Saturday, 29 November 2008

GEORGE BUSH'S HOPED-FOR LEGACY

Ken Berwitz

Here is what George Bush hopes to be remembered for, courtesy of Agence France Presse, via www.breitbart.com:

Bush wants history to see him as a liberator of millions
Nov 28 02:53 PM US/Eastern
George W. Bush hopes history will see him as a president who liberated millions of Iraqis and Afghans, who worked towards peace and who never sold his soul for political ends.

"I'd like to be a president (known) as somebody who liberated 50 million people and helped achieve peace," Bush said in excerpts of a recent interview released by the White House Friday.

"I would like to be a person remembered as a person who, first and foremost, did not sell his soul in order to accommodate the political process. I came to Washington with a set of values, and I'm leaving with the same set of values."

He also said he wanted to be seen as a president who helped individuals, "that rallied people to serve their neighbor; that led an effort to help relieve HIV/AIDS and malaria on places like the continent of Africa; that helped elderly people get prescription drugs and Medicare as a part of the basic package."

Bush added that every day during his eight-year presidency he had consulted the Bible and drawn comfort from his faith.

"I would advise politicians, however, to be careful about faith in the public arena," the US leader said in the interview with his sister Doro Bush Koch recorded as part of an oral history program known as Storycorps.

As his second term in office draws to an end, Bush joked he would miss some of the trappings that come with the presidency such as trips on Air Force One, never being stuck in a traffic jam, and the president's residence at Camp David.

But he said he was glad to be stepping back into the shadows.

"Frankly, I'm not going to miss the limelight all that much. It's been a fabulous experience to be the president ... But it will be nice to see the Klieg lights shift somewhere else."

The interview, which Bush recorded with First Lady Laura Bush, will be stored in the library of Congress and a museum devoted to the Bush presidency.

There is a lot Mr. Bush will be remembered for beyond Iraq and Afghanistan.  Unfortunately some of it, such as not using his veto pen to stop congress's profligate spending and not securing our borders, will be on the negative side. 

But, despite the hatred showered on him for doing it, Mr. Bush has every right to expect credit for liberating these two countries.

When George Bush became President Afghanistan was an al qaeda training ground run by the taliban and Iraq was under the thumb of the murderous madman saddam hussein.  Today they are both being run by freely elected governments, tenuous though those governments might be.

Do you think this would have happened under Al Gore?  John Kerry?

If President Bush hopes to be remembered as the liberator of the 50 or so million people in these two countries, he has a point.


POMP, REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCE

Ken Berwitz

Are you going to Barack Obama's inauguration? 

If you're staying home, please do your friends and neighbors a favor, and watch the rest of the city for them.  To read media reports on the expected crowd, you might be the only one there.

And why not?  The glitz and glamour of Mr. Obama's inaugural is going to be unprecedented in scope - and in cost.

Which brings me to the following column written by Michelle Malkin. 

It reminds us of how the same media which are gushing over how great this is going to be, felt about George Bush's big day:

Where are all the Anti-Inauguration activists now?

By Michelle Malkin    November 28, 2008 05:01 AM

President Obamas Chicago machine is kicking into high gear to plan and fund his massive, unprecedented inaugural festivities. He just appointed an inauguration planning committee that includes his hometown cronies William Daley and Penny Pritzker. Theyve got a campaign-style website counting down the days to the massive party in Washington. To deflect attention from the costs, the Ones party planners are patting themselves on the back for limiting inaugural donations to individual contributions of $50,000 a move they say is historic. But Bill Clinton also refused corporate money for his second inaugural and capped donations at $100. (Bush raised $42 million for his second inaugural, mostly from corporate donors, capped at $250,000.) The DC Examiner recently reported that the Inaugural Celebrations of Hope and Change will strain the districts beleaguered pocketbook:

Soaring costs expected to accompany huge crowds in town for the Jan. 20 inauguration of Barack Obama could stick cash-strapped Washington, D.C., with a record-breaking bill for services. Security and capacity measures recommended by the Districts congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and others will almost certainly surpass the $15 million the federal government gives to the District each year to defray the cost of events, Norton said.

In 2005, with an estimated 300,000 in attendance, the second inauguration of President Bush cost the city more than $17 million, some of which was reimbursed with federal funds. This year, officials estimate nearly five times that many people for the swearing in of President-elect Barack Obama.

