Monday, May 9, 2011

Pakistan????

I just had a thought. Are we all being too hard on the Pakistanis? I ask this because I recently read The Squad, a book about the intelligence war between Michael Collins, his agents and the political division of the police and army in Dublin Castle. Collins famously operated under the nose of the castle. He cycled around the city, chatted to police and army at checkpoints and socialised in the same venues as them. So is it really that strange that the worlds most wanted man, managed to evade capture for ten years by living where nobody expected him to. Ok so the comparison has lots of flaws. Nobody knew what Collins looked like where as Bin Ladens face was a global brand. But the principles have similarities. In addition I can understand why the Pakistanis are upset. A breach of sovereignty is one thing. But the Pakistanis have suffered over 30,000 killed in Taliban attacks over the last number of years. Furthermore, the military suffered over 10,000 casualties (3000 killed) in the various offensives into Waziristan and Swat Valley in 2008/09. The American media in particular seem to be jockeying to out do each other in their belittling of Pakistan. I say, is it time we gave them a break?

9 comments:

Gary said...

Ted,

No. It isn't. The ISI has been feeding us useless, questionable and misleading intel for years.

The country has protested some of our actions by closing check points which created back ups of over 200 fuel trucks, and then failed to protect those convoys against Taliban mortar and rocket attacks.

Pakistan is also an ally of China and buys most of its tanks and planes from China -they also give China access to every piece of military technology we give them to fight al Qaeda and the Taliban.
I have been talking about this for years now and am now quite happy that people are finally waking up to it.

In spite of all the rhetoric, the Pakistan-American alliance is in no real danger of collapse -both sides simply need each other too much to let that happen. But the relationship needs to be examined and Pakistan needs to start being a better actor on these issues.

Gary

Ted Leddy said...

Gary

Fair points, particularly regarding China. But specifically regarding the question of hiding Bin Laden. Why would they? What's in it for them? The traditional explanation for Pakistani support of extremism is to potentially use them in Kashmir against Indian forces. But they were hardly harbouring Bin Laden for that purpose. Remember the images from 2002 when Pakistani forces emerged from a building after a ferocious gunfight dragging Khalid Sheikh Mohammed behind them. They didn't hide him, I just don't see why they would hide Bid Laden.

Paul said...

Because opinion polls have showed the majority of Pakistan's people regarded Bin Liner as a hero. They sought an accommodation with him, elements of the ISI and Pakistan military provided sanctuary and in return Bin Liner was not to foment unrest in Pakistan.

What you referred to in 2002 was Binsalibh not KSM, Binsalibh had prior to his arrest in 2002 made video appearances in which he attempted to incite Pakistanis to join his cause against US but significantly Musharraf the Pakistan leader as well.

Gary said...

Ted,

Pakistan, or rather elements within the Pakistani command structure, very likely ISI, did it for 2 very obvious reasons 0Ideology and greed.

Ideologically, there are a lot of people in Pakistan that actually agree with al Qaeda and would like to see them succeed in forcing Western influences out of "Muslim Lands". As for greed, al Qaeda is quite capable of paying off officials to look the other way and for protection 0this seem to be a way of life in Pakistan.

As for the rest of the government, as long as al Qaeda is a threat, they know the US will continue to court them as allies and continue the billions of dollars in foreign aid they get.

It is not rocket science.

Gary

Ted Leddy said...

Paul

I stand corrected on Binsalibh, although it was the Pakistanis who captured KSM on another occasion.

On your other point. It makes sense and it is a reason. But if so Bin Laden was not keeping his end of the deal as Al Quaeda have been fomenting unrest and committing mass murder in Pakistan for years.

Ted Leddy said...

Gary

I understand your point but given the stigma of Bin laden and magnitute of his crimes I do wonder how "looking the other way" could ever have been a viable policy for the Pakistanis given the risk of this being exposed.

Al Quaeda may be able to bribe Pakistani officials, but 3 billion in US aid is a much bigger incentive.

I'm not trying to defend the Pakistanis. I'm just putting it out there that incompetence could be the reason Bin Ladedn was undetected for so long in Abbattobad.

Gary said...

Ted,

I admire the fact that you are very fair minded and go to lengths to consider all view points. In this case, however, I just do not buy it. The pattern of passive aggressive behavior and corruption is just too much to ignore. The anti-American feelings so wide spread in Pakistan should, by itself, be enough to explain bin Ladens being there without detection. -and it should also be a red flag regarding the reliability of an alliance with Pakistan.

Gary

Paul said...

Gary, 100% agree.

Corner Guy said...

There is no way the international community can be sympathetic to Pakistan.Pakistan has been running a proxy war against India for the past 2 decades now; there is irrefutable evidence that the terrorism is state sponsored (evidence lies both with the Indian intel and the FBI). Pakistan directs every piece of supplied American military equipment in bolstering its Anti-India arsenal and arming terrorists and jehadists.