Americans just want to be loved

And they’ll pay for it

“The aid—and particularly its pledge of five years of uninterrupted help—is intended,” the New York Times writes in today’s editorial, “to demonstrate that this time Washington is in for the long haul. Many Pakistanis still accuse the Americans of using and then abandoning them after the Soviet defeat in Afghanistan. We fear that any more delay on the promised assistance would only reinforce that suspicion and bitterness.”

Astounding naivete from the NYT, because Washington has already delivered seven years of uninterrupted help amounting to US$15.449 billion in direct overt assistance (according to Alan Kronstadt/CRS) and yet, almost 6 in 10 Pakistanis feels that the United States is the greatest threat to their country (according to Al Jazeera/Gallup).

Unwarranted as their fear is, it leads the NYT’s editors to throw diligence through the winds. Arguing against attaching strings to the aid package in a hopeless attempt to be loved it warns against “bullying language on Pakistan’s nuclear program that would inevitably increase tensions with Islamabad and alienate the Pakistani public.” But isn’t nuclear proliferation something that it should care about? “We, too, are very concerned about Pakistan’s history of nuclear proliferation” it says, “But this aid bill is clearly not the vehicle.” Then pray, what is?

The editorial is silent about the real issues: how does the United States ensure that Pakistan delivers on its many promises on fighting al-Qaeda, fighting the Taliban, fighting the Lashkar-e-Taiba, preventing nuclear proliferation? How does the US government ensure that the money is spent on reforming education, healthcare and economic development?

This kind of loose thinking is perhaps symptomatic of the general mood in the United States these days: just throw more taxpayers’ money at the problem and hope it’ll go away.

16 thoughts on “Americans just want to be loved”

  1. > This kind of loose thinking is perhaps symptomatic of the general mood in the United States these days: just throw more taxpayers’ money at the problem and hope it’ll go away.

    Why, this is merely “change we can believe in” from the pied piper

  2. This is a thought-provoking article. I would like to feature it on my entertainment publication (click on username for link) on line called. Royal.

  3. This articles assumes that the Americans do not have a more devious reason to pump Pakistan up with money and ability to field nuclear weapons — the target is India and its nuclear program. Make no mistake about that — especially if just duplicitous and devious garbage published in the NY Times (par for the course for that rag). As Nitin Writes:

    “it warns against “bullying language on Pakistan’s nuclear program that would inevitably increase tensions with Islamabad and alienate the Pakistani public.” But isn’t nuclear proliferation something that it should care about? “We, too, are very concerned about Pakistan’s history of nuclear proliferation” it says, “But this aid bill is clearly not the vehicle.” Then pray, what is?”

    So the entire paragraph can be summarized into “give more money to Pakistan and allow them to retain their nukes”. Given how careful the people at the NY times are about saving their own butts from being charred by a nuclear war, the above language indicates that the US’s goal is to fund all the terrorist movements in Pakistan while appearing to be “fixing the situation”. Articles like the above seem to be providing plausible deniability to the US to work with Pakistani terrorist groups to retain control of Af-Pak region.

  4. If Abdullah Abdullah wins the election in Afghanisthan against Hamid Karzai, then that would be an indicator that the Pakistani (pro Army) Taliban will regain control of Af-Pak, exactly as in the earlier tenure of Robin Raphael.

  5. You can’t succeed in Afghanistan if you don’t solve the problem of western Pakistan – US representative in some conf in Brussels.

    they say, Jarurat ke waqt pe gadhe ko bhi baap banana padta hai.

    And regarding money US is sending hardly matters who knows where the money is coming from taxpayers, world bank, United Nations they are having hands in every thing.

  6. The problem is that leaving Af-Pak in charge of the Pakistani taliban is exactly how 9/11 came about in the first place. And the US wants to repeat that again by trusting the Pakistani army? India is the ultimate loser, since the US can just leave for its own backyard any time it wants, after filling the entire area with violent Taliban jugheads all over the CAR region, with the Af-Pak region as the “seed”. This will effectively deny use of the region by India, Russia and China.

