Paul Greenberg

Remember how Congress threatened to cut off all aid to Egypt's bloated military -- billions a year -- unless the innocent Americans being held hostage in that country were allowed to leave? They'd come to teach Egyptians how to conduct free and fair elections. They were rewarded by having their passports expropriated and told they would be tried for espionage.

The threat to the Egyptian establishment's lifeline to American tax dollars did the trick. Our people were allowed to leave, and Egypt now has had its first free presidential election ever. There's a lesson to be drawn from that succession of events, and it isn't to let vicious little bullies off with just a show of protest.

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Why hasn't the president of the United States and commander-in-chief of its armed forces been heard from?

Why hasn't our ambassador in Karachi been called home for consultations, and Pakistan's ambassador here been sent packing till this, uh, slight misunderstanding has been cleared up -- and Dr. Afridi breathes free.

While we're at it, let's keep those drones flying. Just to send a message, to wit: No enemy of the United States of America is beyond the reach of American justice. And no friend is beyond the reach of our help -- immediate, forceful and unrelenting.

Dr. Afridi, we're not about to forget you, or let your captors forget about you. Help is on the way. And should be.

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Chen Guangcheng is now out of the clutches of Communist/fascist China's bullies, and is settling in at New York University. There are a lot of good Pakistani doctors in this country, Western-trained and British-accented and mannered, who have proven a great asset to American medicine. Isn't there room for another? Especially one whose dedication to ridding the planet of at least one dangerous scourge has already been demonstrated in his native land.

Surely there's an understaffed and overburdened public health agency in this country that could use another well-trained physician who's shown he knows how to conduct an immunization program with the best of results. Like justice. What is this one doing locked up in Pakistan? Until he's out, all that generous American aid should be, too.

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How to say this as diplomatically as possible? Let's just say it should be made unmistakably clear to the high contracting parties in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan that we the people of the United States have had enough of this crap.


Paul Greenberg

Pulitzer Prize-winning Paul Greenberg, one of the most respected and honored commentators in America, is the editorial page editor of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.


 


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