Monday, January 29, 2007

Doing Nuance Again

We've all know President Bush's (in)famous quip that he "doesn't do nuance," and I think most of us have formed an opinion on that school of foreign policy (or about 70-72% of us have; I'm not sure what the other 28-30% are waiting for but I can think of at least one play by the esteemable Mr. Beckett that might help answer that).

But what happens when we view the fine mess the President has gotten us all into through the lens of nuance? Well, it might look something like what our Speaker of the House told President Karzai while she and a bi-partisan delegation visited Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan (you remember those last two countries, right?):

    Pelosi told Karzai that Afghanistan has bipartisan support in Congress, the Afghan official said. Members of the delegation also told Karzai they hope to see more coordination and cooperation between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

But the Democrats are striking a somewhat different tone with President Musharraf:
    The new Democratic-controlled US House of Representatives has passed a bill which requires America’s President to certify that “the government of Pakistan is making all possible efforts to prevent the Taliban from operating in areas under its sovereign control”. Failure to do so will stop all US aid, including military assistance. The House wants the restriction to take effect from the 2008-09 financial year.

Of course the Bushies are blustering that they shouldn't have to certify that Pakistan is pulling its weight (he's the decider), but with the Taliban cropping up in Pakistan, it seems like a pretty commonsensical idea that we hold Pakistan to some benchmarks for all the aid we're giving them. Which tells you about all you need to know about why the adminstration doesn't want to. Here's to nuance and commonsense having a long lasting cohabitation in the House of Representatives.