Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrapped up three days of campaigning for war in Pakistan by exasperatingly declaring that “we’re not getting through” to the Pakistanis. It seems her talks not only convinced few people, but her smug, dismissive attitude likely cemented Pakistani attitudes about America’s designs on their nation.
When asked yesterday why Pakistanis should trust America’s “long-term commitments” after the US abandoning the region in 1989, Clinton declared “it’s difficult to go forward if we’re always looking in the rearview mirror.” When pressed on the massive civilian casualties from US drone attacks, she would only say “there is a war going on.”
And there is most assuredly a war going on, but Pakistanis are increasingly getting the sense that it isn’t their war, even though the US is demanding that they do much of the fighting. Millions of Pakistanis have been displaced in the US-provoked fighting, the whole country is subject to regular suicide attacks and military expenditures have virtually bankrupted the government.
But even with all of that Clinton still accused Pakistan’s government openly of harboring al-Qaeda’s leadership and dismissed Pakistani criticism as “negative feelings.” The Secretary of State may have failed in “getting through” to Pakistanis, but the Pakistanis don’t seem to be faring any better at getting through to her.