The Most Dangerous Nation on Earth
Vol: 91 Issue: 25 Saturday, April 25, 2009
In his inaugural address, President Obama proclaimed “an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn-out dogmas that for far too long have strangled our politics.”
He promised to fix America’s image abroad; to ‘rebrand’ America and put a new style and content on America’s worldview — and on the world’s view of America.
The traditional First Hundred Days review, by and large, was another Obamafest. USAToday raved that the “Majority of Public Approves of Obama” — a rather good thing — since he’ll be in office for four long years.
But one wonders if the administration believes the nation has a future, as focused as it seems to be on the past.
He never misses an opportunity to point out that he ‘inherited’ the economy, partly true, (but no excuse for further driving it down).
The Washington Post, hardly a bastion of conservative thought, noted both Obama’s inaugural promise and his obsession with the previous administration:
“What the administration is involved in now is the politics of attribution,” said Lawrence R. Jacobs, a political scientist at the University of Minnesota.
“Each week that goes by with falling job numbers and Republican criticism of the administration’s flaws means falling approval ratings. What’s the antidote? That the guilty party is George Bush.”
“The trick,” Jacobs said, “is how do you shift blame to George Bush and retain any credibility on the idea that you are looking past partisan warfare? This looks like a doubling down on a very partisan approach.”
But while Obama might still be able to hide behind the Bush administration when it comes to responsibility for the economy, Iraq, and even Afghanistan, Obama is on his own when it comes to Pakistan, currently the most dangerous nation on earth.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is hard at work weaving a shield around Obama, testifying before Congress that previous administrations were responsible for the mess Pakistan is in now.
“I mean, let’s remember here, the people we are fighting today we funded 20 years ago. We did it because we were locked in this struggle with the Soviet Union. They invaded Afghanistan, and we did not want to see them control Central Asia, and we went to work,” she said.
“It was President (Ronald) Reagan, in partnership with the Congress, led by Democrats, who said, you know what? Sounds like a pretty good idea. Let’s deal with the ISI and the Pakistani military, and let’s go recruit these mujaheddin. And great, let’s get some to come from Saudi Arabia and other places, importing their Wahhabi brand of Islam, so that we can go beat the Soviet Union. And guess what? They retreated. They lost billions of dollars, and it led to the collapse of the Soviet Union,” Clinton said.
So what is happening in Pakistan today is a result of that policy. It’s Reagan’s fault. And the first Bush’s fault.
She largely gave her husband’s administration a pass, noting only that the US stopped dealing the the Pak military and ISI until the second Bush administration when the the al-Qaeda created during the Reagan-Bush years attacked New York and Washington on September 11.
I called Pakistan the most dangerous nation on earth. Pakistan has a formidable nuclear weapons program, and equally formidable missile program, and the Taliban has taken over about half the country.
The Taliban now control the tribal regions of Pakistan, huge sections of the Swat Valley and have just consolidated their control over the district of Buner, just seventy miles from Islamabad.
They’ve set up checkpoints while the government negotiates a Swat Valley-like truce aimed at holding back the insurgency by ceded territory to them.
Pakistan was one of only two nations on earth that recognized the Taliban as Afghanistan’s legitimate government, (the other being Osama’s home country of Saudi Arabia.)
Many ranking members of the Pak security service, the ISI, are members of the Taliban, as they were in 2002 when Pakistan initially faced off against Washington over Osama bin Laden.
And if the administration’s policty is to sit idly by blaming past administrations for current problems, the Taliban will soon control nuclear Pakistan.
Report to the Members:
I had a wonderful time while in Phoenix. Let me say right off that being around the folks Jewish Voice International was like a big old refreshing drink for the spirit.
I’ve been tweaking that last sentence for the last fifteen minutes and I don’t know how else to say it. It was renewing. It was special — almost overwhelming. And I am grateful to them for it.
There were four of us participating in a kind of round-robin discussion format, moderated by the program’s host, Jonathan Bernis. Besides me, there was Jan Markell, Mark Hitchcock and Steve Spillman.
They recorded three programs in this format before a live studio audience. The studio was packed — Andy Freeman, the program director, later told me it was a record for that studio.
Afterwards, there was a short Q&A session — most of the questions were for Jan Markell — which was yet another mercy. They were all questions that I didn’t know the answers to — but Jan did and she rocked the house.
Jonathan was a wonderful host and treated me royally. And he was a really nice guy, too — among his more obvious gifts was a double measure of hospitality. Almost from the first minute, he had a way of making me feel like a close and trusted friend.
The next morning before leaving, I recorded two more short one-on-one interview segments with him.
I was extremely impressed with Jewish Voice International’s overall ministry. They are much more than a TV ministry — Bernis and his crew had just returned from Ethiopia where they had arranged medical treatment for more than 6,500 patients.
And, as they say, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. They are truly a ministry worthy of support. I encourage you to check them out at their website. (http://www.jewishvoice.org)
When it was time to leave, I was surprised to find that I hated to go.
I clearly had some prayer warriors intervening for journey mercies on my behalf on the trip home, for I had journey mercies in bulk.
I arrived at the airport just in time to board my plane, which took off immediately. I arrived in Minneapolis just in time to make my connection to Buffalo.
In all my fifty-six years, I’ve never flown first-class. On a whim, I asked the gate agent if I could upgrade to first class for the last leg of my journey.
Inexplicably, although it was nearly a full flight, she said, “Sure!” — and just like that, I found myself holding a first-class ticket to Buffalo.
First class is nice. Really, really nice. You get to board first and get off first. The stewardesses bring you stuff before you know you want it. The seats are wider and way more comfortable — more like a nice easy chair than an airplane seat.
On both flights, I was blessed with friendly, agreeable seat-mates. And on arrival, I walked off the plane from my first class seat and there was Gayle at the end of the runway.
Praise the Lord for His many blessings and mercies and thank you all for securing them for me.
I believe the first program airs May 17th, but I’m not certain. Lisa at JVI said she’d drop me an email and let me know beforehand. I’ll keep you informed.