Anyone who thought that Barack Obama was the peace candidate has another think coming. In an unusually blunt article, the NYT is running Pakistan Told to Ratchet Up Fight Against the Taliban. Here are excerpts:
The Obama administration is turning up the pressure on Pakistan to fight the Taliban inside its borders, warning that if it does not act more aggressively the United States will use considerably more force on the Pakistani side of the border to shut down Taliban attacks on American forces in Afghanistan, American and Pakistani officials said.
The blunt message was delivered in a tense encounter in Pakistan last month . . .
For their part the Pakistanis interpreted the message as a fairly bald warning that unless Pakistan moved quickly to act against two Taliban groups they have so far refused to attack, the United States was prepared to take unilateral action to expand Predator drone attacks beyond the tribal areas and, if needed, to resume raids by Special Operations forces into the country against Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders.
A senior administration official, asked about the encounter, declined to go into details but added quickly, “I think they read our intentions accurately.” . . .
“We’ve offered them a strategic choice,” one administration official said . . .
DoctoRx here. The horse's head that was part of the offer related, one would expect, to withdrawal of IMF financial support.
“We’ve offered them a strategic choice,” one administration official said, describing the private communications. “And we’ve heard back almost nothing.” Another administration official said, “Our patience is wearing thin.”
(There is much more in the article.)
What was it the young John Kerry said about being the last soldier to die for a mistake?
From Mr. Obama's standpoint, the truth is that this Times article should never have run. Team O should have worked its will on the Paks (as they call themselves) in deep secret; or should have done what it was going to do in deep secret if it couldn't win adequate cooperation from them. This article depicts a frustrated, warlike administration. This article also follows reports of a screaming match between administration personnel and Hamid Karzai around the time of the election fraud in Afghanistan.
It is unclear how much financial impact the surge in Pak-ghanistan will have, but tar babies suck one in, and the reminder that the U. S. but not China, India and Brazil is weighed down by wasteful foreign wars can only hurt the dollar.
If America or its more-or-less client state Pakistan is going to wage war in Quetta, let us hope that it is not on the 18 months time line that the President has just announced is his policy with the surge in Afghanistan.
Timelines aside, it is looking more and more that the Bushbama Continuity is greater than expected. It is not just Big Finance. It is the military-industrial perpetual war policy. Economically, these are mistaken and potentially disastrous policies.
We should be aggressively building up our medical, environmental, information and other cutting-edge technologies. That's ultimately how we can continue the amazing global rise of American influence. What is happening is eerily similar to what George Orwell predicted in 1984: Oceania in perpetual inconclusive war with shadowy villainous types in Asia and environs.
And some entity is watching and recording everything you read on the Internet.
And when healthcare "reform" is implemented as the Party in power wants, Government will ultimately know, or have the ability to know, every detail it wants to know about your personal health status. The right to medical privacy will be gone. It will only exist as an argument to justify abortion.
The Times article presents America as bullying a weak, conflicted impoverished state. The bullying that is coming out of healthcare reform and possibly out of energy policy will show that the era of big government is back with renewed force.
The traditional role of gold for individuals is as protection against various depradations of state power. Short-term momentum moves aside, the more anxious more people get about the enlargement of the state--with sound money of no real concern to Barack Obama-- the more there will be a continued bid under gold. Fundamentally, gold is neither cheap nor dear versus the alternatives, but over a period of years, it should be uncorrelated with other financial assets and thus may well prove to be currently "underowned" by the public.
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