Wednesday, August 01, 2007

So you thought Mr. Bush was an idiot....

...Well, wait till you hear presidential hopeful Barack Obama speaking tough words on Pakistan:

"If we have actionable intelligence about high-value terrorist targets and President Musharraf won't act, we will," Mr Obama said on Wednesday during a speech at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, in Washington.

Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan's president, must do more to end terrorist operations in his country, Mr. Obama went on. If not, Pakistan would risk a troop invasion and the loss of hundreds of millions of dollars of US aid during an Obama presidency.

Wow - Attack Pakistan if we can kill or catch a couple of Al Qaeda-members there. What a wisdom!

I lived for three years in Pakistan, from September 12th 2001 until October 2004, and still frequently visit the country.

It is clear to me that Mr. Obama - although seemingly a nice guy - has NO CLUE about the complex situation in Pakistan.

An American attack on Pakistani soil is, by far, the most sensitive topic in Pakistan. Taliban, Al Qaeda and actually millions of ordinary Pakistanis constantly claim that the only reason America supports president Musharraf is to invade Pakistan - dismantle Pakistan's nuclear bomb, destroy the country and kill millions of Muslims. I always tell people in Pakistan that this doom-scenario is a little bit far fetched and part of the big passion for conspiracy-theories among many Muslims.

And then - bang! Barack Obama threatens Pakistan with the exact scenario that the Islamists are already talking about for many years now. Even I have to admit - the mullahs were right!

I've always been amazed how NONE of American scholars, politicians or Russia experts ever saw the collapse of communism coming. I've been utterly shocked that the Bush administration NEVER had a plan B after the initial victory over the Iraqi army.

Now Mr. Obama follows in the footsteps of these ignorant, bla-bla-bla people. All these politicians, specialists, professors or PHD wankers who sit on their asses in fancy offices or think-tank in Washington but never ever travel the world or visit the places that they specialize in.

Just watch the Sunday news shows on American TV. Some fat guy in a suit saying: "It is obvious that Musharraf should do much more." Really - how do you mean more? Should he bomb the Tribal Area's. Should he kill the 1.5 million brainwashed students at every madrassa, or quran school. Maybe it would be a good idea if president Musharraf kills every Pakistani. No Pakistan, no problems.

They all seem to forget that president Musharraf handed hundreds of Al Qaeda operatives over to the US. They ignore the fact that Musharraf walks an extremely fine line between his policies of moderate Islam and up to 60 percent of the population who - according to a survey done after 9/11 - think Osama bin Laden is a great guy.

Or listen on American TV to these members of the Bush administration - expensive suits, and nice haircuts the price of a three monthly salary in Pakistan - criticizing Pakistan "for not fencing the border with Afghanistan so the Taliban and Al Qaeda can not escape to Pakistan". Really? It is true that this border isn't fenced. But it is not just some minor border - it is over 2600 km long and passes through Pakistan's most hostile areas (geographically and politically) in NWFP province and Baluchistan.

And by the way - How many Mexicans are still illegally entering the US just by walking from Mexico to the US because of a lack of fencing and patrolling on the US-side?

How the hell can Pakistan, which is a very poor country, fence the Afghan/Pakistani border.

And something else - On both sides of the border live Pasthun tribes. Until 1893 the Pashtuns considered Pashtunistan or Pakhtunistan their country. (In that year the British created the Durand line, now the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan - hereby cutting Pashtunistan in half and weakening the Pashtun tribes - see red areas on the map). The fence will be considered by millions of Pasthuns as a permanent division of their land. So - unless defended by literally a million Pakistani soldiers - the 2600 km long fence will last about two minutes.

This of course is all getting way to complex for Mr Obama an many others in Washington. Let's go for the easy slogans that brought so much happiness to Iraq. Pakistan must do more - otherwise we bomb them.

Believe me - if the US would invade Pakistan or even launch air strikes on Pakistani territory without a green light from Islamabad, Islamist forces will get rid of president Musharraf and take over the country. You think Iraq is bad - wait till Pakistan gets out of control (not 20 million, but 150 million people and bordered by Afghanistan). And the Islamists will be happily supported by millions of Pakistanis whose utter fear now has become reality. "Better a Taliban Pakistan, than no Pakistan," a man told me on the streets of Islamabad three weeks ago. I can't blame him.

