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July 13, 2005

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I see that, once again, you cite yourself.

Condi's brave words are all very heartwarming....but how do they deviate particularily from past Secretary of States, of whatever stripe? Ex. Her request of the Pakistan government to intervene in the case of a gang-rape victim is not without (many many) precedents. And I only had to Google for 20 seconds before I found this:

U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on Monday Washington was gravely concerned about the health and safety of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

The European Union also expressed alarm over Myanmar's political situation
and urged the government to enter into a dialogue with the opposition and
hold democratic elections.

Albright made Myanmar the central topic at an Asian security conference,
telling reporters at an afternoon briefing that the United States deplored
the military government's refusal to let Suu Kyi travel freely in the
country over the past three days.

``We believe freedom of movement is fundamental and its denial can only
increase the already dangerous state of tension in Burma (Myanmar) and we
are gravely concerned about the health and safety of Aung San Suu Kyi and
will hold the Burmese authorities directly responsible for ensuring her
health and welfare,'' she said.

Albright spoke as Suu Kyi spent a fourth day in her car at a southwestern
village to protest against moves to stop her from meeting members of her
political party. Authorities stopped the opposition leader at the spot on
Friday.

Earlier Albright told a plenary session of the conference that Myanmar faced
a growing danger of social explosion.

With the foreign minister of Myanmar sitting in the same conference hall,
Albright said in an earlier speech: ``With each passing day the likelihood
of a social breakdown -- or explosion -- that would undermine regional
stability grows higher; the likelihood that a future government will be able
to tackle Burma's problems becomes smaller.

``This is a moment of truth and of urgency for Burma and for all of us
concerned about its fate.''

Condi hasn't shattered the mold. And, as radish points out, there are all those other things the United States does, in action not just word.

I would end this with a little "Maybe it's you who isn't paying attention" quip. You know, hold up the mirror to you. But I know you do pay attention....you just don't care. One day - one day - you'll get that internship at the NRO.

I see 2shoes beat me to the punch, but Charles, please... while most of the things you list are commendable, none of them are significant policy decisions, none of them are commitments*, and the only one that has any impact outside of diplomatic maneuvering is the possibility that Mai will be allowed to travel. I'm sorry, but sending Zoellick to a yearly trade conference instead of attending herself is just so much horsetrading. Furthermore I would refer you to the IHT article on this subject, which suggests, not unreasonably, that Rangoon probably doesn't give a sh*t whether Condi attends, and might even prefer the less squeamish Zoellick.

Leaning on Musharraf? Great. Not exactly risky, but it sends the right message. Iran? Talk talk talk. Egypt? Talk talk talk. Saud? Talk talk talk -- which is to say a reasonable effort to help Al-Domaini, Al-Faleh and Al-Hamid, only they're still in jail and their families are still broke. Iraq? Man, I'm not even sure what the big deal is there -- "please recognize this government as legitimate" seems to be the extent of her involvement. And as for women's suffrage, I dimly recall a lot of people being up in arms about that issue during Gulf War I. Considering that Condi couldn't even get three dissidents out of jail what makes you think she has leverage that Jim Baker (or Madeline Albright for that matter) didn't? Or are you perhaps suggesting that Democracy in Saudi was a non-priority for Jim Baker?

So yeah, commendable. Totally insufficient, laboriously cherry-picked, and of little or no interest to the audience to whom I was actually referring, but definitely commendable.

* difference between involvment and commitment: when you have bacon and eggs for breakfast, the chicken is "involved" and the pig is "committed."

U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said on Monday Washington was gravely concerned about the health and safety of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

I would just like to note for the record that I've been as close to Aung San Suu Kyi (well, her house; I think she was there at the time) as possible for any foreigner without clearance. Go me!

Nice, but did you eat the curried grasshoppers on a stick?

Alas, no. We were told not to eat the street-vendors' food because we weren't going to be there long enough. My dad and I did have a couple of nice curries at a local dive, though.

Another observation about the 'burry them with pigs' idea: most religious folks I know here would be very upset because you would deny their God to have the final judgement.

Mblockquote>This is why one of my primary thrusts here is for the advance of freedom. The solution is free markets, free societies, free speech, free press, free religious expression, respect for civil liberties and political rights. The combination of virulent ideology and a lack of freedom in those countries is a root cause of terrorism, not poverty.

Very nice words, although I note again that you're summing up with "poverty is not the problem" when my actual contention was "trade and economics is a major and yet overlooked part of the solution". I know I'm a liberal, but we do care about economics even after the famine victims have been given Bob Geldof Brand Porridge, y'know?

Now, given all those nice words: how, exactly, do we "spread freedom" in Saudi Arabia? What mechanisms do we use in the propaganda war? How do we disrupt the House of Saud and Wahhabbism's hold on the politics of Saudi Arabia?

Can you come up with a plan, and by this I don't mean a plan to "spread freedom" but an actual honest to goodness "we should go and do this and then do this" plan that doesn't involve turning Saudi Arabia from a second world into a first world country?

Platitudes are dead simple, but making these things happen is complicated, slow and tedious. I've seen lots of Forthright And Strong stances of ideology on the right -- we should Hate Terror and Spread Democracy and Promote Freedom and all the rest of it -- but these all come down to the same actions: do something with this big ol' army of ours.

Well, assuming your army is tied up in Iraq for the next 18 months at least, and that we need to act now to reform Saudi Arabia, what the hell do you suggest?

Also, please pretend that I didn't screw up those tags. The first paragraph is Charles' quote, everything else is me.

Re- Pig fat burials.

How could you be so retarded to post such an idea AFTER the London bombings ?

So would the pig fat burial for the muslims have come before or after the bombmaker turned out to be a biochemist on holiday ?

Before or after the dead muslims turned out to be such unlikely suspects that police are now questioning whether or not they knew they were going to die ?

Before or after the official story changed from finding C4 residue which the suspects couldn't have made to homemade explosives which they could ?

Perhaps thats too narrow an example so let's see how well it works in the most common theatre for suicide bombings. Iraq.

You think in the 97% Islamic nation of Iraq theyre doing DNA matches on every 50+ bombing to differentiate between the 1 dead Muslim terrorist and the dozens of dead Muslim citizens ? Use your fucking heads.

I was just thinking today, the Middle East really isn't pissed off enough right now, some cunt really needs to do something utterly abhorrent to them AFTER they die as a result of a foreign policy they didn't ask for.

Like maybe we could put an end to the violence in the US over the pro-lif/choice debate once and for all if we started performing Voodoo curses on aborted fetuses. Yeah that sounds like a winner.

As for taking tips from Israel on the war on terror, well when do we start shooting unarmed civilians and reporters for fun ?

Because I will champion the honour of a suicide bomber any day over a uniformed soldier sniping a schoolkid on the street through the head like its a fucking sport.

You don't need a radical idea as much as you need uncensored media. Seriously, you want to take anti-terrorism tips from the country who's Prime Ministers have a history of running false-flag terrorist attacks against the UK and US and fingering Arabs?

A country who actually funds terrorist groups to attack its own citizens?

Setting up Gulags in the 60s to fight Communism would have been just as bright as this.

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