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Today Pakistan - From Whence the Next Enigma - The American Dilemma

Reader comment on item: U.S.-Pakistan Relations in Decline
in response to reader comment: The Pakistan Conundrum

Submitted by M. Tovey (United States), May 10, 2011 at 12:11

I have read and heard so many times, "keeps your friends close; and your enemies closer." But what if you cannot discern the difference? This is not merely true for we here in America, but evidence shown last May 1st, there are some that have more to lose in this kind of predicament than us.

While it might be rightly said that an era is over, that a dark part of American history has broken out from under that dark cloud of September 11, 2001, we are merely in the eye of the hurricane. Before dealing with the aftermath, we need to get to the other side of the storm. We might be able to ride the eye for a while, but eventually the rest of the storm must be ridden out; or in a best case scenario, it sputters out. Given the intensity of the antipathies of much of the orient against the United States, it is not likely they are going away any time soon.

Some might say that there is closure, that we accomplished the will of the aftermath of September 11th, yet what we actually found out about that terrible day is that Osama bin Laden was not alone in his virulently vindictive attitude towards the United States; and the pain and anguish he managed to have wrought upon America was in no means accomplished but that he had willing partners to do his bidding. His accomplices were/are legion(many), and many others are accomplices by tacit implication. For all of that evil intent against America, we finally made sure that the rest of the global community that thought the U.S.A. deserved the destruction of the twin towers got to feel some of that pain as well. Is that vindictiveness? Think about it: to the extent that America needed to exact payment for an act of war against the civilian population, payment was finally extracted. But it is not over.

As such, America cannot relax in its vigilance, for as noted, bin Laden was not alone. Neither is his vendetta against things American extinguished. In the very place where he was able to hide in plain sight, the exact same feelings are manifest in a way that is not unmistakable. Do we think we have some sympathy left in Islamabad? Go back to the opener; the second sentence. Discernment is the key. One of the things needed to be understood is that bin Laden, for all of his islamically driven hatred for things American and the coincident sentiments of his host society, he was still an outsider. The sentiments of the remainder of the Islamic world remain the same, even if bin Laden's methodologies seared against the mores of a supposedly more civil society.

We might take a note from the war actions across the northern border of Pakistan and realize that we still fight against islamically driven hatred of the Taliban. We can contrast the actions of bin Laden's conducting warfare on a society by his planning and executing attacks on non-military objectives with the Taliban's efforts against the United States Military and derive one conclusion. Normally, the United States Military will plan to prevent collateral damage(not always easy to do-why is to be demonstrated shortly here) because in the meantime it has been shown that the residential population is used by the enemy combatants in a way that purposefully puts civilians in harm's way as a means of defense. Is that appropriate behavior? Go back to the opener; the second sentence… in this case, we even hear of collusion on the part of sympathetic partisans in the indigent population. How does the American military planner deal with that? Therein lays the basis for the conundrum.

America has been a land of opportunity, of freedoms and liberties not too many other places in this world have been able to enjoy, for a variety of reasons, political and otherwise. From that framework, it is sympathetically thought that people from all over seek those freedoms, even from countries that have less than sympathetic sentiments towards America. Muslims from around the world have been here for centuries, but it is only in the past few decades that we do see evidence of the intent to destroy the reason why millions came here for freedom, just so that the Islamically based mentality we see in the 'bin Ladens' can erase those freedoms for the sake of recalling former Islamic glory.

Therein lays the test, a litmus examination of what the world really seeks: American style freedom and liberties; or the promises of an oppressive society that must enforce its provisions upon unwilling populations that will be deprived of what America offered. Discern that; and then there will be an understanding of why the world cannot find it own form of peace: for it apparently cannot bear to allow America to export its greatest wealth, that of freedom and liberty for all.

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