Sunday, December 20, 2009

NY Times Opinion Reversal on a Cold Sunday

I am reading online the NY Times, and find it interesting that my usual reactions are reversed.  I tend to like Frank Rich and find Maureen Dowd be almost as problematic as Dan Drezner avers.

  • Frank Rich goes way over the top, comparing Tiger to Enron and then to Obama.  He argues, essentially, that this decade was one of hypocrisy, lies and blind faith in those doing the lying.  Seems to lack perspective.  I seem to remember lying and such in the 1990's and before.  
  • Maureen Dowd was apparently flying in Afghanistan with the SecDef and is actually quite interesting: 
"It seems hard to believe the C.I.A. can’t infiltrate terrorist networks, given all the Americans who keep popping up as wannabe jihadis."
 There may be something to this.  But then again, maybe not, as wannabe jihadis are not going to be getting access to anyone important, so fake ones are probably not going to, either.

But her phrasing of this question is pretty sharp:
I asked Bob Gates, as we flew over the notorious terrain, if he had any insights into why such a bellicose team as W., Cheney and Rummy flinched at the very moment they could have captured our mortal enemy.
And her conclusion is pretty challenging:
Eight years after Tora Bora, the failure there poses the question at the heart, or Achilles’ heel, of President Obama’s strategy: What if victory over Al Qaeda and other terrorists lies in Pakistan, not Afghanistan?
I have often been asked this question--why Afghanistan and not Pakistan?  Because one is possible and other is not so much.  We can send small teams into Pakistan and hope they do not get caught.  We cannot send battalions or more without risking war and the destabilization of Pakistan.

No comments: