Ling Chi or Leng T'che was a form of slow execution used in China from 900 AD till it was abolished in 1905. Parts of the human body were systematically removed with a knife over a long period of time. It has been variously translated as 'slow process', 'the lingering death' or 'death by a thousand cuts'. It has also been described as "a political tactic of making gradual changes over time so that nobody notices or those that do notice do not raise much of a protest." This, exactly, is what is happening to us. Pakistan is bleeding. If there were only one wound it would not be so difficult to stop the haemorrhaging. But we are suffering from a thousand cuts. Fix one and another opens up. To try and fix them all at once is near impossible, not least because of a lack of good doctors. Worse, the causes of all our wounds are not the same, so there's no "one solution solves all." Who is giving us the cuts? First and foremost, we are, by giving ourselves numerous self-inflicted wounds, the biggest being our inability to clear our ideological confusion in 62 years. Once cleared with consensus, we will find that it is the fountainhead from which cures to all our other wounds will flow. We need long-term strategic thinking to arrive at a National Consensus on how to heal all our wounds. We have to make the plan ourselves, not let the US and its 'donor' agencies make it for us. In fact, the latter should be out of the Plan and the former in it to the unavoidable minimum. Take a leaf out of China's book: the objective should be peace with development until you become a self-sufficient powerhouse. Heal thyself first doctor and see how every rose falls in your lap -- kaisay gulcheen kay liyay jhukti hai khud shaakh-e-gulab. President Obama says terrorism is a cancer that is consuming Pakistan. Quite. But ours is the secondary cancer. The primary cancer that gave us our secondary cancer is America itself. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has finally admitted that America too shares blame for terrorism in Pakistan. "We can point fingers at the Pakistanis. I did some yesterday frankly [when she called Pakistan a 'mortal threat']. And it's merited because we are wondering why they just don't go out there and deal with these people. "But the problems we face now to some extent we have to take responsibility for, having contributed to it. We also have a history of kind of moving in and out of Pakistan. "Let's remember here...the people we are fighting today we funded them twenty years ago...and we did it because we were locked in a struggle with the Soviet Union. "They invaded Afghanistan...and we did not want to see them control Central Asia and we went to work...and it was President Reagan in partnership with Congress led by Democrats who said, you know what, it sounds like a pretty good idea...let's deal with the ISI and the Pakistan military and let's go recruit these mujahideen. "And great, let them come from Saudi Arabia and other countries, importing brand of extremist Islam so that we can go beat the Soviet Union. "And guess what...they [Soviets] retreated...they lost billions of dollars and it led to the collapse of the Soviet Union. "So there is a very strong argument which wasn't a bad investment in terms of [the] Soviet Union but let's be careful with what we sow...because we will harvest. "So we then left Pakistan ...We said, okay, fine, you deal with the Stingers that we left all over your deal with the mines that are along the border the way we don't want to have anything to do with fact we're sanctioning you...So we stopped dealing with the Pakistani military and with [the] ISI and we now are making up for a lot of lost time." Hillary, it seems, is the only man in the US government, as Margaret Thatcher was in hers. She could have added: "We also proliferated heroin, lethal weapons and even more centres to indoctrinate people into becoming terrorists who are now fighting the state of Pakistan in order to impose their own perverted version of a moderate and peace-loving religion on it." America says it wants to 'solve' the 'Afghan problem' by stabilising the country and 'giving' it a sustainable 'democracy'. But does it really? They should know better than anyone that Afghanistan's biggest problem is the repeated superpower occupations it has been under since 1979. First the USSR engineered a coup against King Zahir Shah by his cousin Sardar Dawood and did away with the monarchy that gave the country a semblance of peace and stability. Then came the take over of the state by the Moscow-supported communists who euphemistically 'invited' the Soviet Union to occupy their country. Started the Afghan Jihad of the 1980s, the creation of the mujahideen who later were renamed Taliban and the rest is history that we all know and bears no repetition. Someone should tell America that no matter how powerful, you cannot 'give' people anything like democracy by force. People have to arrive at a homegrown and workable system of their own through a process of societal and political evolution. All others can do is influence the process through ideas, like Aristotle still continues to exert influence on us even after millennia. If America were serious about stabilising Pakistan, why are its officialdom from Obama down, Congress, think tanks and media deliberately creating misperceptions and confusing everyone? Consultant David Kilkullen's banal statement that Pakistan could fall apart in six months comes to mind, as does General Petraeus's ridiculous idea that Pakistan should forget its India-obsession and concentrate on fighting extremism. Instead of telling this talkative general from Mars to shut up, Obama parroted what he said. Then, "the Taliban are 60 miles from Islamabad and about to take over the state and its nuclear arsenal" when America knows full well that nothing like that could happen. They're being consciously and deliberately alarmist to destabilise us further while they profess to want stability here. The word 'aid' is another deception to hide the fact that most of the money 'given' us by America is a loan which we have to return one day with interest. An editorial entitled Deceptive aid in The Nation of May 13, 2009, encapsulates this hypocrisy: "It is quite surprising to learn that out of the $1.9 billion of US aid, almost half would be spent on enhancing the security of [the] US embassy and consulates in Pakistan. This belies the common impression given by the American leadership that the sum is directed at strengthening the country's economy. It sounds pretty devious." Devious is not the word. It's Satanic; for it is the American people they are really deceiving who in their simplicity go on harping about the $10 billion they have supposedly 'given' us. Someone should tell these dolts that half that amount was payments due for costs incurred in fighting America's war. Even this $1.9 billion will probably be called 'aid' while we will be paying interest on refurbishing US property. Truth to tell, if we added up all the damage America's vacillating 'friendship' has done to us, it will come to trillions. We should invoice them for it one day, when we have a government with you know what. The inevitable conclusion is that either America is very stupid or it is instability-short-of-chaos that it really wants so that it can continue its presence in the region to control pipeline routes, make military bases and be within striking distance of all the enemies that it has created. Actually it is both stupid and deceptive, which is why none of its grand plans has ever worked and only caused chaos. An American says that it is not 'Operation Enduring Freedom' at all but 'Operation Enduring Instability'. The writer is a senior political analyst. E-mail: