Saturday, January 9, 2010

HOT5 Daily 1/9/2010

1. "Idealism Is the New Realism" I strongly disagree with the main thesis and some of the main assumptions, but it makes a good case and is worth reading.

Representative Sample: US foreign policy can no longer afford to downplay or deemphasize American ideals as they provide the only practical route to global stability. The nation certainly has to deal with governments on a pragmatic basis, but needs to make clear that we believe that only by implementing universal human ideals can governments promote the well being of their own citizens and contribute to global advancement and stability.

2. "Progressives Right On Immigration" They can't be wrong about everything.

Representative Sample: And that leads to the economic argument that conservatives should prize but which they for some reason ignore and cede to progressives. Immigration is an economic plus. Surveying the economic and demographic performance of the world’s democracies, a pattern quickly emerges. Those with highly restrictive immigration policies — Japan, for example — are struggling to find ways to fund their basic government services

3. "This Week at War:  Yemen's al Qaeda Scam" The cynical view, something I'm often inclined toward.

Representative Sample: It seems that whenever the international community discovers another al Qaeda franchise, a financial reward to the host seems to follow. Pakistan has perfected how to profit from this perverse incentive. Yemen is now showing itself to be an able student of the same technique.

4. "Part of Barack Obama's New Strategy for Fighting Terrorism is Ordering Intelligence Agents to do What They Should Have Been Doing All Along" I often agree with posts at Wizbang, but I'm not sure this is a reasonable criticism of Obama. There are other explanations for failing to pass on key intelligence.

Representative Sample: now President Obama and his team have to rebuild the anti-terrorism intelligence network - the very network that kept us safe for seven years - because they dismantled it after President Bush left. President Obama can't say he wasn't warned. Dick Cheney tried to tell him a number of times to not mess with the system that was already in place. 

5. "Recidivism" Short but to the point.

Representative Sample: One Gitmo alumnus in five -- 20% for those of you who do not do math at home -- resumes militant "activity" upon his release.

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