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  •  What I found especially moronic (27+ / 0-)

    about the editorial was the last paragraph:

    Announcing Friday that he would accept the award, Mr. Obama graciously offered to share it with "the young woman who marches silently in the streets on behalf of her right to be heard even in the face of beatings and bullets." But the mere fact that he avoided mentioning either Neda's name or her country, presumably out of consideration for the Iranian regime with which he is attempting to negotiate, showed the tension that sometimes exists between "diplomacy and cooperation between peoples" on the one hand, and advocacy of human rights on the other. The Nobel Committee could have spared Mr. Obama this dilemma if it had given Neda the award instead of him.

    I doubt the President did not mention Neda's name out of consideration for the government of Iran. She didn't need to be named. Anyone following current events knew who he meant. By not mentioning her name, the President was highlighting her actions and making her a universal symbol of protest. This is what's called good writing - something the Washington Post's editorial page sorely lacks lately.

    •  Good on Obama for mentioning the Iranian (7+ / 0-)

      dissidents in his acceptance speech. While I think he does need to "earn it", as Michael Moore put it, by drawing down U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan, Obama's words, his own response to the prize, have been pitch-perfect.

      •  On that we can agree. (6+ / 0-)

        It's not Obama's fault the committee has acted so strangely.  His reaction has indeed been spot on.

        Free speech? Yeah, I've heard of that. Have you?

        by dinotrac on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:03:59 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  i disagree. see aboce posts. nt (0+ / 0-)
      •  Obama isn't drawing down troop presence in (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:


        He is in Iraq but Afghanistan the fight will continue.  

        The situation in Pakistan is too fragile right with the Taliban so the U.S. will continue to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.

        Obama 7/09: "Don't bet against us" (unless the Dems screw it up).

        by Drdemocrat on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:35:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  That's a misconception. Pakistanis are united (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Time Waits for no Woman, dwayne

          behind their civilian government and are already fighting Islamist insurgents on their own. The government of Pakistan is not going to give nuclear weapons to Taliban they support, because they have self-preservation instincts, just like we didn't give the Taliban nukes back when we were funding them. We funded them, yes, but that doesn't mean we would want to give them nukes.

          The pro-Taliban insurgents are extremely unpopular in Pakistan, even in the mostly Pashtun Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP).

          And the Taliban in Afghanistan aren't the same group that fought against the Mujahideen and took over the country. At this point, they are basically a Pashtun political group that has popularity among Pashtuns because they are the ones fighting the occupier (the U.S.) and the corrupt Karzai government. The best thing to do is to negotiate with them.

          See Juan Cole's posts on this (he has recent posts on Afghanistan, he's had posts on Pakistan too)

          •  When were we funding the Taliban? (0+ / 0-)

            Are you referring to the aid meant to combat opium that the US spent before 9/11, or something else?

            Economic Left/Right: -4.00 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.82

            I rebuke myself when under stress - The Lord/King Crimson

            by AaronInSanDiego on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 07:26:24 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  He's referring to (0+ / 0-)

              the longstanding belief that the Northern Alliance (who fought the Soviets) are the same as the Taliban (who fought the Northern Alliance for control of the country after the Soviets left).

              "The state has no place in the bedrooms of the nation." - Pierre Elliot Trudeau

              by Thassa on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 10:18:43 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Pakistani's United?????? (0+ / 0-)

            The polls of public opinion in Pakistan in recent months may indicate a greater interest in getting contol of the Taliban and like groups, but I remain quite unconvinced.  

            Just today we had play out an attack by Taliban on the Pakistani Army Headquarters, coming in the main gate, taking hostages, killing at least one Army General, and occupying part of the HQ for hours.  All those assurances that Security was great -- both Security at the HQ or Security of Pakistan's Nukes must be questioned -- must be viewed as a myth until those opinion polls in Pakistan actually support getting full control over all the Pakistani territory, over all the proxy outfits that have been covertly supported over the years, whether they were pointed toward disrupting Indian occupied Kashmir, or acting in Afghanistan, or blowing up trains or hotels in Bombay.  I frankly do not see much determination on the part of the people of Pakistan to organize real security for their own country -- what I see instead is a determination to stand by their myths.  

