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16 June 2011

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toto

Sir,

"Not being us" and having different interests is one thing.

Secretly sheltering OBL is something else.

Taliban support by Pakistan might be seen as some kind of strategic decision motivated by rational self-interest. Unpleasant (to the US), but at least understandable.

But hosting OBL is entirely different. I fail to see any strategic motive in this that does not involve deliberate malice against the US.

Maybe FB Ali will comment on the issue.

Basilisk

I am always bemused at what shocks people. I wonder if back in the bad old days, when the naval crypto spy Johnnie Walker was being held in Newport News, or thereabouts, what would have happened if a Soviet SpetsNaz team had broken in and freed him from prison. What would the prevailing opinion have been? And, if we had then discovered that some Americans had helped pinpoint his location and ease access, would we have arrested them?

Not the same, you say? Well, that's true, but the relationship we had with the Soviets--arms control treaties and all--in those bad old days were about the same degree of closeness we currently have with our "ally" Pakistan. No amount of aid or jawbone is going to make us "the same."

Like they said in the Godfather, "it's not personal, it's only business."

As our wise host says, when interests align they align. I think this sounds very scary right now. We have been muscling Kayani to the point we have him caught between the ultimate rock and hard place. I hope we are not complicit in his desrtuction, because I think the outcome could be quite messy.

Patrick Lang

toto

No. You make the classic poly sci derived mistake of thinking that people are most deeply motivated by watern rationalism in regard to their interests. Identity is culture is motivation.

"malice?" Don't be childish. You have to deal with people as they are, not as how you think they should be. pl

Patrick Lang

basilisk

This could be the continuation of a beautiful friendship.

About them prairie dogs, "First you hate the whistle pigs, then you hate the gun, then you hate yourself." pl

William R. Cumming

Okay the phrase " rate Pakistan’s cooperation with the United States on counterterrorism operations, on a scale of 1 to 10."

Perhaps oversimplistic but may have uses. What does cooperate mean in this instance? Remittances from USA to Pakistan are significant factor in Pakistani economy. Also grants and USA expenditures. Not sure how it compares with other sources of hard currency for Pakistan. In the short and long term China is Pakistan's only hope that the secular status of the Communist religion prohibits much support either way for Pakistan. They are in between a rock and hard place for the rest of the century. Enlightened leadership their only hope domestically. But like the USA making hard decisions about the future is well HARD. Looks to me like Pakistan will be lucky to handle its natural and man made disasters. Too many people with too few resources and not enough surefootedness to draw much in the way of International capital flows. We are likely to become more like "them" than "them" like US this century! Demobilizing 50% of Pakistan's military and denuclearizing could be two of many tough choices possible for Pakistan. Hey what is the last war Pakistan won since independence in 1947 from G. Britain? What is last war US has WON since 1945?

PirateLaddie

"Sovereignty" really isn't the issue. Pakistan never was and probably never will be a nation-state. It's a mishmosh of tribal types and economic sharp dealers that never quite jelled.
The Army is one (albeit the largest) of the players, and they've sold themselves to the highest bidder (the West, until recently) since day one.
There are real prospects the USG will cease handing over "the moolah" (as a Pak buddy characterizes the relation), so the rats are scrambling to board the Chinese junk -- probably not a smart move, but one that will at least diminish pressure on the leadership to "behave."

Bill H.

I am always bemused by people who cannot imagine why a nation which aligned itself with us because we threatened to "bomb it back into the Stone Age" if it did not, is not fully cooperative with us and our aims. Those who are bullied always cooperate outwardly with the bully, and they always undermine the bully behind his back at every chance. Of course they sheltered Bin Laden. In their position I would have done the same. Of course they are sheltering forces inimical to us. What would you expect when we, remember, threatened to "bomb them back into the Stone Age" unless they do what we want them to do. That is not the way to make friends.

Phil Giraldi

I watched with amazement yesterday as a series of congressmen denounced Pakistan on the five o'clock news. If some foreign country had established a clandestine team in the United States that was later instrumental in the unilateral killing of several local residents wouldn't the FBI make an effort to identify those "helpers" and arrest them...particularly if one of them happened to be a serving military officer of relatively high rank? Of course they would and it is what most Americans would expect. But the fact that Pakistan has done the same is somehow despicable.

Charles I

First you hate the whistle pigs, then you hate the gun, then you hate yourself." pl

Is this what's in store for me after victory over marauding raccoons at the cottage I've developed hot blood over?

signed: bleeding heart animal lover

The beaver

Charles I

Are you in Toronto? Being overtaken by these rascals ....
I had my experience with them 2 yrs ago - a family of 7 living underneath my patio.

YT

"Have you not ever noticed the crescent and star on pakistan's green flag?"

Col. sir,

You mean these d**ks are not friends of the U.S. as well?

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/singapore

Maybe high time for 'em pricks to change their flag like the chaps in Myanmar did.

