Ahem, Meanwhile….

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India asks why it can't bomb the hell out of Pakistan for repeated terrorist strikes against Indians. The U.S. response—because—isn't selling. U.S. calls for continued talks are losing what little meaning they had.

"If dialogue per se is more critical than combating international terrorism with all necessary means, then one can legitimately ask why both in Afghanistan and Iraq military action instead of dialogue has been resorted to," a spokesman for the Indian government said.

So it will be anywhere a claim of a terrorist threat can be made.

NEXT: Wondrous Makeover

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  1. I say we up the ante. India threatening Pakistan threatens our security. So let’s threaten India. Hell, let’s threaten Pakistan, too.

    The Bush Doctrine makes things so much simpler.

  2. >>So let’s threaten India. Hell, let’s threaten Pakistan, too.

  3. dhex,
    That is not what I am saying. I’m not even disagreeing with the idea that they should. (Though I’m not necessarily agreeing with it either.) My point is that the argument that it should just because the US is invading Iraq is absurdly simplistic.

    SMB,
    India will bomb pakistan or not depending on their own calculation of self interest. Pakistan and India have been fighting for as long as the modern state of Pakistan has existed. The US invading Iraq has nothing to do with whether India starts bombing Pakistan.

    Lefty,
    The world already knows that. It is not a message that needs to be sent.

  4. >>a veiled threat to all regimest that threaten the peace or support terrorism.

  5. If America can “take military action it thinks is necessary for its security”, then so can India. And if you think the threat of American force can maintain peace in South Asia, think again. This isn’t Grenada or Iraq or Laos. India is a vast industrialized country, with a huge modern armed forces, and an overwhelmingly patriotic population of 1 billion. America cannot enforce its will on New Delhi by the threat of force. I sincerely hope war does not break out in South Asia, but American equivocation and indifference is not helping. The message we’re getting in India is: “America isn’t listening”. Our reply: “We’re not listening to America.”

    There is a moral equivalence between Pakistan, which supports terrorism, and India, which, in defending herself, threatens the peace? Only America has the right to self-defense?

    America has lost credibility in India, which is unfortunate. When the September 11 attacks took place, after the initial shock, here’s what we thought: “They’ll finally understand what we’ve been going through.” Some were optimistic enough to hope India and America could form an alliance to fight Islamic terrorists. Instead, here’s what we got: The US administration made Musharraf its new best friend. Indians view as hypocritical a “War on Terror” that strengthens a terrorist nation ruled by a warmongering dictator. And I’m not talking about Iraq here.

    Just 2 days ago, 24 civilians were killed by terrorists in Kashmir. This is an almost daily event. If America, with its recent experience of terrorism, refuses to listen to India and continues to support Musharraf, I see no reason why India should listen to American advice.

    Slaves of power may find a “Pax Americana”, where the good is determined by the interests of America to be attractive. Men of principle should understand the vast moral difference between a secular liberal democracy, and a terror-exporting dictatorship.

  6. Go ahead India attack Pakistan if you have the balls. You know India is never going to attack Pakistan bacause Pakistan has “da bomb.”

    Regardless of what US says countries will always do what is their best interest. US attack on Iraq and India’s attack on Pakistan cannot be compared. US has the luxury to do it, India sadly doesn’t. The end result of the US attack on Iraq will be 1000 times better than the outcome of the India’s attck on Pakistan.

  7. Mr. Taylor and many of the posters seem, like so many other commentators on war and peace in the modern world, to have become so focused on the moral justifications for war, that they have forgotten an older and even more basic justification that any government, democracy or dictatorship must make before beginning war: they have to show that it’s worth it, that the likely benefits exceed the likely costs, however morally or amorally these are fefined. Given the obvious costs associated with nuclear war, and the likelihood that any Indian-Paskistani war would turn nuclear, no government not rub by maniacs, much less a democratic won like India could justify beginning a war whatever moral grievances they have and whatever precedents our government has supposedly set.

  8. Mr. Taylor and many of the posters seem, like so many other commentators on war and peace in the modern world, to have become so focused on the moral justifications for war, that they have forgotten an older and even more basic justification that any government, democracy or dictatorship must make before beginning war: they have to show that it’s worth it, that the likely benefits exceed the likely costs, however morally or amorally these are fefined. Given the obvious costs associated with nuclear war, and the likelihood that any Indian-Paskistani war would turn nuclear, no government not rub by maniacs, much less a democratic won like India could justify beginning a war whatever moral grievances they have and whatever precedents our government has supposedly set.

