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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Why Not Better Relations With Everyone?

In his inimical way Patras Bukhari, I think, wrote, "Pakistan has no foreign policy. It has foreign relations."

Pakistan has excellent relations with China, and then on a sliding scale with the US, Turkey, Iran, India....and somewhere way down the line Russia.

Brian Cougley writes in the Nation

Russia has never been a friend to Pakistan, but that is no reason for any government in Islamabad to avoid movement towards more cordial relations with an increasingly important country. As has been shown in Georgia recently, the Russians are in no mood to take any nonsense from anyone, and are intent on once again being a power to be reckoned with. The declaration by the psychotic Dick Cheney that the recent Russian operation in the territory of South Ossetia "must not go unanswered" was silly bluster, and the remarks by Bush and Condoleezza Rice about Russian "aggression" and so forth are equally absurd. In early August Georgia's president, Mikheil Saakashvili, an erratic US-educated, US-backed demagogue, ordered his US-trained, US-equipped troops to rocket villages and then invade the enclave of would-be independent South Ossetia, whose largely Russian-origin inhabitants were being protected by Russian soldiers. His soldiers fired thousands of rockets from multi-barrelled launchers into villages and towns, killing hundreds of civilians. The Russian army went in and thumped the Georgians.

So who does much of the West blame for the conflict? Why, Russia, of course. The hypocrisy of Western reaction to Russia's justifiable involvement in Georgia is ridiculous. Washington's condemnation of Moscow is bizarre, and for Bush to state, as he did on August 15, that "Bullying and intimidation are not acceptable ways to conduct foreign policy in the 21st century" is preposterous to the point of fantasy. Bush pronounced that "We insist that Georgia's sovereignty and territorial integrity be respected" which is rich, coming from a man whose drones continue to violate Pakistan's airspace to fire missiles that have killed scores of Pakistani civilians. Because of George W Bush there is an ongoing US military occupation of Iraq, a country which posed no threat whatever to the United States and which on his orders was invaded illegally and mercilessly subjugated. His soldiers, outside the NATO command system (such as that is), have killed hundreds of Afghan civilians, resulting in futile protests by Afghanistan's President Karzai. Sovereignty, anyone?

Russia is going places. It is no pussy cat: it is an increasingly powerful bear, and a welcome counter to the self-righteous Imperial Eagle that so enjoys demonstrating its ferocious doctrine of Shock and Awe. Confrontation is the thrust of Washington's foreign policy, but it has now been met with determination on the part of a proud nation that refuses to be intimidated. There is a lesson here; and it would be wise for other countries, and especially for Europe, to decide where to place their own interests.


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