“This site is dedicated to preying on peoples vanity, ignorance, or loneliness, gaining their trust and betraying them without remorse.”

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Welcome to the world's most dangerous zero-sum game: India vs Pakistan





Neighbors at the Brink

By David Ignatius

NEW DELHI -- Everything is going right these days for India, except for one big problem: They're living next to a Pakistan that is coming apart politically, and Indian leaders insist with a tone of resignation that there's nothing they can do about it.
Starting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, top Indian officials know that their booming democracy is endangered by the growing chaos across the border. They say they're willing to revive back-channel negotiations with Islamabad to resolve the long-festering problem of Kashmir. They favor confidence-building measures to reduce the risk of war between these two nuclear-armed nations.
And then, in the next breath, Indian officials insist that such positive steps won't make any difference. ThePakistani military doesn't want any reduction in tensions, they argue. The civilian government is crumbling and incapable of making a deal. Even Singh, long an advocate of better relations with Pakistan, is said to have concluded that hopes for better relations are "wishful thinking."
A few hundred miles away in Islamabad, you'd hear the same bleak message from Pakistani military and political leaders. Yes, they know that the immediate threat to Pakistan is from Islamic militants, not India. Yes, they know that restoring a back-channel dialogue with New Delhi might ease tensions. But no, they don't see any way to step back from the brink. The Indians, in their view, are conspiring to undermine Pakistan.
Welcome to the world's most dangerous zero-sum game. The sad fact is that India and Pakistan, separated at birth in 1947, are locked in what seems like a blood feud. You hear the same language of suspicion in prosperous New Delhi that you do in embattled Islamabad.
I spent three days here last week talking with Indian leaders as part of a dialogue sponsored by the Aspen Strategy Group and the Confederation of Indian Industry. Discussing the India-Pakistan dispute with these officials reminded me of the fable of Tantalus, whose punishment by the gods was that food and drink were always just out of reach. A rapprochement between India and Pakistan is that elusive: You can imagine what the reduction of tensions would look like but you can't grasp it.
This is a problem that might seem ripe for U.S. mediation. Washington has close ties with both countries, after all, and it could act as an honest broker on issues such as Kashmir, which is ruled by India but claimed by both countries. But Indians say that American intervention could just make matters worse -- poisoning public opinion against any deal that emerged.
U.S. diplomats are walking on eggshells: The Kashmir problem is so sensitive that American officials sometimes refer to it as "the K word," as if the very subject were unmentionable. Washington has gently encouraged dialogue between the two countries, but two meetings last year between their foreign ministers collapsed amid mutual recriminations. They will have another chance next month at a regional gathering in Bhutan, but nobody seems very hopeful about progress.
The Indians watch Pakistan's political instability with grim resignation. The root problem, they argue, is that the Pakistani military is unwilling to sever its links with Islamic terrorists. Until the Pakistanis break this insurgency, they will be at its mercy. Dialogue with India won't make any difference, they insist.
"The last thing we want to see is Pakistan slide into instability," says one top Indian official, but he cautions that there is little that India or America can do. "It's Pakistan's internal problem. And that, we can't fix."
As India celebrates its own economic success, there is a slight tone of South Asian schadenfreude about Pakistan's troubles. "There is one school of thought that says, 'If they (the Pakistanis) are committing suicide, then you don't have to murder them,'" the top official concedes. "But the consequences of that are horrible."
I came away from these discussions feeling that Indian leaders are being shortsighted: If Pakistan descends further into violence and chaos, India will suffer from the fallout. And with these two bitter rivals, there is always the risk of nuclear war. If I were a newly prosperous Indian, I'd want to help my ailing neighbor as a matter of self-protection.
But try making that argument to Indian officials. "You have to recognize that some problems can't be solved," counsels one prominent Indian. Officials here don't want American mediation, and they think outreach to Pakistan won't do any good. Meanwhile, the South Asian tinderbox keeps on getting hotter.

116 comments:

  1. Pakistan is a country that needs to cease to exist but the alternatives are feudal kingdoms, tribal areas and lawless mountain reaches.

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  2. Essentially the same as exists now without the veneer of civilization.

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  3. We better have a plan to get out of Dodge if the Pakis and Indians go at each other.

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  4. Afghanistan would go from hopeless to calamitous.