Sometimes I wonder: Why do many American (and other Western) politicians show a striking resemblance of me during my mathematics class at secondary school? (Really, I didn't understand a f*** off it)

Anyway, in the new tough world of Barack Obama, Pakistan might be handed to Osama.

This guy just should never become president of the USA. Vote for Hillary (and a little bit for Bill of course)!

Harald Doornbos


Bart said...

Verder denken dan vanuit de eigen Westerse perspectieven blijkt al langer moeilijk te zijn voor de Amerikanen. Ik vrees dat Obama hier echter alleen maar een grote mond opzet om niet buiten de boot te vallen. Er zijn veel stemmen te winnen bij het conservatieve electoraat natuurlijk. Maar goed, zijn opmerkingen getuigen niet van veel kennis of intelligentie met betrekking tot Pakistan cq de Oosterse wereld. Terecht stukje dus, Harald.

ella said...


I have the same opinion of some of MSM. You know that recently Iran hanged 12 of them was not a criminal as western media parroting IRI said, he was student activist and have been in Evin prison before. Some bloggers claim that 2 others were also student activists. There is no mention of difficulties Iranians have with the rationing of gasoline, for example, recently police in one of the province could not go to the crime scene, the gas. On the other hand BBC is talking about "unveiling a vast handmade carpet"
I am against attacking IRI, in my opinion it would be a mistake because Iranians are patriots so they will fight, but some of the media could talk more about what is now happening in Iran with students and journalists, for support, so that people would know what is going on.
Sorry for rant but I am really upset with what is going on in Iran at the moment.
As for Pakistan and Obama, I too believe that Obama is looking for votes, I mean, just now everybody woke up to the situation in Pakistan? Obama can not talk about attacking Iran because that's what liberals are attacking Bush for, so he is talking about attacking Pakistan. Mind you, European politicians are not much better, they, on the other hand, are talking about doing business with Iran when instead they should seriously start thinking about sanctions. As a result IRI don't care a damn what Human rights movement(s)in Iran and outside of it, are saying.

Thib said...


European countries are doing much more business with countries like fe. China, a much bigger human rights offender. I believe that if you do business with countries, such as Iran, you can create the means and possibilities for a big middle-class group. Such a group can, later on, have an influence on domestic policies because of their growing economical power. Sanctions will not punish the rich corrupt leaders, on the contrary, such measures will only affect the poor.

Anna said...

Great points. You're absolutely right about American criticisms on Pakistan. It's always black and white with very little knowledge behind anything. And as for that stupid fence idea, if the richest country in the world can't defend the relatively easy territory of the US/Mexican border, lets see how well we do with one in Pakistan!

Following the Presidential race from here in Britain though, it's depressing and a bit scary that the Democrats are so ridiculously flailing about and finger pointing, giving very little hope in having a new administration that will do anything constructive. You can't vote a Republican in but what of the Dems? I hear the North Pole is warming up, maybe we can hide out there...

Harald Doornbos said...

@ anna

Spitsbergen and Anchorage here we come!

ella said...


I wish I could agree with you, but looking at what is going on now in Iran, it would be really hard to do so.

Ingmar said...

Hey harald,

where still waiting for that top 10 of the best songs to drive those looney people even more looney...

It can also be handy when you have trouble white your neighbours

Menno said...

And it gets worse: Tom Tancredo, Republican MP and presidential candidate said threatening to bomb Macca and Medina would be a good way to prevent terrorist attacks. Albert Einstein once said two things were infinite: the universe and human stupidity, but he wasn't entirely sure about the former...

Harald Doornbos said...

@ menno

good one! thanks for comment.

Harald Doornbos said...

@ ingmar

top ten is out! poor neighbours...ciao

Anonymous said...

Granted Obama has made a fool of himself. Still it amazes me that so many outside of America see Hillary Clinton as some sort of Panacea.

Why? What did she ever do? She's a political novice with no more experience than John Edwards. Your post suggests Hillary will somehow benefit from her husband's political experience. They said the same thing about Bush benefiting from his father's experience.

Clinton's currently saying all the right things. So what? That just means she's surrounded herself with Bill's savvy handlers who know how to tell us what we want to hear. Again, look at Bush in 2000. Under Bush Sr's handler's he was campaigning for a more humble foreign policy.

Harald Doornbos said...

@ anonym

I will always have a soft spot for Bill Clinton...It is him who saved Bosnian Muslims and Kosovars...He recognized violent Serb chauvinism as fascism, I expect any other president to treat violent Islamic chauvinism likewise.