Thinking about Mumbai: India’s test, part 2

Our favorite State Department correspondent writes to comment:

Excellent post on India. Too few people think clearly on India because we’re not used to dealing with them. I just wanted to comment on one small thing in the below paragraph:

Meanwhile the government of Pakistan shows no sign of controlling its own army or I.S.I, which the Indian government has also fingered as fomenting terrorist plots against India. This situation is most worrisome of all, and the anger on the streets on India is palpable and rising. This energy should be quickly harnessed to create a sense of unified purpose in fighting a common enemy lest it degenerate into mass unrest.

We are really crippled by thinking that the ISI is out of control – it is a myth that has skewed our Pakistan policy for years. It’s part of a larger problem that I go into below. We may not like the implications but the ISI is following its directed policy. It is a branch of the Pakistani military. The military’s current Chief of the General Staff (Kayani) was previously head of the ISI. The current head of the ISI (Pasha) answers directly to him.

Our correspondent ends on a note that extends “India’s test” well beyond India:

The problem inside the United States government is that if we admit that the ISI is not some rogue element, then the implications are almost too horrible to contemplate. Yet that is precisely the problem that we face. The “rogue element” excuse is used to write off Pakistani assistance to the Quetta Shura (the Taliban’s leadership council), refusal to go after certain tribes providing assistance to AQ, etc.

This is a specific problem that has hampered Bush Administration thinking. Until we get past our faith-based policy on Pakistan we’ll see more and worse coming from Pakistan.

The larger problem — one that particularly haunts Europe and the Left in the US — is the failure to admit that terrorist ideology has a geopolitical dimension. Whether it comes from Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or even Russia, there is often a state offering silent (and sometimes not-so-silent) assistance.

In fact, more than we would like to admit, those states are actually directing the attacks. If one believes that these are just “disaffected” actors then it’s easier to think law-enforcement can solve the problem.

It’s a lesson that many of us on the Right have forgotten since 9/11, and one that most on the Left never learned. Who knows what our mysterious new President thinks? He was still captive to the Ayers/Wright clique on 9/11. Let’s hope he’s learned a few things since then.

Here’s hoping.

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