I take it your questions are rhetorical, but I'll take the last one straight. Pakistan
was the U.S. partner during the Cold War, whereas India, it's much larger neighbour,
was considered pro-Moscow (which is a vast oversimplification, but let's assume that
for the sake of argument). I predict one of the next major flashpoints will be
Kashmir, and Pakistan is vastly outgunned by India and has been beaten by India in
every previous war over Kashmir. And that's *with* U.S. support. AND a general as
Egypt has a fairly good-sized army but its situation is complicated. Saudi Arabia has
helped them out in an attempt to buy off the Ikhwan (Muslim Brotherhood) who challenge
the al-Saud's right to Guardianship over the Two Holy Cities. The Ikhwan is strongest
in Egypt, which is also, if I'm not mistaken, the most populous Islamic country
(ignoring India, which actually has more Moslems than Pakistan, but they are a
minority and India is officially secular). They used to be propped up wrt materiel and
training by Moscow. Egypt had been anti-US because the US cooperated with Britain
during the occupation of the Suez Canal in the mid-50s, but once
Nasser died and was succeeded by Sadat, Egypt made peace with Israel thanks, in part
to tanks and airplanes dangled by Washington in front of Cairo's eyes (how's that for
a colourful metaphor?). So Egypt became a US client. During the Gulf War they were
actually the most useful of the non-Western forces. USAmericans tend to think that
Stormin' Norman Schwarzkopf led the Allied troops, but that's not actually true. The
Egyptian forces didn't report to Schwarzkopf but directly to the CinC of the Allied
forces. Trivia question: who *was* the CinC of the Allied forces (including, at least
nominally, the person to whom Schwarzkopf reported).
The Ikhwan and similar organizations (even the PLO and Hamas for heaven's sake) have
won many converts and much sympathy by providing services that local governments can't
or won't -- schools (including, depending on the country, girls), even water and
sewage. It's no wonder the average Arab feels so disempowered from their government
and their intellectual elites.
Mark Gregson wrote:
> > The worst problem is actually in Pakistan, closely followed by Egypt. Pakistan is
> > the 2nd largest recipient of foreign aid from the US (after Israel), and Egypt is
> > 3rd. He that hath ears and can count....
> What is it that you are implying, Marc? Are you saying that the US supports those
>countries in order to prop up the governments there so that they won't collapse into
>fundamentalist Islamic states? If so, then wouldn't there be a better way to do
>things than build up their militaries? Wouldn't it make much more sense to put those
>billions of dollars into schools that teach reading, writing and arithmetic? Oh, and
>it wouldn't hurt the cause if they used some money in an advertising campaign to show
>what a nice job they were doing in building schools and hospitals. Don't Egypt and
>Pakistan already have a huge enough army without US support?
> ========= Mark Gregson [EMAIL PROTECTED] =========
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Marc A. Schindler
Spruce Grove, Alberta, Canada -- Gateway to the Boreal Parkland
"The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling
short; but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."
Note: This communication represents the informal personal views of the author solely;
its contents do not necessarily reflect those of the authorís employer, nor those of
any organization with which the author may be associated.
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