Monday, April 08, 2013
Pakistan Insults Obama, U.S. With Iran Pact
Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Pakistani president, Asif Ali Zardari were in the mood to celebrate when they met earlier this month in the Iranian border town of Chabahar.
The occasion was the start of construction of a gas pipeline between Iran and Pakistan designed to carry gas from Iran's Fars field to Pakistan and ultimately beyond.
It's also a way for Iran obtain badly needed hard currency and to to evade and ignore international sanctions on its illegal nuclear program.
For Zardari, known in Pakistan as 'Mr. Ten Percent' becomes of his kleptocrat ways, the benefits are two fold. With an election coming up in September, he can take credit for doing something about Pakistan's energy shortage and high prices. And second, it's a way of appealing to the huge amount of anti-western and anti-American sentiment in Pakistan.
The assassination of Osama bin-Laden and the drone strikes favored by the Obama Administration with their civilian collateral damage have turned what was a bad relationship to begin with into open abhorrence.
Not only did the bin-Laden hit provide blatant public proof of what everyone knew anyway, that Pakistan was a major aider and abetter of Islamist terrorism. It showed up the Zardari regime as being unable to keep America out of its sovereign territory.
Our state Department issued the usual pro forma rhetoric warning about consequences.Spokesperson Victoria Nuland went on record saying, "If this deal is finalized for a proposed Iran-Pakistan pipeline, it would raise serious concerns under our Iran Sanctions Act. We've made that absolutely clear to our Pakistani counterparts."
Zardari and the Pakistanis could care less. And they can afford to. Over 75% of the supplies for our troops in Afghanistan come through the Pakistani port of Karachi and overland by truck via the Torkhum Pass.After the bin -Laden assassination the Pakistanis were livid and shut down the roads for several months. We responded by waiving terrorism restrictions that are clearly stated in U.S. law to gift them an extra $2 billion in baksheesh to get the road open again.
It's worth remembering that Zardari is only in power because we made it happen, as part of the Bush Administration's fetish for Muslim Democracy.
Originally, we were bribing former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's government to keep the path to Afghanistan open, which was behind his famous remark that "without Pakistan this is no war on terror."
Moreover, once he was bought, Musharraf stayed bought, although he got a bit fractious from time to time. He kept things reasonably together, turned a blind eye when we needed him to and more importantly, kept the supplies flowing to Afghanistan. Things have gotten so far out of hand under Zardari that we can't even depend on our lifeline to Afghanistan staying open.
Musharraf trusted Bush and Condi Rice to keep their end of the bargain.His reward was to have former Secretary of State Rice force the corrupt Benazir Bhutto and her husband Asif Ali Zardari on Musharraf as 'co-rulers' to 'give him more popular support'.
The end result was that Musharraf was undermined, Bhutto was assassinated by Pakistan's Islamists as they always said she would be the minute she returned to Pakistan, and Zardari was elected with a large sympathy vote.
Zardari and his government have made no secret of their disdain for America since...simply shocking how littel $7.5 billion a year buys us these days.