Friday, August 3, 2012

Dear Pakistan: A Break-Up Letter

My dearest Pakistan,

This isn’t easy for me, and I want you to know that. We’ve fought plenty of crime together in the past, from our joint missions against the Soviet Union (I know, it’s still awkward to bring up the U-2 incident) to taking down the A.Q. Khan network in 2004 (I can't help but blame you for not acting sooner). I remember my loving welcoming message to you in 1950; you were such a nascent, promisingly brilliant country and I admired you for everything you had already accomplished. You went through your regime changes, we clandestinely propped you up along the way from time to time, and through the decades I evolved myself. Before I knew it, you had come into your own, nuclear capabilities and all. I don’t think proud is the right word, because I wasn’t proud of you – the whole A.Q. Khan nonsense stripped you of any pride I had – but I respected you, as a formidable ally and someone I could not only confide in, but trust. I was ready to take on the twenty-first century with you by my side.

Now, we both know I’ve had horrendous relationships in the past – just look at Iran in the 1950s and 1960s (they won’t call me back now) and Panama in the 1970s (Noriega turned out not to be my type). I don’t want to get into details, but let’s just say I’ve been around the block a few times. I can’t blame you entirely for problems between us, because I’ve never been able to learn from my past, and as our relationship has evolved I’ve begun to notice more and more similarities between you and my exes.

Pres. Obama and Pres. Zardari in happier times. White House photo.
You might disagree, but at this point it seems like this is a one-sided relationship. I’ve been giving you almost $8 billion a year to help me fight terrorism, and I just don’t see where that money is going. Yes, you tell me, we’re doing a better and better job eliminating Taliban and al-Qaeda hideouts in our rural regions, yet they still keep coming in record numbers and undermining what I’m doing for Afghanistan. And I know you’re tired of hearing it, but I can’t let the whole Osama bin-Laden thing go. You were cheating on me that entire time with him? And of course you couldn’t get rid of him and hide it from me the way you should have – instead, I had to come in on my own volition and discover him there? That hurt.
Clearly, everything I do for you is not appreciated as much as it should be, and I’m tired of propping up this relationship just to keep you happy. Sooner or later, I need to think of myself, and my own best interests. It is because of all this that I have to end things with you, Pakistan. I’m not going to move on and pretend like nothing happened, because we did have some good times, and we have come such a long way together since you were part of India pre-WWII. But it’s time to let go. I want you to take this well; I will be here if you need to talk, and I sincerely hope the best for you.

            With love and sadness,

            The United States

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