A Travel Agent Challenge for Barack Obama

Words are powerful, and they do have meaning and purpose when they are spoken at the right moment of history and at the right place:

There are many people in the world who really don’t understand, or say they don’t, what is the great issue between the free world and the Communist world. Let them come to Berlin. There are some who say that communism is the wave of the future. Let them come to Berlin. And there are some who say in Europe and elsewhere we can work with the Communists. Let them come to Berlin. And there are even a few who say that it is true that communism is an evil system, but it permits us to make economic progress. Lass’sie nach Berlin kommen. Let them come to Berlin. — President John F. Kennedy, 1963

General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization: Come here to this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate! Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall! — President Ronald Reagan, at the Brandenburg Gates 1987

Even powerful speeches and words lose all meaning and effect when they are not backed with clear resolve and firm action. Kennedy’s words were backed up by a large increase in our strategic nuclear forces; Reagan’s words were backed by nuclear missiles stationed in Europe and a missile defense initiative. Because Reagan’s and Kennedy’s words had power, purpose and meaning, and because they backed those words with firm resolve and clear policy the history of our world was changed and freedom expanded.

So here lies the challenge Senator Barack Obama: if you go to the Brandenburg gates and speak it would be without purpose or meaning because those gates are now open and the people past the gates are already free.

 Instead why not become a true leader — one who promotes the cause of freedom in this world?

With that in mind I’ve outlined a potential itinerary below: Continue reading “A Travel Agent Challenge for Barack Obama”

Pakistan Update: Caretaker Government Being Set up

In the approach to the elections Durrani has announced that they are setting up a “non-political” caretaker government to oversee functions, and to ensure that the elections come off ok . Many assembly terms will be up at that point and without a quorum it’s necessary to appoint the interim or caretaker PM and ministers. Story at Daily Times.

The PPP members across the country are bursting with joy that Benazir Bhutto will return tomorrow, and they are flocking in the thousands to Karachi to greet her. Karachi is a power base for the PPP party. Story at Daily Times.

In the frontiers the violence has died down and the army has lifted the curfew after ten days in Mirali.  They dispute that there is a ceasefire, and there was a short exchange of fire with the Taliban attacking ineffectively with rockets and the military responding with mortar fire. No casualties were reported either side after the exchange. Story at Daily Times.

There’s a lot more detail on the refugees returning to the area at the Pakistan Observer, and markets reopening as a grand tribal jirga will try to re-estabalish peace. Interim the spokesperson for the army states that there will be no leniency for “the miscreants” [editor: this is the term most often used to designate terrorists without naming groups in Pakistan]  In Mian Mandi, Mohmand agency, five CD shops were blown up, most likely by TNSM followers of Fazlullah.

Meanwhile the rest of the country is peaceful in the wake of the Eid holiday.

The South’s Going to Restive Again

This morning in Thailand a “muslim-separatist” bomb killed a shop owner and injured 11 in Southern Thailand. Once again the press characterizes the South as “restive”. These attacks are coming daily now, and they target Buddhist monks as they gather morning alms — if a Buddhist monk wants breakfast, the preparation starts with gathering alms. They also target teachers, soldiers, police and government personell.

This is a steady campaign of genocide, designed to drive other religions and peoples from the area. It’s pure evil, it’s naked agression, and it’s unholy in any light. All unholy evils wear convenient masks to fool the dull-witted, and who is more dull-witted nowadays than the average press? Hence the south will be restive again.

Continue reading “The South’s Going to Restive Again”