Thursday, May 07, 2009

Mr. President: Pakistan’s a Place to Actually Reverse Bush Policy

President Obama sat down yesterday with the presidents of Pakistan and Afghanistan to seek a way out of the existential crisis now facing those two nations…Obama secured commitments from them for greater cooperation in the struggle against the “common threat,” as well as assurances that Pakistan’s nuclear weapons would be secure — in other words, the same promises and commitments that every White House meeting with Pakistan’s leaders since 9/11 has invariably delivered. One thing that almost certainly was not discussed is the real nature of the problem…Put simply, the Taliban, murderous as it is, is not the problem. The problem is the Pakistani military and the stubborn refusal of Washington to comprehend this…To maintain its undisputed dominance and its claims to a huge chunk of the national treasure, the military needed the specter of a powerful enemy and an ideology capable of mobilizing the largely illiterate masses behind its self-image as savior of the nation. It found the former in India, the latter in radical Islam….Implacable hostility to India…and a de facto alliance with radical Islam thus became the hallmarks of the Pakistani military ethos and its institutional self-interest. This led to active military involvement in the setting up of jihadist and terrorist groups to be used as proxies against India and Afghanistan, the creation of the Taliban, and the creeping Islamization of Pakistan under military auspices beginning in the late 1970s…It is easily forgotten now that it was Musharraf who allowed both the Taliban and al-Qaeda to find sanctuaries…after they were routed by American troops, and then claimed publicly that he had been able to solve a “critical situation…without any damage to Afghanistan and the Taliban.” …Washington’s Misguided Pakistan Policy, Alex Alexiev, National Review, 4/7/2009

It’s not news that many conservatives thought the previous Administration was nuts for expecting anything good to come out of a so-called alliance with Pakistan. Alexiev’s fine article details why. And there’s a place that conservatives would stand up and cheer if the President’s promise of change actually happened. But, as with appointments of tax dodgers, specialists in malfeasance in office like Ronald Sims, and friends of the largest American banks like Tim Geithner, Larry Summers and Robert Rubin, it’s gotten difficult pretty fast, a little more than 100 days, to believe that change is anything but a campaign ruse designed to fool those ignorant by choice, or as a result of politically correct high school and college curricula. What would a real change from the previous Administration be?

Have the military and friends of similar mind in Beijing get a contingency plan ready to go get Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal – now! The Chinese have offered more than once to provide sanctuary for Pakistan’s bombs, including during the recent conflict between Musharraf and the rest of the country. Don’t expect anything good to come out of military “cooperation” with this fractured country. Keep using those missile-firing drones to nail Al-Qaeda operatives. Protect America instead of the old administration’s looney ideas about moderate Pakistani governments. The Islamicist military is Pakistan’s government. They are not our friends.


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