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Total number of comments: 48 (since 2013-11-28 15:36:07)

Bill

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  • Candidate for CIA Chief Jane Harman Advocated Ethnic Breakup of Iran
    • "Who is Paula Broadwell? Is she another Paula Jones? Or is she another Jonathan Pollard? Why did Paula Pollard have the classified docs on her computer and in her home? Were any of them accessed by others? Now that her affair has gotten Petraeus out of the way, in comes AIPAC spy Harman?"

      By suggesting that Paula Broadwell was running interference for AIPAC, you have taken conspiratorial paranoia to a whole new level. Your above-cited quote would do justice to Oliver Stone.

  • Drone, Sanctions affecting Medicine, Intensify US-Iran Tensions
    • "I’ve worked for the Pentagon and the State Department. There’s a lot of misinformation that comes out of both."

      So have I, Brian. Your statment that "There's a lot of misinformation that comes out of both" overstates the case.

    • "a vessel 16 miles off the coast of Iran, but in the vicinity of Khark Island, may actually be in Iranian airspace.
      Also, if it is 16 miles off the coast, but is leaving the area, and had been inside Iran’s airspace, I think an argument can be made that attacking it was a defensive move."

      "I’ve worked for the Pentagon and the State Department. There’s a lot of misinformation that comes out of both."

      Assuming it was 16 miles off the Iranian coast, including the waters around Khark Island, it would not have been in Iranian airspace. Your theoretical statement concerning the possibility that it had been inside Iran's airspace is just that, a theoretical possibility. It is highly unlikely, however, because you can be sure that if it had been the Iranians would have made noise about it after shooting at it.

      As to your statement about your credentials, I usually don't flaunt mine, and I hesitate to do so now, but since you have seen fit to put the subject on the table, I spent a career in the State Department as a Foreign Service Officer, including an assignment in the Pentagon as a State-Defense Exchange Officer. While one occasionally does not get the full story and misinformation does come out, as in the initial reports of the attack in Benghazi, to say that "a lot of misinformation comes out of both" overstates the case.

    • "Would shooting down an unmanned drone really be far more serious? Without loss of human life, how far should the US go to avenge the downing of a piece of equipment?"

      Iran's shooting down of an unmanned surveillance drone would involve more than the "downing of a piece of equipment," even if there were no loss of life. This "piece of equipment" was a military asset surveilling the Gulf in international waters. It had every right to be there, and if Iran had shot it down, it would be no different than if Russia, say (as an example only), were to shoot down a U.S. spy satellite from a space platform. "No loss of life"? "Just a piece of equipment"? It wouldn't (and shouldn't) wash.

    • The most serious aspect of Iran's SU-25 jet fighters shooting at the unarmed U.S. Predator surveillance drone was that it occurred 16 nautical miles off the Iranian coast. International law recognizes sovereignty up to 12 nautical miles off the coast, so Iran shot at it in international waters, where the drone had every right to be under international law.

  • Real Petraeus Issue was Evaluation of Afghanistan
    • Without the Surge, and the additional manpower and troops, the civil war would have been more prolonged and stabilization more difficult to achieve.

    • Brian sez: "To people around the world, this says that the US does not respect the rule of law. Pretty big deal, in my opinion."

      Whatever some people may think, they are wrong on this point. The U.S. drone strikes fall within international and domestic U.S. law. The U.S. is in compliance with Article 51 of the UN Charter, which grants nations the right of self defense against enemy attempts to attack. This certainly applies in the case of unlawful enemy combatants planning to attack the United States and U.S. interests worldwide.

      Congress granted the President authorization to use such force with the "Authorization for the Use of Military Force," a joint resolution passed by Congress on September 14, 2001, authorizing the use of all "necessary and appropriate force" against those whom he determined "planned, authorized, committed, or aided" the September 11, 2001 attacks, or who harbored said persons or groups. Al-Qaeda and its affiliated groups fall within Congress's above-cited definition.

      There is nothing "outside the rule of law" about the drone program. To suggest so is to either reveal one's ignorance about the legal framework within which the drone program operates or deliberately misrepresent the facts to fit one's preconceived Narrative.

    • Your statement about the CIA "secretariat" not being an "honest broker" and "analyst" demonstrates how little you know about the CIA. To suggest that the "secretariat" is on the analytical side of the house is ludicrous. In any organization, including the CIA, the secretariat ensures that appropriate taskings, briefing papers, and reports are produced and submitted to the top echelon in proper format and on time. As to the rest of your rant, it is totally unintelligible.

