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Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by zimv20, Sep 12, 2005.
oh what a surprise
nice having such allies, isn't it ?
But what would happen (or what would have happened at any time in the past 50 years) if the US was not allied to Pakistan? Would India have crushed Pakistan long ago? Would US-Indian relations be much much better? Would Pakistan be a "rogue" state, or just a collapsed state? Would Bangladesh have emerged as an independent state much earlier? Would the Soviet Union have also invaded Pakistan in 1979? Would Iran have conquered some Pakistani territory at some point? Would a more stable, less beligerent Pakistan have emerged long ago because of a lack of strong US backing?
I don't recall us being very tight with Pakistan prior to 9/11/01. I thought we were more closely allied with India over the last 50 years. I could be wrong though...
I do know that there used to be a lot of griping about Musharaf being a dictator, but that now there isn't.
Pakistan would probably be run by the Taliban if not for Musharraf. We're lucky to have him. I think that the reason that people are down on him is because they expect him to have more control over his own country, but that's just not the way it works in those parts of the world.
No, we've primarily been allied with Pakistan since the efforts in the mid 1950s to "contain" the Soviet Union by a system of alliances. Pakistan was included in several different short-lived alliance structures spanning the middle east (Bagdhad Pact/CENTO), and since then was generally an ally against the Soviet Union. India, meanwhile, was generally a friend (but not ally) of the Soviet Union (despite appearances in the 1971 Treaty of Friendship)
Under different administrations our relationships with Pakistan and India changed. Generally, Republican adminstrations steered the US towards sronger relations with Pakistan (including setting up the original alliances) and more antagonistic relations with India (famously referring to Indira Ghandi as "that old witch" during the Bangladesh crisis of 1971), while Democratic administrations tried to disengage from the regional conflict and pursue more balanced relations.
Our entaglement in the regional conflict was deepest in 1971 during the Bangladesh crisis of 1971 (when East Pakistan achieved independence from West Pakistan). The US supported West Pakistan despite overwhelming worldwide support for East Pakistani independence, even going so far to send the Enterprise Carrier group to the Bay of Bengal in December 1971 to threaten India. A lesser-known Cold-War crisis, the decisions by Nixon and Kissinger could have precipitated a much wider war. the USSR sent naval units to balance the US presence. Kissinger and Nixon (concerned primarily with "openning" China, encouraged China to invade India.
than why did we stop liking saddam?
anything to do with some goop under the ground by any chance?
Wha? I didn't understand that at all.
We support Musharraf because the alternative is a lot worse - a taliban run sharia-law pakistan that trains terrorists and sends suicide bombers with WMDs into India whenever it gets bored. He's not a nice guy, he's a thug, your average everyday strongman. Sure, he could become another Shah or another Saddam, who knows. But he's the only ally in that region we have right now, so we take what we can get.
he already IS like saddam, who was likewise a 'bastion against fundamentalism
(iran)'. that is, until we (menaing the bush administrations) decided that the strategy for the region had changed and it was more valuable to manage the oil directly.
How do you equate Musharraf and Saddam? That seems a little extreme.
this dictator, leader of a secular, autoritarian military regime in a radically islamic country, is a staunch ally of the US in their efforts against islamic fundamentalists. At the cost of internal repression and loss of civil liberties, he is trying to modernized the country and with the help of the US, morphed it into a regional military power. he is seen as a moderate, stabilizing force in a potentially explosive area.
who is he? musharraf 2005 or saddam 1990?
my point is that who is supported and why has a lot to do with strategic and economic interests and very little to do with who they are and how they behave.
Ah, this was bound to happen eventually. When you open Pandoras Box, you have to accept the consequences of such actions.
Maybe proliferation will lead to fewer wars, based on fear of mutual annihilation, maybe it will lead to one or two minor nuclear confrontations occurring. Either way, once this knowledge was learned, it inevitably spreads. I can't but help of Pandoras Box, and the underlying moral lesson that story sought to teach.
If it weren't the Pakistanis, it would have been someone else.
The truth is, having an Ally is a fickle arrangement, and loyalties change constantly, if loyalty was ever truly offered in the first place.
Good allies are generally valued ones though, that people are consciously aware of losing. I don't feel we make good allies at this point in time.
Well, a significant difference, as I pointed out above, is that the US has a long-standing relationship with Pakistan. It's ebbed and flowed, but primarily, for 50 years, the US has considered Pakistan an ally. In that respect, Musharraf is irrelivant. We'd support whoever was the internationally recognized leader of Pakistan (all other things being equal). And Pakistan is not likely to abandon US support now, just as it hasn't for the past 50 years.
Iraq, on the other hand, was briefly an ally in the 1950s until 1959 when it exited CENTO to pursue an independent (if communist-leaning) course. Things briefly changed in the 1980s when, for a couple years, US leadership thought that strategic considerations mandated supporting the Iraqi regime.
These relationships are and have been far from similar ever since Iraq left CENTO in 1959 and pursued a non-aligned strategy.
Another key difference is that Pakistan didn't invade Kuwait. Admittedly, West Pakistan committed genocide in its efforts to maintain control of East Pakistan in 1971, and has repeatedly clahed with India over the Kashmir, but it hasn't completely crossed the line and invaded another soveriegn nation.
Unlike some nations I could think of.
It's still a stretch to equate Musharraf and Hussein. Musharraf's political enemies aren't being murdered. The Bhutto governments (and their street-level political supporters) of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto in the 1970s and Benazir Bhutto in the 1990s routinely carried out murder - not as blatantly as Pinochet or Hussein, but still. The reason Z. Bhutto was sentenced to death was for his part in a politically motivated murder plot.
Something today's Pakistan has that Hussein's Iraq (and most all other dictatorships) never had is a free press. Dissenting voices are free to publish what they like in Pakistani newspapers.
miloblithe I'm impressed with your poli sci and history knowledge.
To the original topic: A.Q. Khan's dealings wtih other countries in exporting nuclear technology were the actions of a selfish and corrupt individual, and not of the state of Pakistan. Just as Jonathan Pollard and Robert Hanssen were corrupt individuals who acted on their own behalf against the will and wishes of their primary employers, A.Q. Khan was working against his duties to the Pakistani government. It is sad that he's regarded as a folk hero, and it's for political reasons that Musharraf can't be harsher towards A.Q. Khan.