Why Are We Cutting Pakistan Another Check?
Um, why is Washington cutting Pakistan another check after it was revealed that only $500 million out of previous $6.6 billion package actually went toward fighting Taliban and other terrorists? Obama appears determined to continue the Bush administration’s failed policies of the past, even as the AP reports that the aid we are sending Pakistan is being misused for other things unrelated to protecting U.S. forces in the region (like fighting India). It goes unstated that several Pakistani politicians are probably lining their pockets with America’s largesse. Even if there are strings attached, cutting Pakistan a blank check is just bad policy.
Yet that’s only the tip of the Pakistani iceberg. Predator/Reaper drone strikes are up, a short-term tactic that risks losing the ever-important war for locals’ hearts and minds.
Pakistan continues to be the primary obstacle in the region to greater peace. I remember a few years back, covering a lecture by President Pervez Musharraf who was on his “book tour” of the United States. He was feted by the press, made a Daily Show appearance, and was the talk of the town in New York. Yet he had just made a deal with the devil—he had basically cut a deal with Taliban elders in the northwest regions not to intervene if they brought some semblance of stability. Only recently he has admitted he was wrong to make such a deal but where was the pushback from U.S. officials then, when all this was going on and we were blindly backing Musharraf? I ask because we risk making the same mistakes again, with nothing to show for our billions of aid.
Meanwhile the U.S. company that will be showered with money to provide our diplomats there with security, DynCorp, cannot even keep its own employees in Afghanistan from overdosing on drugs. They are supposed to be there to train Afghan forces, not toke up every night. The company, according to the New York Times, “is being used by Washington to develop a parallel network of security and intelligence personnel within Pakistan.” There is a review underway by the Pakistani government. Between the predator strikes, the blank checks, and Dyncorp, the Obama administration’s Pakistan policy stinks to high-heaven.
The Russian-built FEDOR was launched on a mission to help ISS astronauts.
Most people think human extinction would be bad. These people aren't philosophers.
- A new opinion piece in The New York Times argues that humanity is so horrible to other forms of life that our extinction wouldn't be all that bad, morally speaking.
- The author, Dr. Todd May, is a philosopher who is known for advising the writers of The Good Place.
- The idea of human extinction is a big one, with lots of disagreement on its moral value.
Picking up where we left off a year ago, a conversation about the homeostatic imperative as it plays out in everything from bacteria to pharmaceutical companies—and how the marvelous apparatus of the human mind also gets us into all kinds of trouble.
- "Prior to nervous systems: no mind, no consciousness, no intention in the full sense of the term. After nervous systems, gradually we ascend to this possibility of having to this possibility of having minds, having consciousness, and having reasoning that allows us to arrive at some of these very interesting decisions."
- "We are fragile culturally and socially…but life is fragile to begin with. All that it takes is a little bit of bad luck in the management of those supports, and you're cooked…you can actually be cooked—with global warming!"