Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Hillary Clinton: Pakistan Isn't Helping Against al-Qaida

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By Barry Rubin

Every week or so, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reminds us that the wrong Democrat was elected president in 2008. In these cases, she gets off-script, showing her skepticism about engagement with Iran before it became obvious even in the White House, or expressing the novel idea that U.S. policy should view Israel as a valuable ally.

Now she's addressed legitimate frustration with Pakistan, a country which has received billions in U.S. aid yet barely lifts a finger to help U.S. policy. The Pakistani government pretends to fight terrorism but only the terrorists who directly challenge the regime. There is ample reason to believe that Pakistani intelligence helps the Taliban in Afghanistan, sponsors terrorists who attack India, and does little to help against al-Qaida forces operating within Pakistan and along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Remember the bloody attack by Pakistan-based and sponsored terrorists in Mumbai, India? What has the Pakistani regime done to round up those responsible, punish them, and provide information on the terrorists to India that would help prevent another such attack? Nothing.

People with access to intelligence information say that Chinese flights carrying military equipment--including things that can be used for weapons' of mass destruction--to Iran pass through Pakistan, too.

And take a look at my article HERE on Pakistani public opinion to see just how "allied" this country is with the United States.

So here's what Clinton just explained:

"I'm not saying that they're at the highest levels but I believe that somewhere in this government are people who know where Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda is, where Mullah Omar and the leadership of the Afghan Taliban is and we expect more cooperation to help us bring to justice, capture or kill, those who attacked us on 9/11."

Yes, a country to which the United States is giving full support and billions of dollars is doing little or nothing against those responsible for the September 11 attacks and killing about 3,000 Americans. But this administration doesn't believe in getting tough or putting on pressure against those countries actually giving America trouble. Ah, maybe the Obama administration does understand. After all, if they really regarded Pakistan as an ally, instead of a hostile state, they wouldn't be treating it so well!

Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley), and The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan). His new edited books include Lebanon: Liberation, Conflict and Crisis; Guide to Islamist Movements; Conflict and Insurgency in the Middle East; and The Muslim Brotherhood. To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books. To see or subscribe to his blog, Rubin Reports.

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