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  5. Dust off the Northern Alliance, because the Pashtuns will be gone to the Taliban. I suppose we must be nice to Putin as the Russian border would be the only way in or out.

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  6. India should simply wait for Pakistan to collapse from within. In the past, the two sides have engaged in skirmishes over Kashmir.

    The real threat comes from the crazies undertaking more Mumbai type suicide operations.

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  7. Pakistani authorities have freed an alleged terrorist leader with links to al-Qaida and Mullah Omar, the Afghan Taliban leader, citing lack of evidence that he was involved in any crimes.

    The release of Qari Saifullah Akhtar, a leader of Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami (HUJI) or the Movement of Islamic Holy War, raises fresh questions about whether Pakistan is willing to tackle terrorism within the country.

    Rana Sanaullah, the Punjab law minister, told The Daily Telegraph that Akhtar had spent four months under house arrest and was questioned in connection with the attempted assassination of Benazir Bhutto, the country's former prime minister, in October 2007. She was killed by assassins just weeks later.

    Analysts defended the decision to free Akhtar, and said the military establishment was using such figures to try to exert influence over terror cells.

    Mohammed Emir Rana, who runs the Pakistan Institute for Peace Studies, said: "Pakistan is facing a desperate internal security situation with threats from newly emerged terror cells with links to al-Qaida or the Pakistani Taliban. The establishment is using the leaders of these banned organisations to get control over those cells."




    Read more here

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  8. Whit, I left the morning cleanup so you could see what we were dealing with, as if you needed to know any more.

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  9. Whit was going through withdrawal. I had to send him a song.

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  10. allen said…
    Over Shabbat, an email came from WiO. My first thought was to privately contact you. However, after reading the latest at the EB, I decided a public address was preferable.

    First, WiO is no friend to bob. It is my understanding that he made nice to bob in order to needle both rat and Teresita/Ruby/Zena/...Selah (sadly, mental atrophy prevents my being fully enumerative of her sundry aka's). Please, consider a reprieve, unless there is other information of which I am unaware.

    Second, the patrons at the EB went through the motions of condolence. Your father had their numbers from the "get go". From time to time he would set the record straight. Think of “Big Daddy’s” brood in William’s “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof”. They couldn’t deal with life and fell all over themselves in the face of death.

    The only thing that almost all present patrons have in common is a pathologic dislike of all things Jewish, co-dependency with desert rat, and mind numbing ignorance on almost all subjects (thankfully, cutting and pasting conceals this to a slight degree).

    As proof of the above, "Quirk" made his first appearance at the EB with a cheap personal shot at me on an issue Jewish. He was instantly baptized into the flock. Moreover, as Rufus has readily admitted, and certainly not for the first time, he just makes stuff up as he goes along. Not being a Southerner by birth or breeding, he thinks his dishonesty a cute hallmark of the South - He is also full of beans on that score.

    Trish, despite her need to inflict abuse, has sensed that the force has deserted the EB. She is correct. It is downhill for the old gang, because without the usual targets, they have only desert rat to worship and adore, as demonstrated a few hours ago by Deuce (number "2" does seem inarguably apropos).

    Don't sweat the small stuff.

    O, and it is mildly amusing that a gal whose signature word is "fuck" would take exception to your use of "dildo". There is probably something to be said, but I won't.

    January 16, 2011 1:38 PM

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  11. allen said…
    I nearly fell out of my seat in paroxysms of laughter upon hearing from Deuce about the EB's objection to personal attacks.

    Some months ago, both your dad and Whit came to my defense when rufus called me such things as "motherfucker", "cocksucker", "piece of shit", "bastard", "asshole" et al. My sin had been to point out the shortcomings in the Department of Veterans Affairs as those relate to dispensing marketable drugs to the indigent. My observation was validated by the facts.

    The remainder of the EB was silent.

    After giving it a tiny bit of thought, it does occur that the normal lives of the patrons and proprietors function at that level. One can almost hear rufus's affectionate "bitch, slut, whore" given to his daughter. They are some sick puppies, my friend. And Gershwin will not gloss over the crudity anymore than Wagner's "Ring Cycle".

    Your dad thought Whit a better man. On this, Viktor and I disagreed. I believe Whit was such a man; but is now utterly corrupted and emotionally dependent.