    • "As far as I can tell, however, violence in Iraq fell through 2007 not mainly because of US GI’s but because a Shiite ethnic cleansing campaign chased most Sunnis from mixed neighborhoods."

      A key factor in the promising turn of events in Iraq, in addition to your cited quote above, was the combination of the Sunni Awakening and the U.S. "surge" in Anbar Province. Together, they had a devastating effect on Al Qaeda in Iraq and helped to stabilize the situation.

  • Can Afghan Troops Hold the Line as US Withdraws, and Will US Seek to Stay in Central Asia?
    • "The ANA and ANP are NOT Afghan forces, they are “Northern Alliance” forces."

      You are ten to fifteen years out of date in your analysis. The "Northern Alliance" went out of business years ago. While it is true that the Karzai government's mandate does not extend beyond Kabul and environs, it would be true of any government, regardless of ethnic background or political persuasion. There currently is no leader in Afghanistan capable of uniting the country into a cohesive national entity. To think otherwise is to allow hope to triumph over reality.

  • Four Middle East crises will face the next President Immediately
    • "Gee, too bad you and people who think the way you do didn’t acknowledge the futile nature of the Big Great Networked Battlespace Game from the git-go."

      Your quote cited above, Mr. McPhee, demonstrates how you shoot from the lip, not the hip, and without knowing the facts. We had to dislodge the Taliban from power in Afghanistan because they accommodated Al-Qaeda. Having done that, however, I was never for counter-insurgency or long-term "nation-building." I have stated in several posts that we shouldn't engage in counter-insurgency/nation-building, but we must enforce a robust counter-terrorism posture. That has been, and continues to be, my position.

    • The Northern Alliance, established in 1996 by Ahmad Shah Massoud (then Afghanistan's Defense Minister) and Abdul Rashid Dostum, no longer exists. While some elements of the former Alliance are in the national government, others splintered off and are irrelevant.

      Nevertheless, your statement about todays national government: "That doesn’t make it legitimate. That does not convey the consent of the governed," is certainly correct. It supports my statement regarding Afghanistan after ISAF departs: "After 2014, without ISAF to hold it together, Afghanistan will once again devolve into provincial satrapies, each with its ruling Taliban leader or warlord going his own way, owing only nominal allegiance to Kabul." Our views are closer than you seem to think.

    • I totally agree with you, Professor, that the plan to train Afghan army and security personnel to successfully suppress the Taliban and extend Kabul's mandate into provincial governments throughout Afghanistan is unrealistic. There is no sense of national purpose among Afghan army and security forces, and they are not dependable, melting away whenever they feel like it or when the going gets tough.

      The counter-insurgency program was doomed from the beginning because of the feckless leadership of Karzai and the nature of Afghan society. After 2014, without ISAF to hold it together, Afghanistan will once again devolve into provincial satrapies, each with its ruling Taliban leader or warlord going his own way, owing only nominal allegiance to Kabul. Our only role should be to continue the counter-terrorism program in the Pakistani tribal belt and extending it into Afghanistan after 2014, if the Afghan government proves unable or unwilling to prevent Al-Qaeda and its affiliates from establishing a presence again.

  • Top Ten Coming Disasters: Romney's America 2016
    • "What, and you think if Obama wins with a minority of the popular vote, the GOP will be as wimpy about it as the Democrats were after 2000?"

      No, SUPER390, I do not think that, and if you read my comment you will see that I did not write that, explicitly or implicitly. The topic of this thread is what things would be like in 2016 if Romney wins, and I was addressing the topic. Please do not impute to my comment something I didn't write in order to advance your narrative.

    • I think we can safely assume that President Obama will win a second term. People focus on the polls showing a dead heat between Obama and Romney with the overall electorate. What counts, however, are the states that are key to an Electoral College victory, and they all show Obama in the lead.

  • How US Drone Assassinations all Began (Woods)
    • For those of you who think that knowing that we use communications intercepts, drone surveillance overflights, and intelligence from captured Militants requires being privy to deep, dark secrets, my question to you is: What rock have you been hiding under the last ten years? This is common knowledge, yet you act astonished that targeting is based on more than, "Someone says that someone might be a militant so you assassinate him." You should get out more.

      Regarding the statement: "They are Afghans fighting a foreign invader. How, pray tell, did they become “Unlawful Enemy Combatants”? You appear to confuse the Afghan Taliban fighting U.S. and Afghan forces within Afghanistan with Al-Qaeda leaders and operatives, and their affiliated colleagues, in the Pakistani tribal belt. Al-Qaeda leaders and operatives, and their affiliated confederates, who plan and attempt to execute attacks against the United States and U.S. interests, are Unlawful Enemy Combatants, and, thus, the target of the drone program.

    • "Now things are much easier. Someone says that someone might be a militant so you assassinate him. No need for brain power there!"

      The process to determine the targeting of Unlawful Enemy Combatants is far more sophisticated than the cartoon version offered in the above-cited quote. It is not just based on "Someone says that someone might be a militant." Communications intercepts, drone surveillance overflights, information from captured Militants, and other means are all incorporated into a matrix for determining whom to target.

  • Iran still Suffers from the illegal Diplomatic Hostage-Taking of 1979 (Azad)
    • "Orchestrating coup d’etat is against diplomatic norms as well. The Iranian action, though unpleasant, deprived your country of a base to continue it’s pursuit of the overthrow."

      The overthrow of what, and of whom, Amir? The United States had withdrawn support for the Shah, and when he was overthrown, the US under President Carter did not want to allow him into the United States. The US was not "continuing its pursuit" of the overthrow of anyone in Iran at the point at which the Embassy was attacked and diplomatic personnel taken hostage.

    • "The international community viewed this act as unacceptable and clear violation of existing international conventions, norms and codes of behavior."

      Which it certainly was.

      "To this day, the political standing of Iran continues to suffer from it."

      As it should, since Iran has never offered an apology or restitution for its egregious violation of centuries-old diplomatic norms and protocol.

      "Counting the costs in this way, one wonders about the sense of trying to present such an obvious loss as a victory and celebrating its anniversary."

      Some cultures value martyrdom more than victory. Serbias's most important national holiday, for example, celebrates a defeat at the Battle of Kosovo in 1389. Perhaps Iran would rather celebrate the event that has brought it worldwide condemnation, rather than make amends for its egregious violation of international diplomatic norms.

  • Analysis: How Washington Post strips casualties from covert drone data (Woods)
    • "Some of our guys and gals, as you acknowledged a while back, just kill Lawful Noncombatant Nonmilitant Unterrorist Antiinsurgents (and then lie about it, and try to cover it up) for the freakin’ fun of it."

      I don't mind you challenging me on things I have written, Mr. McPhee, but I do mind you falsely putting words in my mouth that I have not spoken or written. I never wrote or acknowledged the above-cited statement, and you have gone way beyond the bounds of decent discourse by falsely accusing me of writing something I have not written. If your arguments are reduced to swatting down straw men you create by attributing false statements to me or anyone else on this forum, you should seriously consider the intellectual dishonesty it represents.

    • ""And if those Casualties weren’t doing something bad, or living with or daring to be related to or friendly toward or “supportive of” Terrorist Militant Insurgents, Our Guys and Gals wouldn’t have blasted them, now would they?"

      Our "Guys and Gals" (to use your terminology) do not target civilians because they may be "related to or friendly toward" Militant Terrorists. Nevertheless, if they happen to be providing material support to the Militant Terrorists, or if they happen to be within the kill-radius of a targeted Militant Terrorist, they have no one to blame but themselves. They, after all, chose the company they keep.

  • Top Ten Things Mitt Romney's Insults to Spain tell us About Him
    • "Putin himself said a missile deal would be more likely under Obama because of Romney’s attitude towards Russia."

      Not to mention that Obama himself gave Putin plenty of reason to think so, when at a security conference in Seoul, Korea, he had the following exchange with then-President Medvedev (not realizing the mic was hot) on March 26, 2012:

      Obama: "This is my last election ... After my election I have more flexibility."

      Medvedev: "I will transmit this information to Vladimir."

      Here we have an American president obseqiously suggesting to the Russians that he will be in a better position to cut a missile deal after the election; when the Russians have given him no assistance whatsoever, in areas ranging from Syria to Iran, not to mention they recently kicked out all Agency for International Development (AID) personnel from Russia. The Russians, of course, are a sovereign nation and can do as they wish, but why does the U.S. president pander to a Russian leadership that has shown him nothing but contempt in its lack of support for U.S. initiatives? Unfortunately, it demonstrates a lack of resolve and leadership on his part.

