Imran Jan |
When Trump is not the Clown in Chief on Fox, he is the Twitter in Chief. For him, everything, including the United States government, is a show, which needs consistent injections of lies and clown tricks. This unique clown rather than being funny, picks up fights with everyone. Whether they are Nato allies, journalists, or even porn stars. Last week his punching bag was Pakistan.
It started with Trump’s interview on Fox News with Chris Wallace where he categorically said that he is ending the aid to Pakistan because “Pakistan doesn’t do a damn thing for us.” Notice that Trump is not asking Pakistan to ‘do more.’ About two years ago, Trump spoke to Nawaz Sharif over the telephone where he called Pakistan a “fantastic country” and a “fantastic place.” He called the Pakistani people “intelligent”, “exceptional”, and “amazing.”
This unique clown rather than being funny, picks up fights with everyone. Whether they are Nato allies, journalists, or even porn stars. Last week his punching bag was Pakistan.
Trump’s assertions about Pakistan are thought provoking. The mightiest army that mankind has ever seen is admitting to facing defeat in its longest war because of a comparatively small and weak country in the region. That could become a new area of study for war colleges around the world because insurgencies have defeated superpowers only when supported by other superpowers. Pakistan is not a superpower. In his Fox News interview, Trump said of Bin Laden’s Abbottabad hideout that “everybody in Pakistan knew he was there.”
That would make one hell of a nation where “everybody” was a spy and kept a secret. I am deeply aggrieved by being left out. Let me confess to my incompetence; I didn’t know. I hope I wouldn’t be judged. Then came the tweets from the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan. He talked about how being in an alliance with America in its war on terror has cost Pakistan $123 billion, 75,000 lives, devastated infrastructure, disturbed ordinary life, and so forth. He also reminded Trump about the air and ground supply lines to Afghanistan going through Pakistan.
And then asked Trump if he can name another ally that can do so much for America. The clown in chief responded with his tweets doubling down on his statements from the Fox News interview. I must congratulate both Pakistan and the United States of America that the ‘do more’ has probably come to an end as there are no more joint statements from both the celebrity leaders expressing the resolve to fight the scourge of terror.
The mightiest army that mankind has ever seen is admitting to facing defeat in its longest war because of a comparatively small and weak country in the region.
It is plain and simple game theory. Both leaders are openly saying that they are going to pursue their own interests. Both have been saying this for a long time, well before being elected. This is quintessential America First versus Pakistan First. For Trump, the relationship with Pakistan is all about Pakistan’s utility in solving the Afghan quagmire for which America has been paying. Well, if it is a business relationship, then Trump is an awful deal-maker because in business and sales dealing, the party that speaks first loses.
Trump not only speaks first but insults first too, giving the other party more leverage and bargaining power. In a statement aimed at damage control, US Director of Defence Press Operations Colonel Robert Manning said, “The US and Pakistan have strong mutual interests in the region. As you know, they are critical (and) vital to the South Asia strategy and including the facilitation of a peace process that would lead to a stable and peaceful Afghanistan.”
Those are some therapeutic words from the Pentagon. Nevertheless, the White House Spokesperson, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, will unsurprisingly dodge questions. The real stance, changed or the same, would come from the defacto spokes-App; Twitter, from the defacto briefing room; Trump’s bathroom. In future when historians would write books titled, ‘Who Lost Pakistan?” The cover page would be a sketch of Trump sitting on his commode tapping on his iPhone.
The writer is a political analyst. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter @Imran_Jan. The views expressed in this article are author’s own and do not necessirly reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.