In my last ST article I had referred to the above Beatle song and stressed that the only way to 'buy the hearts and mind of the ordinary people of Pakistan is to establish good governance and provide them with the basic amenities of life that allows them to live in dignity and honor. This was also highlighted by George Englund, in his 60s movie, The Ugly American, staring Marlon Brando. The film was based on a 1958 political novel by Eugene Burdick and William Lederer and shows how United States lost the struggle against Communism, simply because of flawed polices, as it failed to understand the culture and the mind set of the people in SE Asia and therefore failed to win 'The battle for hearts and minds. It lost the war and the battle simply because of it failed to understand that you cannot 'buy hearts and minds of the people by just pumping money into corrupt governments, led by incompetent leaders. In fact such 'aid has a negative effect and destroys the credibility and the intentions of the American leaders and its governments. And what is tragic is that though their intentions might be good, the Americans, even now, after four decades, are making the same mistakes. But instead of communism, the enemy this time are the Taliban and the jungles of SE Asia have been replaced by the rugged mountains of NWFP and the once peaceful valleys of Swat. After 30 years, the Americans have finally admitted that the US had wronged Pakistan for three decades and that its policies towards this country, which they have repeatedly referred to as the most dangerous country in the world, have been incoherent and 'inconsistent. Due to the 'inconsistent policies of the US government, we have lost three generations and stand to loose another. These flawed US policies have also sown the seeds of discontent and discord in the country and have destroyed the moral fiber of our nation and fueled corruption and militancy. And our 'fragile governments, instead of resisting and saying NO to the 'inconsistent American policies, have meekly toed the American line at the expense of the country and the citizens, who have been made the sacrificial lambs. Our government seems to be lost as to how to tackle the human tsunami that is sweeping across the valleys of Swat and Malakand. According to recent reports, over 2.5 million people have been displaced and are without healthcare, food and shelter. The exodus from the war zone is massive and is being described as one of the largest in the history of this region. It has also esxposed as to how serious the threat of the Taliban was. Army spokesmen speak of tough resistance and of underground tunnels and bunkers. If the government had not taken effective action, the March of the Taliban would have reached the plains of Punjab and then swept across the country. The human suffering in these camps have been described by my friend, Prof. Hoodbhoy of QUA as tragic: Every NGO in the world, Islamic and secular, seems to be in the camps. This is a real struggle for hearts and minds that will determine the future direction of the war. The bad news is that Swat, Buner, Dir, etc. are drowning in children. While Dr. Qazi, a concerned citizen and social worker, describes the situation as horrendous and adds: So far I have not seen any properly managed, functional camp of any political party. The only presence round the clock camp is Al Khidmat (Jamaat Islami). Their biggest need is for grocery packs, medicines and fans, as it is extremely hot. If the government fails to take effective steps to take care of the displaced families, then for every Taliban our armed forces kill, ten more will take their place. Not because they believe in their cause, but because of their frustration and anger against our government for forcing them to live in subhuman conditions. And if the Americans wish to change their image as the Ugly Amercans and win the hearts and minds of the people of Swat, then this is the time to do it. They have the facitlities and the ability to launch a massive releif operation and air lift fully equiped mobile field hospitals and kitchens, manned by muslim doctors and nurses, from which they can cook and distribute halal, muslim meals. They can also set up mobile muslim toilets and container sheds for schools. The situation in Balochistan and urban Sindh is also just as bad, as majority of the population in these areas have been denied their fundamental and constitutional rights and have been totally ignored and have been treated with indifference and apathy. It has been reported that because of the resentment against the government for failing to provide them their fundamental needs, schools in some areas of Balochistan have stopped singing the National Anthem in their morning parades. Once again, the government is failing to read the writing on the wall and if immediate and effective steps are not taken, then history will repeat it self and what we witnessed in East Pakistan, which led to the birth of Bangladesh, will be repeated in Balochistan. The US House committee has agreed to triple our aid, but with strings attached, which require 'rigorous oversight and auditing. As they say, 'you can not fool all the people all the time, especially the Americans. So in the larger interest of our nation, let us be honest and realistic and stop behaving like the three proverbial monkeys. Let us call a spade, a spade and admit that our system of governance is riddled with corruption and incompetence. Human beings are weak and scum easily to temptation. It all started when Eve seduced Adam to take the first bite from the apple. Ever since then, temptation has sat on the shoulders of all the Adams of the world, enticing him into sin. We have seen the lives of intelligent and powerful men being destroyed because of the 'Scent of a woman and greed. The scandalous affair of American President, Bill Clinton and the recent behavior of Michael Martin, Leader of the House of Commons, which the British PM referred to as a 'Gentlemens Club, who misued his 'personal expense account, are classic examples of the weakness of man. Therefore, we must ensure that the funds that are being provided to us by America and our friends are not misused and spent only on rehabilitation of the 2.5 million displaced citizens of Pakistan. Because if we fail to provide food and shelter to these families, then we will be creating a new breed of monsters that neither the mightiest army in the world nor our nukes will be able to stop. And this would start a domino effect in the entire region and start a tsunami that could sweep across this continent. E-mail: trust@super.net.pk