Sunday, July 18, 2010

Af-Pak Through Pakistani Eyes and Words

It's important to understand "the other guy". No matter that al Qaeda used Afghan territory for crucial activities leading up to the 9/11 attacks, the U. S. and NATO are doing what they are doing against Taliban, no al Qaeda. The Nation, a leading (or, the leading) online English language newspaper in Pakistan (a virulently anti-American country at its core) has some breaking news, or at least "news" about the Afghan War. The wording plus the content are both important:

15 US invading troops killed, three Afghan soldiers captured in Baghlan

In encounter with the US invaders in central Baghlan district, Baghlan province, Mujahideen killed about 15 invaders, forcing the rest of the enemy forces to run away using helicopters, while Mujahideen captured three of their local puppets during the fighting on July 17. (Taliban website)

The title is The Nation's, even if the wording of the brief news report may be the Taliban's.

This news has not crossed the wires on Western media that I can see.

Perhaps a more U. S.-friendly Pakistani online newspaper is Dawn. From the current online edition comes the following:

The US must recognise that no matter what the volume of economic assistance given to Pakistan, it will never inspire any feelings of friendliness and partnership until the recurring drone attacks are stopped in accordance with the national milieu.. .

The great sacrifices made by Pakistan and enormous suffering that the nation has endured over the last eight years of the war against terror have remained unappreciated and non-recompensed. To add insult to injury, the CIA based in Afghanistan has been conducting drone attacks in violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty and in total disregard of the government’s protests. . .

The drone attacks have been disproportionate to their objectives, causing avoidable loss of human life and resources. The drone strikes are counter to any move to bring the two partners together. They have remained a sad reminder of US’s lack of concern by a friend also claiming to be a strategic partner.

It is questionable that the Afghan War and the drone war can be "won". Even if those happen, how will the U. S. win after it withdraws? Or is the Afpak region going to be yet another site for military bases while the homeland at best stagnates economically?

After the Viet Nam humiliation, the U. S. licked its wounds and after a while, engaged in a relatively low cost and very peaceful strategy to win the Cold War. Voila! But the key maneuver was to accept a loss, rest and recover. The Pak-ghanistan War is a raw wound for an American economy that cannot afford the cost and a population that is burned out on Asian wars. And to boot, there is real disappointment that a new president who promised peaceful cooperation is turning more and more of the Muslim world against this country.

It's past time for Hamid Karzai to stand on his own two feet.

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2010

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