Police Chief Cathy Lanier expects to use an additional 4,000 police officers from all over the country in addition to her 4,000-member force, she said earlier this month. The citys inaugural budget allows for only 3,000 extra uniformed officers. There will be an additional amount necessary to handle the unprecedented crowds, and I am now working with my colleagues to deal with that amount, Norton said, adding its an outrage to have costs incurred for federal events.

All of which reminded me of the unhinged Lefts protests in late 2004 before the Bush inaugural. He was bashed for continuing the American tradition in a time of war and for holding parties so soon after the southeast Asian tsunami disaster.

Remember?

Critics are calling on U.S. President George W Bush to scale back the glittering multimillion dollar parties planned this week in honor of his second-term inauguration, saying lavish festivities are unseemly at a time of war.

Bush is to be sworn in Thursday and feted with four days of pomp and party-going at a price tag of about $40 million.

An unprecedented military presence and other security measures will add another $100 million to the cost, to pay for everything from police overtime wages to reviewing stands stretching from the U.S. Capitol building to the White House.

But critics insist that with U.S. troops dying daily in Iraq, the tone surrounding this years inaugural celebration should be more modest.

I would have hoped they would have followed the traditions of President Wilson and President Roosevelt, who at a time of war had a very muted celebration, said Democratic Representative Robert Menendez, speaking on CNN.

I think when young men and women are dying we should think about the reality of how we conduct ourselves here at home.

His comments echoed those of Democratic Representative Anthony Weiner, who, in a letter to Bush, urged the president to redirect some of the $40 million towards a use more fitting to these somber times bonuses or equipment for our troops.

Inaugural committee officials however, point out that the theme of the inaugural fete Celebrating Freedom, Honoring Service already honors the U.S. military, as well as the presidents role as commander-in-chief.

Bush told reporters last week he sees no problem with either how the money is raised or how it is spent, noting that it has all been raised with private donations.

Theres no taxpayer money involved in this, the president said, brushing aside calls that some of the funds be channeled to South Asia for tsunami relief.

A lot of the people who are coming here to the inauguration have given to tsunami victims, Bush said.

I think its important to celebrate a peaceful transfer of power. Im looking forward to the celebration, he told reporters.

In fact, let me reprint Democrat Rep. Weiners entire protest letter from January 11, 2005:

01.11.05

REP. WEINERS LETTER TO PRESIDENT BUSH ASKING THAT INAUGURAL FUNDS BE USED FOR THE TROOPS

President George W. Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

The festivities surrounding your inauguration later this month are slated to cost $40 million making this the most expensive inauguration in history. I urge you to re-direct those funds towards a use more fitting to these sober times bonuses or equipment for our troops.

Precedent suggests that inaugural festivities should be muted if not cancelled in wartime. In the midst of World War II, President Roosevelt held his 1945 inaugural at the White House, making a short speech and serving guests cold chicken salad and plain pound cake. During World War I, President Wilson did not have any parties at his 1917 inaugural, saying that such festivities would be undignified.

Furthermore, $40 million could provide substantial support for our troops overseas. For example, we could buy armor for 690 unarmored humvees or provide a $290 bonus for each member of the armed services station in Iraq.

Please re-direct all the funds raised for the inauguration to our brave men and women in uniform.

With an estimated 1.5 million people expected to descend on Washington for the Obama festivities and a federal tax bill alone of at least $50 million, next Januarys inauguration will dwarf Bushs inaugural events and expenses. We are still at war. And, as the Democrats remind us, economic times are tough and average Americans are hurting.

Will Democrat Rep. Weiner demand that Obama go the cold chicken salad and plain pound cake route and redirect all the money Obamas Chicago team is raising to the troops, too? Or has he stopped caring about the brave men and women he exploited in 2005 to score Bush-bashing points with the nutroots?

Will billionaire Mark Cuban, who demanded that Bush donate his inauguration funds to Indonesian tsunami victims, call on Obama to fork over the inaugural funds to victims of the Mumbai terrorist bombings or to distressed American homeowners under water on their mortgages?

Where are all the anti-Inauguration critics now?

Just wondering.

I assume Ms. Malkin was being rhetorical about wondering where the anti-inauguration critics are now.  I doubt that she wonders at all, any more than I do.

Here's one other thing neither of us wonders about:  In this country, with this media, it's good to have a -D after your name. 


THE RETURN OF SAMANTHA POWER

Ken Berwitz

Throughout the presidential campaign, I pointed out how many anti-Israel people populated Barack Obama's "brain trust".

