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Tuesday, 1 May, 2012, 15:33 ( 13:33 GMT )
Bush and His Renegade Brigade
22/06/2008 01:05:00
Dear Editor,
In her recent article 'George Bush must be held accountable', 31 May 2008, Zainab Al-Arabi has summed up the situation rather well. USA is supposed to be a democratic country where people are knowledgeable, have access to all sorts of information and can exercise their right of vote freely.

It is surprising that people like George Bush can still manage to get to the top position and act like marauders of the middle age rather than the President of a civilized country.

What is even more worrying is that, judging from the utterances of the Presidential hopefuls, one gets the impression that the future is not going to be much different either because they all seem to have nearly the same frame of mind.

There was a time when George Bush used to express surprise over anti-American feeling in the Muslim world saying "Why do they hate us?" He is not saying that these days so perhaps he knows the reason now but that has not made him change his mind and he is still just as pro-Israel and, should I say, as anti-Muslim as ever before.

Unfortunately, the focus of George Bush and his renegade brigade is on our region now. The American ambassador in Pakistan has taken up that mission and she expresses surprise over the depth of anti-American feeling in Pakistan.

She ascribes it to ignorance and lack of appreciation of the benefits derived through American partnership and to diversionary tactics by some. She paints a rather bleak picture of the spread of extremism which, she believes will devour all Pakistanis, specially the middle class. However, recent election results just belie these apprehensions.

She describes Pakistan as the third largest recipient of American aid in the world. However, considering the treatment Pakistan gets, it could well be the hundredth.

Almost every other day, we hear some American official or senator, howling and hurling accusations and threats to cut off aid to Pakistan and it even had its supplies (F-16 planes) withheld for years despite making full payment.

Pakistan was America's ally in its war with Soviets but after achieving its objective, America just abandoned Afghanistan and left Pakistan to deal with three million Afghan refugees, increased drug-related problems and abundance of arms, the factors that far outweigh the benefits derived from US aid and association. About 1,000 Pakistani soldiers got killed in tribal operations but still US doubts Pakistan's contribution, even sincerity.

US government has plans to develop our tribal areas by investing a princely sum of $750 million spread over five years which, when compared with its daily spending of nearly $1 billion on operations in Iraq an Afghanistan clearly shows American preferences and priorities.

Americans go around preaching virtues of democracy to the Muslim world but act in the most dictatorial way themselves, and get away with all that. The same goes for Britain.

Is not it a travesty of justice that Tony Blair, the former partner of George Bush in Iraq invasion, is now a peace envoy in the Middle East? Both George Bush and Tony Blair escaped any real accountability in their own democratic countries for having done what they did to Iraqis. World conscience is also in deep slumber, if not exactly dead, over this issue and that of Israeli atrocities.

S.R.H. HASHMI
Karachi / Pakistan
 
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