Thursday, February 14, 2013

So much for the "smarter foreign policy"

Well, that worked out well: 92% of Pakistanis now dislike America

After four years of Barack Obama's diplomatic 'leadership' and billions of dollars in attempted friendship aid, a new public opinion poll reveals that 92% of Pakistanis now disapprove of the United States.
The results could have been worse. Not much. But a little. Fully four Pakistanis out of 100 do approve of the United States, President Obama and his policies. They, however, seem to keep kind of quiet about their views in that rowdy land. That's the lowest favorable rating Pakistan's citizens have ever given their ostensible North American ally.
The new Gallup Poll, out this morning, reports that the recent high point of Pakistani approval of the United States came in the spring of 2011 when 27% approved. But then public opinion went south on North America.
Something to do with U.S. Air Force planes over Afghanistan one night confounding Pakistani radar into thinking its skies were perfectly empty when, in fact, a pack of stealth aircraft were advancing toward the city of Abbottabad carrying a Kevlar-coated posse of heavily-armed SEALs in night-vision goggles.
Their assignment was to land, blow open the gate, kill a few people if necessary and bring back the body of one, Osama bin Laden -- along with his computers, correspondence and anything else of interest. It was a mission any president would order.
All without notice to Pakistan officials, elected or otherwise.
Since then, CIA drones have lingered inside Pakistan air space, watching and waiting until commanded to direct a large explosive device onto a car or two or some houses where residents were gathered. More than 350 times that's happened.
Often, some of the people vaporized in such raids were on a list of terrorist suspects targeted for extinction by the American president.
For some reason, Pakistanis seem to regard these serial acts of lethal interdiction as a violation of national sovereignty. Imagine how Americans might feel if Canada sent silent drones on southbound flights over U.S. cities to dispatch residents in ill favor up north.
To be fair, during the 2007-08 campaign for the Democratic nomination, then former state senator Obama did warn everyone listening to party debates that he would bomb even Pakistan if it did not fully cooperate in a campaign against terrorists.
At the time many were faux-shocked and Obama was roundly denounced for saying he'd attack an alleged ally in the endless Afghan war. His critics were many, including fellow Sen. Hillary Clinton, his future Secretary of State who would come to help Obama implement his foreign policies.
Bikas Das / AP
Bikas Das / AP
You may remember one foundation stone of Obama's initial presidential campaign was the argument that because of the historical nature of his presidency and his upbringing in Indonesia, the globe's most populous Muslim land, the world would feel more fondly toward America for a change.
That doesn't seem to be happening so far.
Obama and Clinton helped push Egyptian dictator and close American ally Hosni Mubarak from office, alienated much of Egypt's ungrateful population and got instead a Muslim Brotherhood government openly hostile to Israel and the U.S. However, it's still willing to accept more than $1 billion in annual aid from the American administration, including recently new tanks and jet fighters.
Upset by the mere threat of civilian loss of life in Libya's civil war, Obama actively bombed and Tomahawked dictator Qaddafi from office, producing a lawless land where four Americans were killed by a heavily-armed mob in an indefensible consulate in Benghazi.
Obama was so upset by the first death of an American ambassador in four decades that he nearly postponed a campaign fundraiser in Las Vegas.
In Syria, where an estimated 55,000 civilians have already died in civil war fighting, Obama chose to launch merely a lengthy barrage of words at the dictator, firmly demanding that he leave. Obama also rejected pleas by two cabinet secretaries to help arm the rebels there.
American presidents understandably pay more attention to their poll standings at home. But the Pakistan situation is complicated by the fact that the country possesses something on the order of 100 nuclear weapons. Acquisition of such devices by al Qaeda, Taliban or disobedient Pakistani military could prove inconvenient.
Especially in a nation now so openly hostile toward Obama and America. Gallup found distaste for dealings with the West crossing all age cohorts, while support for Pakistan's military, always high, is now nearly 90%.
The country faces national elections in May. If successfully completed, those results would constitute the first transition in Pakistan's history from one civilian government to another. Incumbent President Zardari, viewed by many as too cozy with Obama, has seen his government's approval plummet from 54% in 2008 to 23% last fall.
This suggests the possibility of a newly-elected government that represents the now near-unanimous disapproval of America.

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