Candidates at Yearly Kos
Reactions to Arc of Crisis Panel
Alas, although I heard the Democratic candidates for president at Yearly Kos and attended the break-out meeting afterward with Sen. Barack Obama, the controversy over his and Sen. Hillary Clinton’s remarks about Pakistan never came up. So, nothing new to report on that score.
In general, I suppose I am disturbed by the tendency of the Democratic candidates to displace 9/11 anxieties onto Afghanistan and Pakistan from Iraq. I can’t see a military mission there in the medium term (at what point will the Pushtuns decide–under US military pressure–they aren’t committed Muslism who dislike imperialism, and that they’ve changed their minds and want American bases in their territories?) If you put a lot more US military personnel into the Pushtun areas, they will just become Iraqized. My suggestion is to leave the Pushtuns alone militarily, and to depend mainly on the FBI, CIA and Afghanistan and Pakistan security services to track down the remaining, dangerous Arab al-Qaeda operatives in the area. Over 600 have been captured that way, and the rest can be, as well. As for convincing Pushtuns not to be or not to support Taliban, you can’t do that militarily. It may not even be necessary, since polling in Afghanistan shows that everybody hates the Taliban.
Here’s some comment on our panel at the Yearly Kos conference:
And here’s the TPMtv interview with me at Yearly Kos in Chicago, directly embedded, via YouTube: