Provocation of The Day: Not Changy

Something about the fluff boilerplate, especially this week, is unconvincing. Pakistan is cooperating on some things, but its lack of cooperation on others almost completely destroys the point of the help they do provide. 

From the White House Press Office:

President Obama also had a productive conversation with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari this morning.  President Obama expressed his support for Pakistan's democracy and his commitment to a strong partnership with Pakistan.  The two leaders agreed on the importance of maintaining a strong bilateral relationship to address issues of common interest, such as counter-terrorism and economic development.  And in line with Ambassador Holbrooke's mission, both leaders agreed to work together to advance peace and prosperity in Pakistan and the region.

All this says is that the veneer of friendly cooperation is important to the public relations goals of the administration. Don't treat Americans as if they're stupid. A more honest "readout" would indicate that the two men discussed nuclear terrorism, Afghanistan, the ISI, Pakistan's economy, and A.Q. Khan (the U.S. doesn't even know where he is at this point!) No embellishment necessary. No "strong bilateral relationship," no "agreed to work together," no hosannahs to Pakistan's democracy. Pakistan helps the US on intelligence matters, and the administration doesn't need to take slaps at them; indeed, the U.S. believes that economic assistance to the Pashtunistan region is the most effective diplomatic weapon we have. Fine.  But sugarcoating the relationship is intellectually dishonest.