Thursday, February 17, 2011
There’s a door in our hallway that naturally closes. It has to be kept open with a doorstop - in our case, an antique Chinese casting of small dog.
I remember back around the time when Benazir Bhutto was assassinated, Pakistan was regarded as ours, to do with as we wished. We had been conducting drone strikes (inside Pakistan) as a part of our effort in Afghanistan. Pakistan had been voicing its objections, but our foreign policy experts chose to continue with the strikes anyway because, they reasoned, Pakistan couldn’t do much about it. We essentially viewed it as a failed and deeply divided state - the lesser half, heavily dependent on U.S. foreign aid. Since then, Pakistan has made strides in coming together - and not necessarily in our favor.
The Ray Davis affair shows that things have changed significantly; that Pakistan is now asserting itself in a way it has never done before. It doesn’t do to declare any nation a failed state simply because we happen not to like it. And , yes, we do not like the Taliban; and, yes, we do not like AQ; and, yes, we do not like Islamic extremism; shariah; and, yes, we do not like people who do not like us and pray daily for their god to hasten our demise.
At some point, Pakistan had to chose between itself and us. It has chosen itself. The Ray Davis affair has brought the rift between us into sharp focus. Surely, we have offered untold sums to settle the matter quietly. And, while this might have worked in the past, it’s not working now. The people of Pakistan see America as a hated intruder; as interloper; as propping up illegitimate and corrupt governments that only serve to oppress to undermine their true desires.
The rulers of Pakistan have had to go along with the people’s wishes in order to remain in power. Another factor is the money we’ve been doling out. It doesn’t buy as much as it used to. Even the lowliest Pakistani citizen senses that America’s power is waning; that it will no longer do to try to keep themselves warm in the fading glow of dying embers.
On the other hand, Islam is on the rise. In order to survive, it has become necessary to throw in with Islam which appears to have even the once great America shaking in it’s boots.
Hanging the bastard publicly will serve as yet another signal that America’s days in the region are essentially over.
Things have indeed changed since Obama took power in America. Some would argue it was inevitable; that the door had been torn from its hinges long ago (translation: Bush). And now the doorstop has been discarded as well.