            •  qwerty (0+ / 0-)
              What "Indian occupied Kashmir"? It is Paksitan which is illegally occupying the PoK region, and China is illegally occupying the Aksai Chin portion. King Hari Singh of Kashmir wrote an instrument of accession on 27 October 1947, joining all of Kashmir, including the portions that have since been grabbed by China and Pakistan, with the Indian union.

              Did you know that Indians invented the # 0 and the decimal/binary systems: a primer on Indian mathematics.

              by iceweasel on Sun Oct 11, 2009 at 11:40:33 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Kashmir (0+ / 0-)

                Yes, I know the first step in the dispute was the decision of the Maharaja Hari Singh to acceed to India rather than Pakistan.  This was followed by invasion from Pakistan, mostly by Pashtun tribesmen, -- India flew in troops from the new Indian Army, and the conflict remained hot till 1949.  Then the UN Security Council debated the matter, and sent observers to what has become called the "Line of Control" and since 1949 those small number of UN observers have been present on that line.  

                I have always followed the practice of calling disputed areas by the least pejorative terms -- it isn't my purpose to settle a dispute with language.  Thus since one referrs to Pakistani Occupied Kashmir -- I also use the term Indian Occupied Kashmir, meaning only a statement of reality as to who controls what fraction of land right now.  One can, I believe, also fairly use the Civil name, Jammu and Kashmir, (or J&K) the official name of a State in India which is a political entity. The point simply is to try to follow International Law as has been intrusted to the UN -- the border is disputed and remains so, the UN has established something temporary called the LOC or Line of Control.  This allows us to refer to place in a non-pejorative way.  When one says Kashmir, J&K or Indian Occupied Kashmir, one does not mean Gilgit.  

                I do believe it is important to comprehend some of the elements in this dispute beyond the language used.  These get skipped over all too frequently, particularly if it is left at the level of a religious dispute, which I would contend it is not primarily.  Pre-47 Princely State of Kashmir has borders with China, Afghanistan, and Pakistan -- and since the Afghan border is on the panhandle, it is close to what used to be the Soviet Union.  Given the Cold War -- this made Kashmir a significant strategic area, and at least some elements in the dispute derive from Cold War politics.  (Pakistan was something of a US Ally, while India was officially part of the unallied nations block, though it enjoyed significant commercial and military relations with the USSR.  It was, for instance, an associate of COMCON.)  The meaning of this set of realities changes during the Cold War -- India fights a border war with China after persuing essentially a diplomatic stragegy before the border areas were invaded -- but that 1964 war is also the period when China and Russia are heightening conflicts, even though the US was quite late in recognizing the Sino-Soviet dispute which actually began about 1959.  In otherwords, a significant part of the Kashmir dispute is buried in Cold War policy, and decisions taken on all sides based on that policy.  

                From the point of view of National Interests, (and I am a strong believer in the proposition that you can't understand any dispute unless you comprehend national interests,) I believe the essential dispute between India and Pakistan has to do with water.  Part of the Indus Headwaters, absolutely critical to Pakistan, are located in Kashmir, including tributaries that flow through Indian Occupied Kashmir.  Likewise, significant headwaters of Ganges are in Kashmir, and north central India is fully dependent on this water source.  This becomes more critical as Glaciers shrink due to Global Warming.  Both India and Pakistan already have a serious water deficit, and obviously both have strong critical interests in control of these water sources and any water storage or diversion system built in the river system.  China has also announced technical plans to redirect Glacier melt into its river systems, making the potential water dispute three-way.  I think if one focuses on the up front religious aspects of this dispute, you miss the underlying cause, which I suggest is much about water. While the Cold War and its strategic considerations may be in the past -- not the same with the water issue.  National Interests pretty much dictate the requirement to control or keep control of key headwaters, and thus the matter of who occupies what parcel of land is critical.      

