Thursday, May 19, 2011

Victor Davis Hanson on our erstwhile 'friends' the Paks: Enough is enough.

Cannot say it any better than this

Juicy bits (be sure to read the whole thing):

Americans do not like duplicitous allies, but they especially do not like subsidizing the duplicity. Almost every major Islamic terrorist with American blood on his hands whom our forces have captured or killed, from Khalid Sheik Mohammed to Osama bin Laden, was finally tracked down in Pakistan — often in upscale urban areas. As far as Afghanistan goes, Pakistan might do its worst, and we will try to do our best, and that is just the way it is, in this eternally bad/worse-case scenario.

The United States would assume that any use of a nuclear device against America by an Islamic terrorist would ultimately be traced to Pakistan — and, of course, we would take the necessary countermeasures and retaliation. We would hope that deterrent message was by now well known.
India is democratic and pro-American; Pakistan is not. India is also huge, successful, and an ally in the war against jihadism. The question is not balance, but why we do not tilt farther toward India, a free-market economy that shares many of our own goals and aspirations. India is a natural and strategic ally; Pakistan is increasingly a natural and strategic belligerent.

Pakistan’s wild lands are useful to Pakistan, both providing deniability (e.g., “We can’t go there either”), and as an ongoing excuse for American aid. Terrorists get their own play yard, and their eternal presence justifies eternal billions in aid to Pakistani elites.

What is the problem? The majority in Pakistan, so far as we can tell, is religiously intolerant, anti-American, and tribal. A plebiscite, fairly conducted, would result in a far more illiberal government than the Westernized megaphones that the often rigged and corrupt elections produce. Because elite Pakistani military and political leaders do not have real legitimacy, they must alternately disguise and lament, and then indulge and appease, the illiberal natures of their constituents.

What is the solution? Praise Pakistan. Avoid provocative statements. But by all means gradually and without fanfare prune back aid — say, at the rate of about $100 million a month. And then accept that in reaction Pakistan will more shamelessly hide terrorists, threaten nuclear proliferation, and destabilize the Karzai government, as it is freed to express its natural proclivities and “national interests” as a de facto enemy of the United States. Develop much closer relations with India. All of this will not make the situation in the region any better, but it will bring clarity, send a message that America is tired of treacherous allies —and save money. And in this ungodly mess, that at least counts for something.

Yep. What he said, except for the bit about praising the Paks, and cutting aid with little fanfare. They do not deserve even that much. (ain't that one of the feedback checkboxes just below? Go on, check it. You know you want to.)

Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Pro & Con on EIT

 A sort of follow up on a post from yesterday. It's odd though. There is a rather glaring disconnect between the two contributions. The authors of the second contribution don't seem to have directly addressed the question. The AJC might be justified in feeling slighted:

The discussion is supposed to be about whether or not EIT should be 'reinstated' as interrogation tools by CIA.  So, it is logical that the gist of Marc Thiessen's contribution is aimed toward answering whether or not past use of EIT were effective. He argues they were, providing specific evidence. On that basis he argues for reinstatement.

The second contribution, penned by Laurie R. Blank (Emory) and Amos N. Guiora (University of Utah) barely touches on the matter of EIT reinstatement, only to curtly dismiss the possibility. "Torture is not the story," they say.  No argument as to what exactly this sentence means, or why they think so. The contribution, unlike McCains arguments, does not attempt address the specifics Thiessen raises, except in the most perfunctory ways, but rather spends most of its time making the case that OBL was an unlawful enemy combatant, and as such was a legitimate target for lethal force, unarmed or armed. The authors also chide the administration for various other post operational flubs and foibles. Blank and Guiora claim that the debate over EIT is a 'distraction', from follow-on strategic and tactical thought.

That's it. Nothing else.

In short, they avoid the subject. Read it yourself. Am I being fair?