Thursday 1 December 2011

With friends like these... the pseudo "ally" Pakistan: serial lier and violent west-hater

The most open "secret" in the world is becoming ever more open: Pakistan supports and funds terrorism, even as it takes American money to fight terrorism.
There's a BBC series on at the moment, forgotten its name, that is all about how wretched an "ally" Pakistan is: that it is duplicitous, that it uses US military aid to fund the Taliban and other terrorist bodies that kill US and its allies' troops. It's scathing.  The BBC is a lefty outfit and has not been of a mind in the past to be critical of places like Pakistan: poor, third world, afflicted by colonialism, Islamic, and so on, all hot-button I-must-feel-sorry-for markers of the left. That the BBC is now critical of Pakistan and trenchantly so, is significant.
[Update, 2 Dec: the BBC series is called "Secret Pakistan", airing at the moment.  I see news that the BBC World News TV Service has now been blocked in Pakistan because of the series.  The much maligned (as being too "lefty") Beebs, deserves kudos for this one, for telling the story as it is: Pakistan, a putative "ally"uses  military aid money from the US to fund outfits that are killing American and allied soldiers.  And that's just the start: they're also funding the most viciously fundamentalist Islamist forces in Afghanistan, the salafist Taliban].
The second significant story on Pakistan's perfidy is in the Atlantic Monthly: in an article titled The Ally from Hell.
Like the BBC's, it's trenchant and unforgiving. And like the BBC, the Atlantic is generally lefty. So it's great stuff, that they're getting on side to the Pakistan threat, something the conservative bloggosphere has been on about for a long time.
Only thing is: in both cases they end up saying something along the lines of "this is all awful, the lying of the Pakistanis, the way they support Taliban while pretenting to help the US find and kill terrorists.  But, for all that, we have to keep them as an ally for if we don't things will be worse.  We need them to help us in the fight against Al Qaeda."
Yet, as the Atlantic concedes: focus only on Al Qaeda is too narrow and detracts from the wider fight against bodies like the Taliban, who may prove to be greater and tougher enemies than Al Qaeda.
Christopher Hitchens made a good case for dumping this "Ally from Hell", in his From Abbotabad to worse.
Maybe this is the beginning of the end-game of western, especially US, funding for Pakistan.  I hope so.  As it goes now, it's dreadful and there's no possible optimism to be gleaned.
Update, 2 Dec: Letter to the Beebs:
Congratulations on a great series and please DON’T be tempted to apologise or resile in any way in response to the Pakistani’s banning of your World Service TV cable!  You’ve done the right, honest and brave thing: told it like it is in Pakistan.  They are an “ally” in word only, in reality undermining all efforts to reduce terrorism in the region and allow the development of stable people-friendly governments.
As a long-time follower of the BBC — and a frequent critic -- this is one time you definitely deserve bouquets, not brickbats!

Yours, etc, Peter F. Hong Kong