Friday, May 27, 2011

1) Hillary Clinton was right to visit Pakistan. Whatever the problems in the US relationship with Pakistan, the US needs Pakistani support for a stable Afghanistan. While the ISI will continue to try and protect their own interests (marginalizing the influence of the US/getting US aid/hostile policy towards India), there are others in the Pakistani govt/military that have a more balanced outlook. It is true that they might not win out over anti-US elements, but it is also true that without US support the chances of their political defeat are substantially higher.

2) Now that Mladic has been captured we will have another opportunity to view the dysfunction of the Hague 'justice' system. His incarceration will be characterized by comparative luxury, his trial by extreme length and his punishment if (convicted) by terrible insufficiency.

3) The Senate was right to re-authorize the Patriot Act sunset provisions. I believe that there are sufficient safeguards in place to prevent abuse (important oversight is critical though). The capabilities that these provisions provide are also critical to national security. European investigative tools are far more intrusive and without similar safeguards. For example, the UK domestic Security Service - MI5, only requires the signature of the Home Secretary to authorize wiretaps. Political authority not judicial.

4) Could not agree more with Andrew Exum on Libya. Especially the PS note....

5) Instead of using Obama's speech as a reach out to Arab and Israeli moderates, we have allowed Hizballah to spin our reaction in their favor. Nasarallah is now openly supporting Assad as part of the righteous bulwark against the Israeli-US conspiracy. The hypocrisy of Hizballah's Assad support is stunning (supporting a dictator while painting themselves as revolutionary emancipators)  but its acceptance by Arab moderates is only possible through our own stupidity in playing into their traditional talking points. We should be embarrassed. Congress should read some books on the Middle East rather than reading polling data.

6) FIFA is in a state of meltdown. Sepp Blatter is an ass hole but it appears he may also be corrupt. Sadly their appears to be no one respectable available to replace him.

7) The Red Sox are on fire. A nice change from the early season.

8) The Champions League Final tomorrow should be a great game. Man Utd must follow the motto of the SAS.

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