Misc Commentary For Sept 6, 2006
— As you may have heard, Pakistan is pulling their military out of the tribal areas that are sheltering the remnants of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.
What does that mean exactly?
Bill Roggio says it’s an, “abject surrender,” by Pakistan to the terrorists. On the other hand, the Times Online says that this is part of a strategy to, “close (the) trap on (the) Taleban” and says that,
“Pakistan took a big step towards ending the fighting in the lawless Waziristan region when it signed a peace deal with tribal leaders. The agreement commits local militants to halt attacks on both sides of the border.
In return Pakistan will reduce its military presence and compensate tribesmen whose relatives have been killed or whose properties have been damaged.
A key provision of the deal is that tribesmen will expel foreign fighters from the area.”
Who’s right? I think the jury’s still out at this point because there are too many unanswered questions. If the tribesmen actually expelled the foreign fighters, this would be a good deal. Will they do that? I don’t know, but I tend to doubt it. Did Musharraf, who’s no dummy, cut this deal because he thought it would help the situation or out of weakness? Can Musharraf afford to put himself in a position that might damage his relationship with the US, especially when he still has to fear the US cozying up to India? Will Bin Laden still be targeted? Pakistan says that earlier comments that were made were taken out of context and no, Bin Laden will not get a pass.
My gut instinct is that this is bad news, but it’s still too early to say for sure.
— Rarely do I ever say this, but kudos to Germany. If Hezbollah is complaining, that must mean they’re doing something right:
“The Shiite Hezbollah militia has expressed “reservations” about Germany’s involvement in the multinational UN force deploying for Lebanon, owing to German demands that its troops be allowed to stop and search boats bound for the country.
“Our reservations are regarding the German demand to search boats as they enter Lebanon,” Hezbollah member of parliament Hussein Haj Hassan told Deutsche Presse-Agentur dpa on Tuesday. “Such a demand stands against the sovereignty of Lebanon.”
Of course, they’ll probably wimp out, but it’s nice to see that at least one of the nations participating in the “peace keeping” force in Lebanon is halfway serious about what they’re doing.
Q: Last question. Do you plan to come back next year? The president is going to be in office till 2009 and our continued presence in Iraq seems fairly assured.
A: I hope he’s not in office till 2009, but this (anti-war presence in Crawford) is permanent. We’re going to start building a permanent structure soon. This may sound weird, but I’m going to live here. My residence is going to be a tree house. We’ve got some plans for amazing tree houses! This is a flood plain, so we have to build it. But the first structure we’re going to build is a camphouse with a great room and an industrial-type kitchen and an office and some bathrooms. So we’re planning on being permanent. It’s not just about George Bush, it’s about ending the occupation of Iraq and making sure it never happens again.
What’s next for the “Rosa Parks” of the anti-war movement? Will it be a fort or a clubhouse with a “No Republicans Allowed,” sign on it?
— From a poll taken to the British Times:
“Moreover, three fifths (62 per cent) agree that “in order to reduce the risk of future terrorist attacks on Britain the Government should change its foreign policy, in particular by distancing itself from America, being more critical of Israel and declaring a timetable for withdrawing from Iraq”. Women (66 per cent) and Liberal Democrat voters (74 per cent) agree with this view particularly strongly.”
Churchill and Thatcher’s country is moving closer by the day to becoming Neville Chamberlain’s country. I don’t how much time the “special relationship” has left, but it’s clear that we’re moving towards the end of its shelf life. It’ll be sad to see our stalwart allies become just “another European nation,” but it seems to be just a matter of time.
— Rich Lowry on what the Democrats offer economically to the middle-class:
“Programmatically, Democrats essentially offer the middle class a nullity. Kim and Kessler run through the greatest hits of Democratic policy. The average family income for Pell Grant recipients is $19,460. Head Start is for poor children. A married family of four can make a maximum of only $37,263 to still be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit (to the tune of $1). Only 2.7 percent of American workers make the minimum wage, and half of them are under age 25. Giving health care to the uninsured affects only 15.7 percent of Americans, and many of them aren’t middle class.”