Two of them became embarrassing enough so that Barack Obama had to remove them altogether.  

Malley, we were told, had virtually no role in the first place (strange that you would need to get rid of someone who wasn't there). 

Power resigned because, in addition to her overt distaste for Israel, she didn't like Hillary Clinton and made abrasive comments about her (including calling Ms. Clinton a "monster").  It is likely that the Clinton comments, not her attitudes about Israel, were what forced Power out.  But regardless of the reasons, it was one less Israel hater on the Obama campaign staff, right?

Well, now the election is over.  And guess what?  Both of them are back.  Last week Malley traveled to Syria on behalf of Mr. Obama.  And this week, according to the Associated Press:

A former adviser to Barack Obama's presidential campaign who once called Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton a "monster" is now working on the transition team for the agency that Clinton may lead.

State Department officials said Friday that Samantha Power is among foreign policy experts the president-elect's office selected to help the incoming administration prepare for Clinton's anticipated nomination as secretary of state.

The operative thinking seems to be that "The votes are in, exit polling indicates about 4/5ths of all Jews voted for Obama, so we know they're suckers and we can do whatever we want.  No matter how much we screw them over, they vote for us anyway"

A little like Black voters and Democrats, wouldn't you say?

If you're wondering just how bad a Samantha Power presence might be for Israel, consider the following excerpts from this January 2008 article in Commentary Magazine's blog, written by Noah Pollak:

Obama and IsraelIt Gets Worse

Noah Pollak - 01.27.2008 - 2:56 PM

A follow-up to my post yesterday about the troubling views of one of Barack Obamas top foreign policy advisers, Samantha Power. In 2002 she sat for an interview with Harry Kreisler, the director of the Institute for International Studies at Berkeley. Kreisler asked her the following question:

Let me give you a thought experiment here, and it is the following: without addressing the Palestine - Israel problem, lets say you were an advisor to the President of the United States, how would you respond to current events there? Would you advise him to put a structure in place to monitor that situation, at least if one party or another [starts] looking like they might be moving toward genocide?

Get a load of Powers response:

What we dont need is some kind of early warning mechanism there, what we need is a willingness to put something on the line in helping the situation. Putting something on the line might mean alienating a domestic constituency of tremendous political and financial import; it may more crucially mean sacrificing or investing, I think, more than sacrificing billions of dollars, not in servicing Israels military, but actually investing in the new state of Palestine, in investing the billions of dollars it would probably take, also, to support what will have to be a mammoth protection force, not of the old Rwanda kind, but a meaningful military presence. Because it seems to me at this stage (and this is true of actual genocides as well, and not just major human rights abuses, which were seen there), you have to go in as if youre serious, you have to put something on the line.

Unfortunately, imposition of a solution on unwilling parties is dreadful. Its a terrible thing to do, its fundamentally undemocratic. But, sadly, we dont just have a democracy here either, we have a liberal democracy. There are certain sets of principles that guide our policy, or that are meant to, anyway. Its essential that some set of principles becomes the benchmark, rather than a deference to [leaders] who are fundamentally politically destined to destroy the lives of their own people. And by that I mean what Tom Freidman has called Sharafat. [Sharon-Arafat; this is actually an Amos Oz construction NP] I do think in that sense, both political leaders have been dreadfully irresponsible. And, unfortunately, it does require external intervention.

Just so were clear here: Power said that her advice to the President would be to 1) Alienate the American Jewish community, and indeed all Americans, such as evangelical Christians, who support the state of Israel, because 2) Israeli leaders are destroying the lives of their own people. 3) Pour billions of dollars of the taxpayers money into the new state of Palestine; 4) Stage an American ground invasion of Israel and the Palestinian territories what else can she mean by a mammoth protection force and a military presence that will be imposed by external intervention? in order to do the exact same thing that she considers the height of arrogance and foolishness in Iraq: an American campaign to remake an Arab society.

Note that this wasnt her response to a question about her personal views of the conflict, or about what she envisions might be a utopian solution to the conflict; it was a response to a question about what she would tell the President of the United States if she was his adviser.

That same Samantha Power - the one who said what you just read - will again be at Barack Obama's side, advising him.

According to the exit polls, 78% of all Jews voted for this man.  Presumably, most of them support Israel. 

