Thursday, November 11, 2004

From Can Pakistan Work? A Country in Search of Itself

November 11

Stephen Cohen has staked out turf for himself as a leading 'South
Asia' expert. In fact, if probed, it turns out that he is alarmingly
ignorant about 'South Asia', so it is hard to take his pronouncements
very seriously. He seems to be one of the State Department's favorite
weatherwanes: they probably use him to send out trial balloons with
their views on the world. For instance, in this book, he once again
reiterates (as he has done many times) that the Pakistanis are not
such a bad lot, after all. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge. They are 'our
boys'. Or to use a more pungent description employed by Tariq Ali,
they are the 'international condom', to be used and then flushed down
the toilet by the Americans.

Only, it is not quite working out that way. The Pakistanis are the
ones using the Americans, it turns out. They must be blown away by the
American largesse that came their way after 9/11, which of course they
planned and provided logistic and monetary support for. Like Christmas
in July, what?

And the Americans showed that they would wink at Pakistani 'mischief',
after the battle for Kunduz in Afghanistan, when they allowed Pakistan
to airlift a large number of their senior army officers (also known as
the Taliban -- I mean, imagine 'Islamic seminary students' flying
fighter planes and driving tanks) to safety, away from the advancing
Northern Alliance.

Thus, Pakistan is in the catbird seat. Kill 3,000 Americans on 9/11,
get $3 billion in arms, weapons and so forth, just by dangling the
occasional disposable Al Quaeda person before them, while Osama bin
Laden lives in comfort in PoK.

I also have to wonder which planet Pervez Hoodbhoy lives on: "Pakistan
has had no state-sponsored genocides unlike others I could name", says
he. Perhaps he has heard of a small war in 1971 in a place called East
Pakistan? No wonder Hoodbhoy, Kuldip Nayyar, and all the PIPFPD people
get along so well: they are really good at selective amnesia and are
big-time hypocrites. I suppose killing 3 million Bengalis didn't
count, as they were people with inferior genes compared to the robust
Punjabis, and also quite a few of them were Hindus. Of course they
tried to improve the Bengali gene pool through a sustained campaign of
rape, very kind of them.

What goddamn cant! And Foreign Affairs, no doubt influenced by Farid
Zakaria, prints this blood-libel!


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: rajeev
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2004 11:52:36 GMT
Subject: From Can Pakistan Work? A Country in
Search of Itself
To: rajeev

This Review Essay is from Foreign Affairs Magazine. Read it online at:

Can Pakistan Work? A Country in Search of Itself
By Pervez Hoodbhoy
From Foreign Affairs, November/December 2004
The Idea of Pakistan. Stephen Philip Cohen. Washington: Brookings
Institution Press, 2004, 367 pp. $32.95

When he founded Pakistan in 1947, Muhammad Ali Jinnah-an impeccably
dressed Westernized Muslim with Victorian manners and a secular
outlook-promised the subcontinent's Muslims that they would finally be
able to fulfill their cultural and civilizational destiny. Although
the new nation arose from a bloodbath of ethnic cleansing and
sectarian violence, and its fundamental premise was that Hindus and
Muslims could never live together, its early years nevertheless held
some promise of a liberal, relatively secular polity. But with time,
Jinnah's Pakistan has grown weaker, more authoritarian, and
increasingly theocratic. Now set to become the world's fourth most
populous nation, it is all of several things: a client state of the
United States yet deeply resentful of it; a breeding ground for jihad
and al Qaeda as well as a key U.S. ally in the fight against
international terrorism; an economy and society run for the benefit of
Pakistan's warrior class, yet with a relatively free and feisty press;
a country where education and science refuse to flourish but which is
nevertheless a declared nuclear power; and an inward-looking society
that is manifestly intolerant of minorities but that has never seen
anything like the state-organized pogroms of India, Afghanistan, Iran,
or China.

In The Idea of Pakistan, Stephen Philip Cohen sets out to understand
this enigma of modern history. Cohen is the United States' leading
analyst of South Asia, and this authoritative work of broad scope and
meticulous research will surely become required reading on Pakistan.
It also provides a view from the heart of the American empire, an
analysis of how Washington can best advance its interests in South
Asia. Cohen's facts are indisputable, his logic cold and clear, and
his omissions deliberate and meaningful.

... Deleted

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