Arrogant US Misses the Message From Pakistan’s People

October 29, 2009

William Pfaff,

There has always been in American foreign policy circles a virus called arrogance, caused by the hereditary assumption that Americans know better than others. Surprisingly, this does not always prove the case, but the condition seems highly resistant to treatment, even by experience.

There seems a high probability that the disease has struck Obama administration policy circles dealing with Pakistan. (We will leave aside the case of American relations with Afghanistan.) This administration came to office with a conviction that the Afghanistan problem is a problem because it actually is a Pakistan problem, Pakistan being a large country possessing nuclear weapons and a great many Pashtuns, who are the people from whom Taliban are recruited.

Afghanistan is a country with one-sixth Pakistan’s population, with a great many Pashtuns, too, harboring only a 100 or so members of al-Qaeda (if we are to believe the American national security adviser, Gen. James Jones), whereas popular opinion in Washington is that Pakistan is rife with them, and the country is on its way to becoming a “breeding ground” for terrorists who wish to invade the West, blow it up with nuclear weapons obtained from Pakistani stocks, and establish a new global terrorist caliphate amidst the ruins.

It is unknown whether Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, visiting Pakistan this week, shares so alarmed a view, but she will hear a lot about the damage American pressures are doing to Pakistan and how fearful the Pakistani populace is, not of the Taliban and al-Qaeda, but of the United States.

According to a New York Times article this week, from Jane Perlez in Islamabad, the new fighting there against Islamists “has pleased the Americans, but it left large parts of Pakistan under siege, as militants once sequestered in the country’s tribal areas take their war to Pakistan’s cities. Many Pakistanis blame the United States for the country’s rising instability.”

A recent and serious poll found that 11 percent of the Pakistani respondents said that al-Qaeda is the greatest threat to Pakistan today, 18 percent said India, and 59 percent said the United States. This was in August, before the most recent offensives of the Pakistani army against the Islamists in Waziristan and the Swat Valley, and the retaliatory city bombings that subsequently have taken place.

A vocal part of the Pakistani population clearly doesn’t want the United States in their country, and it doesn’t even want the aid the United States is sending. A notorious fact in the past has been that civilian and popular opposition to the U.S. was based on the assumption that American aid was meant to keep military governments in place and buy military cooperation with American policy.

This time, it’s the army that doesn’t want the $7.5 billion aid package that the Obama administration has put together; the aid is denounced as meant to interfere in the country’s internal affairs – as indeed it is.

The civilian government of President Asif Ali Zardari, generally thought put in place by Washington, “is seen as slavishly pro-American [as well] as unable to cope” with the current situation (I am again quoting Jane Perlez). The country’s interior minister was hit with stones by students when he visited the International Islamic University last week, and in retaliation the government closed all the schools and universities in Punjab, the most populous province (supposed to reopen Monday, Oct. 26), “a move that affected Pakistani families like never before.”

To judge from the public statements of Obama counselors, Pakistan is seen as the great danger in the region, with erratic politics and nuclear weapons – and an active Islamist revolt thereby having the potential to create (according to Obama’s adviser Bruce Riedel) “the most serious threat to the United States since the end of the Cold War.”

This would seem why the U.S. wants a government under its thumb to compel the army to fight the Islamists on their home territory even if this alienates the army and sows hatred of America. Is it not possible to allow Pakistan, which has a solid civil service and an excellent army, to act in defense of its own security rather than let the U.S. impose its own ideas?

Is it not imaginable that they know better than the Americans? Would Americans appreciate a Pakistani army installed in Washington, instructing the United States in how to conduct its own foreign policy in ways that suit Pakistan’s national interests?

(c) 2009 Tribune Media Services, Inc.