  • Imran Khan Protest Convoy Against US Drones Heads toward Waziristan, Pakistan
    • "Some American Code Pink members are planning to go on this protest trip."

      Oh great! That's just what we need, Code Pink members tramping around the FATA. I've seen this type many times, parachuting into a situation and an area they know nothing about, in order to protest U.S. Government policy and express solidarity with the "locals." Mark my word, should these Code Pink "do-gooders" get in trouble through their own inept sense of self-absorbed, self-righteous "protest," their protest against the U.S. Government will very quickly turn into a plea for the U.S. Government (and its Embassy in Islamabad) to rescue them.

  • Iran Bazaar Strikes signal Misery, not Sanctions 'Victory'
    • "But for them to endure this punishment instead of opening their facilities, or just buying the stuff from Russia instead of making it themselves, is quite irrational. It demonstrates a willingness to accept damages completely out of proportion from any real-world gains."

      Agreed, Joe from Lowell, which brings up the quite reasonable question of why they would do it unless they perceive the real-world gains to be worth the punishment. Perhaps (just perhaps) they are being rational within their own frame of reference, particularly when they see how North Korea time and again has managed to extract and extort gains during the whole nuclear charade we have played with that regime since 1994.

    • "Maybe Israel should do that, Bill. And, while they are at it, Israel could sign the Nuclear Non Proliferations Treaty, as Iran has."

      I could not agree with you more, Mr. Martin. Israel's perceived national interest very often does not coincide with the U.S. national interest at all. Israel's West Bank settlements, Netanyahu's push for an attack on Iran, and Israel's nuclear policy are all examples of area's in which our national interests diverge. And Netanyahu's public attempt to bully the U.S. into setting "red lines" was a disgusting display of arrogance. Yet, Israel has always gotten a pass from the U.S., under both Republican and Democratic administrations.

      Nevertheless, the topic of this post concerned sanctions against Iran, not Israeli nuclear policy. I generally try to comment on the topic.

    • Actually, Joe from Lowell, there is something the Iranian regime could do to begin instilling confidence that their nuclear program has no weapons component, and thus lay the groundwork for lifting of sanctions. They could offer the IAEA inspectors complete and unfettered access to all--and I mean all--of their nuclear sites and the production records at each, not holding back on any of them. If Iran's claims are true, and the IAEA can verify the claims, that would go a long way toward rendering the sanctions unnecessary.

    • "the sanctions are a crime against Iran’s sovereignty and because of their disastrous effect on the economy of Iran, an act of war."

      Regardless how distasteful you may find the sanctions against Iran, they are not an "act of war." International law recognizes a blockade as an act of war, but not sanctions. Sanctions at times have been in place against several countries, including Burma, among others, and no one has considered them an "act of war," because they were not. And neither are sanctions against Iran.

  • Top Seven Errors President Obama has made on the Middle East
    • "I guess Vietnam, “taken over by the Communists” after the failed US intervention there, for which “we” are still paying a large price, as are the Agent-Oranged, Arc Lighted and cluster-bombed “gooks,” has become a “very different country than it was, or is.”

      Apparently you did not notice that the example of a successful counter-insurgency campaign was the British in Malaya, not the Americans in Vietnam, eh, Mr. McPhee?

    • "And the decimation of al Qaeda through the drone program is perhaps the greatest success in American foreign policy in decades."

      It certainly has been a tactical success, and it has resulted in fewer civilian casualties than a bombing campaign would have.

    • "And the decimation of al Qaeda through the drone program is perhaps the greatest success in American foreign policy in decades."

      Spot on, Joe from Lowell. The drone program directed against Al-Qaeda, and associated militant and terrorist leaders and operatives, has been a brilliant tactical success. It has greatly degraded the leadership of these organizations, a leadership that is much harder to replace than ordinary foot soldiers.

      That the leadership of these groups of Unlawful Enemy Combatants hides and operates among civilians does put those civilians at risk, and any resulting collateral damage lies upon the heads of that leadership. On the whole, though, the drone program has been carefully managed and collateral damage minimized.

    • "Did the British efforts matter?"

      You bet the Bitish efforts mattered. Had they failed, Malaya would have turned out far differently than it did. As it was, Malaya (today's Malaysia) was able to achieve independence with British-built institutions intact: A good judicial system; a good economic base; a mixed (Malay, Chinese, and Indian) ethnic population that, while not in perfect harmony, at least has managed to work together pretty well.

