Monday, 7 January 2008

US Action in Pakistan?

According to reports [1,2] the US is considering "covert military operations," against Al-Qaeda in tribal areas of Pakistan close to Afghanistan and AFP reports that the Pakistan military have reacted angrily to these reports.

If the US goes ahead with the plans, this will neither be like a re-run of Iraq nor a possible attack on Iran but will be much smaller. However, despite this, any military action in Pakistan would be symptomatic of all that is wrong with US foreign policy which seems to be predicated on the following beliefs:

- the goals of the US (as determined by the political leadership) take precedence over those of any other country or groups of countries

- the US has the right to take whatever actions (legal or illegal, military or political) which its leadership deems necessary to further the goals of the leadership

- the lives of non-US citizens are worth less than those of US citizens

The "up-front" reasoning, however, for US actions is that the US wants a safer and more prosperous world and this can only be achieved by spreading freedom and democracy across the world. This is, of course, bullshit. At best, the US (i.e. the US government) wants a safer and more prosperous US. What happens elsewhere is irrelevant provided it does not negatively impact on US goals.

Will the US go ahead with its plans for Pakistan? I don't know but if it does we can guarantee that there will be, what many in the West term obscenely, as "collateral damage". Innocent Pakistani men, women and children will die, will have been killed by US actions but that is a price which the US will consider acceptable because this is what happens in "war". Those of us in the UK shouldn't get too high and mighty about the US and "collateral damage". Our military too has killed innocents.

Any US actions in Pakistan will drive many to hate the US - not a surprising effect: in similar circumstance the same effect would be seen here in the UK or in the US. The end result will be more hatred of the US from some, more loathing of the US government from others and a less safe US.

Also reported [2] is that Barack Obama "repeated his endorsement of unilateral US military intervention in Pakistan if “actionable intelligence” exists. His Democratic rivals did not dissent." Therefore, this post is not just a criticism of Republican actions but also of the support given by leading Democrats.

Whatever words US politicians use to describe possible military action in Pakistan we can be certain that they will fail to use the correct words. They should be saying that the US acts like a powerful mobster who brooks no rivals, takes what he wants through force, takes revenge by force on those who annoy him and exploits the weak. The real US policy is a far cry from the "fairy story" of freedom and democracy but little will change until more and more stand up and say, "No more will you act in this way. We demand true freedom and democracy for ourselves".

Also, little will change in the UK until more and more of us stand up and say, "No more will you act in this way. We demand true freedom and democracy for ourselves".

No doubt I will be accused of being anti-American: an easy label to apply but totally false. I am opposed to many aspects of US government policy (and to much UK policy too) - no more and no less - and I will continue to highlight these regardless of the labels others attach to me.


  1. Standing up to a bully is not anti-American at all. It just so happens that America is the bully. This sounds like another round of our ridiculous "interventions" either through covert action or propping up a despicable dictator.

    Thanks for the report.

  2. Kevin

    You know and I know that I'm not being anti-American but many have been accused of being so for having said less than this. In fact, I would consider being accused of being anti-American as a badge of honour. This would indicate that I had hit the mark.

  3. Who was it who said that the big states act like gangsters and the small like prostitutes?

  4. James

    I hadn't heard that quote before but, interestingly, in my draft I did have a couple of lines about the US pimping while other states were prostitutes. I took it out!!!

    Thanks for coming by. You won't notice my visits via this blog. I normally visit direct from browser: will show up as aol