Unpleasant bedpartners: why we support people we don’t like

January 8, 2007 at 3:20 am (History, Military, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, The United States, US Government, War)

Reading the comments at the Elder of Ziyon‘s blog reminded me of a very unpleasant truth: at times, we are forced to deal with and even support very unpleasant people. Two examples should suffice: Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and The House of Saud of Saudi Arabia. In a perfect world, we would be free to conspire to remove both from power, but these entities are the lesser of evils that would exist. As it is said, better the devil we know than the devil we don’t. Furthermore, Abbas and The House of Saud have a vested interest in ensuring not only that they continue to receive our support but also that they continue to support our interests. In some cases, our interests are their interests as well. But then one has to wonder to what extent certain problems (such as, the so evil adversaries of Fatah or The House of Saud which cause us to support people and entities we’d rather not) are perpetuated by those who receive our support. In other words, rather than solving the problems that cause us to support them, are they in fact prolonging them so as to continue to receive our support?

An example of this is Pakistan’s government and military and the issue of the Taliban. To a certain degree, the government and military of Pakistan do not and will not completely eradicate the Taliban in Pakistan or in any areas over which they exercise influence or authority, no matter how easy or possible it is. The same with Usama bin Ladin: Pakistan has a policy, unofficial, of course, of deliberately not taking him out and even of sparing him. Both of these exist for the same reason: if the Taliban were destroyed and/or Bin Ladin taken out or apprehended, The United States’ interest in Pakistan (and, importantly, in Pakistan’s ruling regime) would decrease. Pakistan’s government and military want to ensure the maximum interest of The United States for the maximum amount of time.

(When the Pakistani government hinted that it may not permit foreign forces to move against Bin Ladin were he found within Pakistan’s borders, The Government wisely responded quite severely, stating that if Bin Ladin were found, The United States would move against him whether Pakistan permitted it or not. This sent a very clear message to Pakistan’s government and military: that Pakistan’s intransigence would be tolerated only so much.)

The issue of what Pakistan can and cannot do, as far as potential and politics are concerned, is another matter all together. In certain areas and issues, Pakistan’s government and military are quite impotent.

Unfortunately, we have to recognize that reality is often complicated and quite inconvenient. As much as we may hate it, we have little choice but to side with our erstwhile allies (while, at the same time, keeping a watch on our back). And we need to remember this for the future: when conditions change, we should remember why we supported whom we supported, both so as not to falsely accuse our past actions of laziness or insufficient dedication to our ideals and also so as to analyze every situation to ascertain if we can finally end an unpleasant relationship and bring onto the world stage a better, newer partner.

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2 Comments

  1. Ernesto Ribeiro said,

    THAT’S THE 6 UNFORGIVABLE SINS OF GEORGE W BUSH:

    1 – In 2001, he didn’t attack Islamism as the real enemy in 11 of September. Nothing did for stop the islamfascists of ACLU and CAIR destroy christianism and force the students to swallow the Islamic shit in the classrooms. And still permits islamonazists publications which prepare the war against the population disseminated by the Saudi Arabia in libraries of mosques, streets and bookstores for American muslims, preaching the destruction of America with anti-American antichristian, anti-Jewish, misogynistic, jihadist and supremacist ideology. Obvious: Bush family has oil business with the Saudi real family. Can we trust in a leader sharing interests with the enemy?

    2 – In 2002, he didn’t denounce the responsibility of the government Clinton for CIA errors that enabled the 11 of September. The investigator of the Department of Defense that was following a trail that would have avoided the attack, the lieutenant-colonel Tony Shaffer, simply was prevented from pass the information to the FBI, that like this could not dismantle the Al-Qaeda cell. It stopped why? Because former president Clinton centralized the straight control of all the organs of security and blocked deliberately the communications among them. CIA, FBI and other agencies then were driving parallel inquiries about the illegal funds of given campaign to the candidate Clinton by the Chinese army one and the subsequent favors that the very grateful president lent to the service of Chinese espionage. Without exchange of information, the investigators did not be able to join the threads of the story line.

    3 – In 2003, he did not announce that the weapons of destruction in batter of Saddam Hussein were found. They are more of 500 – enough for kill for poisoning the inhabitants of some twenty American cities. Republican senator Rick Santorum, using of the privileges of the Freedom of Information Act, obtained from the military secret service the complete relation. Reporter Richard Miniter already to have revealed the existence of those weapons, in its book “Disinformation: 22 Average Myths that Undermine the War on Terror”. The strange point in the episode is that senator Santorum has had of pull out by force an information that Bush government should be screaming in all the media.

    4 – In 2004, he did not condemn UNO by the scandal of corruption in the Oil by Food Program, involving Saddam Hussein and Koffi Annan and his son Kojo, and the governments of countries as France, Russia, Germany, China… Beyond others crimes of the UNO, that became the worst enemy of the U.S.A. by the simple fact that it shelters or protects all the anti-American and terrorist dictatorships in her Commissions.

    5 – In 2005, he did not defend himself neither attacked the Democrats responsible by the calamity of the hurricane Katrina: the governor of Louisiana, Kathleen Blanco, and the mayor of New Orleans, Ray Nagin.

    6 – AND in 2006, was discovered that he, as a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) signed an agreement for dissolve the borders between the U.S.A., Canada and the Mexico, practically eliminating the American nation as an independent political unit. The idea already was old, but then a citizen appealed to the Freedom of Information Act, obliging the government it divulge the documents about the matter. Then already there was conservatives calling Bush openly of “treacherous”. The report can be read in the site cfr.org.

  2. S. Weasel said,

    Ummm…wow. Okay.

    I think about this every time somebody asks why it is that we always support the bad guys in faraway lands. Simple, Moonbeam. Because we have to support somebody, and they’re all bad guys.

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