Obama and the Pakistan Dilemma

Posted by , 16th December 2010

Pakistani FlagMatthew Kaminski
12/16/2010

Pakistan is becoming more like Afghanistan, only with a more advanced economy and nuclear weapons, writes Kaminski. The idea that Islamabad’s leaders can control the Taliban is probably a necessary fiction, but the reality is that many extremists have slipped their leash. Pakistan’s military has yet to show that it wants to–or that it can–control the Islamist wave. Gen. David Petraeus, the American commander in Afghanistan, certainly has contingency plans for Pakistan that go beyond extra doses of drones or diplomacy. Putting American boots in Waziristan is an obvious idea. But, Kaminski concludes, this is unappealing, as the fallout in Pakistan would be hard to predict. So for the moment America gets to pretend that Pakistan can do this on its own.

Kaminski is a member of the Journal’s editorial board.

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Where the ‘No Labels’ movement falls short

Posted by , 16th December 2010

No Labels LogoE.J. Dionne Jr.
12/16/2010

A nascent “No Labels” movement to reclaim the political center is admirable in its intent but questionable in its pragmatic value. Active Republicans are almost entirely absent from its ranks, and it equates the far left and far right as equivalent dangers even though the socialist position of the 20th century far left has been entirely abandoned. If it cannot garner a broader coalition or take a more accurate view of the current state of American politics, the “No Labels” movement will be consigned to a benign obscurity.

Dionne is a twice-weekly columnist for The Post, writing on national policy and politics.

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Terror: The U.K.’s New Christmas Export

Posted by , 16th December 2010

GBDouglas Murray
12/15/2010

It’s a story that is becoming as familiar as the traditional nativity: ordinary young man goes to Britain, most likely to study, and comes out an Islamic extremist. While Sweden may change after its first suicide bombing, it is more urgent that things change in Britain. One-third of British Muslim students polled believe that killing in the name of their religion could be justified. Yet the government’s minister for higher education dismissed the findings. Murray concludes that if you had told Britons 20 years ago that this occurrence would become routine they would have laughed at you. But Britain is no longer the country it was.

Murray is the director of London’s Center for Social Cohesion.

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A progressive’s answer to Obama

Posted by , 16th December 2010

Obama-Clinton.jpgKatrina vanden Heuvel
12/15/2010

The recent tax cut deal is yet another example of how President Obama’s centrist focus has resulted in failure to define his principles and values (and, by extension, America’s). While the author concedes that compromising on policy is part of the political game, she disagrees with compromising one’s principles. Strong leadership, says vanden Heuvel, should not be defined by compromise but by a clear, defensible vision and the mobilization of popular support. If Obama’s pattern of compromise continues, he may leave behind few achievements and a disillusioned Democrat party.

Katrina vanden Heuvel is editor and publisher of The Nation magazine.

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We’ve Only Got America A

Posted by , 16th December 2010

usaThomas L. Friedman
12/15/2010

We have only one America so we have to make this work. If it fails, our children will grow up in a different world and we will not like who picks up the pieces. Friedman looks at the role of China in the future–a country that tried to intimidate its trading partners from sending representatives to attend the Nobel award ceremony at Oslo’s City Hall after it rejected the Nobel Peace Prize given to one of its citizens, a democracy advocate who has been imprisoned. On the other end of the spectrum, Friedman wonders what the world would be like if individuals feel empowered to change the world by dumping state secrets at any time. He says a stable world requires that we get the best from both extremes while limiting the worst; it will require smart legal and technological responses. That job requires a strong America.

Friedman is a New York Times columnist.

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A U.N. Plan for Israel

Posted by , 14th December 2010

Palestine - Israel conflictRobert Wright
12/14/2010

If there is no two-state solution to the situation between Israel and Palestine, Israel has two poor choices: give Palestinians the vote in occupied territories while the Arab birth rate makes Israeli Jews a minority or continue to deny the vote to Arabs, moving Israel toward global pariah status and giving terrorists propaganda to feed their calls for war. Wright says there is a third solution: have the United Nations create a Palestinian state now as it did a Jewish state. Although it would be tricky, it is better than the current state of affairs between Israel and Palestine.

Wright blogs for The New York Times on culture, politics, and world affairs.

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In Britain, outrage without a thoughtful outlet

Posted by , 14th December 2010

Great BritainAnne Applebaum
12/14/2010

Unlike their stoic acceptance of government spending cuts this fall, disgruntled British citizens took to the streets several times over the past month and engaged in riotous vandalism, presumably in response to raised university tuition rates. A younger generation feels no nostalgia for the austere postwar years. Applebaum suggests there is resentment on the part of young people whose baby boomer parents enjoyed free university tuition and other benefits from taxpayers. The British protests are similar to those that occurred in Greece two years ago, perhaps due in part to both countries lacking an “organized political outlet” through which to vent their grievances.

Applebaum is a weekly columnist for The Post, writing on foreign affairs.

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Health reform will survive its legal fight

Posted by , 14th December 2010

HospitalEric Holder and Kathleen Sibelius
12/14/2010

Various suits are challenging the constitutionality of health care reform and particularly the provision that those who are able to afford coverage must purchase an insurance policy. Uninsured citizens currently add approximately $1000 per year to insured individuals’ rates through their burden on the health care system. Without mandating basic coverage, the other provisions, including those for persons with pre-existing conditions, will not be feasible.

Holder is the attorney general of the United States. Sebelius is secretary of health and human services.

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Drawing a Line in the Water

Posted by , 13th December 2010

Lee Myung-bakSelig S. Harrison and John H. Cushman
12/13/2010

The North Korean shelling of South Korea’s Yeonpyeong Island was just the latest act in a long series of naval clashes between the two Koreas resulting from a dispute over the Yellow Sea boundary imposed by the United Nations forces. The authors say to end the dispute the United States should redraw the sea boundary, called the Northern Limit Line, moving it slightly to the south. They show how President Obama has this authority as a result of a 1950 United Nations Security Council resolution. This would help defuse tensions and keep the peace and can help lead to the goal of eliminating nuclear weapons and establishing diplomatic relations with North Korea.

Harrison, the author of “Korean Endgame,” is the director of the Asia program at the Center for International Policy. Cushman, a retired Army lieutenant general, commanded the United States-South Korean First Corps Group from 1976 to 1978.

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