Monday, August 23, 2010

With Friends Like These

People wonder why there has not been as much of an outpouring of support for the people of Pakistan.  Well, perhaps it is because many folks are not fans of their government.  True, the people suffering from the floods have little control over their government, but when their government crows over upsetting a peace process because they were excluded, it tends to alienate the planet. 
“We picked up Baradar and the others because they were trying to make a deal without us,” said a Pakistani security official, who, like numerous people interviewed about the operation, spoke anonymously because of the delicacy of relations between Pakistan, Afghanistan and the United States. “We protect the Taliban. They are dependent on us. We are not going to allow them to make a deal with Karzai and the Indians.” 
Sure, this latest news may not have affected attitudes, but those attitudes were already fairly set against Pakistan for the years of the double-game, getting lots of assistance while still providing refuge and support for the Taliban, for Al Qaeda, and for terrorist groups aimed at India.

Is it fair or right that this diminishes support for the people struck by this horrible tragedy?  Certainly not.  But Pakistan as a government raises big questions about the limits of power and of patience.

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