The above observation is from the subtle Indian career diplomat (ret.) M.K. Bhadrakumar, who turned the Persian card face up in his July 31 op-ed for the Asia Times in order to show Washington a possible way to exit Afghanistan and still retain a shred of dignity. Alas, the good witch arrived too late.
Just as the U.S. regime had snubbed Putin's help in Afghanistan because it wanted to give Moscow a black eye in Georgia and Ukraine, it had scoffed at Tehran's white flag in 2003. And so in the manner of the prettiest girl at the ball who's so choosy she ends up with no dance partner except the creep with two left feet and halitosis, the Obama administration has to continue the tradition of covering for Pakistan's military.
Yesterday on NBC TV's Meet the Press, Secretary of Defense Bob Gates:
... defended the U.S. relationship with Pakistan, disputing claims that intelligence elements in the country are actively aiding the Taliban.Have you ever noticed clairvoyants never provide really useful information, such as which nag is coming in first at long odds? There is one way and one way only that Pakistan will change its strategic calculus. That's if Gates and Admiral Mullen sit down with the heads of Pakistan's army and ISI, unfold a map of Pakistan, point to a couple regions and say, 'You see these places? The ones that are dying for independence? One more ISAF solider or Afhghan gets killed by your goons, one more ISI terrorist plot against another country gets uncovered, and Pakistan will shrink to the size of a postage stamp so fast your heads will spin. Now get the fuck out of Afghanistan and stay out. Have a nice day.'
"I see a change in the strategic calculus in Pakistan," Gates said.
If Kayani and Pasha complain that MI6 has a gun at their backs, I guess President Obama could ring up Prime Minister David Cameron and say something like this:
'My background is community organizing not petroleum -- heh, no this isn't about BP -- so I get confused when I study oil pipeline maps. I'm trying to remember something Dick Cheney told me once, or maybe it was James Baker, about an old pipeline built in the Shah's time between Israel and Iran. If that pipeline became operational again it wouldn't exactly put Saudi Arabia and the other Arab Gulf oil states out of business; right? Not with today's demand for oil. But it would shave anywhere from one to three dollars off the price of a barrel of oil shipped to East Asia because the route would avoid the surcharge on shipping oil through the Suez Canal; right?
'What I'm trying to figure out is if you hooked up that old pipeline with the one put back in use since Russia and Israel started getting along -- that was in 2002, I think -- would that pipeline arrangement crash OPEC? I wouldn't want that; think what would happen to your country's banking system and mine, especially if Saudi oil sales took a big dive. By the way MI6 isn't still trying to jolly Taliban into negotiating peace, is it? Kayani and Pasha told my guys they have to keep paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops because MI6 told them to do it. I know, I know; they never get a story straight. Just thought you'd like to hear what they said.'
But that's just me, and no one will ever call me subtle.
Memo to Bob Gates: I see war historians trashing your career if you don't get that war in Afghanistan won. And if the brother of the Lion of Panjshir says the war can be won, it's winnable.