Friday, May 1, 2009

US Calling Pakistan's Eight Year Bluff? Supporting a Coup?

Supposedly, the Americans are imposing a deadline on the Pakistan Army to do something about the Taliban take-over of their country. The Daily Telegraph Reports:
Gen Petraeus reportedly said that "we've heard it all before" from the Pakistanis and he is looking to see concrete action by the government to destroy the Taliban in the next two weeks before determining the next course of action for the US.

"The Pakistanis have run out of excuses" and are "finally getting serious" about combating the threat from Taliban and al-Qaeda extremists operating out of north-west Pakistan, the general added.

He made these assessments in talks with US congressmen and members of the Senate, according to the Fox News channel.

Officials said that Gen Petraeus and senior officials in the Obama administration believe that the Pakistani army, led by Gen Ashfaq Kayani, is "superior" to the civilian government.
Petraeus is a very credible voice in the US Army, and we'll what that means. By the sound of it, they appear to be supporting a Coup d’├ętat from the Pakistani military. This makes for interesting intrigue.

I'm surprised they are using such candid words about the military being superior to the civilian government. Bringing supposed democracy to Afghanistan but supporting a military coup in the neighboring country looks hypocritical. (Or maybe this is the American version of a bluff.)

This has always been a problem the US will face in the region. They promote democracy, but what happens if the popular vote elect a fundamentalist, and terrorist supporting party, like they did with Hamas in Gaza? Or in the case of Pakistan a weak, ineffectual government that is not stopping a Taliban take-over of their country? It's a difficult question. Too difficult to make a hands on decision. Therefore, the answer is a hands off solution: Leave the region entirely. Send the tankers, protected by the navy to pick up the oil, and leave it at that.

Is withdrawing from the region so crazy and unthinkable? Compared to dealing with this irrational region, with its shape shifting allegiances? The US is draining its Treasury, and wasting time and effort trying to stabilize it. Unfortunately, it's ending up destabilizing themselves. Get. Out. Of. There.

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