                •  Balochistan (0+ / 0-)
                  While I appreciate you and your comment, legally, all of King Hari Singh's princely state of Kashmir became part of the Indian union the day he signed the instrument of accession. That makes Pakistan the illegal occupier of "Azad" Kashmir and the Northern Areas (jointly, PoK), and China the illegal occupier of Aksai Chin (i.e. China-occupied Kashmir, CoK), but the Indian state of J&K is a legal part of the Indian union (a secular democracy, unlike Pak and China.)

                  Consider the situation in Balochistan, whose erstwhile King was also dilly-dallying as Hari Singh was, and at one point he wanted to accede his territory with India. Pakistan muzzled him and had him sign a letter of accession with Pakistan. So, legally, Balochistan became part of Pakistan. However, there is a serious conflict (see also here and here) between the people of Baloch, and the strong arm dictatorship by the Pakistani powers (mostly Punjab region based politicians, elite, military and the terrorist organization of ISI) over them. Do you refer to Balochistan as Pakistan occupied Balochistan (PoB)?

                  The entire partition was an unnecessarily created fiasco, which Lord Mountbatten came to remorsefully regret later on. People fighting people makes for strife and bloodshed, but if they worked to unite and work together, it makes development of everyone possible: we need only look at how Pakistan turned out for a painfully tragic example (in this connection, please see how Pakistan massacred 3 million Bengalis in 1971 here: Liberation War Museum, Bangladesh).

                  Did you know that Indians invented the # 0 and the decimal/binary systems: a primer on Indian mathematics.

                  by iceweasel on Mon Oct 12, 2009 at 10:55:05 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Internationally recognized International Borders (0+ / 0-)

                    There is an official way to establish an international border, it gets surveyed and mapped, the countries governments officially adopt the maps, and then they are deposited with the United Nations.  Prior to the establishment of the UN, that was a League of Nations responsibility.  

                    Anyhow, when Pakistan was established in 1947, it had considerable difficulty meeting this criteria.  Afghanistan does not now, and did not then recognize the Durand Line -- and as a Charter Member of the UN, Afghanistan's objections kept Pakistan out of the UN for about 2 years.  The Afghani's also registered objections to the Balochistan border, and Iran raised the same question.  I believe the issue was settled for the time in 1949 with the Security Council debate on Kashmir, and the temporary acceptance of the LOC by Pakistan, which allowed for their UN membership. But because the settlement is irregular, the UN could reopen it should any of the affected countries come forward with mutually agreed maps and surveys that meet the standard criteria.

                    I agree with you -- Partition was a god awful solution as conflict resolution.  But it was the style in 1947 -- witness North and South Korea, East and West Germany, North and South Vietnam after 54, and of course the mess with semi-dividing the British Palestine Mandate in 1948.    

    •  Of course, (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      majcmb1, dougymi, Jeff Y, dwayne, xeromachine

      You assume that the editorial page follow current events. I'm not totally convinced of that.

      Glenn Beck, you are a traitor.

      by Rustbelt Dem on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:03:25 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Obama didn't mention ANYBODY'S name (4+ / 0-)

      but it was MORE poetic with out mentioning a name.

      I too thought that was the STUPIDEST line in the entire editorial.

      The editorial writer is assuming that Obama has a specific motive.

      Obama 7/09: "Don't bet against us" (unless the Dems screw it up).

      by Drdemocrat on Sat Oct 10, 2009 at 02:31:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Exactly. It's a common rhetorical device, one (6+ / 0-)

      that Obama uses often, to mention people by describing them and their circumstance, in such a way that people know whom the speaker is talking about, without explicitly citing the person by name, as a way of making that person represent a much larger group of people rather than just themselves.  That the WA Post tried to read something into that shows just how idiotic they are.  That's Chuck Todd type of stuff,

      I note that Obama didn't say the word "Afghanistan"!  Let's try to divine some hidden meaning or motive for that!!  Aren't I brilliant for noticing that he didn't explicitly say "Afghanistan"?

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