Friday, June 24, 2011

O'er and done wi'.

Martin Kettle: "The question facing Europeans is therefore this. Not to forge an ever closer union in which, for all the EU's successes, the word forge seems unhappily to be increasingly appropriate. But how to manage the now foreseeable breakup of the EU in a responsible and restrained way, preserving and strengthening such forms of co-operation as we can. The goal would be to minimise the dangers of war between states, ethnic conflict within them, and immiseration of the most defenceless: all more real dangers in the next generation than the last. But that, ironically, was why the EU was created in the first place."

Alan Johnson looks forward: It’s time for a bit more self-confidence. Far from being reactionary, a national-popular public philosophy could re-frame counter-radicalization efforts as the natural expression of long-standing ethical discourses of Muslims and non-Muslims alike. In Britain, for example, we should talk much more about our shared commitments to “moderation” (and the Koranic notion of “middle community”), and to “the common good” (and the Koranic notion of “co-operating towards goodness”). And about our love of ordered liberty (and the Koranic notion of “Sakinah”).

Marc A. Thiessen looks at Afghanistan: "Drawing down these forces will have little political impact here at home – but it could have a devastating military impact on the ground in Afghanistan. It will make it harder to hold the territory we have taken at great cost from the Taliban. It will embolden our enemies by sending the signal that we care more about leaving than winning. It will dispirit the Afghan people and make them less likely to risk their lives helping us against the Taliban — because they see that we are leaving and the Taliban is staying. It will undermine our coalition, giving a green light for our NATO allies to pull their forces out prematurely as well."

Nader Nadery, Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission, on Karzai's dramatic shift to the Islamist far-right: "I think the reality of their complete withdrawal has struck home. Now he sees they may go and they don't want a (military) presence here, there were no bases that they requested and perhaps now he is thinking, `Who will protect me?' And he has turned to Hizb-i-Islami and conservative elements in the country like those on the Ulema Council, former warlords, as well as getting closer to Pakistan and to Iran."

Matthew Fisher: "Signs that the Afghan war has been won in Kandahar today are everywhere, from old Taliban haunts in the Horn of Panjwaii to the booming provincial capital. The only thing the insurgents have been able to do lately is launch a few unsuccessful attacks on relatively soft targets and assassinate or randomly blow up government workers or civilians. Most schools in Kandahar are now open. Most roads are free of improvised explosive devices. Precious water has been sluicing through a network of canals repaired by the Canadian International Development Agency. Even the number of women surviving childbirth is up.

The Living Dead: "The Afghan war is a bust."

A letter from Afghanistan that Obama should have read: "We greatly appreciate the significant contributions your nation has made in assisting Afghanistan during our times of need. . . We look forward to a responsible transition from NATO to Afghan security forces when security gains are sustainable, and with gratitude we continue to support the necessary presence of American forces to provide security and defend liberty."

Nobody even cares anymore: "Syrian security forces kill 15 protestors, activists say."

You don't hear a thing. Now history unfolds before you, You just shut your eyes, You just shut your eyes, It's not happening.


Post a Comment

<< Home