March 19, 2004

The Current Economist Cover

Depressing, isn't it?

Still, don't count out any of the three remaining Aces just yet.

And read the Economist's comment:

"Would new governments, led by John Kerry, Mark Latham (in Australia) and Michael Howard (in Britain), do better? It is premature, in all three countries, to judge. No doubt, all would find the reality of government tougher than the theory of opposition. What is clear, though, is that the challenge is the same whether these countries elect new leaders or stick with the old ones: it is to combine the immediate task of detecting and punishing terrorism with the broader, longer-term tasks of blocking weapons proliferation and persuading the Muslim world to modernise. That will require a greater effort to capture al-Qaeda's fugitive leaders in Afghanistan and Pakistan, involving even more pressure on Pakistan's government to catch those terrorists and at the same time to prevent its own nuclear secrets from being sold to them or to other countries. It will require some new version of the tentative “Greater Middle East Initiative” for democratic reform just floated and then withdrawn by the Bush administration. And it will require a big new push on Israel and Palestine.

It is fashionable to argue that all this will require greater co-operation, on a multilateral basis, than the Bush administration has managed to achieve during the past three years, and more emphasis on the “soft” power of persuasion and influence. That is true, but it will also require military toughness, redoubled intelligence efforts and intensified security. This is no time for weakness or appeasement. That is the ultimate lesson from Madrid." [Emphasis added]

Soundbite: Don't go wobbly.

NB: The King of Hearts still looks to be on board.

Posted by Gregory at March 19, 2004 03:32 PM
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