What country on earth would sell its advanced weapons to her enemy, and then subsidize that sale by footing part of the bill? Such an act would likely be seen as treasonous in China, Russia or even Taiwan. But not so in the suicidal United States of America. In its current issue, the American bi-monthly international affairs magazine The National Interest asks the question: “Why Is America #Losing the Twitter War with ISIS?” Reading the essay, one could easily get the impression that other than on Twitter, America is doing fairly well fighting the war against international jihadists.
On the contrary, the U.S. led war on Islamic State is failing on every battlefield that stretches from the bad lands of Pakistan and the killing fields of Somalia to San Bernardino, California and Valencia, Spain, where authorities seized 20,000 ISIS uniforms and supplies reportedly “able to equip an army” of jihadi fighters. From failure in Libya to the catastrophe in Syria, it seems anything America touches turns into dust. It’s good at shadow boxing but incapacitated when facing its real enemies, who run circles around it. There seems to be a collective amnesia among America’s chattering classes, who fail to acknowledge the jihadi terrorists on 9/11 were mostly Saudi, and that the masterminds of the attack were the Pakistani, Khaled Sheikh Mohammed and the Saudi, Osama Bin Laden, operating out of Pakistan.
Now we learn the Obama administration has approved the sale to Pakistan of eight F-16 fighter jets in a deal valued at $699 million. These much sought after war planes can be adapted to deliver tactical nuclear bombs in addition to conventional weapons. American lawmakers have 30 days to block the sale and already a number of senators have denounced the deal. Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, a Republican, said he will not approve using U.S. taxpayers to pay 46% of the cost of the planes through the foreign military financing (FMF) program. Last week, fellow Republican Senator Rand Paul joined Corker in opposing the sale, saying he has introduced a resolution of disapproval, seeking to halt not just the sale of the F-16s, but all arms sales to Pakistan.
“Why should the U.S. consider selling major defence items to Pakistan, whose allegiance to the Taliban and the Haqqani network (a guerilla insurgent organization) is well-known?” Paul asked.
There is much more at stake in the sale of F-16 jet fighters to Pakistan than just the cost or the question of America rewarding an enemy. It’s the fact the F-16 can carry a huge variety of weapons that can be adapted to an individual country’s needs. For example, the Turkish Air Force F-16 can carry many indigenous Turkish weapons, while Norwegian F-16s have been adapted for targeting maritime threats. For Pakistan, the F-16 provides an ability to threaten the use of tactical nuclear weapons against Israel or India. The fact Pakistan is still developing and storing tactical battlefield nukes should disqualify it from acquiring these F-16s.
But no one ever accused Pakistan’s lobbyists of being sloppy. Finally, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Turkey recently created a 34-nation Islamic military bloc, ostensibly to fight terrorism. But only a bleeding-heart, liberal fool would be hoodwinked by this claim. Some of us can see through the jihadi fog of deception.
By Tarek Fatah, Author and Columnist, Canada