    January 16, 2011 1:52 PM
    _______________

    What is "Occupation" said…
    Well said

    thanks allen

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  12. Let's see if I have this straight, Bob loved Allen and WIO. Allen is about the only one I ever recall going out after Whit.

    WIO constantly attacked DR for being a bigot. He talked about little else. WIO was setting Bob up for somethin:
    First, WiO is no friend to bob. It is my understanding that he made nice to bob in order to needle both rat and Teresita/Ruby/Zena/...Selah (sadly, mental atrophy prevents my being fully enumerative of her sundry aka's). Please, consider a reprieve, unless there is other information of which I am unaware.

    and Allen goes on to say, …The only thing that almost all present patrons have in common is a pathologic dislike of all things Jewish, co-dependency with desert rat, and mind numbing ignorance on almost all subjects (thankfully, cutting and pasting conceals this to a slight degree)."

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  13. Let's see if I have this straight, Bob loved Allen and WIO. Allen is about the only one I ever recall going out after Whit.

    WIO constantly attacked DR for being a bigot. He talked about little else. WIO was setting Bob up for somethin:
    First, WiO is no friend to bob. It is my understanding that he made nice to bob in order to needle both rat and Teresita/Ruby/Zena/...Selah (sadly, mental atrophy prevents my being fully enumerative of her sundry aka's). Please, consider a reprieve, unless there is other information of which I am unaware.

    and Allen goes on to say, …The only thing that almost all present patrons have in common is a pathologic dislike of all things Jewish, co-dependency with desert rat, and mind numbing ignorance on almost all subjects (thankfully, cutting and pasting conceals this to a slight degree)."

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  14. There have been no anti-Jewish posts on this site.

    There have been posts critical of Israeli policy but by no means none nearly as many as have been critical of various US policies and the EB could hardly be called un-American.

    Israel, like every other nation state is hardly a paragon of virtue.To think otherwise is childish nonsense.

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  15. We learn from Allen that WIO's secret agenda was to use an obviously disturbed man, Bob, to needle DR and Teresita. That was his plan and agenda.

    That was his purpose in befriending Bob. Poor Bob was being used like some disturbed individual for Allen and WIO to get back at DR and Tersita. What pathetic foolishness.

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  16. It reminds me of this:

    Islamic terrorists may be targeting mentally disturbed or disabled people in Britain in a bid to form a new “brigade” of home-grown suicide bombers, security officials fear.

    MI5 and police say the case of Nicky Reilly, who is being held over a nailbomb attack last week in Exeter, may indicate a new strategy of targeting vulnerable people with mental health problems to carry out attacks.

    A counterterrorism official said MI5 was investigating the extent to which Reilly had been manipulated by a “charismatic” Al-Qaeda recruiter.

    “It is a grotesque concept but they are using people who are clearly mentally subnormal,” the official said. “We know they have clever radicalisers who will take advantage of anyone they think they can manipulate, whether they have an IQ of 60 or 140,” he said.

    RELATED LINKS
    Café blast suspect ‘sent a message of support’
    Comment: violent Islam appeals to social misfits

    Reilly, 22, is a Muslim convert who has spent time detained in a mental health hospital. He has been described as a shambling introvert with the mental age of a 10-year-old. He is believed to have Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism, and may also suffer from schizophrenia.

    Security officials say Al-Qaeda appears to have exported the tactic from Iraq, where disabled “foot soldiers” have been used to devastating effect.

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  17. Interesting, of all the tribe grains there is only one that was artificially man made 9000 years age with agriculture. The one that produces wheat, barely and rye. The only one that along with other factors contributes to Celiac decease. Evolution did not plan for this decease.


    Very long but interesting

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  18. Thanks, Mel. You know I like Sheryl Crow.

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  19. Deuce,

    I have NEVER used "poor bob" or anyother bob to take shoots at anyone. You must have me confused with someone else - or you are just lumping us altogether again...Hmm...typical...

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  20. Well, there you have it, Deuce. Sweet, huh?

    Quelle Surprise

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  21. Rufus, I see your french is getting much better. Studying abroad?

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  22. Yep, Melody, I tries to get me a broad down in New Orleans ever chance I gets. :)

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  23. I was studyin' a little redheaded, cajun broad from Monroe City just this last weekend.

    Man, I Love studyin' abroad.

