Posted by: Dark Defender | November 30, 2008

Pakistan’s Clintonesque non-denial denial

Tensions on the India-Pakistan border

Tensions on the India-Pakistan border

Stephanopolis did an interview with the Pakistani Ambassador read it here.  What I find interesting about this interview is the Pak Ambassador’s choice of words:

“That they are harbored by Pakistan is plain wrong,” Haqqani told me. 

“The important thing is that the government of Pakistan, the state of Pakistan, the military of Pakistan, and even the intelligence services are not directly involved,” he said. 

“If there are individuals — look in this country the United States people have been arrested for plotting and planning terrorism. Does that mean the U.S. government is at fault?”

That’s one of the weakest denials I’ve ever read.  Its not “no we had nothing to do with this! India is wrong to accuse us!”.  No, its a bunch of Clintonesque weasel words which mean nothing when you think about them.

First the terrorists “are” not harbored by Pakistan? Well that is certainly true since “are” is present tense and since the terrorists are in India, they clearly cannot be harbored by Pakistan at the present.  You see it all depends on what “is” is. 

“Not directly involved” leaves loopholes you can drive a truck through, I mean to be “directly involved” wouldn’t members of the Pak govt, military or intelligence community have to you know actually be the shooters? So basically all this denial denies is that Pakistani military or intelligence troops carried out the attack anything short of that really isn’t denied by this denial.

Keep in mind that as a former part of the British Empire and a current member of the Commonwealth.  Their elites especially their Ambassador to the US, speak English very well, even better than as a second language.  He is fluent, the choice of “are” and “not directly involved” is not accidental, he is fully aware of how he is twisting the language.

The last non-denial basically “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. Terrorists operate in many countries therefore no country can be held responsible for their actions.  The problem with this is that the Pakistani ISI (intel agency) has deep roots with terrorists even having helped bring the Taliban to power and having a multi decade long history of supporting terror attacks on India.

This non-denial has led me to conclude that indeed Pakistan is involved.  Perhaps the President or Cabinet level didn’t order it or know about it, but from the non-denial I conclude that they either know the ISI was involved or are being kept in the dark but suspect their involvement.

Either way, if the Pakistani government ordered this, or if the Pakistani government is simply so weak it cannot prevent extremist elements of itself from attacking its neighbors, means our Pakistan strategy in the war on terror is failing.

We have dumped billions into Pakistan and until very recently Bush had bent over backwards to accommodate Mushy and give him room to maneuver against the Islamist elements of Pakistan.  Hows that working out? Afghanistan is a bigger mess than ever, the frontier region of Pakistan has become a defacto Islamist state and India a key emerging ally of ours is subject to major terror attacks. 

What we are doing is not working, we need a new strategy.  What that strategy is I don’t know, but If Pakistan was truly involved in this, I think India has a moral obligation to act to protect its people, and we have a moral obligation to support India. 

I hope Obama is prepared to stand with India and wont fall prey to this sort of sentiment:

THE Indian authorities yesterday claimed to have proof that the Mumbai terrorists were receiving instructions from Pakistan and discussing tactics with their handlers during the three days of attacks in which they killed at least 195 people.

The claims threaten further to embitter relations between the two nuclear powers. Tensions have been high since confirmation that the only captured gunman was a 21-year-old Pakistani.

Taking the position that the terror attacks threaten to undermine relations is ass backwards if Pakistan is involved.  If Pak is involved the focus of the international community ought to be on protecting India and preventing more attacks, not on maintaining the fiction of a peace process or hamstringing India to make sure it cant “harm relations further”.  I fear that the “international community” is going to make a similar calculation with India that it has made with Israel, a few thousand Jews or Hindus dying ever year to terror attacks is acceptable if it allows the “international community” to avoid taking any action or facing any increased risks.

I hope Obama isn’t going to join this consensus and will stand by India.


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