It’s impossible to discuss anything reasonably without accepting a few facts or axioms which no reasonable person would deny. You can’t conduct a seminar about differential equations if some idiot at the end of the table keeps shouting "2+2=3."
But of course it’s possible that extra-terrestrial overlords have hypnotized every human being into believing that "2+2=4" in a universe where every combination increases or diminishes the sum of its parts, and it’s also possible on the same order of unlikelihood that CO2 doesn’t really cause global warming, on a fantasy planet where extra-terrestrial overlords (again!) faked the Holocaust and hid Saddam’s weapons of mass destruction on Neptune.
And it’s also possible that endless war in Afghanistan is a very good idea.
You might think that after ten years of abysmal failure, no reasonable person would prescribe American armies as a cure for what’s wrong with Afghanistan. It’s now the most miserable country in the world, after ten long years of American occupation!
But as soon as we postulate another gang of fantasy overlords in the form of Usama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and Khalid Sheik Mohamed, we immediately return to that alternative reality where 2+2=3, global warming is a myth, and a couple of tents in the God-forsaken wasteland of Afghanistan mysteriously threaten not only the United States but also every other civilized nation!
Never mind that Spanish terrorists somehow coordinated multiple massive attacks in Madrid without so much as the shadow of a connection to Afghanistan or anything like "al Qaeda" outside Spain.
Never mind that Timothy McVeigh blew up Oklahoma City with crap you can buy at Wal-Mart!
It’s all about a couple of tents in the wilderness, and the super-human overlords who formerly inhabited them!
So our new "Terror President" bombs bombs bombs some of the most desolate wastelands in the world in North and South Waziristan, and it makes even less sense than bombing Antarctica on the chance that Usama bin Laden is hiding in an igloo at the South Pole, because if we were bombing Antarctica, we wouldn’t be destabilizing nuclear Pakistan.
A wave of bombings has swept Pakistan since October, devastating Peshawar but also reaching far beyond the troubled northwest. Attacks on places believed to be safe, such as the military headquarters in Rawalpindi and a popular market in the eastern city of Lahore, have struck fear into the population.
Last week, Pakistan’s foreign minister warned in a statement that the U.S. troop buildup could magnify the problems by bringing an "influx of militants and refugees from Afghanistan into Pakistan." The U.S. invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 led thousands of Taliban and al-Qaeda members to flee the fighting and seek refuge in Pakistan.
For the United States, the worst-case scenario in Pakistan is nuclear weapons "diverted" to Islamic militants, and in an increasingly fractured Pakistan this possibility has attained sufficient urgency so that Obama and his bumbling Secretary of Defense have been trying to negotiate a deal that would allow "specially trained American units to provide added security for the Pakistani (nuclear) arsenal in case of a crisis."
But Pakistan is strangely reluctant to allow "specially trained American units" ongoing and instant access to their nuclear weapons.
A senior Pakistani official who has close ties to Zardari exploded with anger during an interview when the subject turned to the American demands for more information about the arsenal.
Today, he said, “you’d like control of our day-to-day deployment. But why should we give it to you? Even if there was a military coup d’état in Pakistan, no one is going to give up total control of our nuclear weapons. Never.