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  24. I see the Content Warning has been removed.

    Congratulations seem to be in order to someone.

    So I'm not vague, as I was last time on discussing this, I assume this is because an effort was made by management to set the record straight at Blogger HQ. All of this takes enormous effort for folks who have better things to do.

    It's a shame things have gotten to this stage. I wish the management well in rebuilding.

    I was attracted here several years ago by following the insightful commentary of 2164th at various blogs, Gates of Vienna, Belmont Club come to mind. The bar seemed like a second home early on. Somewhere you could sit back and enjoy both the banter and the lively exchange of different opinions. I learned a lot, and had a little fun needling the other patrons when a "Bar Fight" seemed to be erupting. Viktor Silo was another name I recalled from those other blogs. I'd already formed a positive opinion of his commentary when I saw him show up here. I'm proud to have made his acquaintance and become his friend.

    My favorite bars in California have been closing faster than I can find new ones. Those that haven't closed have morphed from cowboy saloons into fern bars. I hope the same doesn't happen to the Elephant. One thing I've learned at all the bars is you never win a argument with a drunk.

    ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ!

    L'chaim!

    LT

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  26. Hu Jintao - Jujitsu Grand Master


    Man, this asshole is good. Harder to pin than . . . . . . hell, I can't think of a country colloquialism for someone this hard to pin down.

    He's a Wizard. Every time he meets with Obambi you think, surely Obumble will pin his ears on the Yuan, this time; and, every time he goes on the offense, throws up a smokescreen, lays down a field of fire, and waltzes back to Beijing wit da bacon.

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  27. Have a nice trip, WIO. Take your time; have fun; you don't have to hurry back.

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  29. Jets beat the Pats. 28 - 21

    I'll be damned.

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  30. Sure you are.

    Have a good'un.


    Make sure and write . . . . . . Oh, wait.

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  31. How rude and disrupting you are when I'm trying to talk on the phone.

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  32. Yardeni remains a cautious bull, he has “a 70% subjective probability” to his bullish forecast, and 30% to bearish alternatives. Here is Yardeni’s surprising take on the 2011 black swan events—I cede the floor to him:

    (1) Inflation heats up, especially in emerging economies, where the majority of consumer budgets are spent on food and fuel. The UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization is warning of a “food price shock” after its benchmark index of farm commodity prices shot up to a new record high last week.

    ...

    (2) The leader of the Black Swan flock in the food price inflation story this year may be La Niña. “The little girl” is causing havoc in the commodity markets.

    ...

    (3) There are plenty of other Black Swans in La Niña’s flock. Some are stealth swans. They are the Unknown Unknowns, and Yardeni says he won’t pretend that he can see them coming. Plenty to choose from here Home prices could drop again in the U.S., as foreclosures are estimated to hit 1.2 million, surpassing last year's record high.


    Events of '11?

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  33. allen,

    I've never held much respect for WiO, Matzeuleh, or Bob for that matter. As much as I've thought you were a pompous old fuddy duddy (how's that fer fightin' words?) I have had respect for your knowledge yet you constantly play the victim, the Jewish victim, and I find that sad, and, I dunno, not worthy of respect.

    It is funny how many ridicule the Canadian Human Rights Commission yet the founding tenets of the organization appears to have germinated in the prosecution of Jews. Now they bitch when the same is aimed at Muslims, and that you have no problem with, but criticism of Israel is tantamount to anti-semitism in your view and THAT is sad.

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  34. Inflation? Consumer budgets? It may take 60.00 to fill my gas tank and the extra money spent on gluten free food which I just learned is not environmentally induced definitely has one shopping frugally.

    A trip to VS today would have cost me 265.00 for 9 items but…because these days you have to be thrifty I waited for the clearance sale and today I only spent a whopping 76.91.

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  35. Outstanding, Mel. Save that money for Bikeweek!

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  36. Bikeweek?

    Always a good idea to set the "Bail Money" aside. :)

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  38. Put Two Buck Chuck on your wine list, Mel. Less than $24 for a case of 12, and never a bad year! You do have Trader Joe's outlets, right.

    Long ago I promised a case to Trish, but she seems to have forgotten. In a blind taste test it would hold its own against of that $40/bottle stuff. Not very impressive on the sideboard, though.

