by Tahir Mustafa (Special Reports, Crescent International Vol. 38, No. 11, Muharram, 1431)
If it is any consolation at all for the Pakistanis, like their mango republic, the US has also joined the ranks of failed states. This is not mere conjecture; before you double up with laughter, consider the following.
The US government’s current operating budget is dependent on foreign financing, mainly from China and Japan and money created out of thin air by printing dollars. Pakistan has always been dependent on foreign handouts. Both countries also have close ties with Saudi Arabia and depend on the largesse of the desert shaikhs. True, the US gets trillions and Pakistan mere crumbs but beggars cannot be choosers. Every riyal counts; it multiplies into many rupees. For decades, Pakistani expatriate workers sent billions of riyals back home to their families. This number has dwindled in recent years as the Saudis have cut back on expatriate workers but billions of riyals have left the kingdom that will not return. Saudi rulers also keep many among the Pakistani elite and a large retinue of maulanas on their payroll to push their narrow religious ideology in the country. During the same period, the Saudi regime has invested $1.3 trillion in the US, money it is unlikely to retrieve when needed.
Politically the US has become too weak to be able to advance its interests through diplomacy so it relies on terrorism and military aggression. The US has historically used brute force to bludgeon others into submission although in Iraq and Afghanistan it has found opponents more than willing to stand up to its might. In recent years, the US has resorted to terrorism: targeted killings by Special Operations Forces as well as unmanned drone attacks on civilians. Pakistan is not in the same league but it has also repeatedly used brute force against its own people. While Americans fire missiles from drones, Pakistani troops use long range artillery and planes to bomb villages in South Waziristan. The end result is the same: immense suffering inflicted on people that cannot protect themselves against such barbarism.
In the US costs are out of control, for everything from Medicare to military budgets. A gallon of gasoline supplied to US troops in Afghanistan costs $400. Considering that US Marines use 800,000 gallons daily, according to figures released by the military to US House Appropriations Committee hearings, this amounts to a daily bill of $320 million for fuel alone. Multinational corporations like Halliburton, Kellogg, Brown & Root, and the Carlyle Group that the ruling elites own are behind this racket. US priorities are skewed in the interest of rich organized interest groups: the armaments industry, banks and the Zionist lobby, at the expense of the vast majority of its citizens. Even as the dollar is in free fall, billions are siphoned off annually to the parasitical State of Israel. Hundreds of billions more have been shoveled to banks and multinational corporations to bail them out following the collapse of their ponzi schemes losing trillions of dollars.
Pakistan on the other hand has no policies, only a parasitical class that sucks all the money out of the country. For instance, the rupee is falling rapidly in value against all major currencies but successive governments have formulated no policies to address this problem. Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, a notorious thief and street urchin, has become a billionaire while Pakistan is being pauperized. Poverty has steadily escalated; prices and unemployment have skyrocketed and most people cannot make ends meet but the elites live a lifestyle that would be the envy of people in the West. A recent survey by the International Republic Institute found that more than 60% of Pakistanis considered high costs and unemployment as their major worries, not terrorism, as has been projected by the US and the elites that parrot US propaganda as their own.
Both the US and Pakistan also maintain large militaries and concomitantly huge military budgets. True, the US military budget at $600 billion per annum is greater than all other countries’ defense budgets put together but Pakistan’s, proportionally to its overall budget, is not far behind. Interestingly, neither military can point to any major successes in the wars they have waged despite loud propaganda about their prowess and might.
There was one area in which Pakistan could not compete with the US: murder rates. The US takes pride of place globally with 5.4 murders per 100,000 people, according to FBI figures for 2008. That translates into more than 16,000 murders a year. Last year, there were also 89,000 rapes recorded by the FBI; this means a woman was raped every six minutes somewhere in the US. Coupled with the 2.3 million people in its prisons, the US has the gall to call itself civilized. Despite massive poverty, Pakistan comes nowhere close but it is catching up fast. The mayhem unleashed in its cities and towns in recent months is making it look increasingly like the US.
To live in the US has been the lifelong ambition of most Pakistanis, especially the elite. They no longer need go to the US to live the dream life; America and its murderous lifestyle have arrived in Pakistan.