      You state, "It was a victory without consequence." This demonstrates a complete lack of knowledge and understanding of what the stakes were. Had the victory not been achieved, and had the MCP and Communists taken over, Malaya would have been a very different country than it was, or is. "A victory without consequence" indeed!

    • "2. Obama accepted the plan of David Petraeus and other Pentagon officers (who, admittedly, boxed him in) for a troop escalation in Afghanistan, combined with an ambitious counter-insurgency program that aimed at pacifying the country ahead of a US withdrawal."

      This was a huge mistake. Counter-insurgency is just another name for "nation building," which we have never successfully accomplished. It involves much more than pacifying a country; it also requires a government capable of extending its mandate throughout the country, and that can only be developed organically from within.

      The only successful counter-insurgency program was accomplished by the British in Malaya during the "Malayan Emerency" from 1948 to 1960. The Malayan Communist Party (MCP) attempted to develop a following and take control through terrorism. The reason the British were successful was because they were in control and held the levers of power. They were able to field a combined British-Malayan counter-terrorism force that reached a ration of 50 men per every 1,000 of the population. This is the ratio that is recognized today as a prerequisite, if one is to have a chance at defeating an insurgency. We could never field such a force in Afghanistan, even if Afghanistan had a viable government that could extend its mandate throughout the country. The other thing the British did successfully was deprive the Communist-Terrorists of a support base by moving affected sections of the population into "New Towns" that were carefully controlled. By 1957, when Malaya achieved independence, the "Emergency" was well under control, and by 1960, it was declared officially over.

      Vice President Biden was correct in this case. We never should have embarked on counter-insurgency/nation-building in Afghanistan. It was bound to fail. We should have stuck with counter-terrorism, and that's what we should continue after we withdraw. We should use our entire array of intelligence collection capabilities to determine the threats; and we should deploy the necessary means--Drones, Special Ops Teams, and other means--to neutralize and take out any developing threats, including those who are behind them.

  • Obama set precedent with Drone Killings for Romney to become Terminator-in-Chief (Ross)
    • "I grew up in the Cold War, took part in one of its futile spasms..."

      Please do not flatter yourself, Mr. McPhee, by suggesting that you have any special claim to wisdom because you grew up during the Cold War and served in Vietnam. Many of us (including me) grew up during the cold war, served in the military, and experienced Vietnam. We just don't trumpet it the way you do.

    • "As far as hiding amongst civilians goes, that would apply to much of the US, including ground zero, no?"

      The answer to your statement cited above is "No."

      Your entire comment makes little sense. You seem to suggest that in responding to those who attack us, we should adopt their lifestyle, culture, and tactics; or, alternatively, grant them ours. What is your point?

    • "We should broadly prohibit the use of drones stateside except under very specific circumstances."

      I agree with you, Bill. Drones can be an effective tool to use against our adversaries who would do the US harm, but any domestic use should be carefully controlled.

      (For other readers, there are two Bills here, one commenting on the other's piece. It is not one talking to himself!)

    • "So the people of FATA are “deliberately waging an asymmetrical war against the United States?”

      I will only respond to the first sentence (cited above) of your rant, Mr. McPhee, because it is a good example of the misrepresentations and falsehoods that occur throughout the piece. To wit, I did not state that "the people of FATA are deliberately waging an asymmetirical war against the United States." I stated that the militants were doing so.

      And that misrepresentation occurs in your very first sentence! I have neither the time nor the inclinztion to go down a piece shot through with falsehoods to address every one.

    • "Bill, may I ask, what “positive impact” can be asserted from the use of drones?"

      The elimination of higher-value militants. The al-Qaida and affliliated militants' leadership has been considerably degraded since the use of drones was stepped up. They are not as easily replaced as the foot soldiers in these organizations.

    • "But deciding who is a militant and who is a civilian is fraught with difficulty – the very terms ‘civilian’ and ‘militant’ are ‘ambiguous, controversial, and susceptible to manipulation,’ the report says. The US’s criteria for who is a civilian are ‘deeply problematic’, it adds. In May, a New York Times investigation revealed that all ‘military-aged males’ are held to be militants."

