The Pakistan problem
Few readers who comment today on an article and a column have good things to say about the situation in Afghanistan and the reliance the Obama Administration is placing on Pakistan for help in closing down insurgent sanctuaries.
Reader comments are not a scientific measure of anything, but a Washington Post-ABC News poll on July 11 showed the public was split right down the middle about whether it approves of the way the administration is handling the situation in Afghanistan. And that was before the Wikileaks cluster bomb.
Karin Brulliard interviewed former Pakistani spy chief Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul, who said the document release was the start of a White House plot that would end in an early withdrawal from Afghanistan. And columnist David Ignatius wrote that "Although the Obama administration has played down the leaks in general, senior officials agree that Pakistan's ability to close the sanctuaries is an absolutely crucial issue."
It was against this background yesterday that the House overcame the opposition of some Democrats and approved a $37 billion war-funding measure.
We'll start with comments on the Gull interview and amathur16, who wrote, "The US Pakistan relationship can at best be described [as] traitorous. The happy days of ousting the Soviet Union from Afghanistan are gone..."
shobha1 said, "...Pakmil and the ISI [Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency] know where Osama, Zawahiri, and mullah omar are. They are the biggest Pakistani assets to bilk the billions out of the US as long as they are not captured the US will fork over money to Pakistan for their capture. So Pakistan has no incentive to give up their golden geese. Its high time the US realized their game and not let pakistan play them for fools."
Americafirst said, "After spending over 800 billion dollars on wars we didn't need to fight, big surprise there's no money left for social security for our old people. Stop spending our tax money and the lives and limbs of America's young men and women to benefit the Chamber of Commerce, NYC neo-cons, and Wall Street..."
And eaglehawkaroundsince1937 wrote, "Anything that says LEAVE NOW sounds good to me, by air, boat, boxcar, mule - just leave now. Regroup, repair, restructure our defenses and rattle that Big Teddy Roosevelt stick that sends the message that we will protect our borders at any and all cost. Chase the illegals back to where they came from to make room for the returning vets."
UrasaJapan said, "The Pakis have milked Uncle Sam like New Jersey Milch cow and continue to do so. For them a few hundred additional graves in Arlington is of no consequence. The whole sordid saga is horrid beyond words"
Conspiracy theory of the day comes from Realist201, who wrote, "There is some truth to this as Obama has done nothing about the leak, and he wants to avoid the nation's acorn [scorn] when he runs away from Afghanistan in "Viet Nam" fashion. This "leak" has all the fingers of a White House inspired plan....just like Magruder used to plan and orchestrate during the Nixon years."
leelrogers said, "General Gul could have some of his story correct, but I would say the whole region is packed with doublecrosses and double agents. No one can be trusted on either side."
We'll close this section with nickwib, who wrote, "Misinformation. There should be a competition to find the world champion."
All comments on the Gull interview are here.
Now to comments on David Ignatius's column, starting with hit4cycle, who wrote, "Of course we can't trust the Pakastani's! They help us just enough to preserve the illusion and to keep the cash coming. They're muslims and we're infidels and that's the bottom line."
diakrite said, "Trust them? Never. Need them? Yep...for now. And the[y] know that, so they keep trying to see what they can get away with, while India looks from the side-line, wringing it's hands in delight, seeing the Americans busy fixing "The Pakistan problem", India already knew existed. They could have told America, had The US asked... Such is the way of politics in Asia.."
dmblum wrote, "The U.S. military cannot achieve the goals of this mission, only Afghans can. It is unfair to ask them to transform an ancient tribal society.
Bring our troops home and bomb with impunity any taliban camps..."
MPatalinjug said, "...Keep in mind that the Pakistani military is the real power in Pakistan, not the corrupt government. And keep in mind, further, that the Pakistani intelligence service, the ISI, must be assumed to be completely in bed with the Pakistani military. Now it turns out, on documentary evidence, that the ISI is secretly helping the U.S.'s enemy, the Taliban!...No amount of rationalizing now could ever justify the U.S. continuing to wage a war that is hopelessly unwinnable."
moore_te asked, "An 'end state?' This isn't a video game or movie that comes to an 'end.'... There may arise conditions under which it will be politically palatable for us to withdraw and declare victory. (Meanwhile, as politicians cover their butts, kids die for nothing.) But history will march on..."
And kms123 quoted the column's headline, "Little choice but to depend on Pakistan's help in Afghanistan," and wrote, "No David, you are wrong. If we treat Pakistan as the rogue nation it is and give them them an ultimatum to stop state sponsorship of terrorism immediately they will come around."
We'll close this section with vineycb1, who said, "I agree that we have been foolish in relying on Pakistan to be frontline non-Nato ally in the global war on terror. But we shall go on being foolish for an indefinite length of time - until it is proved that the Allies cannot win against the Islamists, aided as they are by Mohammedans of all hues worldwide. When that happens, it will be time to go home, and we shall owe that denouement to Pakistan in no small measure. That will be reason enough for us to be grateful to Pakistan. Thank you, friend."
All comments on the Ignatius column are here.
July 28, 2010; 9:15 AM ET
Categories: Afghanistan , Pakistan | Tags: Afghanistan, Gull, Obama, Pakistan, Wikileaks
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