  1. For once, one good article from the west explaining the rite side of the story

  2. I dont understand why a common american is so ignorant of zionist forces behind US policies.

  3. Peshawar blast and other blasts in markets and on common populace is a handywork of cia and its allies.Pakistanis beware of this notorious agency who is working on the behest of zionists in united states of israhell.Beware of their designs.Their sole aim is to denuclearise pakistan so that they can then destroy masjid al aqsa and one eyed dajjal can come and sit on the throne of hazrat sulaiman(a.s).At present the throne is with UK queen.That is their grand plan,We also know by several hadiths that one eyed dajjal will come and the time of his arrival will be a testing of eiman.So rise up against the corrupt slaves of united states of israhell and india and take ur destiny in ur hands,Look at afghanistan ALLAH is showing that when u depend solely on HIM u can defeat the biggest and mightiest of armies of the world.Develop khudi in urself o my brothers and sisters in pakistan.We muslims in India need strong and islamic pakistan.Rise against the friends of kuffar i.e. zardari and co.kick our xe or blackwater and cia and its agents from the pak soil.Let me also remind u that these kinds of attacks will happen and will be blamed on taliban so tht common man will hate them but remember this is a ploy by CIA agents.I wish I wish I wish pakistan take its destiny in their own hands and let the soverignty belongs to ALLAH alone.Pakistan Zindabad.

    • very well said … and precise.
      long live Pakistan Inshallah!!!!! US will be burried in afghanistan thats for sure now !!!

      • @ Indian Muslim

        We are with u..we will come and take our land back…the time is very near now.

        Pakistan Zinadabad

    • I am Indian muslim too..its very misconception that Indian muslims are looking at Pakistan as their savior .. we know our problems and we are self-sufficent to solve them .. the person above if really indian then its good for him to leave india and settle in Pakistan or anywhere in Middle east .. we muslims will defeat our land (INDIA) from Pakistanis .. This can be supported from facts .. No war agiast pakistan or No Communal riots in India ( Bari, Gujrat etc.) resulted into migration of muslims from India to Pak.. in 1965 War, two muslims got highest Indian military honour ( paramvir chakra)

      Please take a look below at indian muslims

  4. […] PDRTJS_settings_11610_post_893 = { "id" : "11610", "unique_id" : "wp-post-893", "title" : "Arrogant+US+Misses+the+Message+From+Pakistan%E2%80%99s+People", "item_id" : "_post_893", "permalink" : "http%3A%2F%2Fsiyasipakistan.wordpress.com%2F2009%2F10%2F29%2Farrogant-us-misses-the-message-from-pakistan%25e2%2580%2599s-people%2F" } By: PKKH […]

  5. Why blame Americans when ur own leaders betray you.

    • I think the leaders that u are pointing came here after sipping your LimoPani,

      Anyone here, to convey to Government, They are saying to be cautious of Terrorists Ok, we are cautious of it. Our Msg is “MErica Day Mithay LaddOOAN kolo DARO, Is which Chupa aik SANP ayy”

    • The leaders that u r talking about,We suspect that u mixed ur “LimoPani”, and they sipped all of it.

      Plz someone convey Msg to Government : They are saying to be cautious of Terrorist act, Ok we are Cautious, But Governemnt Beware of Amricans “LADO PERAY”, might look good for time being, but very HARD on our tummies :/”

      O Allah, If i had technology at hand i might have cloned something good in the mind of leaders.We Pray to Allah to give them Hidayaht

      • Well Said !

      • Dear Don’t say if We have technology Just implement and be part of that technology, Jo Admi ko Insan Banati hay Woh sirf aur sirf Hazrut Muhammat PBUH ki Dawat Illal Allah wali mehnat hay iss key beghair hum problems say nahi nikal sakty Pls do it as much as u can message to all Muslims

        Allah Hum sub ko Muaaf farmayee

  6. Have a look @ link below, i found another LimoPani in this tense situation of Pakistan :/


  7. Dear America, your 62 years track record prove that we can’t trust U.

  8. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s charm offensive rolled into a wall of suspicion at one of Pakistan’s top universities on Thursday as students grilled her on whether America was truly ready to be a steadfast partner in a time of crisis.


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