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Friday, May 1, 2009

Obama: "We want to respect Pakistan's Sovereignty, But..."

This is from antiwar.com.

This article provides ominous signs that the US would be quite happy if there were another military coup in Pakistan with a pro-US military regime dependent upon US funds taking power. The military is already trying to show how it is willing to follow US suggestions and carry the fight to the Taliban. How long or how forcefully they will do this is questionable. What is not questionable is the civil disaster this warfare is creating. The US does not seem to care.
The Obama administration continues with and has even increased the drone attacks and there is a move also to extend the attacks into other areas of Pakistan. Pakistan's protests are a joke by now. Many of the drones fly from Pakistani airfields and it seems that Pakistan itself has suggested targets.
As Pepe Escobar points out the Taliban are in no way strong enough to overthrow the Pakistani govt. However, they may create enough havoc to generate a US supported military takeover. What is unlikely is that democracy prevail since that would no doubt produce a new government that was anti-American. Translated Obama is saying that the US would like a govt. in Pakistan that has the trappings of democracy and sovereignty but that US strategic interests trump those considerations. Bush could have written those words!



Obama: ‘We Want to Respect Pakistan’s Sovereignty, But…’
Posted By Jason Ditz On April 30, 2009 @ 6:53 pm
President Barack Obama had nothing but good things to say about Pakistan’s military, cheering them for recognizing the “misguided” concern with a prospective Indian invasion and recognizing, in his words, “that their biggest threat right now comes internally.”
But with regards to the nation’s civilian government, Obama was anything but supportive. While criticizing it as “very fragile” and incapable of delivering basic services, the US president declared “We want to respect their sovereignty, but we also recognize that we have huge strategic interests, huge national security interests in making sure that Pakistan is stable and that you don’t end up having a nuclear-armed militant state.”
While pressuring Congress to support “urgent” aid to Pakistan, the Obama Administration intends to significantly expand the nascent US military training program in the nation. Reportedly the president will discuss the matter with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari during his visit next week, but senior officials say that Pakistan has already agreed in principle to the idea.
The United States started a small training program for Pakistan’s paramilitary Frontier Corps in October, though officials in February also confirmed a “secret task force” of over 70 military advisers were also dispatched to provide direct training and advisory functions.
Historically, growing US training commitments have been a prelude to more direct US military intervention. The US military was involved in training the South Vietnamese army in 1954, an escalating commitment in which the United States ultimately committed more than 500,000 ground troops to a bloody and ultimately failed war.
What the president’s somewhat ominous comments about wanting to respect Pakistan’s sovereignty will ultimately come to remains to be seen, but recent history certainly is not on the side of the United States in creating a “stable” nation where none exists.
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