Monday 17 August 2009

Do Pakistanis really hate America!

Now Barry Rubin is taunting the Americans that despite huge financial and military aid to Pakistan we still hate USA.

He argues that even with the arrival of President Obama into the White House and massive military and economic support to Pakistan government Pakistanis (according to a recently carried out poll) still hate America and consider it to be an enemy. "Here's the most devastating finding of all: 64 percent of Pakistanis regard the United States as an enemy. Just 9 percent say it’s a friend" Barry Rubin states.

"Why is this?" Barry Rubin asks, and then answers himself "Well, America is not Muslim, is culturally different, and they are being taught for decades--by clerics and others if not by their political rulers--that America is bad. That also goes for the years when George W. Bush wasn't president!". Barry comes up with a simplistic reasoning.

He is absolutely right on one point "The United States could stand on its head, dole out billions of dollars, talk until its green in the face about how much it respects Islam [or Pakistan for that matter], and it won’t make much of a difference".

Why, because making hollow policy statements and pouring billions of American dollars into government coffers and military ammunition does not have an impact on the common man in Pakistan. Carry out the same survey with President, Prime Minister and the army of Pakistani government ministers and you will find that hundred percent among them are head over heals in love with America. A common man cannot see any benefits of American military aid that is used to buy American military hardware. They do not see any evidence of pro-Pakistan or pro-Islam action on American government's part for the last 62 years of Pakistan's existence.

If you seriously want to explore real views of an average Pakistani on the street offer him a Green Card with an invitation to go and live in the land of vice, as promoted by hard core religious extremist. I bet 99 percent of Pakistanis will take you up on that offer. If they really hated America they wouldn't be in love with the idea of making a life or money living there. I will raise my stakes and ask you to make the same offer to Taliban leadership and they will oblige as well. My point being that even the hard core religious fanatics do not hate America - the state, the country, the people, and the values its stands for - the hatred is for American government, its policies, its double standards.

Barry complains that Pakistanis believe that America favours India - "The actual numbers are shocking: 54 percent see America as pro-India; only 4 percent as pro-Pakistan." Do I need to provide a list of how different the American policy has been in relation to these two countries over the last 62 years starting from Kashmir to the civilian nuclear technology! Barry, mate do not rant about the dollars handed over to Musharraf and now to Zardari and his cronies. These have been provided to receive specific services from Pakistan army. Cost of actual work on the ground benefiting the common man that is delivered through USAID is comparatively peanuts.

I agree, though, with him that "conflicts are based on real collisions of interest, deeply differing ways of thinking about the world, widely distinct societies and histories. They are not easily bridged..."

In my view Barry represents a school of thought among "intellectuals" who would equate disagreement with American policies with hating USA or disagreement with Israeli government as anti-Semitism . Reading him I could see similarities in strength of views expressed by him and those of Abu Hamza the notorious hook handed cleric of Finsbury Park mosque in London. Difference is that they are talking from two different ends of political spectrum.

I must thank Barry for his closing remarks that were so patronising and pompous that since I come "from a place like Pakistan" I would like you to enjoy it to the fullest. Barry believes that "Ultimately, it is not America or globalization, not India or Israel, or George Bush who is responsible for the dislike emanating from places like Pakistan; and the material enmity coming from places like Pakistan; and the instability, terror attacks, or suffering arising within places like Pakistan. No, it is what people think, do, and how the society works, and what the goals are in places like Pakistan." Sounds more like an angry mother-in-law's rant than an intellectual discourse to me.

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