Obama Caricature Offensive to Muslims; US Government does not Secure Nuclear Material; Afghanistan slams Pakistan for Terrorism

It is typical of the atmosphere in America today that the New Yorker cover caricaturing the Obamas is called offensive by the Obama campaign but virtually no one is talking about how demeaning it is of American Muslims. A little detail like that. Imagine if a US candidate had been depicted as an Orthodox Jewish settler with an Uzi machine gun in the West Bank, the hue and cry that would ensue.

US government tardy in securing radioactive materials. Some people worry too much about the wrong things. For instance, Bush’s security people have created a watch list with a million names on it. How could that possibly be useful in counter-terrorism, a million names? Most of them are probably just peace activists. Terrorist groups are small and wily. You can’t get at them scattershot this way. But there are some things worth worrying about and doing something about. Dirty bombs, where radioactive material is packed in with a conventional bomb, causing contamination of wide swathes of e.g. a city, now that is a good candidate for action. But while Mr. Bush was fiddling around adding Americans to the watch list on a massive scale, the way celebrities add people to their Facebook friends list, he wasn’t bothering to take care of the important stuff. Emblematic of the gang that couldn’t shoot straight.

Barnett Rubin draws our attention to Afghanistan’s charge that Pakistan is the world’s most dangerous sponsor of terrorism (i.e. much worse than Iran). He also points to the threat that the Indian Research and Analysis Wing is preparing to extract vengeance on Islamabad for the bombing of the Indian Embassy in Kabul, which Afghanistan and India blame on Pakistani-backed Taliban.

Very troubling. Wars have started for less cause.

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