Arun

Anyone who has read General Musharraf's September 2001 speech (full text, not excerpts) will hardly be shocked. The course of the last 10 years is laid out there.

Patrick Lang

YT

You have lost me. What? The point is that most flags in the post-colonial world have some sort of national significance. pl

Fred

Of course they are not like us. What should be clear in regards to the relationship between our two countries is the complete and utter failure of neo-con foreign policy and vision; unless one considers WRC's question :

"What is last war US has WON since 1945?"

If, instead of the U.S. one thinks of this as "us", then the answer is the war on the 'press', 'unions', 'liberals' and currently going very nicely the war on the middle class. All you need to know is which part of the "US" you are. Our rich, their rich – still rich and still in charge.

arbogast

I find it hard to interpret Obama's hit on bin Laden as anything except a trial balloon for an Israeli strike on Iran.

Please note that the arrested folks (an Obama-ism) were Pakistanis.

The trial balloon is very much still in the air.

Anyone want to have a pool on how many news cycles the arrests survive?

Oh, and suppose Obama had put a hit on a Mexican drug lord in a suburb of Mexico City? Given the number of casualties of drug addiction in the US, the hit would have been equally justified.

All roads lead to Tehran.

Arun

Musharraf's Sept 19, 2001 speech

It is clear that he wants to preserve as much of the Taliban as he can, he needs more evidence against bin Laden, and that any cooperation with the US of A is tactical only, and did not represent a change in strategy. It is also very clear that in 2001, influential opinion in Pakistan was very much in favor of bin Laden and the Taliban, and anti-US.

I know most Americans took that speech to mean that Musharraf intended full cooperation with the US and was trying to mollify his opposition; but in reality, he was announcing his policy of doing the minimum necessary to survive and not one bit more.

Arun

Sorry, link did not work:
http://observingliberalpakistan.blogspot.com/2011/06/musharraf-september-19-2001.html

FB Ali

I doubt very much that Pakistan was "sheltering" Osama bin Laden. His status was more that of a prisoner (presumably being kept on ice to be used at some appropriate occasion).

He was not controlling or directing al Qaeda, nor playing any other operational role. All that the US has been able to produce from the captured data are wish lists and dream scenarios, though the spin put out has been that he was actually running the organization.

As for Pakistan-US relations, read the latest in the NYT:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/16/world/asia/16pakistan.html?_r=1&ref=world

Fred

Arun

An interesting speech. It is also apparent that the Taliban were of interest only in regards to controlling Afghanistan to secure Pakistan. The other key things he lays out have been forgotten in the USA:

"We are all the more grieved because in this incident people from about 45 countries from all over the world lost their lives. People of all ages... and every religion lost their lives. " and "The thing to ponder is that in these three targets nobody is talking about war against Islam or the people of Afghanistan."

Definitely worth the read. Maybe someone could get a copy to Beck, Hannity, Limbaugh etc. maybe then the Republican presidential hopefuls will remember '912'.

highlander

It is obvious that the Pakistani establishment protected Bin Laden and hid him from us. Why? It was because they are not we and we are not they. Have you not ever noticed the crescent and star on Pakistan's green flag? pl

Call me old fashion if you will, but should'nt they be made to pay a wee bit for this not small bit of treachery? And who, colonel do you think are the most likely ones, who "dropped a dime" on Osama? The Saudis perhaps?

Arun

From Pakistan Tea House:
http://pakteahouse.net/2011/06/17/harbouring-osama/

"It is depressing to see retired generals in their tweed jackets with rosy cheeks fresh from a round of golf and a glass of freshly squeezed juice later, pontificating on prime time TV how America has not learnt anything from history."

William R. Cumming

Agree unfortunately with General Ali! The UBL dog and pony show betrays a more serious effort to quell terrorism.
I might start with the financial community that has also destabilized and terrorized the world. They and violent terrorists continue to kill innocents.
And leaving MOTHER NATURE to kill and destroy the lives of others batting cleanup.

Charles I

beaver, Muskoka is crawling with them. Last spring it was rabbits . . .which increased the fox and coyote populations, but its the raccoons many are dealing with this year. I have a lot of bird and hummingbird feeders, untouched for years, but its war now.

Peter

At times I think you have missed your true talents as a stand up comedian. Comedy to me is when two people make an observation, and they are both seeing the same thing, but the comic states what is obvious in a way that is outrageously to the point in a manor that delights beyond words. Laughter being the only way to comment.

Arun

Cyril Almeida in the Dawn,
http://www.dawn.com/2011/06/17/a-wearily-familiar-bag-of-tricks.html

starts off thus: ONE set of rules for themselves. Another set for the people they rule over, or who dare cross them. The army has been busy rounding up the OBL support network.

But not the network which helped the world’s most wanted terrorist hide a stone’s throw from where the army chief boasted his forces had broken the backbone of the terrorists.

No, the army has gone after the support network that helped capture and eliminate the world’s most wanted terrorist. You couldn’t make this stuff up — unless you knew what makes the army tick in the first place.

and then explains.

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