

It's making us all nuts--money poured into Pakistan to be a US "partner" in settling down Afghanistan and yet the Taliban lives there, goes across the border to fight, and then goes home to their safe haven.

The Pakistani military and intelligence agencies know where they are but seem unable to do anything to disrupt their operations.

The way to resolve this is not to bluster, bully, beg and wheedle with the Pakistani government or to give them more money, weapons or anything else.

From what "they" let me know, it appears that the solution to this problem lies in resolving the Pakistanis and the Indian struggle that rivals--no, actually surpasses--the tenure of that of the Palestinians and the Israelis.  This allows Al Qaeda, the Taliban and anyone else who finds it in their interest to do so, to play off one of these nuclear powers against the other. This is dangerous.

Again, from the information that we have, the Pakistanis find it in their interest to keep India occupied with "Muslim extremists" of the type who attacked Mumbai.  This is a perilous strategy for the Pakistanis, of course, as the existence of the Taliban and Al Qaeda on their soil not only impugns their international integrity, it undermines their own internal security.

I don't know how the Indian-Pakistani "crisis" can be resolved, or even whether it can.  But I do think that trying to somehow convince the Pakistanis turn loose of their unsavory non-allies any other way than to eliminate the advantage they see in cleaving to them is an example of us pursuing a goal that  seems reasonable, even though it is ineffective. 

Maybe the President knows something I am not allowed to know about this dynamic, but until I figure out what that could possibly be I have to be cynical about American policy vis a vis both Afghanistan and Pakistan.  If one wanted a "bulwark" against Iran, wouldn't peace between Pakistan and India be something to think about?

Or, how about just dismantling our empire in the Middle East and ...

Sorry, Mr. Obama, a Lily for you.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Where's My Right of Conscience?

So, it's been on my mind for a while now:  how is it that "pro-lifers" get to make the government jump through hoops to ensure that none of their tax money gets used for abortion?  Most recently, we watched Congress go up and over the top on this during the health care debate without anyone asking how come they get to make those kinds of demands.

I am morally opposed to war on conscientious grounds and it is certainly clear to me where God is at on that--especially considering the amount of rationalizing theological notions and notional holidays our imperial priesthood has to lay down to obscure the issue to condition and manipulate us into going off to  kill total strangers for the most secular ends.

Millions and millions of tax dollars spent by my government to kill innocent people--and some that those who prosecute wars want to dub "guilty" to make their deaths OK.

So, when do I get to make the government guarantee that my tax money isn't spent for war because it's "against my religion?"

And if I don't get that guarantee why do to the "pro-lifers" get it?

This is about integrity, of course, but it's also about equality.  Why are some people's religious views "more equal" than those of others?  And, in this country, given the First Amendment, why is "it's against my religion" a cogent argument in how tax money gets spent?

I think there's a big Cynical Lily Award to give out here, I am just not sure to whom it should be given.