Friday, April 16, 2021
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Why a Nice Boy From Pakistan Bombs Times Square

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You won't get the perception of America held in Pakistan sitting here. Change places with a native. Not far outside Islamabad, federal authority fades into tribal hegemony. Promise after promise of American friendship and assistance has faded into comfort for the elite, not progress for democracy or the economy.

In one moment, my respect and understanding for the Pakistani leadership was completely altered. This was before the coup by General Pervez Mushariff. This was before Pakistan went nuclear. This was the kinder, gentler Pakistan; but the Pakistan whose patience was worn threadbare. And the group I was with had been sent on a fool's errand. At the end of that day, I knew that those Pakistani flag grade officers went home each and every day with a chip on their shoulders. It was a chip that rationalized corruption and hedged relationships. It was a chip that not one person in the embassy that I encountered explained. A piece of it was probably carried into Times Square on the shoulder of Faisal Shahzad.  

Terrorists Can Buy Guns Say Republicans

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Anyone on the FBI terrorist watch list can be prevented from getting on an airplane, but he definitely can buy a gun, even an AK-47 assault weapon, without restraint say Congressional Republicans, according to a column by Gail Collins in today's New York Times, where she says "There seems to be a strong sentiment in Congress that the only constitutional right suspected terrorists have is the right to bear arms." She quotes  Senator Lindsey Graham (SC, R), who spoke in opposition to a bill offered by Senator Frank Lutenberg (NJ, D) which would allow the government to stop gun sales to people on the watch list, just as it can already do to people with felony convictions.