Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bribery

So we seem to have two significant exercises going on in stabilizing the global terrorist network: one in Kabul, and one in Pakistan. While Hillary is offering to bribe the Pakistani government to adhere to international standards of behavior, the donor nations are meeting in Kabul to decide how best to bribe the Karzai government to behave. Now, it may well be the case that bribery is what works best in Islamic nations, and could prove cheaper than waging war. But the jury is out on that issue. We have, after all, been bribing Pakistan for 60 odd years with only minimal results. They have tried three wars and countless exercises in terrorism against their neighboring Indian state, despite our bribes.

And in Kabul, we don’t seem to have a much better track record. Mr. Karzai seems intent on removing donor oversight (shades of the financial sector under W). Not much chance of that happening I would think. Still, you never know. Everyone is getting really tired of shedding blood as well as treasure. Maybe if we can get by with just the treasure part, we will all be happier.

And on another front, the GOP seems to have adopted “Just say no” as a strategy for the upcoming campaign. Perhaps they should have consulted with Bristol Palin on the relative effectiveness of “just say no.” They are trying, among other things, to coerce Elena Kagan into promising to recuse herself should the subject of health care reform ever come before the Supremes, I guess the way Justice Scalia recused himself in the Bush v. Gore case, when he decided to appoint W President. Perhaps she should simply promise to be as objective and independent in her decision-making as Justices Scalia and Thomas. I’m sure Senator McConnell would be happy with such a pledge.
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