I have come to the conclusion that Marc was cheated by the Pakistani owner
of a convenience store in his neck of the woods!  :-)  Marc, while I agree
that Pakistan is not the country to model our society after and that there
are many distinct factions operating within the government, often at odds
with each other, do you believe that there are any other bad guys out there
(other than Bush, I mean :-).

If we limited out allies to only those who were just like us, we would have
very few allies indeed.  We partnered with Stalin in WWII because (being
VERY generous) we felt that to do otherwise would seriously hamper our war
efforts.  Having someone as a temporary ally does not mean that you condone
their behavior.  Rather it means that you are usually between a rock and a
hard place, and you may want to deny your adversary that country as his

I would hazard to guess that we both believe that you prioritize your
problems and work from the top down.  Perhaps it is the case that you have a
different prioritized list than do I.  However, I think that Afghanistan and
Iraq and North Korea are higher on the list than is Pakistan, which, by the
way, is pretty high up on my list.

And then, of course, you bring up a very interesting Libertarian argument
about free markets and opium (note I didn't say you put it forward).  I
honestly would be very interested in your elaborating on this topic.


Marc A. Schindler wrote:

I don't think it matters (to me, anyway) whether it was deliberate or not.
people in central and SW Afghanistan in particular have little choice, as
there is
no economic alternative for them. One could just as easily say this is the
market" at work without the help of the CIA. I *do* believe, however, that
the ISI
(Pakistan's counterpart) was behind it for reasons of their own.

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