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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Monday, April 06, 2009


A rather interesting bit near the end of this Reuters Pakistan catchall at how India is having some issues with the way Richard Holbrooke and the US is handling them in relation to Afghanistan/Pakistan.
India has welcomed the U.S. strategy but analysts said New Delhi may not be entirely happy with Holbrooke visiting India a second time in as many months.

"Why is he coming to India so often at a time when elections are just round the corner and not much government business is being exchanged?" said Brahma Chellaney of the Center of Policy R esearch, a New Delhi-based think-tank.

"That is because he is trying to define his turf and re-hyphenate India and Pakistan."

Analysts have said addressing Pakistan's fears about old rival India's involvement in Afghanistan and finding a solution to divided Kashmir, the main dispute between the nuclear-armed neighbors, would help Pakistan focus on its Afghan border.

But India rules out third-party involvement in Kashmir.

So, it would appear that Kashmir is still very high on the Obama/Holbrooke agenda?

(And a long NYTimes piece on Pakistan's precarious priority balances between military/civilian, Taleban/US, and Afghanistan/India.)


  • It appears that no matter what we do, we are seen as the enemy. In Iraq, we are hated by Sunni and Shia alike, broadly speaking. If we suggest to India there is some compromising they could do, we are seen as the enemy. If we suggest to the Pakistanis their real enemy is the extremist Islamists, we are seen as the enemy (even as these extremists kill score of Pakistanis in terror attacks).

    Here's the thing. We are cultural, racial, religious and political foreigners here in the Middle East an Asia. This isn't Europe or South America. No matter who much we try to appear friendly on a financial, material or political way, we are -- in the most base and primal level -- the other. Thus, there will be Pakistanis who find it more palatable to be blown up by a fellow Muslim than to be saved from that fellow Muslim terrorist by "the other."

    Here's an irony: In Iraq we're trying to get two Muslim groups to get along, but they insist on killing each other. In Pakistan, we're trying to get one group of Muslims to reject another (the Taliban/Qaeda), but at a base level they are sympathetic. Weird.

    We never should have let Pakistan in India go nuke. We're living with the sick reality of so many bad, bad political/military decisions.

    By Blogger -epm, at 11:34 AM  

  • The interesting bit is that India wants to keep the US out of the Kashmir negotiations. India is afraid the US will give up some of their side to get other stuff from the Pakistanis.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 1:35 PM  

  • Rightly or wrongly the world does not see the US's motives as totally altruistic.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:51 PM  

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