OK, so Dick Cheney goes to Pakistan to talk to his fellow autocratic ruler about cracking down harder on Taliban/ al Qaeda forces ( they are now one and the same) in the border region between them and Afgahnistan. Pakistan is a Muslim military state, most of whose people hate the Dick and the US in general, so it's what might be described as a tricky situation. The US can't un-seat Musharrif because a de-stabilized Pakistan is even more of a nightmare than Iraq has become (they have nuclear weapons). So our threats and demands about tightening border security are hollow and our support of a military dictator put the lie to our "pro-democracy" rhetoric. General Musharrif is what Sadaam was, a strongman keeping religious factions from turning the society into a reactionary theocracy.Niether, of course, can we act unilaterally, even if there was a practical way to seal a border a thousand rocky mountainous miles long. The US military could not seal the border between Montana and Idaho. The Empire is once again helpless.
As for Afgahnistan, foreign policy "experts" are saying what is needed is a massive infusion of development aid, to win the hearts and minds of a brutalized populous, like Iraq, most of Africa, Indonesia, Latin America. A familiar story but a strange logic. Why do capitalists find it more efficient to provide charity to a society AFTER it has been ravaged and is on the brink of collapse than to share wealth beforehand? Each place the starving , teeming masses are turning to guns and terror is a place we exploited for butter. Each place they are turning to religious fanaticism is a place we could have encouraged secular, humanist leaders and development by sharing resources. Instead it becomes a last ditch effort before a state completely fails. All our Sunni buddys we supported have turned into our Sunni enemies, except ,I suppose, the Saudis. We are their best customers.