Thursday, August 02, 2007

Pakistan and the US; Not Just An Open Letter to the Obama Campaign

I just sent this to the Obama campaign--the point raised goes way beyond the Senator's presidential fortunes:

Re: The war we need to win

You know, the funny thing is, a major presidential candidate recently said:

"And Pakistan needs more than F-16s to combat extremism. As the Pakistani government increases investment in secular education to counter radical madrasas, my Administration will increase America's commitment. We must help Pakistan invest in the provinces along the Afghan border, so that the extremists' program of hate is met with one of hope. And we must not turn a blind eye to elections that are neither free nor fair --our goal is not simply an ally in Pakistan, it is a democratic ally."

And no one noticed.

I don't need to tell y'all that the excerpt above is from the same Obama speech that is being quoted and re-quoted today.

If one steps back a bit, it really is very, very symptomatic of the underlying disconnect between the American establishment, in particular, and the Muslim world that in the same speech, the same gentleman that said the above and also says, describes the the Iraq War as:

"a misguided invasion of a Muslim country that sparks new insurgencies, ties down our military, busts our budgets, increases the pool of terrorist recruits, alienates America, gives democracy a bad name, and prompts the American people to question our engagement in the world..."

then advocates unilateral military action within the sovereign territory of the second largest Muslim nation in the world--five or six times as populous as Iraq. If George W. Bush is not the only one who can't formulate any polcy beyond alternating between supporting dictators with military aid on the one hand and the unilateral use of military force on the other--notwithstanding what I quote Barack Obama as having said in words that sound like wonderful music to the ears of this Pakistani resident of the US--then what hope do we have for world peace?

As a flashback, please do check out this picture of better days:

and the following blog post by Prof. Adil Najam up at Tufts:

I am copying this mail to the editors at the South Asian Journalists' Association Blog and, probably the most popular blog in the Pakistani American community. Hopefully they will consider it or inclusion/posting.

If anyone wants to discuss these issues further, do drop me a line.

Warm regards, and good luck with the campaign,


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