  7. What is this “problem of western pakistan”? That the Pashtuns want independence from Pakistan and create their own Pastunisthan, thereby erasing the Durand line? Why is that a “problem” for India. I can understand it is a problem for USA and it Rentboy Pakistan, but an independent Pashtunisthan will make the Pakistani army into a two-front war situation, to the west and east. Why is that bad for India?

  8. @ AP

    “If Abdullah Abdullah wins the election in Afghanisthan against Hamid Karzai, then that would be an indicator that the Pakistani (pro Army) Taliban will regain control of Af-Pak, exactly as in the earlier tenure of Robin Raphael.”

    Not really. This guy is Tajik, not to mention his prior association with Northern Alliance. So IMO he will be even more vitriolic than Karzai against Pak. I don’t think Pak has “good choices” in this Afghan election.

  9. @ AP

    “What is this “problem of western pakistan”? That the Pashtuns want independence from Pakistan and create their own Pastunisthan, thereby erasing the Durand line?”

    No problem with this. Except that no Pashtun SEEMS to want this. Or even if a few do, they are much less “prominent” than “the Taliban” (Afg or Pak, I don’t think either of them want a separate land for Pashtuns). So it is wishful thinking that “Pashtunistan” will be formed by itself. Aint gonna happen.

  10. Arvind, I agree that the Pashtun and Balochis need a bit of external support or else they are likely to be decimated by the Pakistani army — the recent Balochistan independence day did not get much publicity sadly. The worthless Indian media that writes miles of paper worth about the “the poor Kashmiri jihadis in PDP and Hurriyat” do not seem to care for genuine independence movements in Balochistan, Gilgit, Baltistan, and Balawaristan.

    For things to move towards the formation of Pashtunisthan, the pakistani army needs to antagonize the pashtuns some more in order for the Pashtuns to response appropriately. India needs to be “helping” things move in that direction.

  11. Humans typically have multiple identities imposed on them, so Pashtun Tribal Parocial identity usually subsumes/overcomes Pashtun Nationalism identity. We need our friends in the Pakistani army to get medieval on Pashtuns for Nationalism to overcome Parochialism in the Pashtun peoples, who have always been treated poorly by the Pakistani Punjabis, who “own” the country, so to speak.

  12. Nitin,
    Please do yourself a favor and stop reading the New York Times op-ed pages. There arent more cocooned people in this universe than Hollywood stars and NYT editors. No one here in the US other than the self appointed liberal intelligentsia reads them – the only other people who do read them are conservatives/right wingers – but they do so, in order to pick them apart.

    Furthermore, your tone sounds whiny. This is how the situation is – deal with it.It is India’s fault that we have absolute cowards in charge of our foreign policy and have let the interests of the US in the region subsume its own – actually, it is an insult to cowards to tar them with the Indian Government.

    There is absolutely NOTHING that India can do about this – we cannot claim to be for a democratic Pakistan while at the same time rejecting US assistance towards it – and I dont think we have ever opposed this aid – of course we know that most of this is going to end in the hands of corruptocrats or military jihadists – but so does the US – and it STILL insists on giving them money !

    The Pakis are using their geostrategic adavantage to the hilt – while we are passive as sheep no matter how many terrorist strikes originates against us.

    For God sakes we have a PM who is ready to appease Pakistan to no end – and you are worried about the NYT clowns ?

  13. As a related point, many Americans I know are really ignorant about the details of Pakistan. Many of them simply know that the “situation is really bad” but beyond that it’s all NYT Op-Eds for them.

  14. There is a defacto institutional bias towards Pakistan and against India/Hinduism in several influential quarters in the US i.e. academic, media(liberal NYT or conservative Pat Buchanan), State Department and the CIA. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of Indian independence, NYT had a picture of slums of Dharavi! Did you really expect better?

    Some of it has to do with the cold-war mindset and India’s non-aligned, non violent, holier then thou BS. Also one has to credit Pakistan’s ability to fool the Americans in being the perp and the victim all at the same time. As someone said people usually rob others by putting a gun on their victims head, Pakis will rob you by putting a gun on their own heads. Its really a beautiful farce if it wasnt so detrimental to Indian interests.

    Its not that Americans want to pay of Paks to love them. They just hope to pay them off to stop attacking the US, as a bonus what they do in Af-central asia-india will be met with benign neglect.

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