Speaking as one of the other 22%, let me say to them that this is what you wanted, and this is what you got.  I hope you're happy about it. 

free I think the last part presumes that most of the people that voted for Obama are actually paying attention to anything other than dancing with the stars and the like. from every poll and study i have seen they aren't. (11/29/08)


BDS. WITH ALL THE TRIMMINGS

Ken Berwitz

I admit that, for years and years, I have laughed at the silly showmanship of a President "pardoning" a thanksgiving turkey and then reading that the same President sat down to a "traditional turkey dinner" on thanksgiving day.

Every President in my lifetime has done this.  There are no exceptions I am aware of.

However, the current President is George Bush.  And media have been in a chronic state of Bush Derangement Syndrome (BDS) for almost 8 years.

So, fresh from ridiculing Sarah Palin for pardoning a thanksgiving turkey while other turkeys were being slaughtered in the background (and never asking whether the TV crew deliberately positioned her so the slaughter would be visible), media are now going after Mr. Bush for his turkey pardon too.

Here are the particulars (or given the significance level maybe I should call them particulates), courtesy of excerpts from an article by Kerry Picket, writing for www.newsbusters.org.

WaPo And Others Attack Bush Turkey Pardon '08, Clinton Turkey Pardon '98 Treated With Biblical References

Unlike Governor Palin, President Bush did not need to be interviewed in front of a turkey slaughter for the media to attack him over turkeys. As part of an annual tradition at the White House, President Bush pardoned two fortunate turkeys, Pecan and Pumpkin, on Wednesday.

 Media outlets like MSNBC, ABC, and the Washington Post used the opportunity to make the Bush look not only clownish but also useless and heartless. ABC actually titled this years turkey pardoning coverage: White House Turkey Pardoning Scandal? President Forgives Turkey, Then Eats Turkey

When the reader looks further into the article, Bush did not eat the two turkeys he just pardoned but simply ate turkey for Thanksgiving like the rest of the United States did.

Washington Post staff writer Manuel Roig-Franzia among others used the annual event as an opportunity to take a shot at the president(my emphasis throughout:)

President George W. Bush leaves office in 54 days with a sterling legacy.

He has improved living conditions and made innovations.

He has shown real commitment to gender equality.

He has presided over unprecedented growth.

Stay calm. We're not talking about his leadership of the country. We're talking about his stewardship of the National Turkey.

Dubya's approval ratings stink, the economy stinks, being at war stinks, but man, does he have this National Turkey thing down. During eight years in office, Bush has set new standards of quippy, turkey-pardoning glee while saving eight national turkeys -- 280 pounds of potentially mouth-watering deliciousness -- and eight alternates, sometimes called Vice Turkeys.

Compare Roig Franzias description of the event to Washington Post writer Libby Ingrid Copelands November 25, 1998 article titled Lucky Turkey at The White House. Copelands uses of biblical references were just as ridiculous as Roig Franzia using the event as an opportunity to attack President Bush.

It is important to keep in mind two things.  This article was written at the time of the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal and President Clinton was about to be impeached by the Republican Congress one month later. (my emphasis throughout:)

A fate hung in the balance at the White House yesterday, and this time it was not Bill Clinton's.

Instead, our president lifted his own repentant hands and offered pardon to one you might call his spiritual brother.

In response, the saved one sank slowly on his tail and let drop a single white feather, as if surrendering to a force far greater than his own ponderous self. It was enough to make even an agnostic weepy.

He was 45 pounds of white-ruffled, gizzarded glory -- photogenic and a touch graceful in his turkeyish way. He was a Minnesotan named Jerry. But in honor of the presidential reprieve that was granted shortly before 1 p.m. -- fraught, perhaps, with certain biblical connotations -- we might call him Isaac.

This is the season of second chances.

Yesterday, for the 51st year in a row, a token turkey was allowed to live. The tradition has been going on since the Truman administration, thanks to the largess of the National Turkey Federation. Over the decades this yearly pardon has taken on ritualistic import -- a sort of parable of the prodigal turkey.

But this year the act had special significance. O President, in the 23 weeks since this year's turkey was born -- a darling even as a tiny poult, fresh and downy from the egg -- we thought for quite some time that your metaphorical goose was cooked.

Accuse us of reading too much into the presidential demeanor, but it seemed that yesterday Clinton sensed this parallel -- even felt a comradeship with the lucky bird. Witness Clinton's fatherly pats and his proud words. He spoke of the turkey's future life on the Kidwell Farm in Herndon, where Jerry might frolic "among friends -- not peas and sweet potatoes."