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  39. I live in Pa. remember. We buy our spirits at a State store. We don't even sell grain alcohol. I have to go DE for that so I can make my lemon-cellos for the my summer vacation.

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  44. I "cut n' pasted" the following from the comments at Hotair. I don't know if blogger will let it stand, or disappear it, but, here goes.

    I think Palin has a lot more knowledge of Judaism than most of the commentariat understands. From the website jewsforsarah.com:

    And in a September, 2008 interview with the Jewish Voice and Opinion out of Englewood, New Jersey, VP nominee Palin, when asked specifically about Jewish “settlements”, displayed a deep knowledge of the issues:

    [I]n a telephone interview with The Jewish Voice, she was asked how she felt about the land in the “West Bank” that Israel was being asked to relinquish.

    “Oh, you mean Yehuda v’Shomron,” she said, using the Hebrew words for Judea and Samaria, the Biblical names for the disputed territory.

    She said she had “strong feelings” about those sites, based not so much on Biblical promises, which she termed her “personal belief,” but, rather, she said, “on access.”

    “My understanding is that there are holy sites throughout the lands that Israel is being asked to withdraw from, places that are holy to Christians and Jews. And Muslims, too. Before Israel had sovereignty over those areas, Jewish and Christian access to those sites was severely limited. Ever since Israel gained control over those lands, access has been open to everyone. I don’t think we should take that issue of access lightly,” she said.

    Asked if she had any specific sites in mind, she mentioned “Hebron and Shechem.”

    I think odds are that she knew the historical meaning of “the blood libel”, just as she knew the term is now used in a broader sense.

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  45. Why are you wrecking this blog?

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  46. I understand the metaphor, but what are you doing?

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  47. Don't let it get to you, Deuce. The man's just an asshole. Don't humanize someone incapable of reciprocating.

    Just delete'm when you see'em.

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  48. Two Good Posts, today.

    This one probably deserved a little more discussion than it got, but India/Pakistan is a tough topic. I find it very hard to discuss anything involving Pakistan.

    The options with Pakistan always seem to come down to:

    1) Nuke'em

    2) Something else


    "Something else" is never defined.


    Oh well, Bonzo's bushed. G'nite.

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  51. And there's our own economic and political problems. After squandering more than $1 trillion on an unnecessary war in Iraq, can Obama summon the political will to continue to commit our nation to a long and costly war in Afghanistan?

    ...

    Our nation is now at a turning point. Can the Obama Administration transform the Afghan mission into a true multinational effort that puts as much emphasis on building the social and economic structure of a poor, troubled nation as it does fighting the Taliban?

    Or are we about to enter a quagmire that will cost us dearly is blood and treasure? On these questions rest the fate of President Obama.


    In Afghanistan

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  52. Bob, let's understand something. Whatever you wanted to read into words on a computer screen is your problem. You have the right to create your own disappointment, but you have no right to be attacking people you personally do not know.

    Your time here was appreciated by all who read you, but that time has passed. You have wrecked your screen image. You have not wrecked who you are. You have wrecked who people on this blog think you are.

    Give it up. You do not need to be here and you should not be dragging others into your fantasy world. You are smart enough to understand that when you are rational. You are not always rationalany longer.

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  53. Bob, I have spent the best part of three hours swatting down most of your comments. I have left some up. You say I am a good man. Last night I was a racist. You said Whit was a good man, last night a Bible thumper. You said you loved Melody and then you humilite her. You kept posting her name and I kept taking it down.

    You know you have to stop this. i hope you will.

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  58. "Not being a Southerner by birth or breeding, he thinks his dishonesty a cute hallmark of the South - He is also full of beans on that score."

    Where was the SOB born, freaking Canada?

    Did he just move to Mississippi for the climate, or because no place else would take him?

    Little does Allen know, Rufus has signed a deal with one of his brilliant Cutting-Edge Green Explorer friends whereby they will utilize his being full of beans to power the Tri-County area via Methane fired Gas Turbine Generators.

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  59. Bob, I have spent the best part of three hours swatting down most of your comments. I have left some up.

    That's the mistake. You're trying to be reasonable.

    Stop pandering to the asshole.

    Just hoover all his shit into oblivion where it belongs until he goes away.

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  61. David Ignatius

    David has been drinking kool-aid at the DOS receptions?

