U.S. and Pakistan: Sleeping with the Enemy

Frank Crimi is a San Diego-based writer and author of the book Raining Frogs and Heart Attacks. You can read more of Frank's work at his blog,www.politicallyunbalanced.com.


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The addition of Islamic militants into Afghanistan has also included over 1,000 suicide bombers, all trained in the Pakistani city of Quetta. In disturbing comments made by a spokesman for the Fedayeen-e-Islam — a terrorist group based in Pakistan – - “We have three facilities exclusively for Fedayeen (suicide bombers). Each one has more than 350 men being trained in it.”

Unfortunately, the United States is also facing a growing populist Pakistani backlash over its most productive and effective counter-insurgency tool in the region: Predator drone attacks on al Qaeda, Taliban and other insurgent forces holed up in Pakistan’s northwestern tribal regions.

While there have been over 250 such drone attacks since 2008, the number in the last year alone has jumped to 117, more than all previous years combined. This spike in attacks has brought a corresponding assault on low-level insurgent fighters and junior commanders, not just top militant leaders. As such, over 1,500 people have been reportedly killed, a boost in deaths that has caused growing animosity among many Pakistanis.

That public anger came to full fruition when a recent US predator attack on a Haqqani group and an allied Pakistani militant outfit in North Waziristan killed 25 people. The strike drew a sharp rebuke from Pakistan’s government. That admonishment then led to Pakistani protesters organizing a government-sanctioned three day blockade of the overland roads from Pakistan’s Pesawar province into Afghanistan.

As one organizer said, they were “going to start blocking these roads to make sure that no NATO supplies get through – until the Americans categorically state that they will not violate Pakistan’s sovereignty.” The situation has reached such a fever pitch that unconfirmed reports soon began to circulate that the United States had actually abandoned its key Predator drone airbase at Shamsi, Baluchistan in southern Pakistan.

Still, some maintain the Pakistani government’s current actions constitute nothing more than a continuation of its longtime wink-and-nod approach to American policy moves, one of private encouragement coupled by public condemnation

As one analyst pointed out, “The Pakistanis are masterful at creating these imbroglios which become enormous domestic issues, which they then use to try to reset the relationship with the United States more on their terms.”

However, this time around Pakistan’s actions may actually be an accurate reflection of a new policy direction. From universities to the media to security forces to political parties, Islamic extremism in Pakistani society has been on a marked rise for years. Added into the mix is a weak and corrupt ruling secular Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which has barely attempted to stem this rising tide of Islamic radicalization.

However, that radicalization has now reached unprecedented depths in 2011 with the assassinations of Pakistan’s Minority Affairs Minister Shahbaz Bhatti and Punjab Governor Salman Taseer for denouncing a blasphemy law that makes it a crime to insult the prophet Muhammad, the Koran or Islam.

As one liberal Pakistani lawmaker bleakly commented on the current climate in Pakistan, “I have been advised by everyone to go home, to go into hibernation. What else can I do? Am I supposed to come out on the road and say, ‘Come on and kill me?’ They are roaming around, and our lives are under threat.”

Unfortunately, if Pakistan’s recent actions are any indication, American lives may be under equal threat as well.

Frank Crimi is a writer living in San Diego, California. You can read more of Frank’s work at his blog, www.politicallyunbalanced.com.

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  • Nit

    Interesting. Since US is ready to work with a entity, which US itself flag it as a terror org, why doesn't US directly deal with Taliban. If you can give them 10 billion dollars, the way Pakistan has received, may be you would have a favorable outcome.

    • Bloodroot

      Yeah. People made similar arguments about how to deal with facism. This isn't about one man, like Hitler or Stalin, however, it's a whole group of people: They grew up believing extreme religious viewpoints on women, people of other races and faiths, the expendability of human life (as long as it's in the name of God), and are happy to wage a lifetime of jihad against the west. Farming poppies and getting fabulously wealthy would be second rate to killing a lot of Americans to these people. Yeah, let's work with them. Forget it. There needs to be a generation of Pashtuns and Pakistanis that flatly reject religious life or religious arguments. There is no other way.

  • Amused

    Boy ! Is this a NEWS-FLASH or what ? ISI , has been instrumental in setting up the Taliban in Afghanistan , BEFORE 9/11 , the constant attacks on Kashmir , ISI warned Bin laden of the cruise missile attack during Clintons Admin . ISI knows and has known Bin ladens whereabouts .The Pakistani Govt . knows this and does nothing . ISI is intertwined in Pakistans Military , as well as its political system . ISI warns terrorist within pakistans borders of impending Pakistani Military operations against them . And our tax dollars are going to facilitate ISI . Pakistan is no ally , it is our ENEMY -KILLING OUR KIDS IN AFGHANISTAN . DUHHH !!!

  • Amused

    ISI is an arm of Islamic TERRORISM …and has been .WHEN are we gonna get it ? We supported West Pakistan in the 1971 Indo-Pakistan war .ISI knew of Bhutto's assasination .If anything INDIA should be our ally in that part of the world .ISI has even been suspected of involvement in the recent slaughter in Mumbai . WHEN , will we acknowledge this glaring duplicitousness ? Pakistan , the former West Pakistan, in its war with East pakistan , had as its directive to it's army ….to kill as many Hindus and Shia as they could …and THEY DID …1.4 million !! [conservative estimates ] until India intervened . For Hindus and Shia , the terrorism war started a long time ago .

  • Visitor

    Isn’t it amazing that same Haqqani group was freedom fighter when they were fighting against Russians and Americans undoubtedly supported them. Now the same group is a terrorist group. I don’t think Americans are that stupid to keep pouring money into Pakistan.

    To all of the above commentators, this game is beyond you, don’t stress yourselves out and watch the game. With comments like this you ate embarrassing yourselves. You have to get out of the hole you are living in to understand this game.

  • Dieter

    When Pakistan Intelligence Agency (ISI) was limiting terrorist attacks on India it did not sting the USA. When Pakistan Intelligence Agency expanded their targets to The Haqqani Network it began stinging the USA. Pakistan always was and is and will support terrorism as a state policy.

  • Fred Dawes

    Kids yes the boys in both the Chinese government And the ISI are our enemies both have the same goals and keep score on how much damage that both can do on the USA.

  • jim

    When will the world wake up to the actual great game nick(named as war on terror) being played by the US and its lowly puppets like India to capture and exploit world resources..

    • Hermes Epicureous

      Lowly puppets like India? It's Pakistan stupid!

  • Hermes Epicureous

    Bluntly put, the white guys are too dumb to see the obvious duplicity of the terrorist state of Pakistan. The whites have given Pakistanis a 'carte blanche' to commit Jihad worldwide, aided by burgeoning economic aid (mostly from from U.S. and U.K), and F-16's, Drones, AWAC's, C5 transport behemoths, night vision goggles, attack helicopters, etc., foolishly donated by the U.S. lawmakers.

    Nixon, Kissinger, Carter, Reagan, Bill and Hillary Clinton, Obama, Eric Holder, John McCain, John Kerry, Lind"Sissy'" Graham, Conyers, and a host of other Pakistan-friendly congressmen and senators have, over the past six decades' actively nurtured, bolstered, and financed this bastion of terrorism, commonly known as Pakistan.

    The evidence against Pakistan could not be more damaging or more clear-cut, but thanks to the boundless imbecility of whites, America's perverse love affair with Pakistan will continue to thrive like a turd blossom. So, brace yourselves for more murder and mayhem originating in Pakistan.