Sunday, December 30, 2007
Thursday, December 27, 2007
But there are some who think the Bush Administration is not without blame. Hussain Haqqani, a former top aide to Bhutto and now a professor at Boston University, thinks the U.S., which has counted Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf as a key ally against terrorism since 9/11, bears some of the responsibility. "Washington will have to answer a lot of questions, especially the Administration," he says. "People like me have been making specific requests to American officials to intervene and ask for particular security arrangements be made for her, and they have been constantly just trusting the Musharraf Administration."
The effect of political assassination is to restrict effective political discourse to argument by high explosive or supersonic lead projectiles. Political murder kills not only the candidates, but the process to which they belong. Pakistani politics might not miss Benazir Bhutto as an individual, but it will surely want for the elections in general.
Elections have rarely been able in and of themselves to bring about stable democratic rule. Normally things are the other way round. It is the existence of the elements of democracy that have brought elections into existence. Whether those elements now exist in Pakistan is the question. Rogers believed that until Pakistan had an educated citizenry, credible legal culture, a semblance of upright government and a degree of religious tolerance that any electoral process would be founded upon an insubstantial base.
There is the Pakistan of our fantasy. The burgeoning democracy in whose vanguard are judges and lawyers and human rights activists using the “rule of law” as a cudgel to bring down a military junta. In the fantasy, Bhutto, an attractive, American-educated socialist whose prominent family made common cause with Soviets and whose tenures were rife with corruption, was somehow the second coming of James Madison.
Friday, December 21, 2007
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Americans are in remarkable agreement lately on an awful lot. They agree the Iraq War was a mistake, and that the United States should start getting out. They think the economy is lousy and the country is on the wrong track. They want the government to find a way to guarantee health insurance to everyone and they overwhelmingly believe the bipartisan congressional effort to expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is a good idea.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
. . .In a New York MinuteEverything can changeIn a New York MinuteThings can get pretty strange. . .Lying here in the darknessI hear the sirens wailSomebody going to emergencySomebody's going to jailIf you find somebody to love in this worldYou better hand on tooth and nailThe wolf is always at the door. . .The Eagles, New York Minute (From album End of the Innocence, 1989, Don Henley, Danny Kortchmar, Jai Winding).
Friday, December 14, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
No American will think it wrong of me if I proclaim to have the United States at our side was to me the greatest joy . . . but now at this very moment I knew the United States was in the war, up to the neck and in to the death. . . So we had won after all! Yes, after Dunkirk; after the fall of France; after the horrible episode of Oran; after the threat of invasion, when, apart from the Air and the Navy, we were an almost unarmed people; after the deadly struggle of the U-boat war -- the first Battle of the Atlantic, gained by a hand's-breadth; after seventeen months of lonely fighting and nineteen months of my responsibility in dire stress, we had won the war. . . How long the war would last or in what fashion it would end, no man could tell, nor did I at this moment care. . . We should not be wiped out. Our history would not come to an end. We might not even have to die as individuals. Hitler's fate was sealed. Mussolini's fate was sealed. As for the Japanese, they would be ground to powder. All the rest was merely the proper application of overwhelming force.
Winston S. Churchill's reaction to the news of Pearl Harbor, in his Memoirs of the Second World War: The Grand Alliance.
And now permit me to define my attitude to that other world, which has its representative in that man, who, while our soldiers are fighting in snow and ice, very tactfully likes to make his chats from the fireside, the man who is the main culprit of this war. . .
Monday, December 10, 2007
Friday, December 7, 2007
Thursday, December 6, 2007
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Battle of Leuthen, map showing the Prussian flank march