Dollar Diplomacy unapologetic subterfuge
By Colonel Gene Khrushchev (ret), Editor
The longest standoff between Washington & Islamabad is the latest display of US foreign policy modus operandi at its best & worst.
On the eve of the Independence Day, after interminable string of near misses, the seven-month gridlock between the two countries was finally broken: the USA issued a statement to be perceived as an acceptable apology for friendly fire frontier incident back in November, and Pakistan called off a blockade on ISAF supplies to Afghanistan.
While the Obama administration is counting on the Salala incident to be out of sight out mind as soon as possible, this AFPAK crisis management antagonizing & agonizing ordeal will unlikely to be forgotten because it laid bare US foreign policy rules of engagement, unrepentant and unabashed as they are.
The White House Cook Book for Dummies on World Affairs might as well contain the following guidelines for contingency planning:
- Rule #1: The United States is always right.
- If foreign interlocutors claim otherwise, invoke Rule #1.
- Body-count spin doctoring: if it’s high-value target, attribute it to surgical US strike led by Commander in Chief, if it’s collateral damage, refer to NATO multiple multicultural misunderstandings & misinterpretations of actionable intelligence.
- Collateral damage control: make sure that ‘no child is left behind’ and carefully classify and explain away all the dead bodies between enemy combatants, militants, insurgents and terrorists whether they are provocatively unarmed in civilian garb or gun-toting types in military attire. Suppress any clamor that politically provocative “Kill’em all, and let God sort’em out” has remained unchanged as a driving force of US hardcore power projection.
- The American president does pay lip service and blood money for unauthorized assassinations, but he doesn’t apologize for road kill, period. Disambiguation: the one & only exception is US Salvation Army in Afghanistan – under the gun to preserve & protect narco democracy, some latent psychos invariably doomed to go berserk and commit excessive ‘kinetic action’, desecration & mutilation – but this kind of deplorable behavior has never reflected Superhero ethos of the Pentagon , the high moral ground and intrinsic values of the United States.
No doubt, from Washington viewpoint, the Secretary of State did a great job of untangling this Gordian knot and wringing out from Pakistan both concessions – ‘My way’ and ‘highway’ – without losing the face for Obama with a solemn ‘A-word’ for official unequivocal apology and providing political ammo for Romney’s electioneering.
I respect Hillary Clinton’s disgust for hypothetical questions and suggestions, but let’s face it: had she been a president when that proverbial ‘3a.m. foreign policy crisis phone call’ hit the White House, she could have averted this diplomatic disaster before the sunrise altogether, having enough chutzpah to dial directly to Islamabad and say what has to be said to whom it may concern.
Whether this US victory in Pakistan could be proclaimed terrific or pyrrhic is anybody’s guess: in the White House reality show on foreign policy crisis creation and mismanagement, it took 7 month and up to 2 billion dollars for hubris to prevail over humility – only to make Pakistan the undisputed world leader in anti-American sentiments (Pakistani Public Opinion-ever-more-critical-of-US).