Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Our Good Buddies in Pakistan

Pakistan: our buddies. They're supposedly helping out in Afghanistan by sealing their border so taliban insurgents can't escape into Pakistan. Such great buddies.

But now our great buddies in Pakistan have made a peace agreement with local taliban-friendly tribal leaders. The agreement involves the removal of Pakistani forces from the area (so no more border patrol) and the return of weapons and taliban prisoners, in exchange for which local tribal leaders have pledged to stop attacks in Pakistan. So instead of sealing off the border, they've created a whole safe zone for the taliban in the border area (and probably inside Pakistan). And the weapons and prisoners they're giving back will ultimately be used against us, their allies. Such great buddies.

If that wasn't special enough, the Pakistani army has said that if osama bin laden is in Pakistan, they won't go after him as long as he behaves himself. Would it be rude to suggest that this would qualify Pakistan as one of those "terrorist safe havens" that George is always talking about? Yes, it would be rude; after all, Pakistan is our buddy.

It doesn't surprise me to hear about things like this coming out of that fucked-up part of the world. In an area so torn with centuries-old tribal conflicts and endless war, that's just the way it works. It's probably not possible that some intangible idea like democracy could pull everyone together. The only thing they're all likely to agree on is that they really don't want us there. Even our great buddy, Pakistan. But in the guise of the so-called "war on terrorism" our forces remain, fighting a war that's unwinnable for a cause that's impossible.

As Bush and Harper shake hands with their great buddy Musharraf, behind their backs he's quietly supporting the people we're supposed to be fighting. But all that matters is presenting the image of a united front in the "war on terror", because that's how it works in this fucked-up part of the world: image is everything.