After five years of Pakistani collaboration with the U.S. military in Afghanistan, not one Taliban leader of consequence has been captured or killed. Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, cries himself hoarse over the Taliban functioning out of Pakistan’s western regions and he is treated with open ridicule by Gen. Musharraf. There is precious little, however, that George W. Bush can do about this: He cannot now admit that a man he has called his “ally” for the past five years has been double-crossing him nearly every minute of that time.br> Nor can he admit that there is a “vast nuclear smuggling ring emanating from Pakistan” ( Washington Post ), doubtless with Musharraf’s tacit authorization, with Pakistani weapons finding their way to every rogue nation that can scrape together a few bucks.
Sadly, the case of Pakistan is not unique. Another so-called ally, Saudi Arabia, has also been playing the U.S. like one of Antonio Stradivari’s fiddles. The Saudis have never been big fans of Team USA. In fact, 87 percent of Saudis hold an unfavorable opinion of the U.S. And their own leaders aren’t going to win any popularity contests either. The Saudi royal family is nothing if not a web of contradictions: an ally of the U.S. in the War on Terror and a main target of Osama bin Laden, while at the same time an exporter of radical Wahhabism. In fact, the only thing the Saudis export more of is oil.
If any Muslim state should be pro-American, it is fellow NATO member Turkey. A secular, nominally democratic nation, Turkey longs to modernize and move closer to the West, while paradoxically keeping Western society at arm’s length. (About three-quarters of Turks favor EU integration, while a recent Pew Global Attitudes poll showed that only 16 percent of Turks held a favorable view of Christians, just one percentage point higher than their dislike of Jews.) Politically, Turkey is a shambles, a secular government kept that way by a powerful military that was seriously embarrassed recently when novelist Orhan Pamuk won the Nobel Prize for Politics…errr, Literature, despite the government’s recent attempts to have him locked up for “insulting the Republic.” Not long ago Pamuk had the bad taste to bring up the (1915-17) Armenian genocide. The Nobel laureate deserved some kind of award, if only because he is hated by both the Islamicists and the Turkish military, which means he must be doing something right.
As Pamuk’s novels amply demonstrate, there is in his homeland an intense hate of “Europeanized” Turks, a revulsion that is only kept from violent outbreak by a thuggish military that routinely uses torture and the threat of torture to maintain a semblance of order. The Turkish rural majority is rabidly anti-American. A recent poll shows that a mere 12 percent of Turks hold a favorable opinion of the U.S. As for our allies in the capital Ankara, the Turks not only opposed the War in Iraq, their parliament voted to forbid U.S. troops from crossing into Iraq from Turkish soil.
EGYPT IS ANOTHER so-called friend who is an ally in name only. An impressive 98 percent of Egyptians surveyed have an “unfavorable attitude” toward the U.S., according to a Zogby poll. Perhaps Egyptians hate the U.S. so much because their military is the second largest recipient of American foreign aid, which tends to be used to prop up a double-dealing dictatorship that encourages the spread of anti-American propaganda (“vicious and loony lies,” according to James Glassman of the American Enterprise) which tends to feed Muslim extremism.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?