Finally: Playing Hardball
Careful not to ruffle the feathers of oppositional forces abroad, in an effort to restore some semblance of balance and moderation to world affairs. As though that could thus be accomplished. By sacrificing America's status as the single current world power to the grievances of failed states and non-state adversaries alike, the hoped outcome would be a partnership for co-operation and understanding. As though that were remotely possible between a country with a conscience (however insipid at times) and those conscious only of their sovereign right to abuse their own and threaten others.
Hillary Clinton has finally emerged as a person of potential distinction, someone whose mind is nimble enough to give her the courage and the backbone to respond honestly to her hostile interlocutors in Pakistan, serenely convinced that their nation is beyond reproach, and that the foreign intervention of the United States is responsible for the catastrophic turmoil now existing in Pakistan. As though Pakistan is utterly innocent of fomenting grievances through the deliberate and unforgivable encouraging and funding of violence between herself and her neighbours.
What reason has Pakistan, asked Secretary of State Clinton, to voice complaint that the eyes of the world are upon it as a breeding ground for world-wide terrorism, when the simple fact is that Pakistan has bred within itself that very fertile breeding ground that exists within its geography with utter impunity. (Inviting participation by disaffected international Islamic youth to train in jihadist militancy on Pakistan's soil.) Those groups approved by and supported by its military, and those who now turn against the national government, and its military in the interests of a greater accomplished Islamist Sharia movement shunting aside a nascent democracy.
When the leadership of al-Qaeda along with the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban both find comfort and security within the boundaries of the country, despite protestations of absolute and indignant denial from Islamabad. Pakistan's insistence that the United States should hand over sophisticated drones to its military, to enable it to target border areas hosting the terror groups reflects its rage over the United States' unauthorized incursions over its air space and ground territory. Targeting those remote hideouts where al-Qaeda and the Taliban are ensconced.
"I find it hard to believe that nobody in your government knows where they are, and couldn't get to them if they really wanted to. Maybe that's the case; maybe they're not gettable, I don't know." Yet she carefully and without malice leaves the indelible impression in the belief of her own administration, one shared by many other countries of the NATO alliance, that there are high-placed Pakistan officials who are complicit with these terror forces, allowing them sanctuary, and defiant of the need to co-operate with foreign forces attempting to uproot them.
Her verbal assault, piercing the innocence of the Pakistan administration and the country's armed forces, does not go down very well; it is a truth that Pakistan feels need not be publicly aired. Ruffling diplomatic feathers in a way that has not quite been seen before. Because most Pakistani civilians believe that it is the presence of the United States in the geography that threatens their country. The vicious attacks upon the institutes of governance, upon military emplacements, upon civilians by the fundamentalist Islamists within Pakistan, attempting to destabilize the country and prevent success of the army's assaults on tribal areas are laid at the feet of the U.S.
It is not the implacable fundamentalists who exist in the formidably-hostile areas of the country and who visit bloody atrocities on the population, destroying schools, attacking and murdering teachers and children, flogging women inadequately garbed, tormenting shaven men, outlawing music and laughter with the rigour of fanaticism - spreading their territory to encompass hitherto government-controlled areas that are at fault. But the presence of NATO and American troops in the neighbourhood, forcing Pakistan into a war it has no gut to pursue.
"Slowly, but insidiously, you were losing territory", she pointed out to one of many accusers at a Pakistan university where she took questions from an obviously aggrieved audience of university students. "If you want to see your territory shrink, that's your choice. But I don't think that's the right choice." As though it were as simple as that. The university students exhibiting such resentment at outside forces - foreign forces, unlike interior malign forces that strive to alter beyond recognition all that they take for granted in whatever freedoms they have - for all their education adamantly refuse reality.
Should Pakistan ultimately and catastrophically fall to the Islamist fanatics battling in South Waziristan it would result in the beginnings of a near-east Caliphate, giving Islamists elsewhere the impetus to strive even more forcefully to achieve their end of the bargain within the Magreb, with Somalia falling to the Islamists, leading the way for other nations to succumb, in Africa. If Islamism could be contained within the traditional confines of Islamic conquest that would be one thing.
But the obvious, and proven intent of global jihad is to conquer all countries of the world. The migration of Muslims to Europe and to North America over the past decades has swelled their numbers to significant proportions of the populations there. And while most Muslims appear to have integrated to a good degree into the surrounding social milieu, accepting Western values, a slowly growing number of young Muslims are rejecting those values, representing a fifth column of jihadists violently dedicated to the overthrow of the West.
All of which appears preposterously improbable, in the length, depth and breadth, not to mention fundamental hysteria of the movement. But there appear many cracks in the solidarity of Western liberal democracies, with ultra-leftist groups implausibly, imponderably professing a certain level of sympathy for those very dedicated jihadists who, in the final analysis, will have no use for these dupes, but whose valuable support at the present helps global jihad in its mission.
Kudos, then, to Hillary Clinton, for what can be hoped to be the first of many future frank admissions, seeming to run counter to President Barack Obama's failing, flailing, game plan.