* An homage to Yanks and their charming acronyms.
Pakistan's tribal hinterland on the Afghan border is getting very ugly, very quickly. Looks like the United States is getting hit with some small-arms blowback after indulging in its regrettable habit of bombing allies.
Local authorities and civilian witnesses report that Pakistani infantry and allied tribal militia fired on a U.S. chopper patrol flying just inside the border, forcing the helicopters to flee back towards Afghanistan. Naturally, U.S. officials proffered the usual pro forma denials, but I'll believe civilians on the ground before I believe the authors of the "Jessica Lynch Story" and the best-selling "'Saddam Has Nukes!' Story".
This deterioration needs to worry us. Post-Musharraf Pakistan is as unstable as the country has been in decades, with an officer class and an intelligence service (ISI) comprised largely of Islamists of varying degrees of virulence, who become ever more deeply anti-American each time NATO defies the nation's sovereignty (and kills scores of civilians) in its hunt for Taliban and Al-Qaeda leadership elements.
Pakistan isn't just some demoralised, sleepy bedouin backwater. It isn't Saudi Arabia or Iraq. We're not going to be able to toy with or intimidate these people. This is a fiercely proud nation with a siege mentality, a history of nationalist belligerence (just ask India) and a fully deliverable nuclear capability.
If America keeps on invading Pakistan and deepening anti-Western hate among its military and tribal leadership, expect shit to hit a fan, and the splatter pattern will look very much like a coup bringing an Islamist strongman to power and thus putting the significant strategic, military and nuclear resources of that country into hostile hands.
Canadians need to demand that their government find the balls to either restrain American idiocy on this file or pull their troops out of a theatre that is spiraling out of control.