  9. Mr. Taylor and many of the posters seem, like so many other commentators on war and peace in the modern world, to have become so focused on the moral justifications for war, that they have forgotten an older and even more basic justification that any government, democracy or dictatorship must make before beginning war: they have to show that it’s worth it, that the likely benefits exceed the likely costs, however morally or amorally these are fefined. Given the obvious costs associated with nuclear war, and the likelihood that any Indian-Paskistani war would turn nuclear, no government not rub by maniacs, much less a democratic won like India could justify beginning a war whatever moral grievances they have and whatever precedents our government has supposedly set.

  10. Mr. Taylor and many of the posters seem, like so many other commentators on war and peace in the modern world, to have become so focused on the moral justifications for war, that they have forgotten an older and even more basic justification that any government, democracy or dictatorship must make before beginning war: they have to show that it’s worth it, that the likely benefits exceed the likely costs, however morally or amorally these are defined. Given the obvious costs associated with nuclear war, and the likelihood that any Indian-Paskistani war would turn nuclear, no government not rub by maniacs, much less a democratic won like India could justify beginning a war whatever moral grievances they have and whatever precedents our government has supposedly set.

  11. Connor,

    I wouldn’t get too used to the moral high horse quite yet. Patriotic, peace loving India (especially the current fundamentalist Hindu administration) has been up to its elbows in anti-Muslim violence for quite some time now. The relationship between the government and the terrorists seems to be pretty similar – arms length, mostly passive non-suppression of violent elements, and some more active support carried out covertly.

    A pox on both your houses. Next time your government throws a parade for the inventor of the Indian Bomb, I suggest you rent “Dr. Strangelove.”

  12. Mr. D’Souza,

    Every Indian I’ve ever met (here in the US) has been smart and friendly and honest…I love India and America and India are great friends.

    America is “allied” with Musharraf only because he is aiding in the hunt for al-Q’aeda. There is still some angst that he could be toppled from within for his public stance on terrorists. (You may suspect that his assistence is all a ruse just to keep from getting his ass whooped, but he’s making real progress in the search and capture of Bin Laden’s cruel crew.)

    Yet, if a war between India and Pakistan happens, and the US is forced eventually to take sides, I got two words for you: Falkland Islands.

    Two allies, Argentina and the UK, were at war and we tried to bargain a peaceful resolution for weeks (Sec. of State Haig got his frequent flyer miles travelling back and forth between Buenos Aires and London). But when conflict was inevitable and we had to choose sides we went with our long-standing and stable ally, Great Britain.

    So, don’t take US urging of diplomacy as a sign of fair-weather friendship, but just as a desire not to see nukes being blown up left and right all over the subcontinent.

    I don’t really have a handle on the history and theo-demographics of Kashmir, but I think I can safely say that if India ever suffers at the hands of crazed Islamists, most Americans I know will want to be there to help you beat the shite out of their sorry arses.

  13. Are we really making a “veiled threat to all regimes that support terrorism”? Seems we’re making a veiled threat to some regimes that support terrorism, while turning a blind idea to others. I don’t sense any war plans being drawn up for, say, Saudi Arabia, which has much stronger links to Al Qaeda than Iraq. Or Pakistan, North Korea, Syria, the PLO, etc. Our actions don’t live up to our words of “moral clarity.” No wonder we have lost any credibility in the world. It’s amazing that we could piss away all the enormous amount of international sympathy from 9/11 in less than two years.

  14. Jeff,

    So what are you saying? The US should not take military action it thinks is necessary for its security because 2nd world nations can make arguments which can be easily refuted?

    The trouble is that you won’t come out and say what you mean, because you know how weak an argument it is. But you would still like to post something snarky so you end up with a meaningless statement that can easily be backed away from.

  15. yeah, i think that’s one of the main flaws with america’s NSS; that it relies on american exceptionalism. for it to work the rest of the world has to sign on as well (or else). while to different people it may alternatively be either audacious, arrogant or simply ambitious, to me it’s idealistic–if only everyone else agreed with me–with a stick, and falls under all of the above. i’m not reflexively against it, but in situations like india/pakistan (and don’t forget china) where there’s a struggle for regional hegemony you start seeing the NSS fray at the edges of “reality,” where the tears aren’t amenable to being beat back with a stick. and then you’re back to a multilateral yarn to sew the holes back up; a stitch in time…

  16. He’s talking about the consequences of U.S. decisions, JDM. Out here in the real world, it is possible to discuss such things without taking a sweeping stand on abstract issues like “when the US should take military action.” The issue Jeff raised is interesting and worth noting, even if you have trouble fitting it into the talked-to-death topic you seem to prefer discussing.

  17. So JDM, you’re saying that Pakistan is NOT a terrorist threat to India? Those silly second-worlders, how can they be expected to know real terrorism when they see it?

