Josef Stalin’s chief of the NKVD (police intelligence service) Lavrentiy Beria is said to have stated, “Show me the man and I’ll show you the crime“. While traditional non-ideological detective work revolves around identifying a crime and then identifying those responsible, in the world of ideological policing, it suffices to find a man one seeks to proscribe and then assign him a crime (whether real or imagined) that fits his profile. While few in Washington would want to be compared with a hardline Communist like Beria, Washington’s foreign policy is based on the same principle that Beria articulated. Today’s US foreign policy can be summarised as “show me the state and I’ll show you the crime”. This is why Russia is sanctioned based on false flags such as the alleged poisoning of Sergey and Julia Skripal in England, it is why China is militarily provoked for the non-crime of patrolling its own territorial waters and it is why Pakistan is blamed for harbouring terrorists when in reality no nation has had to contend with, fight and neutralise more terrorists in the last 20 years than Pakistan.
What this means is that when the US wants to sanction a nation, place tariffs on a nation or withdraw investment including “aid” from a nation, it does not matter what such a nation might have actually done to anger the United States. The US will simply look for the most plausible (however cursory) allegation and assign the crime after assigning the guilt. This is why no Pakistani Prime Minister nor Establishment leader can or should be blamed for the US cutting $300 billion worth of “aid” to Pakistan. The fact of the matter is that Pakistan’s geo-strategic location, its unity in the face of terrorism deriving from both Afghanistan and India, its intrinsic all-weather partnership with China and its ability to bend but not break in the face of terrorism means that the US no longer has Pakistan on a string. Circumstance made this so and the election of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s PTI party at long last led to the formation of a Pakistani government that is honest about these unavoidable realities that have existed for years.
The fact that the US cut the $300 billion in “aid” just before rather than just after America’s Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Islamabad makes it clear beyond a reasonable doubt that the US passed sentence on Pakistan before even giving Pakistani leaders a fair hearing from crimes and breaches of trust that they never committed.
Far from acting in an unfair manner to the US, in spite of his opposition to the utterly failed and slavish policies of the Musharraf era, Imran Khan stated that he sought a strong and respect-based relationship with Washington. Today, even before Pompeo landed in Pakistan, the answer from the United States was clear. This is not to say that Pakistan should go out of its way to alienate the US. The record shows that even when doing everything the US says, Pakistan will still be blamed for the faults of others, notably the fault of the Kabul government to stem the tide of terrorism and the faults of India’s RAW which refuses to come clean about its role staging deadly provocations outside of its borders.
Rather than try to salvage a sinking ship, the same Pakistanis who so readily showed solidarity with Turkey, another long time US ally that is now guilty of crimes it never committed according to the US, should look towards Turkey’s government that has never once blamed itself for the arrogant and hostile attitude of a supposed ally. The Turkish example is the only pragmatically reasonable and ethically dignified example for Pakistan at the present time.
While patriotic Turks including patriotic Turkish journalists have shown support for President Erdogan as he continues to defy US threats in order to preserve the sovereignty of the Turkish nation, far too many Pakistanis continue to blame themselves rather than realise that there is nothing Pakistan could do to avoid the wrath of the US apart from surrendering its national dignity and prostrate itself before New Delhi and Kabul. The culture of self-blame, itself a derivative of the colonial mentality must be expunged from Pakistani society before a real moment of economic reckoning occurs.
Instead, Pakistan should follow Turkey’s lead and calmly illustrate America’s own hypocrisy regarding terrorism. Why is it that US allied Afghanistan is allowed to proliferate anti-Pakistan terrorism but Islamabad’s leaders get the blame? For example, why is it that the US is allowed to work with the anti-Turkish YPG/PKK terror group in Syria yet refuses to condemn FETO terrorism while sheltering its leader, all the while lambasting Turkey? Why is it that the US is allowed to say that Iran sponsors terrorism while the US itself is sponsoring the MEK terror group which threatens Iranian sovereignty? The answer to this question is yet again found in the words of Beria.
Anything remotely resembling justice, ethics and a public grasp of truth goes out the window when dealing with US foreign policy makers. The US simply wants domination of its “partners” and if it cannot achieve this through coercion, an independent partner is named as a party that is guilty of whatever crime the US State Department can think up.
Those in glass houses should not throw stones. While Donald Trump and his associates have decried the publishing of a new book by Robert Woodward which is apparently full of lies and hearsay regarding the inner-workings of the Trump administration, he ought to apply the same standards to his own State Department that is happy to condemn entire nations based on the same lies and hearsay that Trump finds so objectionable at a domestic level.