Monday, November 26, 2012

Pashto Sharabi yam sharabi ,Sharabi Janana

President Zardari seeks report on violent incidents during Muharram

Radio Pakistan
President Asif Ali Zardari has asked the Interior Minister Rehman Malik to submit a comprehensive report on the sporadic incidents of violence in D.I. Khan and Rawalpindi during the 10 days of Muharram. The president said these incidents seemed to mar the arrangements made for ensuring sectarian peace and harmony during Ashura. Presidential spokesperson Senator Farhatullah Babar said the President also commended the efforts made by the government for peace during Ashura. Howsoever such unfortunate and condemnable sporadic incidents of violence cannot detract the overall atmosphere of peace that was witnessed during Ashura. For this the Ministry of Interior and Minister Rahman Malik‚ the law enforcing agencies‚ the provincial governments and all those who worked hard to ensure peace deserve to be complimented. He also commended the common citizens‚ volunteers and religious ulema for the part played by them in maintaining peace and ensuring the safety of the people who were in the state of mourning during the Ashura. The President particularly appreciated the successes made in timely detection of gory plots of sectarian and militant violence in different parts of the country that helped prevent potentially huge human and material losses during Ashura mourning and said that they deserved special commendation. The President also expressed sympathies with the bereaved families and said the blood of innocent people shed while performing religious obligations would never go in vain. He urged the people from all walks of life not to be provoked and to maintain unity in confronting the common enemy‚ whether militants or religious zealots‚ who stirred sectarian violence and never felt any qualms in killing innocent people in the name of religion while not sparing even women and the children.

Afghan’s Shiite minority fears a return to old ostracism

For the past week, the Afghan capital has been draped with black cloth arches and festooned with huge colored banners. Mournful, pounding chants pour from loudspeakers across the city, filling the air with slow martial intensity. The dramatic display is all part of Muharram and the 10-day Shiite festival that commemorates the slaying of Imam Hussein, a 7th-century holy figure and early champion of Islam. But it is also a symbol of the growing religious and political freedom that Afghanistan’s long-ostracized Shiites have had in the past decade. Now, as Western military forces prepare to leave the country by 2014, Afghan Shiites, most of whom are from the Hazara ethnic minority, fear that their window of opportunity may slam shut again, leaving larger rival ethnic groups as well as Taliban insurgents, who are radical Sunni Muslims, dominating power. “Everything we have achieved, our ability to come out and participate in society, has been in the shade of the international community and forces,” said Mohammed Alizada, a Hazara Shiite who was elected to parliament in 2009. “We are very concerned that once they leave, the fundamentalists will reemerge, ethnic issues will return, and we will lose what we have gained.” There are more immediate fears, as well. Sectarian violence, historically absent from Afghan society, has been intensifying in next-door Pakistan and spilling across the border. During last year’s Muharram festival, two Shiite shrines in Kabul and the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif were bombed, killing more than 80 people. Shiite leaders say the Kabul attack was carried out by Lashkar-i-Jhangvi, an outlawed Sunni militant group based in Pakistan. Tensions increased palpably in Kabul on Saturday, the climactic 10th day of Muharram known as Ashura, when groups of young men beat their chests and whip themselves with chains and knives in penance for the death of Hussein, a grandson of the prophet Muhammad. No terrorist attacks were reported, and Afghan officials attended Muharram ceremonies under heavy security. But at Kabul University, clashes erupted between groups of students after an Ashura ceremony in a dormitory. Police said people were pelted with stones and thrown out of windows. They reported that dozens were wounded and at least 30 arrested. ‘Now we have full freedom’ Afghan Sunnis, who make up about 80 percent of the populace, generally tolerate Shiites and observe Muharram in a quieter way, praying and giving charity to the poor. At other times of year, Afghans of all backgrounds flock to majestic Shiite shrines to meditate, feed pigeons or celebrate the Persian new year in the spring. “We are all Muslims, and Hussein died in the struggle to bring our religion to the world,” said Hajji Nawroz, 75, a contented soul who ladles out free soup at his stand outside a blue-tiled shrine. “During Taliban time, we could not celebrate or talk about these things, but now we have full freedom,” he said. “Our boys are coming out more now to beat themselves.” In West Kabul, the heart of the Hazara community, a heady, almost frenzied atmosphere has been growing all week. Every bus, taxi and motorbike sports banners flapping from bamboo poles, and every corner has a charity stand, known as an imambargah, where volunteers give away glasses of hot milk and loudspeakers blast recorded dirges, with a slow and ominous cadence, late into the night. But this year, the arches and banners and chants have reached farther than ever across the city, arousing new resentment from the Sunni populace. There has been sharp public criticism of the flagellation rite, Sunni clerics have denounced the elaborate festivities as offensive to Islam, and President Hamid Karzai has asked the Shiite community to celebrate calmly and avoid antagonizing others. The hostility also stems from another concern: the widespread belief that Iran, Afghanistan’s Shiite neighbor to the west, is promoting Shiism and bolstering Hazara leadership as a way to gain cultural and political influence. Several years ago, Iran funded the construction of a large religious university here, and Karzai was heavily criticized for reportedly accepting large cash donations from Tehran. Hazaras, an Asiatic minority from the mountainous north, have long been Afghanistan’s poorest ethnic group, relegated to menial labor and often ridiculed. During the civil war of the early 1990s, many fled to Iran, while their militia leaders in Kabul fought Pashtun and Tajik rivals with cruel ferocity. More fled during the repressive reign of the Taliban that followed. Yet many Hazaras who returned from Iran after the Taliban regime was overthrown in 2001 say they were exploited and ostracized there and want nothing to do with any Iranian designs on Afghanistan. They said Iranian Persians tended to look down on them, much as Afghan ethnic Pash­tuns and Tajiks have traditionally done here. ‘They hate us’ “They hate us,” said Roya Sultani, a teacher who helped organize a Muharram prayer service for Shiite girls on Thursday. She said she spent years in Iran, and that people there often insulted Afghan exiles because of their Hazara origins. “They call themselves Muslims, but they are cruel and only thinking of their own interests.” During the past 10 years, Afghan Hazaras have gained a small but significant toehold on power, winning seats in parliament and beginning to outgrow their longtime dependence on a few ethnic strongmen. Younger Hazaras, especially girls, who are freer to mingle in public than those from other ethnic groups, have taken advantage of new educational and job opportunities in post-Taliban democracy. But Sultani, like others, said she was also worried about what would become of her community after Western forces withdraw. The specter of renewed ethnic violence haunts the community, and Hazaras, still vulnerable despite the show of religious bravado that has consumed the capital this week, fear they would bear the brunt of it. “Today we can celebrate freely, and we feel secure,” Sultani said during the prayer service. A dozen girls in black robes crowded in to listen, while others chanted mournful poems or cleaned wheat to make bread for the poor. “If NATO leaves Afghanistan, we don’t know what will happen. Once we were afraid of the Taliban. Now we are afraid for the future.”

Afghanistan: No Amnesty For Taliban Crimes, Says HRW
The Afghan government should not grant Taliban representatives amnesty from prosecution for serious crimes as part of talks with the insurgent group, Human Rights Watch said Sunday. On November 17, 2012, the chairman of Afghanistan’s High Peace Council, Salahuddin Rabbani, told journalists that Taliban officials who join peace negotiations with the Afghan government will receive immunity from prosecution and will have their names removed from the United Nations sanctions. “Future government talks with the Taliban should not hinge upon denying justice to victims of war crimes and other abuses,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “Afghanistan’s civilians should not be forced to choose between justice and peace.” Last week, the Pakistani government released nine imprisoned Taliban officials after the High Peace Council requested their release during a visit to Pakistan. More of the estimated 50 Taliban members in prison in Pakistan are expected to be released at the council’s request in the future. Rabbani has described those released as including, “Afghan citizens who expressed their willingness to work for peace.” Providing immunity from prosecution for genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other serious human rights abuses violates international law. International treaties, including the 1949 Geneva Conventions, which Afghanistan has ratified, and customary international humanitarian law, require parties to a conflict to ensure alleged perpetrators of serious crimes are prosecuted. Those responsible for war crimes and other serious abuses on both sides should be investigated and prosecuted. Afghanistan has a troubling history of providing amnesty for war crimes. In 2007 a coalition of powerful warlords and their supporters in the parliament were able to pass the National Stability and Reconciliation Law. This law seeks to prevent the prosecution of individuals responsible for large-scale human rights abuses in the preceding decades. The law states that all those who were engaged in armed conflict before the formation of the Interim Administration in Afghanistan in December 2001 shall “enjoy all their legal rights and shall not be prosecuted.” It provides that those engaged in current hostilities will be granted immunity if they agree to reconciliation with the government, effectively providing amnesty for future crimes. President Hamid Karzai, who had previously promised not to sign the National Stability and Reconciliation Law, quietly permitted it to be published in the government’s official gazette and to enter into force in early 2010. Human Rights Watch at that time urged the repeal of the law, calling it “an invitation for future human rights abuses” and expressing concern that its extension to those currently engaged in hostilities “allows insurgent commanders to get away with mass murder.” The official adoption of the law passed largely unremarked by the international community, leading to concerns that Afghanistan’s international partners were prepared to tolerate impunity for war crimes. “The High Peace Council’s call for immunity shows the dire predictions about the amnesty law coming true,” Adams said. “Amnesty for war crimes does not need to be, and should not be, a precondition for talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban.” The UN, Human Rights Watch, and others have collected considerable information implicating Taliban members in war crimes, including attacks targeting civilians, indiscriminate attacks by suicide bombers and pressure-plate mines, summary executions, and use of children in combat including as suicide bombers. Commanders who ordered unlawful attacks, or who knew or should have known about serious abuses by their forces but made no effort to stop them, are subject to prosecution for war crimes. The Taliban has a code of conduct for its fighters, which in some ways reflects international law on armed conflict. It includes provisions for protection of civilians, stating that all Taliban members “with all their power must be careful with regard to the lives of the common people,” and that those who fail to do so shall be punished. It also prohibits use of children as fighters. Taliban spokesmen frequently deny claims that its members commit violations of international law. For example, the Taliban in October stated that “our Mujahedeen never place live landmines in any part of the country but each mine is controlled by a remote and detonated on military targets only.” On November 6 the Taliban issued a statement saying that it “assures the nation that it will never forgive the civilian slayers whosoever they may be.” “Why is the High Peace Council rushing to offer amnesty to Taliban officials when even the Taliban’s own code of conduct and statements acknowledge that targeting civilians is illegal?” Adams said. “The High Peace Council cannot ignore the demands of justice.”

Bahrain police tear gas Shiite protesters

Bahraini police fired tear gas at Shiite protesters on Tuesday, as they tried to reach the site of month-long anti-regime demonstrations that were brutally suppressed by the government last year. Witnesses said hundreds of demonstrators tried to march from the village of Deih, one kilometre (0.6 miles) away, to the former Pearl Square, now razed and turned into a junction, before being confronted by police. Police also fired stun grenades at the crowds, who gathered to pray before beginning their demonstration, according to witnesses. The interior ministry said on its Twitter page that police confronted a "group of vandals" on the Budaiya artery, after they "blocked the road, hurled petrol bombs, and terrified passers-by". Demonstrations have shaken Bahrain since it crushed a Shiite-led uprising against the ruling Sunni regime in March last year. The kingdom came under strong criticism from international rights groups over the deadly crackdown. Bahrain, home to the US Fifth Fleet and strategically situated across the Gulf from Shiite Iran, has continued to see sporadic demonstrations, though mostly outside Manama. According to the International Federation for Human Rights, a total of 80 people have been killed in Bahrain since the violence began on February 14, 2011. The United States last week expressed concern about rising violence in Bahrain, one year after an inquiry report was issued on the violence, saying the country needed to put more of its recommendations into effect.

Malala sixth on 'global thinkers' list
Pakistan's teenaged rights activist
Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban for standing up against the terror outfit and pushing for education for girls, has been ranked sixth by Foreign Policy magazine in its top 100 global thinkers list. Aung San Suu Kyi, who continues her struggle for democracy in Myanmar, is ranked first on the list which also features former US president Bill Clinton and secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is ranked fifth, while US President Barack Obama is seventh. The list comprises people who have strived for excellence in their respective fields, Geo News reported. Apart from Malala, former Pakistani ambassador to the US Husain Haqqani, his wife Farahnaz Ispahani and blogger Sana Saleem, a well-known campaigner for women's rights in Pakistan, also feature on the list. The 15-year-old Malala has been encouraging fellow Pakistanis to stand up to the Taliban, who have been trying to push girls out of classrooms. She was shot at in October but has since recovered. Malala was going to school in a van in the Swat Valley in Pakistan's northwest when Taliban rebels stopped the vehicle and asked other girls to identify who Malala was. After shooting two other classmates girls, they fired at Malala, striking her in the head and neck. Malala was flown to Birmingham where she was treated at a hospital. The Indians in the list include Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar, who features way below at the 77th place. Describing Nitish Kumar, the magazine says: "Like Haiti, Somalia, and Mississippi, India's Bihar state has been called many unflattering names; it's often referred to as the country's 'bleakest state' and the 'jungle Raj' for its colonial levels of poverty and corruption." "Many viewed it as one of the most dysfunctional corners of a country world famous for government dysfunction. Much of that began to change, however, when a low-key bureaucrat from a local centre-left party, Nitish Kumar, won the 2005 election and set out to clean up a wasteland where 100 million people are squeezed into a territory smaller than Arkansas." Other people of Indian origin in the list include Raj Chetty, a Harvard University economist, noted author Salman Rushdie, novelist Pankaj Mishra, Canadian Ricken Patel of the civic organization Avaaz, and entrepreneur Vivek Wadhwa.

Russia criticizes France over supporting insurgents in Syria

Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has censured the French government for supporting the insurgents in Syria. “The question is how right it is to… decide to support another political force if that political force is in direct confrontation with the officially recognized government of another country,” Medvedev said prior to a visit to the French capital Paris on Monday. “And from the point of view of international law, it seems to me that is absolutely unacceptable.” France became the first European country to recognize Syria’s opposition coalition on November 13. Paris said it would look into the issue of arming the insurgents against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. “The desire to change a political regime in another state through recognition of some political force as the sole sovereign representative seems to me not entirely civilized,” the Russian premier stated. Medvedev also defended the Russian military cooperation with Syria and said, “All we have delivered are arms for defense against external aggression.” He underlined the fact that it is up to Syrian people to decide about the future of Syria, reiterating President Vladimir Putin’s statements that Russia will take a neutral stance on the situation in Syria. Many people, including large numbers of army and security personnel, have been killed in the turmoil that began in Syria in March 2011.

U.S. Warns Protests Could "Break Apart" Bahrain, Topple Regime
The Obama administration is quietly warning that Bahrain’s ongoing internal unrest could lead to the overthrow of the ruling Sunni monarchy. Protests have continued in Bahrain for nearly two years despite a U.S. backed-crackdown that has seen the use of military forces from neighboring Gulf regimes, the jailing and beating of opposition activists, and the recent ban of all public demonstrations. In a briefing to reporters last week, two State Department officials warned that Bahrain could "break apart" if the protests continue, an outcome they say would be beneficial to Iran while detrimental to the "enormous [U.S.] security interests" in Bahrain, which hosts the U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet. The officials gave the briefing on the condition they not be identified by name. The White House says it is calling on Bahrain to heed the calls of an independent commission that urged political reforms one year ago. At the United Nations, a spokesperson for the High Commissioner for Human Rights criticized Bahrain’s recent moves against the opposition, including revoking the citizenship of 31 political figures as well as sentencing medics who treated wounded protesters to three months behind bars. Rupert Colville: "The High Commissioner urges the government to reconsider this decision, which stands in clear violation of Article 15 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that, 'Everyone has the right to a nationality' and, 'No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his nationality.' The High Commissioner is also concerned by the sentencing of 23 medical professionals on the 21st of November, and reiterates her call on the authorities to release all individuals who have been detained or sentenced simply for exercising their right to demonstrate peacefully." The United Nations says it will send a fact-finding mission to assess human rights conditions in Bahrain early next month.

Afghanistan War: U.S. Troop Presence After 2014 May Total 10,000

The White House is considering a plan to leave around 10,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014, The Wall Street Journal reports. According to the report, Gen. John Allen, the commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, has proposed to keep between 6,000 and 15,000 U.S. troops in the country following the end of combat operations in 2014. The plan would significantly differ from the way the U.S. approached its withdrawal from Iraq -- where America's complete withdrawal has often been blamed for instability. The New York Times reports that Gen. Allen is expected to submit his plan to draw down the 66,000 American troops who are currently stationed in the country as one of his last acts as top commander in Afghanistan. The WSJ report explains that according to the new plan, Americans who remain in Afghanistan after 2014 would conduct training and counterterrorism programs with Afghan soldiers. Any presence by Americans in Afghanistan past 2014 would require the approval of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, though Karzai likely wants U.S. troops to fall under the jurisdiction of Afghan court. Similar demands led to the complete withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq. According to Foreign Policy, the 10,000 troops that would remain Afghanistan undre this plan would be far fewer than the "25,000 troops that Pentagon water-cooler wisdom dictated," and "one-third smaller than what some military experts suggest the post-transition mission needs." The issue of how to draw down from Afghanistan has already become a political issue, the NYT notes, as Democrats prefer a steady reduction, while Republicans believe fast reductions could lead to further instability. Gen. Allen is expected to submit several proposals on how the U.S. will approach post-2014 Afghanistan, though his future has recently come into question for his role in the email scandal involving Gen. David Petraeus.

Bilawal Bhutto to enter into politics before elections?

Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari is intent on launching his son Bilawal's formal political career before the general election early next year though he will not achieve the minimum age of 25 for contesting polls till September 2013. Zardari plans to launch the political career of Bilawal, the nominal head of the ruling PPP, by May next year when the general election would be held, the Dawn newspaper reported today, quoting its sources. However, Bilawal will be eligible to contest an election only when he turns 25 in September next year. The move has been influenced by the way in which the PPP's fortunes are closely linked to the family of the party's founder, late Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. A PPP member of the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament from Sindh claimed that just like it was "unimaginable" for the Congress in India to go into elections without a Gandhi leading its campaign, it was unthinkable for PPP leaders to disassociate themselves from the Bhuttos. "Whether somebody likes it or not, Bilawal (and his sisters) Asifa and Bakhtawar are the face of the party. The PPP is synonymous with the Bhuttos, and after the untimely death of their mother (former premier Benazir Bhutto), they have to don this mantle for the party's cause," the lawmaker was quoted as saying. "It's an association that not even President Zardari can challenge. A Bhutto addressing an election rally always creates an extra amount of energy among voters, which the party cannot afford to lose with elections round the corner," he said. The PPP Parliamentarian said 22-year-old Bakhtawar does not take much interest in politics and 19-year-old Asifa was too young to address public rallies. Thus, he said, the PPP was left "with no choice but to field Bilawal in active politics." Bilawal's sisters would make "appearances in the run-up" to the polls. Media reports have said a group of PPP leaders, including close aides of Zardari and key federal ministers, are currently grooming Bilawal and briefing him on party affairs. The Dawn reported this group's task had been made easier as over the last year, Bilawal has started taking an interest in politics. Yesterday, Bilawal was prominently featured on state-run media at the Developing Eight Summit, sitting a short distance from Zardari, though he holds no official position in the government. A speech delivered by Bilawal on Tuesday to a group of students at a meeting on "Pakistan: Leaders of Tomorrow" had more thought put into it than was realised by people, the report said. "Do you really think it was just an off-the-cuff speech," said a PPP source. "It was a 4,000-plus words speech that highlighted every single issue of the country both on the domestic and international level. This series of public interactions to selected students from universities all over the country is the launch of his political life." During the speech, Bilawal talked about Pakistan's fight against militancy, the PPP-led government's achievements and his willingness to work even with PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif and Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan. Another unnamed parliamentarian said familial links have deep roots in Pakistani politics and would stay for a long time to come. "Can the PML-N contest elections without the Sharif brothers as the party's Premier candidates, or can someone else besides Asfandyar Wali Khan lead the Awami National Party?" the PPP leader asked.

'Next general election in Pak to be held on time'
The Pakistan People’s Party-led government will complete its five-year term and the next general election will be held on time, Information Minister Qamar Zaman Kaira said on Monday. Only elements "who had been contesting elections with others' backing" are now talking about delaying the polls after losing that support, he said during an interaction with journalists here. Kaira, a close aide of President Asif Ali Zardari, said the law and order situation in the country was much better than that in 2008, when the last general election was held. Therefore, the polls could not be delayed on the pretext of a poor law and order situation, he said. He noted that during his speech at a recent rally at Malikwal in Punjab, the President had clearly said that the government would complete its constitutional term and the general election would be held on time. The PPP-led government is set to complete its term in March next year and polls are expected to be held before May.

