By: Yasmeen Ali
US Senators John McCain and Carl Levin, the chair and ranking members of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said US must not pay $5000 per truck as demanded by Pakistan, for supplies to troops in Afghanistan, which McCain called extortion.
Extortion, dear McCain, is defined as, the crime of obtaining money or some other thing of value by the abuse of one’s office or authority’. He also stated, while talking to ‘The Cable’ “We can’t look at aid in that light. It’s now becoming a matter of principle”.
I love it!
Is it the first time US will be paying for transit of NATO supplies? They are paying an average of about $250 a truck, as per a senior US official as reported in a report by David S. Cloud, from the Los Angeles Times published May 19th 2012.
So the question dear McCain is not of principle. The question could have been of principle had US not been paying anything at all, and one fine day, Pakistan had woken up to…what did you say? Ah yes…extortion. The question here Mr McCain, is the amount. So let’s help you off the high horse you seem to have got yourself up to and discuss the amount.
Let us take the example of a shopkeeper selling goods. Goods that someone needs desperately to buy. The shopkeeper has fixed a price. But the consumer, a sly, manipulating piece of work, tries everything within his power, to make the shopkeeper lower the price. The shopkeeper , a normally docile man-is obstinate this once. He refuses to succumb to the consumer’s pressure tactics.
Does that make the shopkeeper an Extortionist?
Or, does it make the consumer one-besides some other adjectives I would like to avoid right now?
Maybe McCain, in his youthful exuberance, forgot to mention, that the NATO supply route to Afghanistan via Pakistan has damaged the road infrastructure worth Rs 100 billion in the country during the last 10 years. (News report by Staff Reporter The Nation published 23rd May 2012)
Talking of principles is not very pretty when one has been on a killing spree, killing children, civilians and older people-the more the merrier. Talking of principles is not pretty when you invade one country after the other. Talking of principles is not very pretty when an American citizen goes trigger happy causing deaths and when his hide is saved on basis of the very Shariah Laws US curses. Talking of principles is not very pretty when US decides to unilaterally attack Abottabad for Osama Bin Laden. And in case you missed my dear McCain, we are not the only ones pointing out your ’lack of principles here’. Amnesty International has, in it’s recent report criticized the USA for it’s use of lethal force, particularly for the ‘unlawful’ killing of Osama Bin Laden in a clandestine US commando raid in Pakistan last May. “The US administration made clear that the operation had been conducted under the USA’s theory of a global armed conflict between the USA and Al-Qaeda in which the USA does not recognize the applicability of international human rights law,” it said in its annual report. “In the absence of further clarification from the US authorities, the killing of Osama bin Laden would appear to have been unlawful,” it said. Amnesty said a request for clarification over an apparent US drone strike in Yemen last September that killed US-born radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, his Al-Qaeda co-conspirator Samir Khan and at least two others had also gone unanswered(The News publishing an AFP report. ).
I thoroughly enjoyed your bout of diatribe McCain, obviously, you have a lot of growing up to do!
The free(almost) ride lasted all these years McCain, but there’s nothing in this world as a free lunch, is there? You had a great party while it lasted, but I guess, you get off the bus right here(or horse, if you are not off already).
And if you still feel we are extortionists, guess what. We are proud to be one!
As to the Pakistan Government, I have this to say:
Well done for developing a spine!
Virginia Slims , had basically target marketed the women, many,many years ago,in it’s advertising campaign. I particularly liked the theme line, that I would like to say to my government, ”You’ve come a long way, baby.”
Yasmeen Ali is a University Professor & a Lawyer based in Lahore. She can be reached at: email@example.com