Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pakistan Policy

The New York Times has a real dilly of a piece today, titled Dealing With Pakistan.” A few months ago we were wooing Pakistan and making veiled threats against Afghanistan’s Karzai, then we went to making open threats against Pakistan and hosting Karzai at a state dinner in Washington, and now we are wooing Pakistan again. The piece contains this little treasure,

The United States still does not have a good enough strategy for winning over Pakistan’s people, who are fed a relentless diet of anti-American propaganda.

Part of the “propaganda” is, of course, American-operated Predator drones firing Hellfire missiles into their villages. Are we actually surprised by that program having an anti-American effect? The least we could do, it seems to me, is use names for them other than things like “Predator” and “Hellfire.”

The piece goes on to say that, “The Obama administration came in determined to change that narrative.” Really. By increasing the pace of the predator drone strikes?

The piece says that Congress has approved $1.5 billion in aid to Pakistan for the improvement of relations with the country, but that the State Department hasn’t yet figured out how to spend it. I don’t know which to comment on first, a government agency that can’t figure out how to spend money, or that State couldn’t decide who to bribe. Or that we are spending money to build things in a country that we are simultaneously bombing with Hellfire missiles.

The piece finishes with, “Changing Pakistani attitudes about the United States will take generations.” It might take longer than that if we keep using Hellfire missiles.

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