Sunday, September 10, 2006

Pakistan and The Shape of a Mother

One of the advantages of the blogosphere is the lightning-fast reaction time it has. So typically for me, I'm now following up on two blog posts from one and two months ago.

1. Kevin Drum reprints another blogger saying, "Our Pakistan policy gets scant coverage, but shouldn't an unstable nuclear-armed nation awash with Islamic radicals be the real "central front" of the war on terror — and not Iraq?" He follows it up with asking, "does anyone actually have any proposals for a different and more productive way of dealing with Pakistan?"

Okay. My answer is Ireland plus spies. Economic development put the final nails in the coffin for Irish terrorism, and development is helping stabilize India. Pakistan will have to follow a similar path, and we'll have to do everything we can to help Pakistan develop economically.

I think the above is not a bad answer, except it'll take 20-50 years to get results. In the meantime, spies. We need to thoroughly penetrate Pakistan's military, intelligence, nuclear forces, and its Islamic radicals with people who will spy for us, so we can do what we can to control loose nukes if things go badly wrong. This poses an ethical problem of recruiting spies in a democratic (or semi-democratic) system. No easy answer to that - I think we should be ethically precluded from taking any direct actions that undermine a democracy, and we shouldn't recruit elected officials as spies. When the danger to us goes away, constraints on what we should do would be much stronger still, but in the meantime, we need an alternative.

Neither of these are foolproof answers, but they're better than nothing.

2. From global to personal, the other issue I meant to blog about was a reference in Bitch PhD to a blog, Shape of a Mother. The blog shares photos and stories by and of pregnant women and their bodies (may not be work-safe). I've always somewhat lamely justified my more-or-less acceptance of traditional beauty standards as just reflecting what's natural and healthy. I don't like the super-thin look, after all. On the other hand, there's nothing unnatural or unhealthy about these women's pregnant and post-partum bellies, but they're not quite working for me as beautiful. Guess I need to push my boundaries a little.

This one seems beautiful, but the photography and likely air-brushing are meant to appeal to traditional beauty standards, so best I can say is a half-step forward. Oh well.

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