Pakistan’s alliance with China, which supports Islamabad’s confrontation with India and underpins its hopes for economic growth in its populous heartland, is probably a lot more important to Islamabad than the dangerous, destabilizing, and thankless task of pursuing Islamic extremists on its remote and impoverished frontiers at Washington’s behest.
It would be rather ironic if the road to President Musharraf’s downfall began at a Chinese massage parlor in Islamabad.
It was, after all, the provocative kidnapping of 7 PRC nationals that compelled Musharraf—reportedly under heavy Chinese pressure—to abandon a policy of appeasement and compromise with Islamic militants at the Lal Masjid mosque in Islamabad and, in July of this year, launch a bloody assault that revealed the extent of the security crisis at the heart of the Pakistani military regime and displayed to the U.S. Musharraf’s—and Pakistan’s--wholehearted reliance on China.
- Stealing Life a long New Yorker piece on David Simon
- New York Times piece on the marriage Donnie Andrews and Fran Boyd
- Down to 'The Wire': It's a Wrap for Gritty TV Series
- an interview with David Simon by David Mills, a writer for the Wire, the Corner, and one of the best episodes of Homicide. See also part 2
And Senator John McCain of Arizona, once considered a prohibitive favorite, is now operating on a relative shoestring. He raised $5.7 million and spent $5.5 million, leaving him with $1.67 million that could be used in the primaries, and $1.73 million in debts.
By comparison, Representative Ron Paul of Texas, whose libertarian, antiwar Republican candidacy has gained a passionate following on the Web, raised $5.2 million and had $5.4 million left for the primaries and no debt.
Every state must have its enemies. Great powers must have especially monstrous foes. Above all, these foes must arise from within, for national pride does not admit that a great nation can be defeated by any outside force. That is why, though its origins are elsewhere, the stab in the back has become the sustaining myth of modern American nationalism. Since the end of World War II it has been the device by which the American right wing has both revitalized itself and repeatedly avoided responsibility for its own worst blunders. Indeed, the right has distilled its tale of betrayal into a formula: Advocate some momentarily popular but reckless policy. Deny culpability when that policy is exposed as disastrous. Blame the disaster on internal enemies who hate America. Repeat, always making sure to increase the number of internal enemies.
As the United States staggers past the third anniversary of its misadventure in Iraq, the dagger is already poised, the myth is already being perpetuated. To understand just how this strategy is likely to unfold—and why this time it may well fail—we must return to the birth of a legend.
This past Wednesday, I was among a group of American religious leaders and scholars who met with Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in New York. In what was billed as an inter-faith dialogue, we frankly shared our strong opposition to certain Iranian government policies and provocative statements made by the Iranian president.
The more respectful posture of our group that morning led to a more open exchange of views. Before an audience largely composed of Christian clergy, he reminded us that we worship the same God, have been inspired by many of the same prophets, and share similar values of peace, justice, and reconciliation. The Iranian president impressed me as someone sincerely devout in his religious faith, yet rather superficial in his understanding and inclined to twist his faith tradition in ways to correspond with his pre-conceived ideological positions. He was rather evasive when it came to specific questions and was not terribly coherent, relying more on platitudes than analysis, and would tend to get his facts wrong. In short, he reminded me in many respects of our president
The disproportionate media coverage of Ahmadinejad’s UN visit also suggests that Ahmadinejad fills a certain niche in the American psyche formerly filled by the likes of Saddam Hussein and Muammar Qaddafi as the Middle Eastern leader we most love to hate. It gives us a sense of righteous superiority to compare ourselves to these seemingly irrational and fanatical foreign despots. If these despots can be inflated into far greater threats than they actually are, these threats can justify the enormous financial and human costs of maintaining American armed forces in that volatile region to protect ourselves and our allies and even to make war against far-off nations in “self-defense.” Such inflated threats also have the added bonus of silencing critics of America’s overly-militarized Middle East policy, since anyone who dares to challenge the hyperbole and exaggerated claims regarding these leaders’ misdeeds or to provide a more balanced and realistic assessment of the actual threat they represent can then be depicted as naive apologists for dangerous fanatics who threaten our national security.
Smokers who cross the state line to buy cheaper cigarettes could see their cars searched or seized as Tennessee tax agents start cracking down on the practice, revenue officials announced Friday.
Tax agents will stake out nearby stores in other states to find people loading up on cigarettes. Then a second agent will stop and search the vehicle once it crosses into Tennessee, Remke said.
Transporting between three and 24 cartons is a misdemeanor, and 25 or more is a felony, he said.
So depriving the state of $155 is a felony offense that can result in seizure of your car and the loss of your rights to vote or own guns.