Monday, November 19, 2007

Backing The Wrong Horse, or 'The Impasse'

Back in 2001, in the wake of the September attacks, those famous words fell: “with us or against us.”

Of course the world was with the USA back then with regards to an anti-terrorist stance, but was divided when it came to what to do about it. Allies had to be found and bullied into compliance. With Afghanistan as the target, Pakistan was an interesting proposition and Musharraf seems to have been told in no uncertain terms, “if you don’t help, we’ll bomb your country back to the stone age.” In fact that is precisely what he was told.

So Musharraf helped. Sort of. It was a decision by the Bush Administration made much like their other decisions: shallow, brash, arrogant and not thought through. Pakistan’s weapons escalation programme which was designed to keep it abreast of India had it developing nuclear weapons back in the 1990s. In fact, Pakistan joined the “Nuclear Club” with the detonation of its first warhead in 1998. So Cheney, Bush, Rumsfeld et al, decided that a country with a rife potential for turning radical, peppered with madrassas especially in the North, run by a military dictator and armed with nuclear weapons should be “our friend” and would be immune to the sort of threats and criticism that have, for example been thrown at Iran.

But here’s the problem. Now you have a Pakistan devolving into chaos and possible civil war, populated by Muslims who are not America-friendly, poor and therefore a hotbed for religious fanaticism and possibly harboring Osama Bin Laden and the USA can’t even forcefully impose sanctions to reign it in.

You might ask: “well what would a neocon do?” The answer appears in an article in yesterday’s New York Times. Frederick W. Kagan of the right wing, I’d go so far as to say radical right wing American Enterprise Institute, proposes an invasion of Pakistan – the Neocon solution to all their problems. Now why am I not shocked?

He proposes that the USA invade Pakistan, help sympathizers fight the common enemy, establish bases and secure peace and order whilst we wait for the country to stabilize. Now where have I heard that before? More worrisome is that invasion seems to be the order of the day. Invade Iran, invade Pakistan as if it were possible, but what it mainly does is gnaw away at the bare thread of credibility by which this country still hangs.

The only real conclusion of this mess, which has positioned a real nuclear threat in a virtually untouchable space, whilst concentrating on an Iranian hand-puppet who has nothing, is that Bush and his strategy, not only effed this country up, but he’s managed to eff the world up - an almost intact world he held in his hand on September 12, 2001.

No comments: