The AfPak War

The AfPak War

In an article in the Washington Post, Anti-U.S. Wave Imperiling Efforts in Pakistan, Officials Say, writers explain the growing hostility towards the Americans in Pakistan But what is missing from this article is the historical aspect of anti Americanism in that part of the world. During my recent trip, I was shocked to see that almost everyone in the country has become a lot angrier and anti American sentiments have reached alarming proportions.

True, there is sill support for Washington, but America’s supporters are becoming a rarity in a Pakistan. One reason for this is the role that the media (read Urdu press and private T.V. channels) is airing every gossip, every conspiracy theory about America without explaining or educating the readers/listeners that the what you are about to hear or read has not been verified. More importantly, equal time is not given to those who would present a more balanced and factual picture about ground realities.

Anti American sentiments in Pakistan are not new. There has been a large population that has viewed America with suspicion. However, this trend of hating America really got a new life after Zia’s dictatorial and draconian tenure in Pakistan. Needless to say, Zia’s biggest supporter, donor and backer was the same America that finds it impossible to find support, any support in Pakistan.

Today, no matter what Americans do, the public opinion about America is not going to change any time. Even if something good or positive about America comes out, the right wingers in Pakistan drown the good news in hysterical shouting and accusations.

As mentioned before, with very few exceptions, private T.V. channels provide superb reach and a very powerful platform to those forces who want America to leave Afghanistan and Pakistan. These people also argue that 9/11 was an inside job by the Americans to launch an all out war against Muslims throughout the world. Because a vast majority of Pakistanis listen to this delusional rhetoric 24/7, they are going to believe it and this is exactly where we stand today. Majority of Pakistanis do believe that 9/11 was an inside job to declare war on Muslims. And this line of thinking prevents Pakistanis to view thing objectively or in the right context.

Nobody knows how to turn back the growing tide of Anti Americanism in Pakistan. I have recently come back to the United States after a year in Pakistan and I certainly don’t know the answer this question, but I do know that the more America tries to correct the record by answering the right wingers in Pakistan, the more people side with those nuts who blame America for everything wrong in the country. I think it is time for Washington to lower its profile and let Pakistanis focus on their daily challenges instead of huffing and puffing about America.

9 Comments

Filed under USA, war

9 responses to “The AfPak War

  1. Bloody Civilian

    doubt america has the option of ‘lowering its profile’ while still wishing to remain the superpower. it came to afghanistan, legitimately, and with int’l support and approval. so there was no question of keeping a low profile. but had there been true progress in afghanistan, in nation building – schools, law and order, economy, democracy – it would have been hard for even the most delusional in pakistan to deny it. it is easier to have conspiracy theories – even the most ridiculous ones – about an event like 9/11.. but not about a next door neighbour with a shared ethnicity/population turning the corner. just like even the most delusional are not able to publicly state that a drone killing baitullah mehsud was bad thing.

    but if the US is going to squander int’l goodwill she had in afghanistan, and would rather go in to iraq, ignoring afghanistan, then she need not blame pakistanis, no matter how delusional, nor the terrorists consolidating their position (once the US neglected to do the same). what fraction of the money spent in iraq would have rebuilt afghanistan twice over and, therefore, pulled the rug from under the terrorists’ feet?

  2. Bloody Civilian

    btw, it’s never too late. only if….

  3. Junaid

    Anti American sentiments in Pakistan are not new. There has been a large population that has viewed America with suspicion.

    And here is some evidence of why Amrika and its mercenary Pak army is viewed with suspicion.

    Viewer discretion advised.

    http://www.ireport.com/docs/DOC-336357

    Cheers

    Junaid

  4. PMA

    This article (by Bilal Qureshi?) identifies, among other factors, the Urdu media and Zia era as main reasons of anti-Americanism in Pakistan. Could that be totally true? Or could it be the American foreign policy, her unconditional and blind support for Israel and, backing of despots in Muslim countries that makes her unpopular in this part of the world. America has a history of using and abusing Pakistan for her own imperial designs. True the rulers of Pakistan have been partners in this abuse of Pakistan and its innocent people. The latest surge of anti-Americanism in Pakistan comes from her foreign policies such as war in Iraq, support of puppet regimes in Arab world, anti-Iran attitude, installation of minority government in Afghanistan and, her strategic alliance with India.

  5. Mustafa Shaban

    PMA: i completely agree with you.

    Bloody Civilian: Please challenge the 9/11 inside job theory by quoting anything from any 9/11 documentary and then refute it. Otherwise up till now nobody has refuted it and it stands clear that 9/11 was an inside job. If you do not want to do that, then I geuss we should debate on that subject. Becuase you cannot deny science, logic, reasoning and common sense. Denying theories suported by that and supporting theories that dunt have any of those things simply dusnt make sense.

    I need not highlight why anti-americanism exists. People like me are not necessarily taliban , jamaat islami maulvi and are not necessarily idiots that do not resort to logic or reasoning and clearly this perception among pak tea house members needs some debating.

    Also let me clarify,most peolple who criticize america are not anti-american and may even like the american people and way of life but are against the foreign policy of america. we need to clear this misconception as well.

    Also both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are illegal under international law and the UN Charter and the Nuremberg Law.

  6. Mustafa Shaban

    *srry meant to say that the jamat islami taliban perception needs clarification not debating.

  7. Mustafa Shaban

    well bonobashi….while people may ridicule conspiracy theorists it is they who have the highest level of science and evidence and proof of thier claims, the mainstream media only has propoganda and junk statement s and phony statistics…..why dunt you lok at what the 9/11 truth movement argues and try to refute even one thing….that is all i am asking one thing. If BBC is so confident that conspiracy theorists are loonies why not have a debate?? Alex Jones or David Icke or Michell Chussodovsky on one side and an mainstream scholar on the other…..people will want that but the mainstream media will never do that because they know they are wrong and simply dunt have the guts to face these people. Why dont people talk about the 9/11 movement? Tel me one thing they have mentioned wrong or unscientific….just one thing. This is my challenge. Many conspiracies are welld documented and the those some of those accused openly admit it. I think that in todays wold we have a very superficial sense of openmindedness, where only the mainstream is permitted and the alternative is shunnned and never debated. Some of the theoriies are wrong but some of them have been proven. I think the best way to clear the mess is to have debate between experts on both sides, but i wonder why that does not happen? You may ridicule people like me for as long as you like but the only way your comments can ever gain true value is when you prove your point completely. Otherwise without hearing the otherside you cannot accuse the other side of anything. Please take this as a posotive message towards dialogue and debate and to have a real investigation of conspiracy theories starting with the 9/11 truth movement as it is easiest to debate. Rather than shoot comments accross the board which does nothing to prove anythin.

  8. bonobashi

    @Mustafa Shaban

    OK, let’s do it your way.

    while people may ridicule conspiracy theorists it is they who have the highest level of science and evidence and proof of thier claims

    Have you any proof whatsoever to back this bald assertion?

    Spellings to correct: ‘thier’ = ‘their’

    the mainstream media only has propoganda and junk statement s and phony statistics

    Again, besides your word, what else is there to substantiate this? Are we supposed to assume that everything you utter is beyond proof or validation?

    Spelling to correct: ‘propoganda’ = ‘propaganda’

    why dunt you lok at what the 9/11 truth movement argues and try to refute even one thing….that is all i am asking one thing

    Sure. Could you take the trouble of outlining what this shadowy, smoky 9/11 truth movement argues? Just one argument. Why is it that we have to do all the looking up, while you throw challenges around like a deranged Ninja hurling shuriken?

