May 17, 2011 - San Francisco, CA - Still apparently smarting from having bin-Laden snatched while under their protection, early this morning Pakistani army units opened fire on a U.S. helicopter while it was carrying out a mission in the Datta Khel region of Waziristan. [source, LA Times, http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fgw-pakistan-helicopters-20110518,0,6504243.story]
Several Pak soldiers were injured during the engagement and received medical attention in a nearby town.
To say that tensions between Pakistan and the U.S. are at a high level vastly understates the fallout coming from the takedown of al-Qaeda's secretive leader, bin-Laden two weeks ago.
The Binny hit, which happened close the center of what some commentators have characterized as Pakistan's West Point, indicates that the Pak/American alliance has, over the last decade, been a sham which only served to further Pak ambitions to dominate the neighborhood, including the ISI's long-standing terror campaign against India.
The administration is now faced with the universal knowledge [among those who will make these foreign aid decisions] that bin-Laden was waging jihad with the full knowledge of [at the very least] elements of the ISI and the Pak military and that the country is from the top down an aggressively Islamist state and can therefore never function as a partner with the U.S. unless its ideological center shifts radically towards the West.
Whether this public outing of Pakistan's dirtiest laundry will deter State Dept. types and its supporters from seeking to continue the $3-4 billion in annual assistance is problematic, the dispatch of Groveller Designate John Kerry does not inspire much confidence that anything will really change in the relationship between the two nations.
Many questions remain, but among the most baffling is why the U.S. refuses to play the "India card," thereby sending a deadly serious message to the government in Islamabad.
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