Clinton placed a sure hand on the turkey's back and smiled. But Jerry seemed largely indifferent to the presidential caress. If the angel of mercy hovered above his caruncle, he did not notice it. Borrowing a page from the president, the turkey took the whole thing in stride, as if to say, "Of course I'm going to survive -- I always do."

Part of being President of the United States is being part of traditional amusing photo ops. Presidents from both parties have participated in this type of fare, but depending on the political party in the White House, the mainstream media will frame the event accordingly.

BDS takes many shapes and forms.  As you can see, sometimes it even comes with cranberry sauce and yams.

What will these poor souls do after January 20, when Bush is gone and, instead of daily open season on the President, they won't be able to say a bad word about the new guy because he's Democrat and Black?

Maybe someday they'll remember that journalism used to be reporting evenhandedly regardless of who was being reported on.  But I doubt that we'll see a return to that ideal any time soon. Maybe never.


TWO REASONS TO BE THANKFUL (OUT OF SEVEN)

Ken Berwitz

Victor Davis Hanson has written a terrific article, detailing seven reasons we should be thankful this (and every other) year.  His title?  "Some Random Politically-incorrect Reasons to Be Optimistic on Thanksgiving Day"

I urge you to click on the above link and read them all.  But I've picked out two of my favorites to post here:

Whos illiberal? So far the likes of Hugo Chavez, al Qaedas Dr. Zawahiri, the mullahs in Iran, and Italys Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi have all in varying degrees commented, in racialist fashion, on the African ancestry of President-elect Obama. More of such insensitive slurs by foreigners about our Presidents skin color, the legacy of slavery (as in house slave), etc. will follow. And Americans will take note of the vast divergence between an American electorate easily and without bias voting for an African-American as their Commander-in-Chief, and a supposedly multicultural world leadership abroad snickering about it. In the past Michelle Obama has called her country mean and until recently not worthy of her own pride. But now as we watch the reaction abroad to Obama the next four years (once the mass hysteria of crowds dies down), I think a number of those on the Left will confess that the otherwhether in Europe, the Middle East, South America, or Asiawill prove a lot less liberal about our President than the much-caricatured American public. This will be a positive development and remind critics here at home just how different their country is from the alternative. It really is an exceptional place, and I doubt very seriously that China will soon have a German-Chinese Prime Minister, or Germany an African-German Chancellor, or Japan a Congolese-Japanese Prime Minister, and so on. The point is not, again, that mere racial diversity brings with it automatically wisdom, only that our critics abroad, who fault Americas often tense experiences with a vibrant multiracialism, are themselves decades behind the object of their vituperation.

Callous Health Care? For all the demagoguery, about the uninsured, I am not sure that such charges of callousness are altogether accurate. I just returned from visiting an ill relative at Fresno Community Hospital in downtown Fresno. The majority of visitors (about 75%) in the lobby tonight seemed to be speaking Spanish, or Hmong. I would wager that many did not have health plans in the sense of employer-provided HMOs. But someone was giving them health care, and sophisticated surgery as well.

Most who denigrate American medicine know nothing of the alternative. I have had the dubious distinction of having become ill in a lot of awful places during the last 35 years. I once spent 30 days in Greek hospitals first with E. coli food poisoning, and then with kidney problems that led to a partially-severed ureter and an impacted stone (that finally required 11th hour emergency surgery back in the US). The treatment in Athens was barbaric to say the least. One bought everything with cash, from toothpaste to food. The carelessness was astounding (from missing medications to unattended IVs to almost deliberate lack of simple antiseptic procedures.) Care was predicated entirely on money; suites on top, the inferno on the bottomunder a utopian socialist system. I once got what I was told by a local Egyptian doctor was merely a light case of malaria in southern Egypt while visiting the Valley of the Kings in 1974, and spent 7 days with a high fever in a dismal infirmary in Luxor. One was on their own therenot figuratively, but factually. I found hygiene nonexistant (cf. the old reusable steel needles). No need to go on about an emergency operation two years ago for a perforated appendix and peritonitis in Gaddafis utopian socialist and oil-rich Tripolis (mandatory AIDs test for all who enter the clinic; those with positive results are denied surgery and supposedly headed for quarantineand so also apparently Paradise).

Our health care is flawed, but each day, by hook or crook, even if it be by emergency room, we try to treat the uninsured. (I confirm that by breaking an arm a few years ago, and spending a morning in the Selma emergency room, the only English speaker during some three hours among dozens of other patients, and the only one with private health insurance and the last to see a (skilled and compassionate) doctor; all there received humane, free care, interpreters, and left satisfied, and aware that there was nothing comparable in Oaxaca).