    Spelling mistakes: ‘dunt’ = ‘don’t’
    ‘lok’ = ‘look’

    If BBC is so confident that conspiracy theorists are loonies why not have a debate?? Alex Jones or David Icke or Michell Chussodovsky on one side and an mainstream scholar on the other…..people will want that but the mainstream media will never do that because they know they are wrong and simply dunt have the guts to face these people

    Sure, why not? Why not start right here, with you leading for the conspiracy theorists? Why not you state your case even once; you never have done that, you know, just made airy references to others. Why don’t you tell us what this theory is, in your own words?

    Grammatical mistake: ‘an mainstream’ = ‘a mainstream’
    Spelling mistake (this is getting boring; don’t you have a spell-check? or an English teacher?): ‘dunt’ = ‘don’t’

    Many conspiracies are welld documented and the those some of those accused openly admit it.

    Can you humour this pack of madmen and give one, just a teeny-weeny one, example?

    Grammatical mistake: ‘the those some of those accused openly admit it’ = ‘some of those accused openly admit it’

    Spelling mistake: ‘welld’ = ‘well’

    I think that in todays wold we have a very superficial sense of openmindedness, where only the mainstream is permitted and the alternative is shunnned and never debated.

    That’s your opinion; you have stated your opinion. You are perfectly at liberty to state your opinion, but that doesn’t count as a fact, nor does it count as argument refuting or corroborating fact.

    If I were you, I wouldn’t start with the same two words that you used; that is still to be proven.

    Some of the theoriies are wrong but some of them have been proven

    Can we have just ONE example?

    Spelling mistake: ‘theoriies’ = ‘theories’

    I think the best way to clear the mess is to have debate between experts on both sides, but i wonder why that does not happen?

    Simple: for the same reason that the Chinese Army, the PLA, doesn’t march into the South China Sea when you want it to. You have no authority to call for such a debate; all you can do is initiate a debate yourself, using your own logic, or your best understanding of others’ logic to raise doubts in people’s minds and start a dialogue. If your arguments have any worth or weight, others will join in, and soon there will be the debate that you want to see. But sitting in your armchair in Dubai and wondering why this or that doesn’t happen isn’t getting you very far.

    MY SINCERE CONGRATULATIONS: THIS IS THE FIRST SENTENCE WITHOUT A SPELLING ERROR OR A GRAMMATICAL ERROR!

    You may ridicule people like me for as long as you like but the only way your comments can ever gain true value is when you prove your point completely

    Not very long; soon you will grow up and start working for a living and have no more time for this kind of time-pass. Or you will flunk some exam or the other, some male guardian will take out his belt and apply it as it should be applied, and we will be relieved – hugely relieved.

    My comments need not gain value, nor do I need to prove a point: I never made any. You did, by coming forward and claiming that these conspiracy theories are important and real, but you have consistently avoided stating a case, or marshalling arguments to prove that case, or have pleaded for time and then run like hell. I doubt that you can say any logical or convincing thing in favour of your numerous hobby horses, except to exhort with great earnestness and warmth of expression that everybody should fall in line with your ill-expressed desires and theories and pet beliefs.

    Otherwise without hearing the otherside you cannot accuse the other side of anything.

    I wish the otherside, or the other side, as you prefer at various points of time, would speak up; unless it does, or unless telepathy gains broader acceptance in society, there is little chance of hearing the otherside.

    Please take this as a posotive message towards dialogue and debate and to have a real investigation of conspiracy theories starting with the 9/11 truth movement as it is easiest to debate

    As I have already stated earlier, and you will agree by now that it has been stated patiently and at length, in a dialogue, there are normally at least two sides. If one side remains silent, there can be no dialogue.

    The investigation can follow. The debate can follow. Please initiate the dialogue. Preferably by stating at least a single fact or argument. Not by pointing to others’ web sites or referring to others’ TV channels.

    Rather than shoot comments accross the board which does nothing to prove anythin.

    Please locate a simple English dictionary and look up the meaning of the word ‘irony’.