There is, of course, this today…
The Pakistanis aren’t just going to give that tail rotor to China (our readers know well that they’ve already let the Chinese take a good look at it). This has been two weeks of jaw-jacking out of those people. Yesterday there was the prime minister over there, barking about how they’ll attack us if we sent troops over the border after the jihadists again.
And on, and on.
There is no shame from these people. We’re giving them $3.4 billion in aid this year, and they’re not even embarrassed that they harbored Osama Bin Laden for 10 years. Instead, they’re spending their time blowing hard about “sovereignty” – as though they even bother to respect their own sovereignty when they’re asked to stand by their commitments to help us stop the Taliban fighting in Afghanistan.
I posit this theory – the Pakistanis, who are the least trustworthy people on the planet and it’s not even close, have made the determination to take our aid to them for granted. It’s been 10 years since we ramped up what we were giving them to the stratosphere – $18.6 billion since 9/11. By now, they have no reason to think the gravy train will ever stop chugging along at full steam.
So it’s time to sober the Pakistanis up, with an eye toward a lot more effective cooperation. Here’s a plan for doing that.
Since World War II, there are few examples of the American people expressing hatred toward foreign countries. The French caught a good dose of it as a result of actions their leaders took in the 1980’s and 1990’s in response to American actions in the Middle East, plus a scandalous amount of duplicity and betrayal they handed to us in advance of the war in Iraq in 2003, but the best example was the vitriol directed at Iran after what we were told was a popular revolution resulted in the hostage crisis in 1979.
But Pakistan harbored Osama Bin Laden, the most hated figure by Americans since Hideki Tojo or Adolf Hitler. That’s a crime which almost stands alone in making them villains. The fact is, most Americans had a healthy disgust for the Soviet Union during the Cold War, but that enmity didn’t really extend to the Russian people; we generally regarded them as poor schlubs without the freedom or wherewithal to do much about the communist tyrants under whose thumbs they resided. We didn’t like them, and we were ready to do what it took to whip their asses – but outright hatred? Not exactly.
So the idea that the American people – not the government, the people – would drop-dead hate an entire country has a pretty sizable impact based on its rarity.
We should use that.
President Obama has a trip planned to Pakistan in the near future. He ought to cancel that trip. He ought to be very public about why he’s cancelling. Specifically, he should announce that based on Pakistan’s having harbored Bin Laden over the years and based on statements and actions by Pakistani officials criticizing the raid on Abbottabad – which America had a moral right to execute, regardless of what anyone might say – they aren’t deserving of a visit by the president of the United States.
That’s a slap in the face. It should be followed up by diplomatic communiques on a very public level to this effect – namely, that Obama would like to repair relations with Pakistan in pursuit of mutually beneficial ends, but for the time being that’s impossible because the American people have an unprecedented hatred for Pakistan thanks to their actions. It should be made perfectly clear to the Pakistanis that our people now regard them as the lowest of the low, and the political ability of our government to work with them on anything other than terms exclusively in our interest is now nil.
With this predicate having been laid, the nature of our relationship with the Pakistani government can then be changed to something far more to our benefit.
Specifically, the $3.4 billion in aid to Pakistan should be eliminated. The fact the Republicans control the House of Representatives, where that aid must originate, works extremely well from a foreign policy standpoint. The President’s people can deliver the message to the Pakistanis that their disgraceful performance in taking our billions while harboring Bin Laden – whether out of incompetence or treachery, our citizens couldn’t care less – has made it really hard to maintain the patronage we’ve bestowed on them and while the White House will do what it can to maintain it, such aid is unpopular as all get-out.
And then have the House and Senate both vote, on a bipartisan basis, to cut off foreign aid to Pakistan. By a veto-proof margin. International headlines would result, and major embarrassment for the government of Pakistan would follow.
At this point, the Obama administration should approach Pakistan with an offer the acceptance of which could both restore some semblance of aid to that country and create some actual results for our dime.
Specifically, we should offer them a half-billion dollars for Mullah Omar. And another half-billion for Ayman Zawahiri. And lesser amounts for some of the lesser lights among the Al Qaeda and Taliban ranks.
In other words, there isn’t any more aid – because they’re torn their drawers with respect to that. But should they choose to prove their loyalty to us by turning these high-value targets over to our intelligence people, we’ll gladly cough up for actual results.
Now – whether this course of action will assist our effort in Afghanistan is a valid question. I wouldn’t expect it to. On the other hand, Pakistan has allowed us to resupply our troops there for 10 years – for a price, which they apparently have turned around in large part to their ISI, which then props up the Taliban fighters who stage out of Pakistani territory to fight us every spring. Meanwhile, that country slides further and further into jihadism and barbarism.
Our effort in Afghanistan is likely doomed even in the best of circumstances, because the Afghans are essentially Neanderthal pederast heroin farmers incapable of society beyond the medieval/Mad Max model. Building a modern state there is a fool’s errand, though it’s not beyond the realm of possibility that we might build up a few friendly warlords who can control large swathes of that country’s territory while engaging in summary executions of minority tribesmen and rampant buggery of the local young males on Thursdays. That this would be considered as a victorious exit strategy is without question a disappointment; at the end of the day, we’re going to have to recognize that the Afghans aren’t up to the high standards of America – or Uganda.
But that’s another column altogether. Giving the Pakistanis the treatment they deserve will certainly make things harder on our troops. But it’s no favor to our fighters to saddle them with allies eager to stab them in the back. Perhaps it’s time for clarity.
And in any event, for once America should send a clear message – if we’re going to be betrayed, we certainly won’t pay the freight for the betrayal. And our incomparable capacity to provide shame and discredit to those who cause us reason to do it has gone unused for far too long.