There goes a saying that a conscience that is dead for too long begins to rot. It bears reminding to the jiyala parliamentarians who were busy defending some of President Zardari's indefensible remarks during his maiden visit to the US. Messrs Baber Awan and Qamar Zaman Kaira were the exceptions. Perhaps they are too reasonable to behave unreasonably. But then on the other side of the spectrum there were those who were seen bending over backwards to commend Mr Zardari for having pleaded before the international community Pakistan's case more effectively than all the former presidents put together. Pity the poor folks. Either they did not hear their leader's address in the General Assembly or they relied too much on copies of the speech he was supposed to deliver but probably decided at the last moment to take the opportunity to launch his martyred wife's doctrine. Some glimpses from the speech: "I come before you today in the name of my late wife, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, as a victim of terrorism representing a nation that is a victim of terrorism....It has been eleven months since the first attack on my wife on October 18, 2007, was followed by a UN resolution calling for an inquiry in that crime against humanity. That UN resolution has so far been ineffective. After her assassination on December 27, the international community demanded an independent inquiry - a demand supported by resolutions in Pakistan's parliament and four provincial legislatures." It was more of a lament by a grieving husband beseeching the international community, "in the name of humanity", to move forward quickly on the investigation of the assassination of "Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, so the people of Pakistan and the world will know once and for all, whose bloody hands took away one of the greatest women of history." And he was trying to make the world understand that the Bhutto Doctrine of Reconciliation was a roadmap not only to a new Pakistan, but to a new era of peace and cooperation between East and West, between people of all faiths - a roadmap that could help avoid the clash of civilisations and clash of religions "that is the terrorists' ultimate goal." No matter what the critics say about his address to the General Assembly during which he fumbled over and over again, but Mr Zardari was glad that he's over with his most important official engagement. Then a few moments to relax were about greeting Ms Sarah Palin as "gorgeous" and expressing his desire to even hug her. As if it was not enough, Sherry Rehman did a bid of flattery, asking the 'visibly pleasing' Palin: "How does one keep looking that good when one is that busy?" Perhaps the Infomin forgot that she was taking liberty with an elected governor of a state and vice presidential hopeful. But Mr Zardari's masterstroke was yet to come. Fast forward to September 27. And there's his interview published by The Washington Post which quoted him as complimenting President Bush for making the "world a safer place" and going to the extent of saying that without his policies "it could have been much worse." Not just that. There had to be some more display of loyalty to the Bush administration and that came when he started harping on the "axis of evil" phrase but stopped short of specifying who constituted the "axis." Either he was absolutely ignorant that it includes Iran also or in a headlong rush to curry favours with the Americans he did not mind annoying the Iranians. The policy of appeasement did not work to change the Americans' strategy in the restive tribal region. Back home he was still reaffirming his pledge to cooperate with the United States in training special counter-insurgency army when US Defence Secretary Robert Gates sounded a fresh warning that international laws allowed his country to take unilateral actions inside Pakistan. It comes at a time when American drones and helicopter gunships are bombing the tribal areas and massacring innocent people. Even though Mr Gates conceded that Pakistan was doing its best to overcome the threat it faced, he testified before the Senate that it was the most serious threat to our homeland security. One wonders what makes the Zardari apologists think that he had done the right thing by assuring the Bush administration of our continued friendship rather than adopting a 'hammer on the head' policy and letting the country turn into a quagmire la Iraq and Afghanistan. Farzana Raja and others of her ilk are ready to bet their bottom dollar that Mr Zardari's visit would prove to be a landmark when it comes to protecting the national interest. They should better advise the President to act as a guardian of our sovereignty instead of praising his statesmanship and effort to salvage Pakistan-US friendship. These sycophants must stop behaving like a spoilt child who flings himself/herself on the floor and kicks and starts crying when someone tries to correct his/her grossly mistaken behaviour. E-mail: sarmad@nation.com.pk