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Monday, 05.10.2010, 07:03pm (GMT)
By Arthur Kent, Skyreporter.com
Yet this coverup runs a distant second to America’s two decades of denial over Pakistan’s role in exporting terror to Afghanistan, India and a growing list of Western nations.
Now both these dysfunctional constants of U.S. foreign policy have boomeranged back into Washington D.C., and the ducking of official heads has begun.
The apparent link between the would-be Times Square bomber and the Pakistani Taliban has made Pakistan's complicity with Islamist violence impossible to ignore by even the most unworldly of Washington's governing elite.
The revelation dawns just as Hamid Karzai comes to town with his entourage, and it's a development the embattled Afghan president can be expected to play to the hilt.
Contrary to expectations, there'll be nothing apologetic about Karzai's return to his great patron’s capital. Instead, smug “we told you so’s” will glide from the tongues of the ballot-stuffer-in-chief and his shadowy ministers.
Even from those rogues, it is an undeniable truism that if America really wishes to fight terrorism in Afghanistan, the campaign must begin in Pakistan.
Where does this leave Barack Obama? Will the sting of hearing sound advice from untrustworthy pawns finally prompt the president to act intelligently, not just decisively?
Will Obama at last demand that his generals, spy chiefs and diplomats see things as they really are in Southwest Asia, and adapt U.S. policies accordingly?
This seems too much to hope for.
Currently the Obama administration is training Pakistani pilots on updated versions of the F-16. The Pentagon will soon be adding eighteen of the warplanes to Pakistan’s arsenal.
This is a travesty, given that another wing of the Pakistani military actively and materially supports Afghan Taliban groups that are slaughtering the Pentagon’s men in Afghanistan, along with hapless civilians and the troops of America’s coalition partners.
How can Obama complain about the Times Square bomber’s backers in Waziristan, while doing nothing about the Pakistani officers who urge on Mullah Omar’s guerrillas from their safe havens in Baluchistan?
And what about Pakistani support for Sirajuddin Haqqani’s fighters, the Afghan suicide attackers who are openly allied to the militant group cited by Attorney General Eric Holder as the bank and brains behind Faisal Shahzad’s attempt to bomb a crowded New York street?
A cynic (or diehard realist) might reasonably bring this line of questioning back in Karzai’s direction.
Why be troubled by the facts on the ground in Pakistan while Washington’s $300 Billion Dollar Man, Hamid Karzai, continues to front a regime of abject criminality in Afghanistan, a sham of a government that is undermining the U.S.-led initiative to bring some measure of stability to the region?
Brazenly, the Afghan leader has broken the pledges he gave to Obama and other coalition leaders in the aftermath of last year’s fraud ridden presidential election.
A senior diplomat at one of Kabul’s European embassies tells Skyreporter: “Karzai’s promises to combat corruption have turned out to be stillborn. Dead on arrival. A bad joke, in other words.”
Little has changed, then, since November, when Obama’s own ambassador, Karl Eikenberry, summed up Karzai in official cables as “not an adequate strategic partner” who “continues to shun responsibility for any sovereign burden, whether defense, governance or development.”
That frank assessment was soon papered over by the administration, much to Karzai’s delight. He’s taken to scorning Washington’s rebukes, even shifting the blame for embezzlement to his Western patrons.
Last month in a speech to tribal elders in Kunduz province, Karzai stated: “The meat I receive, I share out justly, but the meat others receive is not shared out justly.”
Karzai continued: “The others are our foreign friends. When they bring all the money to us, we will distribute it justly. When they spend it, it will not be distributed justly. I give you my assurance my dear people.”
This from a man whose regime shields some of the biggest and wealthiest criminal rings in Southwest Asia. And whose brothers Qayoom, Mahmood and Wali, by any objective assessment, warrant investigation by the D.E.A. and the F.B.I.
Instead, the grasping Karzais and their cronies continue to enjoy the Obama administration’s patronage, by way of the C.I.A. and Pentagon, even while the list of America’s dead grows longer, faster.
The U.S. Defense Department claims that 967 U.S. servicemen and women have given their lives in Afghanistan since 2001. The 95 troops lost in action so far this year constitute a marked increase over the 50 killed during the same period in 2009.
But neither that grim toll, nor the 300 billion U.S. tax dollars invested in Afghanistan since 2001, have caused the makers of law, opinion and disinformation in Washington D.C. to confront the inconsistencies of U.S. policy in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
Unless that changes, Times Square will eventually give way to some other ground zero. And history will record that the terrorists’ crucial accomplice was our own leaders’ devotion to denial.