- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 16, 2008


The view from Pakistan

This refers to Tony Blankley’s April 2 Op-Ed column, “A new Pakistan?” Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is the voice of the 160 million Pakistanis and therefore should be respected. Any aspersion is the reflection of the mindset that prefers to live in the past, totally divorced from the dynamics of the present. He was unanimously elected as the leader of the Parliament, and not a single vote was cast against him.

The people of Pakistan have spoken against the strategy of the war on terror in the recently held elections, as it was one of the major election issues. However, they are totally against the scourge of terrorism, and there is no wavering in their resolve to snuff out this evil.

A military approach alone never offers a durable solution to a conflict. It must be backed by a political mechanism, and that is precisely what the prime minister meant when he said the militants must “lay down their arms and join the path of peace.”

We have to simultaneously pursue a multipronged strategy which encompasses fighting insurgents and launching massive socioeconomic development projects to improve the quality of life of the people of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas.


Press minister

Embassy of Pakistan


C’est la vie



#The Chinese boycotting of French brands including Louis Vuitton and Hermes cq web [/NOTE] reminds us of the heady days of 2003, when American outrage at French protests of Iraq war plans called forth a similarly convenient boycott of French goods amid bold cries for “Freedom Fries” (“Chinese organize boycott of French goods,” World, yesterday). Looking back on the Iraq war, French misgivings appear to have been quite on point. Looking back on how China treats Tibet in years to come, the recent protests in Paris might appear to be another display of French courage, however awkwardly displayed.

–- Not surprisingly, in-your-face protesting in Paris is backfiring among many Chinese who value nationalism at least as much as Americans. The protests and ensuing boycotts are both convenient tactics, not to be confused with the weightier responsibilities the Chinese, the French and the Americans share with all people to enhance human rights and international cooperation.



–- #Distinguished University Professor and President Emeritus

–- University of Richmond

–- #Richmond

On the front lines



While much of the world has seen fit to criticize the United States for its prosecution of the global war on terror, lc [/NOTE] a number of countries have steadfastly supported this country in the fight against those who target innocents for personal gain. In the Western Hemisphere, no ally has been more resolute or more neglected than Colombia. Alvaro Uribe, cq web [/NOTE] the Harvard-educated president of Colombia, has supported Washington as he has waged his own counterterrorism campaign against the Fuerzas Armadas Revolucionarias plural [/NOTE] de Colombia (FARC). cq web [/NOTE]

–- Mr. Uribe has worked with American forces to capture Hezbollah operatives, protect against attacks on American contractors and confiscate illegal drug shipments. Despite the debt of gratitude the United States owes Colombia for its political and military support, lawmakers in Congress have seen fit to hold up on signing a free-trade pact with Colombia (“House shelves Colombia trade deal,” Nation, Friday).

–- The Democratic leadership in Congress has resisted the Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) cq web [/NOTE] for close to two years. However, opposition to the CFTA is not limited to Congress. As reported by The Washington Times on April 8, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton condemns the deal (“Bush urges pact on free trade,” Page 1). Sen. Barack Obama likewise opposes the CFTA.

–- Colombia has been invaluable in the campaign against Islamist extremism. Colombian armed forces have captured Hezbollah operatives who were learning to make bombs from the FARC. In January 2006, Colombian authorities dismantled a FARC counterfeit passport ring with links to dozens of known al Qaeda and Hamas terrorists. The passport-ring operation supplied passports to an unknown number of citizens of Pakistan, Iraq and Egypt in order to facilitate entry into the United States. Simply put, the global war on terror has come to the Western Hemisphere, and Colombia is on the front lines protecting the United States.

–- As the United States carries on its global war on terror, international allies are hard to come by and even harder to keep. The question for Congress is whether to take Colombia’s hand in the economic sphere. If Congress continues to deny the free-trade agreement a floor vote, Congress is announcing to the world that Colombia is good enough to fight our war on terror, but just not good enough to trade with. Colombia, and the Colombians who have died advancing American interests, deserve better.



–- Akin Gump Strauss Hauer

–- and Feld LLP

–- Washington

Marxist similarities



Sen. Barack Obama’s recent characterization of small-town Americans as bitter left-behinds who “cling to guns and religion” instead of Washington to solve their problems reveals him to be not only an elitist but also something of a Marxist (“Obama’s remarks slammed by rivals,” Page 1, Saturday).

–- # According to the senator, what appear to be value-based stands on cultural issues such as the Second Amendment and religious rights are actually what Karl Marx called “epiphenomena,” the products of underlying determinants that are always economic in nature.

–- #In other (Marxist) words, small-town Americans have been using “guns and religion” as an opiate to relieve the pain of their economic misery. Had the local mill or mine not closed, Mr. Obama seems to be saying, there never would have been such deplorable political epiphenomena as Reagan Democrats, NRA members or the Christian right.

–- Of course, Mr. Obama offers a political solution very different from Marx’s: Instead of violent revolution, the senator proposes “unity” and “healing.” (It’s not clear what he means by this, but I have this vision of a national Big Comfy Couch on which all Americans — black or white, poor or working-class, small-town or big-city, whatever — can climb up and together bewail the terrible things that America the Mean, to paraphrase Michelle Obama, has done to us all.)

–- Essentially, Mr. Obama seems to believe that Americans can only find unity in shared victimhood. Similarly, we can only find healing by rejecting free-market capitalism and middle-classness — precisely what Marx in his day demonized as bourgeois exploitation — and clinging, if you will, to his new politics of social therapy forced down our — oops — I mean, universally provided by an all-knowing, all-feeling Obama administration. It will be Karl Marx meets Dr. Phil and “The Internationale” replaced by “Kumbaya.”

–- At the risk of sounding “religion-clingy,” I fervently pray: From this newest recipe for political tyranny, economic folly and social disaster may God deliver us.



–- Mountain Lakes, N.J.

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