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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

To fence or defense, that is the question

I'm fixing a hole, where the rain gets in, and stops my mind from...oh, excuse me, I was lost in song there for a moment. You'll have to beg my pardon. You see, Cornhuskerblogger had this crazy dream just now: that Pakistan might build a fence along its border with Afghanistan to curb the flow of insurgents between the two nations.

But wait, this utter farce isn't a dream at all -- it's unhitched reality. Consider this from the English-language edition of Aljazeera.net:

Musharraf floated the proposal during a meeting in New York with US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Monday, which also touched on the issue of Iran and Pakistan's ongoing dialogue with rival India. "The president offered to Dr Rice that Pakistan is prepared to make a fence along certain areas which are more amenable to incursions," Pakistani Foreign Minister Khurshid Kasuri said after the meeting. Kasuri said the proposal was aimed at muting accusations that Pakistan has been sluggish in cracking down on fighters linked to Afghan's former Taliban regime.
It's long been remarked that the U.S. sets an example by its leadership. In this case, empty gestures beget emptier ones. It doesn't get much emptier than a fence along Pakistan's northern frontier, craggy geography not too far southwest from the Hindu Kush, cradle of some of the world's highest peaks.

A fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, considerably flatter terrain, has done nothing to staunch the flow of illegal immigrants from the south - but a fence between two nations near the roof of the world is a sop to U.S. leadership? When the administration in question is the crew that gave the nudge-nudge-wink-wink-say-no-more to Musharraf after he'd pardoned A.Q. Khan for his little WMD trade with Axis of Evil members and supplicants, apparently so.

If this is how our "strong partner" in the war on terrorism/violent extremism/cindy sheehan treats us, maybe we don't need enemies?

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