Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cynicism we can believe in

Asking whether the Taliban are going to take over Pakistan and launch nukes is like asking whether 4,000 NRA members in Virginia are going to sack Washington and jerry-rig ICBMs to their Dish Networks. The fact that Virginia is "not far" from DC and that "the government has nukes!" does not lend credibility to the scenario.

So why does the Obama administration and, say, liberal news outlets like the New York Times have such a hard-on for the old second-coming of Hitler scenario?

Juan Cole observes:
Washington is alarmed at the spread of the Taliban in the North-West Frontier Province because it has implications for the security of southern Afghanistan, and therefore for US troops and NATO troops in Afghanistan. And so, from their point of view, this is a big crisis.

They don't want more safe havens for the Taliban in Afghanistan who are killing US troops. And they were upset with the Pakistani elite for not taking this problem more seriously. And I think, sort of saying that Pakistan is unstable, or it's about to fall, or the nukes are in danger, all of this sort of thing, is a signal to Islamabad that you had better get serious about this, because it matters to us. So this is Washington strong-arming Pakistan.

There once was a man named Noriega who was called the new Hitler right before we invaded his country, too. I don't remember him very well, either.

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