"little Pacific nation is willing to do what Germany, Australia, Canada, and about 100 others wouldn’t," said Carol Huang in The Christian Science Monitor. Palau, a remote collection of islands famous for its tropical climate and diving, has agreed to resettle 17 Uighur Muslims who were captured in Afghanistan but China wants to bring home. What made Palau do it? For starters, $200 million in U.S. development aid—no chump change for a nation of 20,000 people.
"One can’t blame Palau for taking the deal," said Ed Morrissey in Hot Air. What country wouldn't be willing to take in 17 men—even if they are al Qaida–trained terrorists who "might not be quite as cuddly as Obama promises"—to instantly double the size of its economy? Here in the U.S., we should be embarrassed that our government had to ask such a favor. "As for the other Gitmo detainees, the bidding starts at $12 million per terrorist now."
This certainly has the whiff of desperation, said Andy Worthington in The Huffington Post. But Palau, a former U.S. trust territory, is "actually a rather canny option" for an Obama administration trying to clean up the Guantánamo problem. It can resist pressure from Beijing because it has relations with Taiwan and not mainland China. If you find bribing a tiny nation distasteful, remember that this move is just a pragmatist's attempt to clean up part of "Bush and Cheney's despicable legacy."
- How to make people like you: 6 science-based conversation hacks
- Watch The Daily Show mock Fox News' 'white Santa' claim
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- How the budget deal could pave the way for immigration reform
- How John Boehner learned to stop worrying and hate the Tea Party
- 10 things you need to know today: December 13, 2013
- The Black Death is back
- The lingering mystery of the 1964 World's Fair
- What one thing can determine whether or not you're successful in life?
- How Arrow became the best superhero show on television
Subscribe to the Week