Monday, December 8, 2008

Ongoing Hypocrissy: The Pakistan Policy

One thing I've learned in all these years since 9-11 is humility when it comes to foreign policy decisions. What to do about Pakistan is a question I couldn't even begin to have a strong opinion about. It bothered me that they propped up military dictator Pervez Musharraf' while preaching democracy. It did not set a good example. But he represented stability in a nuclear armed and potentially hostile country. He's gone now. Nowadays it's hardly a western style democracy, even less stable and the US still sends $1 billion a year in military aid.

What is really unacceptable is that they openly harbour terrorists. Patrick French has an Op-Ed in the New York Times Today

But there is no sane reason to think Lashkar-e-Taiba would shut down if the situation in Kashmir improved. Its literature is much concerned with establishing a caliphate in Central Asia, and murdering those who insult the Prophet. Its leader, Hafiz Saeed, who lives on a large estate outside Lahore bought with Saudi Money, goes about his business with minimal interference from the Pakistani government.

Lashkar-e-Taiba is part of the International Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders (the Qaeda franchise). Mr. Saeed’s hatreds are catholic — his bugbears include Hindus, Shiites and women who wear bikinis. He regards democracy as “a Jewish and Christian import from Europe,” and considers suicide attacks to be in accordance with Islam. He has a wider strategy: “At this time our contest is Kashmir. Let’s see when the time comes. Our struggle with the Jews is always there.” As he told his followers in Karachi at a rally in 2000: “There can’t be any peace while India remains intact. Cut them, cut them — cut them so much that they kneel before you and ask for mercy.” In short, he has an explicit political desire to create a state of war between the religious communities in India and beyond, and bring on the endgame.

Like other exponents of Islamist extremism, he has a view of the world that does not tolerate doubt or ambiguity: his opponents are guilty, and must be killed.

This is unacceptable. The potential for a high scale catastrophe could happen at any time. What on earth can be done? I don't envy Obama when he has to sort through this.

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