It's very tempting to look at India and Pakistan as two unrully children who're itching to fight each other out of sheer immaturity, and who need the big daddy (somehow, inevitably, the US. Not Russia, not Germany or France - their big mouths seem to be too busy talking shit about US on behalf of poor little Saddam) to step in and sort things out.
We look at the symptoms: border clashes, nuclear posturing, and we want to say "stop it you two."
What gets neglected is one little fact:
India is not a muslim country, but has a part of itself that is populated by muslims. Pakistan sees this as a big insult to allah (plus, more land is always better) and they want to take that land from India. To that end they fund and encourage terrorism in all parts of India.
This is the kernel of the conflict. Until it's resolved, there will be no peace. It's important to discover who's wrong and who's right. Should India surrender the land to Pakistan? In my opinion, this is as ridiculous as the US surrendering Little Italy to the Vatican or Canada giving Quibec to France.
On the other hand, will Pakistan and its people ever stop making trouble for India because of this? Not very likely.
So what's the solution? Blame everyone equally for an unpleasant situation? Or blame the culprit and get blamed for being on a worldwide anti-Islam kick?
Glenn makes a very valuable contribution with his point. He is looking at the shades of gray, the shades of gray that most of us here tend to overlook in our zealous attempts to argue our overall point of view.
To illustrate without going into a prolonged point-by-point dissection of the arguments, consider this statement:
"The United States is willing to go to war, including a costly and bloody urban conflict in Baghdad, for [whatever selfish reason]."
That sentence is undeniably true. It paints a very negative picture of the US and provides no cause to question the selfishness of its motives.
Now add this sentence:
"The US will resort to urban combat in Baghdad because airstrikes would cause too much harm to the civilian population."
This sentence is also true, just like the first one. When taken together, they prompt one to pause and wonder whether it makes sense for a nation to pursue a totally selfish goal (as stated by sentence #1) via unselfish (as per sentence #2) methods.
The answer is no - these two sentences do not reconcile easily toward the "US = selfish" conclusion. Without the second sentence, however, you are very likely to come to percisely that conclusion.
What Glenn did is remind us of all the things that the US could have done, and does not do. In this thread, most folks knee-jerked by saying "Just because we don't do evil actions B and C, does not mean action A is not evil." That was not Glenn's method.
If your argument is that the US is doing its thing in Iraq for selfish/imperialist/evil reasons, how do you explain things like our aversion to slaughtering civilians? It would be easier and cheaper. In the same spirit, how do you explain away the entirety pf Glenn's points without giving a not to the fact that you cannot use some of your choice adjectives in good faith once you take in the bigger picture?