Because of the potential financial ramifications, this blog has been reporting and commenting from time to time on events in "Pak-ghanistan". In an otherwise unremarkable article on more Predator drone killings of militant, the Karachi-based "Nation" newspaper ran the accompanying editorially loaded graphic showing a Predator drone as an angel of death. "The Nation" may be the country's leading English-language newspaper and thus reflects and intensifies the unpopularity of our country in Pakistan.
You may have read about the homicide bomber killing civilians of a pro-government town yesterday, with the count now over 100 dead. You may also have read about the U. N. beginning to pull out of Pakistan.
To this veteran of peaceful protests against America's military actions in Viet Nam, these and other events in this region are disquieting. The most technologically sophisticated power on earth is raining death on what the Pakistanis appear to regard as hillbillies who, prior to U. S. involvement in the region, were left alone to do their thing.
In a sense, Pakistan is to our war in Afghanistan as Cambodia was to our war in Viet Nam. That one ended tragically for the Cambodians as well as for us. Today, the U. S. is probably more disliked both in Pakistan and Afghanistran than it was in South Viet Nam or Cambodia, and we have allied ourselves with distasteful regimes in both countries whose virtues may simply be that they are less distasteful than their opposition.
This sounds like a chancy situation that may have a variety of macro results, ranging from an inflationary U. S. escalation in the region to some sort of quick resolution followed by pull-out to more indecisive war slowly bleeding all involved. Most scenarios are not friendly either to the U. S. economy or the price of Federal debt.
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