- George Zimmerman will not be charged in domestic dispute
- Russian officials press bilateral U.S. trade deal
- Selfies at Funerals blog creator retires after Obama flub: ‘Our work here is done’
- New Obama adviser Podesta is against Keystone but will steer clear of pipeline deliberations
- 40 Australian adults, children found in ‘one of the worst accounts of incest ever made public’
- Venezuela’s Maduro calls on student ‘price vigilantes’ to hit the streets, report businesses
- Atheists smug as Hindus join Satanists to demand display at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Bow before Valkyrie, NASA’s ‘superhero robot’ entry in DARPA challenge
- 10-year-old Pennsylvania boy suspended for pretend bow-and-arrow shooting
- Budget deal exposes GOP divisions; conservatives slam tax hikes, vague cuts
HANSON: Back to the past
Question of the Day
For three days, Islamist gunmen nearly shut down Mumbai, the financial center of India. The terrorists - Pakistani militants, according to Indian authorities - murdered almost 200 innocents and left hundreds of others wounded, giving reprieve only to hostages they thought were Muslims.
The timing of their assault seemed aimed for maximum shock value here in the United States - during the transfer of American presidential power and amid a long U.S. holiday in which millions of Americans were glued to televised news.
The macabre killing spree was apparently part of a larger, though failed, effort to shoot or blow up a planned 5,000 civilians - especially Americans, Brits and Jews. The jihadists may have hoped India would heed Islamist warnings to loosen its connections to Western finance and commerce, and pay better attention to Muslim grievances.
There are a number of things to take away from the Mumbai atrocities.
— First was the welcome re-emergence of concerned discussion of the dangers of global Islamist violence. George Bush apparently was not fabricating a global terrorist bogeyman - as was sometimes alleged over the last years of calm - when he sought support for his war in Iraq and domestic security measures.
In fact, caricatured efforts like the Patriot Act, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act accords, the detention center at Guantanamo Bay, the fostering of Middle East constitutional government, and the killing of violent insurgents abroad in Afghanistan and Iraq might seem once again understandable in the context of preventing another major violent terrorist attack of the sort we just saw at Mumbai.
— Second, in the fashion of the old post-Sept. 11, 2001, apologists, we were lectured once again that global terrorism is not necessarily an Islamic phenomenon. Supposedly the poverty and mistreatment of India’s Muslim minority, not jihadist ideology and hatred, better explain India’s incessant sectarian violence. That theory of victimhood is no more convincing now than it was in 2001.
Transnational terrorism still remains mostly Islamist in nature. Very few impoverished Hindu, Christian or Sikh terrorists go abroad to murder civilians. Nor are the wretched poor of Brazil or Haiti organizing mass-murdering assaults against foreigners and Western iconic targets in their cities.
— Third, the serial excuses of Pakistan are also beginning to wear thin. Hundreds of Indians have been killed by Pakistani terrorists, who have routinely attacked both foreigners and Christians in their own country. It is now over seven years since more than 3,000 innocent Americans were murdered on orders from terrorists now all but certainly in sanctuary in Pakistan - and whom we are still told cannot be extradited.
So despite billions of dollars in American military and financial assistance given to Pakistan, nothing really changes. When pressed to explain the apparent role of the Pakistani military or intelligence services in turning a blind eye to jihadists, the government - whether a Pervez Musharraf in uniform or now civilian President Asif Ali Zardari (formerly known as “Mr. Ten Percent” for allegations of graft) - still politely offers various cliches.
The Pakistani borderlands are beyond the government’s control. Pressuring the existing government for either more order or more democracy will lead only to worse alternatives - such as a takeover by fundamentalist clerics, authoritarian generals, or weak democrats whose plebiscites will ensure rule by popular fanatics. No Pakistani leader of any stripe ever quite takes responsibility of the government for the mayhem committed by its own citizens or foreigners on its soil.
Instead, there always seems an implied threat that it would be unwise to push too far a volatile Pakistan that possesses nuclear weapons, or whose fanaticism makes it immune from classical laws of nuclear deterrence, or whose poverty and mismanagement ensure it simply cannot be expected to meet international norms of behavior.
— Fourth, the problem of Pakistan and the Islamist terrorism that so frequently emanates from its soil will now be President-elect Barack Obama’s to deal with. He will have to decide whether George Bush’s anti-terrorism architecture shredded the Constitution and should be repealed, or helped to keep us safe from attack for seven years, and thus should be maintained, if not strengthened.
Mr. Obama once advocated open intrusions into Pakistan in hot pursuit of terrorists, and will have to adjudicate whether such actions will more likely enrage nuclear Pakistan or finally eliminate the followers of Osama bin Laden. At the same time, Mr. Obama also must ponder whether he should continue our subsidized “alliance” with Pakistan.
About the Author
By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
- Rand Paul: Budget deal 'shameful,' 'huge mistake'
- Teen thugs in D.C. run wild -- even while wearing GPS ankle bracelets
- KIBBE: Another Republican budget surrender
- Study IDs reasons for late-term abortions
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- Obama administration blasts GOP for criticism of Castro handshake
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- Obama's antics at Nelson Mandela tribute: Jovial conversation, handshake with Raul Castro
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Interviews and show reviews from the Los Angeles punk scene past and present. Los Angeles has always been rich in punk rock talent since punk rock was born.
Buzz on Bees is a column promoting the love and life of God’s greatest pollinators on earth: The Honeybee
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
A libertarian look at breaking news and political trends by author Tom Mullen.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow