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Is Terrorists For Nukes the 2001 version of Arms For Hostages?
September 23, 2001 12:57 AM   Subscribe

Is Terrorists For Nukes the 2001 version of Arms For Hostages? President Bush has lifted the sanctions on India and Pakistan imposed by the U.S. in 1998 to protest their "tit-for-tat" nuclear tests. In a memorandum just released by the White House, he states that keeping those sanctions in place "would not be in the national security interests of the United States". Is this an acceptable exchange? Just how far should the U.S. go in appeasing Pakistan, not to mention further fuelling its already explosive confrontation with India?
posted by MiguelCardoso (8 comments total)

 
It was difficult commenting on the substance of this article without first finding out more about the sanctions that were put into place. Looking at the sanctions imposed in 1998, I would think that they may have had to be lifted if we expect them to work with us. I'm curious about the status of the goals behind the sanctions, listed in the Bureau of Economic and Agricultural Affairs' Fact Sheet.
posted by bragadocchio at 3:29 AM on September 23, 2001


I wonder what else we'll have to trade for assistance: Will the Russians want our assistance in prosecuting their Chechen war? Will the Chinese require us to take a harder line on Taiwan or aid them in stopping the Falun Gong "terrorists"? Will the Arab states require us to pressure Israel into an immediate withdrawal from the West Bank? Who will we side with in the dispute over Kashmir? What other quid pro quos are we walking into?
posted by eptitude at 5:50 AM on September 23, 2001


When bin Laden heads into frontier China to hide, the Chinese will demand a trade: Osama for the Dalai Lama.
posted by dfowler at 6:48 AM on September 23, 2001


The question is actually why won't those in charge realize that exactly this buy-now-pay-later strategy created Saddam Hussein, bin Laden et al.?
posted by arf at 9:44 AM on September 23, 2001


eptitude, dfowler and arf:
Thanks a lot for putting further chills down my spine this Sunday...
I am against all immoral trade-offs, even for practical reasons, as they always backfire on you.
Pakistan is a military dictatorship where a large majority of its people - for reasons easily understood, but that makes everything even scarier - are resolutely anti-American.
India - everyone keeps so frustratingly from saying - is a democracy.
India has actually helped us all (U.S. all would be a good collective name for us allies!)long before the terrorist attacks. And is probably, right now, our most valuable source of intelligence!
Bragadocchio: you are right, of course. But don't you think there's an important symbolic meaning in waiving sanctions, no matter what the actual contents are? Also, thanks for the tip!
This is no minor matter. They are two gigantic countries.

And then, all of a sudden, it will be too late...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:51 AM on September 23, 2001


But don't you think there's an important symbolic meaning in waiving sanctions, no matter what the actual contents are?

Miguel, absolutely! My sense of the lifting of the sanctions is that the United States is reassessing their policies towards countries in the area. A trade - assistance for a lifting of sanctions - quite possibly.

Every official political interaction between countries in the region is going to be reviewed and analyzed everywhich way. I just don't like media statements that purposefully omit material facts and I think at least some of the contents of the sanctions should have been included.

I think that many Americans are sadly ignorant of affairs between countries on a global stage, and I'll confess that my knowledge is limited. But, for many in the USA, myself included, September 11th has changed that. The internet has also.
posted by bragadocchio at 1:46 PM on September 23, 2001


I just don't like media statements that purposefully omit material facts and I think at least some of the contents of the sanctions should have been included

This is so true, bragadocchio. But having been to the U.S. several times - albeit for never longer than a month at a time - I feel that we Europeans are much worse and more slapdash at assessing their actual political culture than the Americans are at judging ours.

Viewed from the outside, Americans seem somewhat self-enclosed and oblivious. But they're actually very curious and, from a world-community point of view(excluding rednecks)seem far better planetary citizens than we are.

But you're still right about the facts. Fact-avoidance is probably the most pernicious weapon against rational discussion.

Opinions are over-valued and over-stimulated precisely because they are so ineffective.

No disrespect to anyone - well, not a lot - but this is also visible here in MeFi.

But at least Americans want to know. Europeans think they know already. Who are the biggest dunderheads?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:05 PM on September 23, 2001


We lifted the sanctions on India and Pakistan for the same reason we lifted the sanctions on Israel for its nuclear weapons. We shouldn't put sanctions on our allies. Oh wait I forgot, we never had sanctions on Israel.
posted by euphorb at 5:47 PM on September 23, 2001


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