Sunday, June 19, 2011

Pakistan, America, Cultural Sensitivity, and Giving Terrorists a Break

Pakistan's national leadership - or folks in that outfit - may be in an awkward situation. What passes for a national government in Pakistan apparently controls at least most of the capital city, and parts of some others - except, apparently, for places like the neighborhood where Osama bin Laden had an estate-size semi-fortified compound that nobody noticed.(May 4, 2011)

Nobody, that is, except for some folks who are now arrested (or not) by the alleged government of Pakistan. (June 15, 2011) And that's another topic.

Apparently, when it comes to places outside Islamabad and a few other parts of the country, Pakistan's national government has to tell tribal leaders when the national military is going to do something.

Like attack terrorists who are guests of the tribal leaders.

States' Rights, Pakistani Style?

In a way, I can see why coordinating with tribal leaders could be a good idea. Maybe Pakistan is organized sort of like the 13 colonies were, under the Articles of Confederation, after we booted George III's agents out: before we scrapped the Articles, and hammered out the Constitution that we've been tweaking ever since.

That said, Pakistan's nominal national government doesn't seem like a particularly reliable outfit. Individuals working for the government may realize that America and other western powers aren't as hard on Pakistanis as the Taliban - but the government as a whole seems to be inept. At best.

'Trust - But Verify'

After two attacks on terrorist installations found recently-evacuated sites, American officials thought they'd see what happened when they shared intelligence with Pakistani officials, a third time, and a fourth:
"...In the tradition of 'trust but verify,' the Americans carefully monitored the area with satellite and unmanned drones, to see what would happen, after sharing the information a third and fourth time, the officials said.

"In each case, they watched the militants depart within 24 hours, taking any weapons or bomb-making materials with them, just as militants had done the first two times. Only then, did they watch the Pakistani military visit each site, when the terror suspects and their wares were long gone, the officials said....
(Associated Press, via FoxNews.com)
I've put a longer excerpt from that article at the end of this post.1

No wonder Pakistani officials were upset, offended, insulted, and generally displeased when American officials said that somebody had talked.

Of course somebody had talked: those Americans were going to attack guests of tribal leaders. Guests who might start killing Pakistanis, again, the next time they were in a snit: but guests.

As American professors were so fond of pointing out: Ugly Americans have absolutely no respect for the cultural values of others. And that's another topic. Topics.

Related posts:In the news:
1Excerpt from yesterday's news:
"U.S. officials say Pakistan has apparently tipped off militants at two more bomb-building factories in its tribal areas, giving the terror suspects time to flee, after U.S. intelligence shared the locations with the Pakistani government.

"U.S. officials believe Pakistan's insistence on seeking local tribal elders' permission before raiding the areas may have most directly contributed to the militants' flight. U.S. officials have pushed for Pakistan to keep the location of such targets secret prior to the operations, but the Pakistanis say their troops cannot enter the lawless regions without giving the locals notice.

"The U.S. officials explained Saturday how they first offered the location of the third, and then the fourth site, in order to give Pakistan another chance to prove it could be trusted to go after the militants.

"In the tradition of 'trust but verify,' the Americans carefully monitored the area with satellite and unmanned drones, to see what would happen, after sharing the information a third and fourth time, the officials said.

"In each case, they watched the militants depart within 24 hours, taking any weapons or bomb-making materials with them, just as militants had done the first two times. Only then, did they watch the Pakistani military visit each site, when the terror suspects and their wares were long gone, the officials said....

"...The [Pakistani] official admitted that in each raid, however, the Pakistani security services notified the local elders who hold sway in the tribal regions. The official said they would investigate U.S. charges that the militants had been tipped off.

"Two U.S. officials said they were asking the Pakistanis to withhold such sensitive information from the elders, and even their lower ranks, to prove they could be trusted to keep a secret, and go after U.S. enemies....

"...U.S. officials have also accused Pakistan of holding up to five Pakistani nationals accused of helping the CIA spy on the Abbottabad compound in advance of the bin Laden raid...."
(Associated Press, via FoxNews.com)

4 comments:

Edward Ott said...

It is difficult for Pakistan's government to do much in the tribal areas as they are nearly separate countries under Pakistani Law but let us be honest here the ISI created the Taliban. they could easily destroy the Taliban but those are their boys. Why we give Pakistan any money is beyond me.

Brian Gill said...

Edward Ott,

I don't know that "the ISI created the Taliban" - or that they didn't.

Despite my exasperation with alleged national leaders around the world, I realize that culture, tradition, and (occasionally) law sometimes create obstacles to justice and common sense.

As for why America's national leaders do what they do - apart from extracurricular hanky panky, which is probably hormone-driven, I've suspected that it's a mix of diplomatic necessity and the assumption that more money solves problems.

On the other hand, it's a blistering-hot day here in central Minnesota - so I'm inclined to have little patience with politicos just now.

Islam and Dajjal said...

DAJJAL HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED!!

DO YOU KNOW THE DAJJAL (THE ANTI-CHRIST), THE ONE-EYED GIANT PROPHECISED BY THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH HAS ALREADY BEEN IN EXISTENCE FOR THE PAST 472 YEARS & HAS BEEN IDENTIFIED?

YOU MAY BE AMAZED TO KNOW THAT IT IS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT IT IS THOUGHT TO BE TODAY. TO SEE WHAT IT ACTUALLY IS – VISIT THE WEBSITE http://www.hezbuttawheed.com AND READ THE BOOK “DAJJAL? THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION!” AND WATCH THE DOCUMENTARY “DAJJAL? THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN CIVILIZATION!”.

Brian Gill said...

Islam and Dajjal,

As I said, responding to another comment promoting the same television program, no: I didn't know about that particular ALL CAPS prediction.

Since both comments have the same boilerplate (copywriter's jargon for 'the same words used in several documents'), I'm employing the same technique. In cases like this, it saves time. - - -

No, as a matter of fact. I don't keep track of the various end-times-Bible-prophecies and their analogs across they myriad ways of man.

Sooner or later, someone is going to get lucky, and one of those will line up with an earthquake, fire, flood, or something else on the news - but I'm not holding my breath.

You've got some company, it seems - at least there's a non-anonymous comment on "Pakistan, American Aid: What a Mess." on the same topic.

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Blogroll

Note! Although I believe that these websites and blogs are useful resources for understanding the War on Terror, I do not necessarily agree with their opinions. 1 1 Given a recent misunderstanding of the phrase "useful resources," a clarification: I do not limit my reading to resources which support my views, or even to those which appear to be accurate. Reading opinions contrary to what I believed has been very useful at times: sometimes verifying my previous assumptions, sometimes encouraging me to change them.

Even resources which, in my opinion, are simply inaccurate are sometimes useful: these can give valuable insights into why some people or groups believe what they do.

In short, It is my opinion that some of the resources in this blogroll are neither accurate, nor unbiased. I do, however, believe that they are useful in understanding the War on Terror, the many versions of Islam, terrorism, and related topics.