Fair. Balanced. American.

Monday, May 02, 2011

Hitchens

100% true, even if we should think twice about listening to anyone who thought going to Iraq was a smart idea.
There are several pleasant little towns like Abbottabad in Pakistan, strung out along the roads that lead toward the mountains from Rawalpindi (the garrison town of Pakistani's military brass and, until 2003, a safe-house for Khalid Sheik Muhammed). Muzaffarabad, Abbottabad … cool in summer and winter, with majestic views and discreet amenities. The colonial British—like Maj. James Abbott, who gave his name to this one—called them "hill stations," designed for the rest and recreation of commissioned officers. The charming idea, like the location itself, survives among the Pakistani officer corps. If you tell me that you are staying in a rather nice walled compound in Abbottabad, I can tell you in return that you are the honored guest of a military establishment that annually consumes several billion dollars of American aid. It's the sheer blatancy of it that catches the breath.


There's perhaps some slight satisfaction to be gained from this smoking-gun proof of official Pakistani complicity with al-Qaida, but in general it only underlines the sense of anticlimax. After all, who did not know that the United States was lavishly feeding the same hands that fed Bin Laden? There's some minor triumph, also, in the confirmation that our old enemy was not a heroic guerrilla fighter but the pampered client of a corrupt and vicious oligarchy that runs a failed and rogue state.

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