True, it is dangerous and scary to get sick in Americabut far scarier and more dangerous to get sick in any other similarly-sized country. We should remember that in our hysterical demand for utopian perfection, and cheap slurs that we are an uncaring people with millions denied simple health care. For the most part our doctors, like our pilots, are better than those abroad, and, especially in the case of general practitioners and emergency room physicians, should be paid far more than they receive. One good abdominal surgeon or oncologist is worth ten investment managers at Bear-Stearns.

Many thanks to Mr. Hanson.  And a happy Thanksgiving weekend to all.


RICH LOWRY ON THE MUMBAI TERROR

Ken Berwitz

Rich Lowry of National Review has written an excellent piece about the terrorist actions in Mumbai this week.  Here are the key excerpts.  The bold print is mine:

New India in the Crosshairs
Terror in Mumbai.

By Rich Lowry

They were young and cleanshaven, wearing Western T-shirts and carrying rucksacks. They could have fit in easily with the cosmopolitan and robustly growing New India. If that werent exactly the India they had come to destroy.

Mumbai had been bit in 1993, in car bombs placed at public landmarks (the toll: 257 dead), and in 2006, in bombs targeting the citys commuter trains (183 dead). In the main, these acts of terror victimized ordinary Indians. Using armed attackers in a tactic associated with Pakistani militants in the disputed territory of Kashmir, the latest assault more precisely targeted Westerners and Indias affluent.

They shot up the Leopold Cafe, a restaurant where foreigners enjoy the cheap beer and food, and held hostages at two luxury hotels, the Taj Mahal and the Oberoi. They searched out Americans and Brits in particular. Together with their attack on a Jewish community center, this meant that they had taken aim at each element of the jihadists unholy trinity of Americans, Brits, and Jews symbols to them of unapologetic Western power and its Zionist spawn.

The most memorable image of the spectacular was the iconic Italianate dome of the Taj, licked by flames as Indian security services battled the terrorists holed up inside. Once a bastion of Westerners, the Taj is now within reach of Indias growing elite, a venue for wedding receptions and business meetings. The terrorists want to trash that progress, to keep out Westerners and cut India off from globalization.

Coming just weeks after Barack Obamas election, the massacre explodes the Lefts most reductive explanation of Islamic terrorism: that President George W. Bush and his provocations, including the Iraq War, dangerously inflamed Muslims and fueled terror. With a security agreement setting a goal of a U.S. exit from Iraq by 2012 and Bush leaving office, jihadists are still at their monstrous handiwork. They have an ideological goal larger than any one conflict or any American president.

And the absolute malice of the Mumbai terrorists is a reminder of a piece of supposed Bush/Cheney alarmism: that should these as-yet low-tech killers armed with guns and grenades ever acquire weapons of mass destruction, they will use them without hesitation.

The Indian government will point a finger at Pakistan. The Pakistani security service, the ISI, has long fostered anti-India terror groups, but its hard to believe that the Pakistani government warming up to India of late had a direct, official role in the attacks. ISI alone cant be blamed for Indias terrorism problem. Side by side with the New India of Bollywood and a lunar probe is an India of Hindu-Muslim communal violence and anti-Muslim discrimination. Young Muslims now score more poorly on literacy tests than the Hindu untouchables. A disaffected Muslim population of 150 million in India is an inevitable breeding ground for militancy.

The war on terror is fundamentally a global counterinsurgency that depends on implementing stern security measures of the sort the current Indian government has eschewed and on reaching out to Muslim communities to keep their fringes from extremism. The Indian government will have to do both, while carefully managing tense relations with its fellow nuclear power, Pakistan. The fate of the New India hangs in the balance.

I have just one key area of disagreement with Lowry - his statement that "the fate of the New India hangs in the balance". 

I only wish it were that limited.

In reality, the fate of the entire western world hangs in the balance.

Any nuclear action by either country, or by lunatics operating within either country, has the potential to set off a chain of events that would end civilization entirely.  Theirs and ours both.

Lowry correctly states that Indian governments have not acted effectively in protecting itself from radical Islamists.  Maybe this will finally get them to see the light.  Maybe it will get some others who are in the same boat to see that light also.

Who knows?  It might even wake up a few fatuous airheads in the USA.


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