  18. JJ,

    My point is that the Indians and other countries now have an easily refuted argument they can use as a rhetorical device, it’s not much of a consequence.

    I’m asking if Jeff thinks this is something important, since his post seems to imply that it is without coming out and saying it.

  19. terrorist deaths in india are easily refuted?
    terrorist deaths in america are not?

    no wonder this bullshit doesn’t fly outside of yokel county, u.s.a.

  20. Life is a paradox. Mutually Assured Destruction works.

  21. “Either India has a reasonable case for retalitating against Pakistan, or it doesn’t. If India should not retaliate, then they’ve made a stupid argument; as JDM said, how is that the US’ fault? And if India should retaliate, what is the problem?”

    Uhh cause we’re aiming for a world where regional and global wars don’t break out. And that world is less likely now that the U.S. has taken preemptive action against Iraq, which never did the U.S. any harm. India has a BETTER cause for war against Pakistan than we do against Iraq given that Pakistan actually has funded terrorists who have attacked India. But our efforts to stop war are surely a little suspect given that we were unwilling to negotiate with Saddam Hussein.

    You hawks are getting what you deserve – problem is that you’re not the ones bearing the cost for your shitty judgment. The rest of us are living in a more dangerous world.

  22. “Either India has a reasonable case for retalitating against Pakistan, or it doesn’t. If India should not retaliate, then they’ve made a stupid argument; as JDM said, how is that the US’ fault? And if India should retaliate, what is the problem?”

    Uhh cause we’re aiming for a world where regional and global wars don’t break out. And that world is less likely now that the U.S. has taken preemptive action against Iraq, which never did the U.S. any harm. India has a BETTER cause for war against Pakistan than we do against Iraq given that Pakistan actually has funded terrorists who have attacked India. But our efforts to stop war are surely a little suspect given that we were unwilling to negotiate with Saddam Hussein.

    You hawks are getting what you deserve – problem is that you’re not the only ones bearing the cost for your shitty judgment. The rest of us are living in a more dangerous world.

  23. Either India has a reasonable case for retalitating against Pakistan, or it doesn’t. If India should not retaliate, then they’ve made a stupid argument; as JDM said, how is that the US’ fault? And if India should retaliate, what is the problem?

  24. I think it is definitely something important. Whether JDM or any other American thinks India’s argument is “easily refuted,” to India any suggestion from the U.S. that they use diplomatic means instead of bombs is weak in light of our own agression.

    The U.S. cannot credibly urge diplomacy to any country anymore, and if diplomacy is cast aside and bombs start to drop all over the place, we could all be in trouble.

  25. I’d say the reason India can’t bomb the hell out of Pakistan is because Pakistan can nuclear bomb the hell out of them back.

    Pakistan has to follow the same strategy NATO did in the cold war. India’s conventional forces are so overwhelming, nuclear weapons are the only way they can win. So even if India only used conventional weapons to retaliate for terrorism, Pakistan would likely go nuclear, since they’re likely to lose any other way.

  26. Anonymous:
    You wrote, “and that world is less likely now that the U.S. has taken preemptive action against Iraq, which never did the U.S. any harm.”

    Au contraire. Point your search engine to the USS Stark. Note, the Iraqi pilot fired the French Exocet missle from the French Mirage fighter. Yes, France. It’s a global conspriacy. Yeah, so maybe we had been “allies” at the time – nevertheless this was clearly the provocation the US needed to turn on Hussein and the French.

    (tounge in cheek for the irony deficient)

  27. Which is exactly the message we have sent to the world: nuke up or knuckle under.

  28. Dammit. Lefty’s right, and beat me to it.

  29. Lefty – how would you have us change that message? Should we disarm? Wipe all knowledge of WMD from the annals of history? Nuclear weapons exist, and they make nations powerful (from a bargaining standpoint). How does that make it “America’s message”? Why not the German’s message since we developed our atomic program as a response to theirs? Why not a Russian message since they participated in the escalation of our program?

    Getting back to the original question, we can recommend diplomacy for two reasons. First, we tried diplomacy with Iraq and it did not work. Second, India would lose. China would become involved, and India would be crushed. That is why we tell them that in their case talking is better than fighting. Their situation and ours are not the same simply because parallels can be drawn between the two situations. THAT is America’s message.

  30. ALL THIS SOUND AND THIS FURY, SIGNIFYING . . .
    (nada)

    Why should any of this even matter? Left is right. (I mean, laconic Lefty is correct.) Go see “The Core” tonight, and you’ll realize that none of this makes one damn bit of difference anymore.

    (In case you’re laughing at the sci-fi of it — well, it ain’t. Scientists are dumbstruck at the uncanny coincidence of the Hollywood version of REALITY, even as we speak — er, write.)

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