    I came away from these discussions feeling that Indian leaders are being shortsighted...If I were a newly prosperous Indian, I'd want to help my ailing neighbor as a matter of self-protection.

    What the hell does he think India can accomplish in dealing with Pakistan until Pakistan deals with it's own internal problems? His essay reads like a sales pitch for more US DOS negotiation involvement. Job security for diplomats.

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  62. 6. hdgreene

    I still think the US should abolish the Department of State and replace it with a Facebook Page. At least our “Leftists” at State would no longer have to go to the trouble of leaking stuff, though I suppose we would still have to pay them. I would like to see who “Friends” us on Facebook
    .

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  63. Ignatius thinks if we or the Injuns just play footsie and pay some wampum, Pakistan will straighten up quick-like.

    Must be fun getting paid for writing about his personal dreamland.

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  64. Golly!

    Step out for a couple of threads, and I get to read of how others are so motivated, by me.

    To the point of promoting false friendships with others, to "needle" me.

    As gag mention before, my goat cannot be got. Partly because I have no goats.

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  65. And all this time I thought I had a pretty standard line.

    An equivalency standard as regards those in the Middle East.

    A position that Israel was country in that region that's ruling establishment is inhabited by Europeon migrants.

    That they do not support US policies in that region, as judged by their actions.

    Syria is a State Sponsor of Terror that the US should have invaded and decapitated, in 2003.

    That the US wasted its' efforts in "reconstructing" Iraq.

    That military action is not needed against Iran. That under present doctrines we'd be dragged into a never ending quagmire, there. One that would devastate the whirled economy.

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  66. Beautiful isn't it, our own preparing Bob for a needling mission? To promote harmony I suppose.

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  67. That the "Ruling Elite" of the US is made of "Boners". That one of the major contributors and guiding lights of that group was the Russell Company and that everyone should be aware of that.

    That the US Constitution and Federal government was manipulated by those "Boners" way back, culminating with the structural changes of 17th Amendment, the income tax and the Federal Reserve National Bank.

    That, on balance, the "Boners" have done reasonably well, at managing the country. Especially prior to the rise of military-industrial complex in the political sphere.

    That the US spends a disproportionate amount on "Defense", based upon the visible threats.

    That "Islam" is not a military threat to the US.

    That Pakistan and Saudi Arabia were responsible for the border raid on NYCity and DC, back in September of 2001, not "Islam".

    That socialism runs rampant in our Country. That most posters at the EB are against it, in principle, and for it when it personally effects the issues they hold dear.

    That the election of 2008, Obama or McCain would make little difference in the foreign policy of the US. That even on domestic policy issues, the differences would be in the margins. As has been pretty much the case.

    That the US should refocus its' foreign policy to be more Americas centric.

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  68. Pretty basic stuff.

    That harping upon and criticizing the Federals is basic to trying to effect "change".

    And that no "Change" is in the offing.

    Where the current generation of "Boners" will lead US, not very clear. But they have a reasonable track historic record, one that is easy to discern.

    They are many things, but not "anti" American. Though they are trying to manage a "shrinking" whirled, recognizing that the US cannot stand pat.

    That what was possible with regards State Sponsors of Terror, in 2003, would not be possible, today. The window of opportunity, closed.

    That the "Boners" misled the US electorate, back in 2002, with regards the "War on Terror", Iraq and their strategic intentions.

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  69. That Israel and Judaism cannot be reasonably conflated.

    They are not "one and the same".

    That the Israeli propagandists work hard at their story line.

    They attempt to corrupt the English language in their efforts to conflate Judaism with Zionism and the Israeli government.

    That "Western Civilization" has industrialized death. While justifying that industrialization as an outcome of the expansion of liberty, rights and personal freedom.

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  70. That those that hold that their ethnic or religious group is responsible for "Western Civilization" should them be held accountable for it.

    While the religious leaders, of those varied groups decry the actions of the "Western" governments, as regards the "Industrialization of Death", in the case of abortion.

    In Israel, Europe and the United States.

    Proving that the governments are not fronts for their Abrahamic religions, in any of those locales.

    While in the Islamic Arc there is less of a separation of religion and government. Creating a different set of challenges to the "Rights of Man" than exist in the "West".

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  72. As regards boob.
    He was fun to toy with.

