Down with the United States. Oh, wait a second! Thanks to the United States! We love them! No, wait. Where is the “Down with the United States” poster? What have they done for us lately?
Pakistani crowds have taken to the streets again to denounce the American attacks against hidden terrorists in Pakistan. Demonstrators question the results of the polls that show Pakistanis are grateful for the assistance given by the United States after the earthquake. There has been no change in the opinions of the farmers who got our help. However, the Pakistani public opinion is changeable and it usually tends to go to the extremes. This explains Washington’s policy in Pakistan, an essential country that’s helping us in our war against Al Qaeda. Without Pervez Musharraf’s assistance, neither the United States nor NATO could fight the Talibans or Bin Laden’s fanatics. But without Musharraf’s complicity, the rebellion would have been over already. The Hellfire missiles launched by Predator drone planes were a message to Musharraf: the sanctuary Al Qaeda has in the border with Afghanistan goes beyond the limits of the tolerable strategic ambiguity.
In view of the intensification of the attacks against American and NATO’s troops in Afghanistan, Washington told the Pakistani army where the terrorist centres were located. But considering Musharraf’s inactivity, the American army was forced to intervene and murder four leaders of Al Qaeda. However, some children were killed too and Musharraf enjoys seeing Washington as the responsible for this collateral damage. In fact, the United States has been operating in the region for several months but Pakistan’s incapacity to assist our troops forced us to carry out an operation that took the lives of civilians.
We hope Musharraf understands he has a lot to lose if he doesn’t fight terrorism.
“Message to Musharraf”, by Jim Hoagland, Washington Post, January 22, 2006.