Learning From Lincoln

Before scheduling any budget negotiations at the White House, on Capitol Hill or at Camp David, President Barack Obama and congressional leaders should go see Steven Spielberg’s classic new film, “Lincoln.” It’s the best movie about Washington politics I’ve seen. The centerpiece is the American icon, Abraham Lincoln; it brilliantly captures him doing what politicians are supposed to do, and today too often avoid: compromising, calculating, horse trading, dealing and preventing the perfect from becoming the enemy of a good objective. In 1865, the issue was getting the votes to pass the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, banning slavery. Today’s fiscal negotiations seem trivial by comparison. Yet achieving success requires the same ingredients: bargaining, bartering, bluffing and cutting a few dubious deals. This is what Americans too often forget about Washington: Our representatives are hired by the voters not to be priests or philosophers, but to be politicians. There is no greater hero than Lincoln; we extol his courage, his eloquence, his resilience and his sense of humor. Rarely is his political cunning celebrated. That was the quality that enabled his final great triumph, the end of slavery. This essential attribute is exquisitely captured by Mr. Spielberg and the actor Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln, resolute, consummately political, tortured and ambitious; a visionary who uses a story or a joke to defuse tense situations. When it’s suggested that the vote on the amendment in the House is in the hands of God, the president observes, “I don’t envy his task.” As with big issues in Washington, then as now, the drama is about choices with consequences: a re-elected Lincoln decides to push the anti-slavery amendment at the risk of prolonging the Civil War. There are compelling figures: William Seward, his secretary of state and shrewd political confidant; Thaddeus Stevens, the fiery abolitionist who tempers his principles to achieve the legislative goal, and craven and cowardly congressmen. Mainly it’s about political leadership. To persuade some, Lincoln appeals to nobler instincts about the evils of racial hatred. With others, he does what’s necessary. With the outcome in the balance, three fixers brought in to help are told: “You will procure me the votes.” This is the way presidents, most recently from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Ronald Reagan, get their way: maintaining a core principle and tactical flexibility. Joseph A. Califano Jr., who, as a young man, was President Lyndon B. Johnson’s point man on domestic legislation, remembers this quality as the essence of L.B.J. In 1968, the Fair Housing Bill was stalled in the Senate. The president, Mr. Califano recalls, was told by Senator Walter Mondale that they were hopelessly one vote short of breaking a filibuster. On the list of opponents, Mr. Johnson spotted Senator Bob Bartlett, an Alaska Democrat, and remembered that he wanted a big maritime agency project. Mr. Johnson called the Alaskan, and ordered the agency to give him the project. Mr. Bartlett voted to end the filibuster, and the measure outlawing discrimination in housing was approved. A Model Cities bill intended to benefit large urban areas was resisted by Senator Edmund Muskie, a Maine Democrat. Mr. Johnson directed Mr. Califano to include a city from Maine, even though the state didn’t have any large metropolitan areas. “What city?” the aide asked. “Any goddamn city he wants,” L.B.J. replied. “Johnson knew everybody’s price,” Mr. Califano said. “He knew what he had to give to get what he wanted, and he never gave more. But he was always willing to give.” That is the mind-set required for the current fiscal negotiations. On the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy, Mr. Obama starts with a strong hand. The presidential campaign wasn’t edifying; it was rife with attack ads and vague promises. An exception is the tax cuts for people making more than $250,000 a year; on Jan. 1, the marginal top rate on these incomes is scheduled to revert to 39.6 percent from 35 percent. Mr. Obama campaigned on the wealthy paying more. His Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, was opposed to any increase and wanted to cut tax rates for the affluent. Mr. Obama’s position prevailed. House Republicans did not get a similar mandate, though they retain their majority. Democrats got more votes nationally in House races, and the tax increase for the rich was an issue in very few contests. With some fits and starts, odds are that in the next several weeks the White House and Congress will get a short-term deal to avoid the Jan. 1 deadline that would result in across-the-board tax increases and automatic spending cuts. Much more problematic next year is reaching a grand bargain that provides a short-term stimulus and addresses long-term chronic deficits. There would have to be concessions, trade-offs and favors bestowed for votes. Politicians might look to 1865 as a model for this uphill quest. Last week, the president hosted Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Day-Lewis for a showing of “Lincoln” at the White House. He’d do well to go to another screening of the film, and this time invite John A. Boehner, the Republican House speaker.