Not Good

Threats Force Retreat From Wide-Ranging Plans for Iraq (washingtonpost.com) The attacks have ramped up again after the capture of Saddam and we seem to be responding, politically, in exactly the wrong way. I know the attacks on the troops are not the only issue — getting support from other countries based on a transfer of sovereignty, etc. — and these are the worst reasons to be scaling...
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Major Troop Drawdowns Long Overdue

U.S. Plans Major Cut Of Forces In Korea (washingtonpost.com) The same is supposedly going to happen in Germany, and it’s long overdue. I realize there are some logistical advantages to having facilities around the world, but alternate plans can be made. Korea, in particular, seems like a bad idea. We have 37,000 troops tied up there and they can do nothing that the South can’t do to stop the barrage...
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Old Allies

Economist.com | Europe and America The Economist seems to understand the reason so many in America were angry with Europe last year: obstructionism. Even when we have made mistakes in the past – Vietnam could be considered one, though it did have the effect of destroying a lot of Soviet infrastructure and contributed to their downfall – Europe looked the other way and let us do what we wanted....
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A Mogadishu Moment? Not Likely.

Gwynne Dyer: Footage could’ve brought on a Mogadishu moment I haven’t been watching a lot of TV but have seen some of the footage, though it was crowd reaction, and jubilation, while dragging the bodies around. The author’s thesis is that we would pull out of Iraq if the American people could see the footage. Her reasoning depends on Mogadishu. I disagree for a few reasons. First,...
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No Permanent Allies, Only Permanent Interests

IHT: Politicus: Europe in for a letdown if it’s counting on Kerry If Joe Biden is this disturbed over Europe, it’s unlikely Europe will be much happier with Kerry. They will be somewhat happier — and their criticisms more muted — but ultimately Kerry will be answerable to the American people and we are very different from Europe. Take the recent Spanish Capitulation. It’s...
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One More Reason Shirin Ebadi Deserved A Nobel Peace Prize

President Bush and Shirin Ebadi on Rights I suspect that when freedom is the norm in the Middle East, people will point to Shirin Ebadi as a pioneer. She has a strong conviction that Islam and freedom are compatible and I hope she’s right. President Bush agrees and is even sounding a bit Jeffersonian in his language. Iranian human rights activist Shirin Ebadi spoke at a conference on Islam and...
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Presidents And Military Service

WSJ.com – Kerry’s Own Words Thanks to Chrees for reminding me to post about this. As I expected, Bob Dole has jumped right into the question of President Bush’s military service — and the service of Presidents in general (no military pun intended) — and he comes down against using that as a singular measure of a person’s ability to be President. I know Kerry has...
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A Monstrous Waste Of Human Potential

Economist.com: First get the basics right. The title pretty much says it all. Africa needs to start with the basics — good government that protects property rights, enforces contracts and treats people equally before the law. That’s the right starting point. In time prosperity will follow. How we get there is an unknown. It’s worth remembering, however, that we have been bemoaning...
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The New Iraq Desperately Needs Federalism

Economist.com: The troublesome, vote-loving ayatollah: America is getting more international help in its quest to build a peaceful, democratic Iraq but, ironically, its plans are under threat because the spiritual leader of the country’s Shia majority, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani, is demanding fully democratic elections. Iraq could do a lot worse — much worse — than modeling itself after...
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No Domino Effect, Yet

Economist.com | American diplomacy in the Middle East: Is a Pax Americana in the offing?: Despite the misery of Israel-Palestine and the bloody uncertainty in Iraq, there are hopeful signs across the wider region. As I’ve noted several times, we’ve placed a bet — in both blood and treasure — that freedom is a defense against terrorism. It seems to be paying off in the short...
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