Thursday, December 10, 2009

Piece of Mind

We just got lectured in a very public forum. In his editorial in today's New York Times ('How to Mend Fences with Pakistan'), President Zadari of Pakistan gives us a piece of his mind.

First, Zadari defends his country's actions in chasing after the bad guys (Taliban and Al Qaeda) and chastises us for questioning the strength of their resolve to address what they consider a joint war against a common enemy.Then he really laces into us, reminding us of our recent actions in both Pakistan and Afghanistan that left both of these countries in dire straits. Zadari contends that we were the instrument in the past that in large part allowed the present to occur.

And this is what are friends think of us. When we wonder if we will ever be able to escape the quagmire of the middle east let the words of Zadari resonate in our minds. We have shown ourselves not to be a reliable ally. There is a level of distrust for our country and our level of commitment that will never go away, no matter how many dollars we pour into a country or how many of our soldiers we put in harm's way. We will always be disliked and we will always be asked to leave on the next train.

Zadari does soften his rhetoric and ends his piece in a conciliatory tone. He speaks of a partnership with our country, one in which he seeks our assistance in making sure that there is a 'robust democratic Pakistan' that will serve as the best hope for a secure future. However, while he admits to needing us, Zadari clearly doesn't want us getting in the way.

When our battle with those who are on our side is this hard, there would seem no realistic possibility of achieving long term goals in this region of the world. We have been incapable of recognizing this harsh and inescapable truth. It is time we learned.



Jack said...

Not to worry, Obama will apologize for our shortcomings, make some new promises we can't keep, and all will be well again. That is, until the next crisis erupts.
Any chance you saw the latest political developments in Kentucky?

Unknown said...

Can we ever stop being the world's policeman? I've wondered this for a long time. Truly, what have been the long term benefits of conducting ourselves in this manner over the last many years? I'm sure there are examples and I'd love to hear them. But I have to say the cons seem to far outweigh the pros. No one pays us back. No one thanks us. No one likes us. People we help then turn around and attack us. Nothing gets cheaper. People die. Etc. I fail to see the overall positive in all that we do with our foreign policies. I fail to see the reason why we work on other countries issues before we come close to solving ours. And in doing so, we spend an enormous amount of money that should be going to these domestic issues. This is all money that is much needed here, in the US, but instead we need to create taxes and other things to cover a myriad of financial needs. So, while we could use OUR money on OURSELVES, we decide to use it on others and then have to raise/spend more money to use on ourselves. I think until other countries start to put their hands out with freebies of money, soldiers, food for our poor (why are we so concerned about the helping the poor people in other countries when we can't even properly take care of our own) to us...ours should go back into our own pockets and stay there.

Unknown said...

To me, helping everyone else has seemed to be a lose-lose every time. Oh, and many times we come off as gullible, naive fools.

Robert said...

The young man definitely has opinions. It is awfully nice to see you take such a hard look at the pros and cons of foreign involvement