Saturday, March 28, 2009

Solid political ground

Crime and politics
Dan Gardner, Ottawa Citizen: The essential thing to bear in mind when examining the Harper government's policies on crime is that they are not about crime. They are about politics... 

So we should be suspicious about the government's announcement that it will eliminate so-called sentencing discounts for time served awaiting trial. Is it broadly popular? Absolutely. Will it please the Conservatives' disgruntled base? Certainly. Will it make streets safer or the justice system more just. Not in the slightest. It's just another small, cheap, crowd-pleaser tossed out to score political points.

Paul Woodward, War in Context: By basing a war strategy on the objective of disrupting, dismantling and defeating al Qaeda, Obama is resting on solid political ground. 

The question that everyone resolutely refuses to address is this: where's the evidence that al Qaeda's capacity to operate is bound together with its ability to maintain some sort of infrastructure in north western Pakistan? Why should we not assume that if another 9/11 type attack is being planned that it may well emanate from a location far removed from al Qaeda's historical base?...

At the same time, what happens to Pakistan and Afghanistan will certainly be affected by the extent to which the West provides jihadists, insurgents and tribal fighters the foundation for coming together to combat a common enemy.
Image source here.