    He laid the ground work for his stories, which he then would protest the use of, when the story did not play as he thought it would.

    Misjudging the path the storyline would take, when it became open to the whirled.

    But that as a man the "Knows his Literature" he must have realized would occur.

    He was played by the cards he dealt from a stacked deck, face up, himself.

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  73. Rode the Skunk Creek trail, from Seven Springs to Cave Creek, last Friday.

    Saw some mule deer ridge out of the canyon, the tracks of a large mountain lion at the creeks' edge.

    Really fabulous scenery, in pretty tough country.

    Took a few novice riders along, on that six hour ride. They seemed to have fun, but were a little stiff towards the end.

    That you all helped to subsidize their adventure, a fact they were oblivious to.

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  74. "That even on domestic policy issues, the differences would be in the margins. As has been pretty much the case."

    A Trillion here, a trillion there not "marginal" in my book.

    Nor the transfer of billions to his union cronies.

    ...or his "justice" Department that excuses lead pipes at polling places as long as those pipes are wielded by black "men."

    ...and John Roberts and Alito vs those two pathetic "women" hacks...
    not an insignificant difference by any means.

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  75. One insignificant bill came out of the House by way of the rules and committees.

    All the rest of the outrageous Omnibus POS's were products of Pelosi's office, with no regard to the rules, and zero transparency, after pledging to be the most transparent in history.

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  76. Well, doug, Obama did not "write" the Health Care legislation. The Congress did.

    The 60 seats the Dems held in the Senate, not a part of Obama.
    Nor the majority the Dems held in the House.
    Not Obama on his own.

    McCain would have "compromised", he always has. They'd have still passed "something".

    That the GOP sat out, and lost.
    A foregone conclusion, from the beginning.

    Even now, with the worthless attempt to "repeal", the GOP is picking and choosing which aspects of the program will survive.

    The Senate confirmed those SOCTUS choices.

    The foreign adventures continue, the government spends more than it takes in.
    As it did with Reagan.
    McCain is no Reagan.
    He'd be multipliers worse.

    Marginal differences are sometimes important, but they are still marginal.

    The GOP lost the Congress, in 2008, McCain would have gone with the flow, he always has.

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  77. We are not comparing Obama to a mythical conservative, but to John McCain.

    A true man of compassion.

    More so than GW Bush ever was.

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  78. Moonbeam proposes pay cuts for workers...
    ...but not unionized workers!

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  79. Compassion a code word, of course, for liberal, a Federal Socialist.

    Which John McCain surely is.

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  80. "The Senate confirmed those SOCTUS choices."

    Obama made the choices.

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  81. That is Jerry Brown, not Barack Obama.

    The two are not to be conflated.

    Though cut from the same clothe.

    But the Republican Governator, he took California down the trail, without much success in leading them to "Change".

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  82. True enough, but they were not outside the "Mainstream".

    They just were from the left side of the creek.

    Balancing the choices of Mr Bush.

    Replacing judges that held similar views. No change.

    McCain would not have brought change. Even if he'd have attempted it, they'd have been "Borked" in the Senate.

    The System is beyond the control of the President, though he has great influence.

    Bork exemplifies just that.

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  83. Not conflating moonbeam, nor this:

    The Absurdity of Duke Cunningham in stir as Charlie Rangel remains in office!

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  84. The Dems held 60 seats, they controlled the selection process.

    Even if McCain had been elected.

    Which was never in the cards, regardless.

    The GOP had screwed the pooch, or the Dems would never have held 60 seats. That much is obvious.

    That the System has moved back towards "balance", again, expected to happen.

    As it did.

    Now Obama's numbers are improving, as the electorate sees more of the GOP.

    Circles and cycles, scenes that we've all seen before.

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  85. I do not disagree.

    But Duke was guilty and should have been taken down.

    That Rangel has not been indicted, a reason to ride the trails or go to the beach, for the next twenty years.

    Certainly nothing that I say will affect that political reality.

    Just as what I think or say about the Forest Service will not change the fact that they are stifling economic growth in the small towns that dot their great mismanaged expanse.

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  86. Obama Approval Index History

    75% want Obamacare changed.

    Patriots still expected to win Superbowl.
    :-)

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  87. Deuce wanted to shoot down the helicopter that was rounding up the wild horses for adoption.

    McCain wanted to arm the copter.

