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article imageOp-Ed: American-Pakistani Friendship — At an End?

By John Dewar Gleissner     Sep 3, 2011 in World
American-Pakistani friendship is not ending -- it never existed. We can find ways not to need their assistance. Lowering our profile in the Muslim world is a good place to start.
How Can the U.S. Trust Pakistan, and Vice Versa?
American-Pakistani relations suffered a major blow when the world learned that Osama bin Laden had been hiding out near Pakistan's military academy for years in a compound built for bin Laden's use. Pakistan's reaction to the raid killing bin Laden was revealing: joy in the death of America's archenemy was lacking and Pakistani criticism immediately issued. Pakistan had been playing a double game, capitalizing on the perceived need for their cooperation in hunting down bin Laden while concealing him close to their own military. The United States provided Pakistan with military aid and large amounts of money, which is what Pakistan wanted over the years since 9/11. U.S. “investment” in the government and military of Pakistan was also supposed to keep Pakistani nuclear weapons out of the hands of radical Islamists.
The public does not know the true extent of cooperation between the Pakistani and American military and intelligence communities. Some power factions in Pakistan may be on the American side, but we cannot be sure. Powerful evidence indicates Pakistan had a vested interest in keeping United States engaged in Afghanistan and concerned for Pakistan’s cooperation.
The problem with American-Pakistani relations is the same underlying problem America faces in its relations with all Muslim countries: The United States simply has not understood the extent to which many Muslims hate our guts. Their holy book warns Muslims not to be friends with Christians and Jews and allows them to treat other religions without the same honesty and respect owed to other Muslims. The Islamic worldview encourages conquest.
When the West and Islam clashed during the Crusades, Islam was arguably ahead of the West. The West translated Islamic books into Western languages, while Islam disdained to learn about infidel knowledge. Western technology, reflected in economic and military power, overcame Islam and eventually turned Muslim nations into Western colonies. Western dominance over Muslim lands directly contradicted the Muslims’ understanding of their role in the world. We learn in Professor Bernard Lewis's book What Went Wrong? that Muslims resent Western superiority in most aspects of military affairs, technology, government, political stability and economic development. (Book). And yet, Muslims retained some moral superiority by virtue of their relatively lower crime rates, addictions, illegitimate births and sexual decadence.
To the extent American relations with any Muslim nation depend upon reliability and stability, the scarcity of democracy in the Muslim world dooms those relations to continuing upset or threats. We cannot truly expect Muslim nations to ever accept American culture or soldiers within their countries. Clearly, the United States is wasting its money to try to build other nations. American "experts" concerned about Pakistan's failing economy ought to tell us how much American money it will take to prop up a poor nation of 187 million people.
The American public is increasingly willing to withdraw troops from Iraq, Afghanistan and other foreign nations, saving billions of dollars. As the United States reduces its presence in the Muslim world, retaining of course a few isolated strategic bases, we will again see Muslim factions at war with each other. Then they will need us.
Strong alliances are based upon need, and eventually we will conclude that we do not need Pakistan as much as we earlier thought. Trust between the United States and Pakistan will grow once the U.S. no longer pays Pakistan billions of dollars, conducts military operations in the region and visibly reminds them of our relative power and wealth. To control nuclear threats, the United States would do well to fall back on its mutually assured destruction strategy, which successfully kept the Soviet Union and Red China in line, or perhaps pre-emptive strikes. The United States must try to maintain good relations with all nations, though it will help moving forward to remember George Washington's Farewell Address: “There can be no greater error than to expect or calculate upon real favors from nation to nation.” [url=http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp]http://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/washing.asp
American-Pakistani friendship is not ending -- it never was a true friendship. And we cannot get divorced, because we were never married.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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