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No way I'm for expanding the war into Pakistan. But I certainly don't believe that the Pakistanis are "our allies."
It's not just national security. There are people throughout the economy who have to work on Christmas day. There are people who work right up through Christmas Eve. There are people who work between Christmas and New Year's. It's just an insult to everyone.
Well this is a tough one. Michael, is the Taliban as it exists today essentially the same Taliban that refused to hand Al-Qaeda over after 9/11? If not, then we need to adjust to that new reality and negotiate their place in Afghan society. But if so... well, fighting them doesn't work but we can't just let bygones be bygones. We'd have to withdraw fully but then entirely isolate them economically. A hardcore blockade plus stiff economic sanctions and no fly zones over the entire country would be in order, don't you think?
What about the government's instinct to, as in the case of the Portland "bomber" conduct a sting rather than an intervention? I'm no lawyer so I won't even get into the complexities of what is and isn't "entrapment" but it seems to me that we're seeing cases where people from a Muslim community call Homeland Security for help because an individual or group are sliding into some sort of psychotic extremism and rather than provide help the government eggs them on and even goes so far as to make the impossible wishes of the suspect (a van sized bomb that can blow up two city blocks) possible. Seems like the government is trying to make arrests when it could be trying to prevent things from going that far.
I surprisingly agree with this because I think it makes sense to take a pretty wide and complex view of Wikileaks, it's contribitutions, achievements, demerits and motivations. But I don't see that Wikileaks is all that special in this regard. Everything we do in the global arena involves trade offs. It's just a matter of whether or not we know what the trade offs are and how well we calculate what we lose for what we gain. You seem to be taking a pretty absolutist stance on Wikileaks -- that it's a bad thing that harms our ability to conduct foreign policy and that it interferes with the good at least as much as it interferes with the bad and so people shouldn't support it. But another view, accepting everything you said, would be to say that Wikileaks, like the weather, does some good and does some bad and we should probably just learn to live with it and deal with it. We should let it power our sails when it does and we should keep the ship from tipping over when it storms.
Michael, I think the example you're using is pretty telling. We have to act covertly in Pakistan because Pakistan's people would not support what we're doing. What if I suggested to you that it would be okay for Pakistan to use secrecy to commit unpopular acts within the United States? There's no way you'd support that, right?
Toggle Commented Nov 30, 2010 on About Wikileaks . . . at