Wednesday, August 17, 2011

With "friends" like these ...

Remember that when our troops put Usama bin Laden in his place, one of our helicopters was downed.  The ever-lovable Pakistanis were not happy with us for taking out the man who killed 3,000 Americans who was living comfortably in their territory.  Now they're making us pay:
Pakistan gave China access to the previously unknown U.S. “stealth” helicopter that crashed during the commando raid that killed Osama bin Laden in May despite explicit requests from the CIA not to, the Financial Times reported Sunday.
The disclosure, if confirmed, is likely to further shake the U.S.-Pakistan relationship, which has been improving slightly of late after hitting its lowest point in decades following the bin Laden killing in a Pakistani garrison city.

During the raid, one of two modified Black Hawk helicopters, thought to employ unknown stealth capability, malfunctioned and crashed, forcing the commandos to abandon it.
“The U.S. now has information that Pakistan, particularly the ISI, gave access to the Chinese military to the downed helicopter in Abbottabad,” the paper quoted a person “in intelligence circles” as saying on its Web site.
The ISI, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, is Pakistan’s top spy agency.
No one from the Pakistani army was available for comment, but the ISI denied the report. The paper said Pakistan’s top general, army chief Ashfaq Kayani, denied that China had been given access to the aircraft.
Shortly after the raid, Pakistan hinted that it might give China access to the helicopter, given Pakistan’s fury over the raid, which it considers a grievous violation of its sovereignty.
Bite me, Pakis.  You gave shelter to a man who was responsible for the deaths of 3,000 Americans and who planned to kill many, many more, all in order to impose a barbaric tyranny on the world, a barbaric tyranny that you support.


Oh, where to start? How 'bout Jazz Shaw:
Let’s not pretend that our relationships in the Af-Pak region aren’t complicated. We’ve got an unpopular government in Kabul who ostensibly want to help us in our fight against the Taliban. But our allies next door in Pakistan have a deeply embedded intelligence service who seem a little too comfortable with the Taliban. Meanwhile, Pakistan hates India, who is also an ally of ours, and they’ve both got nukes. Nothing’s ever easy, is it? But there’s really no excuse for this.
Gateway Pundit:
Obama could have ordered a drone strike on the US helicopter wreckage at Osama Bin Laden’s compound. He didn’t. And, so after the assault on Osama’s compound Chinese officials went to Pakistan to inspect the wreckage of the US chopper held by the Pakistani government.
The Pakistanis didn’t want to give it back to the US. They were upset about the “illegal strike” inside Pakistan.

In terms of defense and foreign policy, Obama has his faults.  (Many, many ... many faults.)  But I won't pin this one on his.  Unlike many of Obama's other policies, refraining from such a strike here is defensible, even if it didn't work out for us.  The diplomatic issues were bad enough as it was.  Needed to restraint to have any chance of repairing them, but at this point I think that ship may have sailed.

Just lovely. Our "friends" the Pakistanis, the best allies money can rent, have apparently continued hedging their bets as far as who will be their sugar daddy. With the planeloads of loot we have been supplying them, which they tranship almost immediately to Dubai, in jeopardy they have continued to play footsie with the Chinese.


If you thought the people taking the most advantage of the bin Laden raid to advance themselves all worked at the White House, think again. Amidst the faux outrage that we violated the physical sovereignty of a nation that hosts more jihadists than anywhere on Earth, is a calculated bit of extortion writ large. The Pakistanis have been shaking us down for years, but since the gravy train from DC is likely to be shut down in favor of high speed rail to nowhere, they are holding a bidding war for BFFs.The Chinese have been playing expansionist politics all over their hemisphere and Pakistan is a great place to tweak our noses.

We have spent untold billions to gain Pakistani support for the efforts to shut down safe havens on their border w/ Afghanistan.The problem all along has been they are the founding funders of and continued supporters of the same groups we pay them to "fight". Now of course they have some interest in keeping the jihadi elements marginalized, but most of their "help" involves telling us where to find the ones who are out of favor with them. Then we send those guys some Hellfire and everyone pats each other on the back.
Blackfive touches on the question of where to go from here.  Shaw has his own opinions:
So what do you do with somebody like Asif Ali Zardari when open sores like this keep popping up over and over again? Congress has been debating cutting off aid to them since early this year, but thus far it appears to have all been saber rattling. When so much of the money we send them seems to wind up being poured directly into corruption and decay, it begins to look like we’re actually fueling the problem and paying off the bad guys to act slightly less badly.
But if we do pull the trigger and start shutting off the flow of cash, are we driving them further into the arms of China? (Or worse, strengthening the hand of nations like Iran?) It’s getting hard to remember who we’re fighting for over there anymore.
The major problem in the Af-Pak theater is one of geography.  Our major war is in Afghanistan, with the people who directly and indirectly caused the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 -- al Qaida and the Taliban.  The reason the war in Afghanistan is so difficult for us is because it is landlocked, with no access to the sea whatsoever.  That limits the men and materiel we can send over there.  The only country that can give us that access is Pakistan.  Unfortunately, while much of the elite who run Pakistan actually like the US and the West, they also support al Qaida and the Taliban -- heck, they created the Taliban -- in part to counter India.  Pakistan hates India, partly because of Kashmir, partly because of other religious and ethnic issues, and seems to enjoy doing things like attacking Indian's major cities with terrorist bombs.

India hates Pakistan right back.  Both of these countries are itching to go to war with each other, and, unfortunately, they have nukes.  But India, largely because of the work of George W. Bush and despite Obama's best efforts, is a functioning democracy that is an actual friend to the US and a rival of Communist China and its malevolent agenda. 

With the war in Af-Pak becoming so problematic for us (not to mention expensive), I wonder if the best and cheapest option for us now is to wash our hands of it and tell India, "They're all yours."

It would be a nightmare for Pakistan and Afghanistan, and tie down China.

China does it to us.  Perhaps we should turn the tables.

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