Ties between the USA and Pakistan took a turn for the worse after a visit by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The first link below (from CBS News), entitled “Pakistan Lashes Back at Clinton,” was dated on October 29, 2009. Pakistani officials “reacted angrily” to Hillary’s comment that it was “hard to believe” that Pakistan’s government didn’t know where Al Queda was hiding on Pakistani territory. As the article notes, Clinton’s comments offended the Pakistani military, which has a very large role in Pakistani national politics. Clinton’s comments were taken as an insult by the Pakistanis, who expressed surprise that Clinton would say such a thing in public as it expressed a “very high degree of insensitivity.”
It would surely have been far more “diplomatic” for a U.S. Secretary of State to say such a thing in private to Pakistan’s leaders instead of saying this openly to the Pakistani media and people. However, American readers of this blog will realize that Hillary Clinton is not known for being “sensitive” to the feelings of others, and that her appointment to the position of Secretary of State had nothing to do with any diplomatic qualifications on her part but rather a need on the part of Obama to unite the Democratic party after his bruising primary battles with Hillary Clinton. The first link also shows a photo of Hillary Clinton in an Islamic headcovering, which put her in a position of demonstrating proper “submission” within Pakistani cultural norms. One can only imagine how Hillary must have been bristling inside at this action being forced upon her.
The second link cites an AP story released on October 30, 2009 which mentions Clinton slightly moderated her comments in light of negative Pakistani reactions, but she also had to face “Pakistani’s simmering anger over U.S. aerial drones firing missiles in their country.” The story reports on the not-so-secret CIA mission of using aerial drones to target Al Queda operatives hiding in Pakistan’s minimally-governed border regions. The desire on the part of the USA to kill Al Queda operatives is understandable to Americans, but it increases the growing rift between Pakistan and the USA whenever the CIA drones kill innocent Pakistani civilians. The anger of the Pakistani government (and people) at having its territory attacked and its people killed by a foreign power understandably angers the Pakistanis.
The American-Pakistani relationship seems headed for a clear breach, in my view. Especially with the USA drawing ever-closer to India, Pakistan is likely to draw closer to its perennial ally, China (which is also a rival of India). The CBS link below cites the USA just tripled financial aid to Pakistan to a level of “$1.5 billion over the next five years.” It is likely that this bribe (excuse me, “aid”) money is the only thing keeping Pakistan tethered to an increasingly-strained relationship with the USA. The USA needs Pakistan as it offers the only land route via which supplies can be transported to American troops in Afghanistan. Previous blogs have noted that these supply caravans are already regularly attacked by Taliban and anti-American Islamicists. Hosea 8:9 refers to God’s disgust that ancient Israel “hired lovers” (allies) in ancient times with monetary gifts. America is doing the same thing today. Its “aid” to Pakistan seems to me to be little more than “protection money” to allow the USA to continue to send supplies via Pakistan to its worn-out troops in Afghanistan.
Russia and China are surely delighted that the US is actually paying money to Pakistan for the privilege of further wearing out exhausted American ground forces in pursuit of hazy U.S. national goals in Afghanistan. Since China can pay Pakistan in real money (instead of funny money created by the U.S. Federal Reserve Board), Pakistan’s grudging permission to the U.S. to supply its Afghan operations will continue only as long as China decides that it will continue. For now, it is in China’s interest to allow the USA to exhaust its own military in Afghanistan. However, if China decides that an expanding U.S./NATO military presence on China’s western border is a growing threat to China, it will likely tell Pakistan to “pull the plug” on the overland U.S. supply line to Afghanistan.
As I’ve observed in previous blogs, Ezekiel 38:5 lists “Cush” (translated “Ethiopia” in the KJV) as a prophesied ally of the Gog-Magog alliance. The name “Cush”‘ is present on both the modern nations of Afghanistan and Pakistan as the “Hindu Kush” mountains straddle their northern borders. This region is a hotbed of Taliban and anti-American sentiment. Parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan are already effectively within the Gog-Magog alliance. What is unclear is whether any part of these nations will eventually not be part of the Gog-Magog alliance. All it may take to push Pakistan over the edge into an open breach with the USA is a few more misdirected CIA aerial drone attacks and a few more visits by the current U.S. Secretary of State.