      The reason deciding who is a militant and who is a civilian is fraught with difficulty is because the militants have made it so. By deliberately waging an asymmetrical war against the United States, and doing so by disregarding the Geneva Convention's definition of a legal combatant in international conflict (including delierate targeting of civilians) the militants have placed themselves outside the law of war and thus can be considered unlawful enemy combatants. That they operate within civilian populations, thus making those civilians susceptible to collateral damage, is a deliberate tactic that the militants must answer for. The US does not deliberately target civilians, but that some are hit in pursuit of militants is squarely the fault of the militants. And on what evidence did the New York Times report base its conclusion that "all military-aged males are held to be militants."?

      Regarding the statement, "And there’s no thought that a non-lethal approach might have less impact on the community," I would ask Ms. Shah what non-lethal approach she has in mind? Of course a non-lethal approach might have less impact on the community (in which the militants operate), but it no doubt would have even less impact on the militants' activities. Since Ms. Shah has made the statement, I assume she has some idea of what would constitute an effective non-lethal approach. Alas, we get nothing indicating what her alternative, non-lethal approach might be.

  • Muslims are no Different, or why Bill Maher's blood libel is Bigotry
    • "Bill who said it was only about oil? Please do not put words in my mouth. “oil, neo, theo cons merged”

      Kathleen, when you state, "Clearly the oil, neo, theo cons merged," the only actual reason you give is "clearly the Oil." The rest of your sentence, "neo, theo cons merged" suggests that the reason they merged was in response to the antecedent in your sentence, "Clearly the oil." Perhaps greater attention to syntax would prevent confusion in the future.

    • It is comforting to know that Mr. McPhee has maintained his 3" x 5" cards, as it helps overcome insomnia: "Grown-Ups," "Great Game," "True Belief in Manifest Destiny by the Double Secret Invisible Neocon People..." (Yawn, ZZZZZZZZ.)

    • An addendum to my post above. We also could have challenged both the Russians and the French for arms sales to Iraq, had we decided to make peace with Saddam. The important point, though, is that had it been "clearly the oil," as Kathleen suggests, there was no need to go to war.

    • "James clearly the oil..."

      It was not "clearly the oil" at all. Had it only been about oil, all we had to do would have been to change our policy toward Saddam Hussein, embrace him, challenge the Russians for oil field contracts, and let the oil flow.

  • Top Ten ways Corporate Food is Making us Fat and threatening our Food Supplies
    • "What you refer to as corporate democracy was called corporate fascism by my Econ 201 TA in the early 1970s."

      Typical of a 1970s TA to mis-use the term "Fascism" to describe something he did not like. Fascism, then and now, has lost any meaning it may have had. For many, it has become the all-purpose epithet to throw at anything with which they disagree.

    • "but referencing fascism as existing on both right and left is problematic."

      I think the term "Fascism," as it was understood in the 1920s through the 1960s (Italy, Germany, Japan, Spain, etc.), like the terms "Communism" and "Command Socialism" (Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, Cuba, etc.) has lost its usefulness. The Right and the Left often do share certain characteristics that are hard to pigeonhole as one or the other: authoritarian government; a highly-developed nationalism; state-controlled media; and a command, or at least a "directed," economy. Perhaps better terms would be "Right Authoritarianism" and "Left Authoritarianism."

  • Tunisian Muslim Leader Warns of Dangers of Violent Fundamentalism
    • "...they might also want to demand that the west and the petro-monarchies stop supporting these radical salafis……."

      The West is supporting radical Salafis??? Please provide some evidence that the West supports radical Salafis, and advise, in your opinion, what the West has to gain by supporting the radical Salafis.

    • Your quote from the article in the Express Tribune provides further evidence (if any were needed) of just how much the militants' activities in Pakistan are hurting the Pakistani economy by driving away foreign investment, business, and travel. It illustrates the necessity for the Pakistani government to rein in the militants, if Pakistan expects to be engaged as a normal player in the international system.

    • "Except that it didn’t."

      Except that it most assuredly did. Big difference between one white supremacist shooting up a Jewish school in California (despicable act that it was) and mobs attacking US Embassies and other facilities, including schools, throughout the Near East and North Africa, including Tunisia. Particularly when the host government is unable or unwilling to fulfill its responsibility to protect them.

    • "The US State Department took revenge on the al-Nahda government for its failure to prevent Saturday’s attack on the American embassy by issuing a travel warning for Tunisia, discouraging Americans from going there."

      The US State Department did not "take revenge" on the al-Nahda government by issuing a travel warning. The State Department has an obligation to warn US citizens of potential danger if the situation warrants such a warning, which the attack on the American School and Embassy surely did.

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