    He sided with the Forest Service, which wanted to eliminate the horse herd in Heber/Overgaard management area of the Forest.

    Butcher 'em for dog food.

    McCain, a third generation Federal. He'd have rolled with the flow. Never bucking that 60 seat majority.

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  88. Voters Continue To Believe Congress Can Always Make Things Worse

    Despite the change of control in the House, voters continue to believe Congress can screw things up worse than they already are.

    A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 60% of Likely Voters say no matter how bad things are, Congress can always find a way to make them worse. Only 23% disagree with this assessment, while another 16% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

    In early September, just before the mid-term elections, 62% of voters felt this way about Congress.

    Although Republicans now have the majority in the House, 61% of GOP voters believe Congress can always make things worse. This view is shared by 54% of Democrats and 67% of voters not affiliated with either political party.

    As Scott Rasmussen notes in a recent Wall Street Journal article, “The reality is that voters in 2010 are doing the same thing they did in 2006 and 2008:
    They are voting against the party in power.” So perhaps it’s no surprise that there is little partisan disagreement on this question.

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  89. "Deuce wanted to shoot down the helicopter that was rounding up the wild horses for adoption."

    I missed that one.

    ...maybe send him off to spend some time on al-Bob Acres

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  90. Washington, DC, April 8, 2009 - A new national survey commissioned by the Tax Foundation and conducted by Harris Interactive® shows a majority of U.S. adults think that federal income taxes are "too high" (56 percent),

    while four in every five adults say the federal tax code is complex (85 percent) and say that the tax system needs to be completely overhauled (82 percent).
    ...
    American opinions on tax issues have not changed markedly since 2007 ...


    No Change
    I would not suggest holding your breath, while waiting for it.

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  91. ObamaCare, doug, more popular than the tax code.

    Both are permanent parts of the Federal reality.

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  92. Fox News 12 in 12 Poll Take the Poll

    Sarahbaby is in the lead.

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  93. Do you understand irony? The horse needed the stinger missile.

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  94. I did the math. Cows are the problem, not horses.

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  95. One helicopter was doing more economic damge to the budget than every wild horse in the country.

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  96. I guess I'm a "romantic," but some of those herds have been there almost 500 yrs. That should be worth something.

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  99. I've never been censored nor banned from The Belmont Club. I've not chosen to read Wretchard nor partake in the comments there for a variety of reasons. The prime reason being my impression that there are many 'faux intellectuals' there - they reason earnestly, often illogically, often from false premises. Maybe things have changed but that is beside the point with respect to our conversation.

    What irritates me is the notion that criticizing Israeli policy or criticizing Zionism, is being anti-semitic (as in Anti-Jew). I also find it irritating that saying or even demonstrating that a person is biased against Jews it somehow negates all they say. Similarly there are many here, and at BC, that are biased against Muslims. The bias, is, well, a bias.

    I, personally, have never argued that Israel shouldn't exist. I do have problems with Israel's conception of its borders and how it differentiates between people based on Religion. Jews also have expressed similar cricitcisms.

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  101. "Hate Crimes" are a problem allen, I agree, but in case you didn't realize it, other folk also experience attacks - Gypsies and The Gay immediately spring to mind.

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  103. " I do have problems with Israel's conception of its borders and how it differentiates between people based on Religion. Jews also have expressed similar cricitcisms."

    ---

    Part of my "bias" against Muslims stems from

    "the way they differentiate between people based on Religion"

    Such as:

    Eliminating Jews and Christians throughout Arabia, and wherever else they can get away with it w/o too much trouble or effort.

    Stoning women to death for bringing shame on Allah or their pedophile husbands and sons.

    Issuing Fatwas against cartoonists for lampooning Allah.

    Issuing Fatwas for writing books about the ROP

    etc etc etc

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  105. apparently after researching, it appears Quebec and Montreal have a
    definite reputation for antisemitism. It is getting worse as they are choosing to import some of the worst arab/islamic elements to carry on the tradition. Sounds like a rat "hirer a thug" mission going on out there.

    Theory: this may be the current european model also to scare off the remaining jews. this would explain the euros need/desire for a missile defense system. knowing history i can imagine what the plan for the muslims are after they do the job they were brought there for. Defense against future missiles from iran, pak, etc. does seem to make sense now.

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