The Great Wall Street Caper crash has spread around the world and in some troubling spots the locals are getting decidedly anti-American. One of them is Pakistan.
There's some speculation that China is about to capitalize on America's fiscal blunders to extend its own sphere of influence while its rival is in disarray.
Pakistan is said to be on the verge of debt default, a crisis that has sent President Zardari off, not to Washington, but to Beijing looking for a rescue in the form of a $6-billion bailout. In a world where trillion dollar bailouts are now a fact of life, $6-billion doesn't sound like much but it can sure buy an awful lot of influence with a country such as Pakistan.
From the Washington Post:
"The Pakistanis like to call the Chinese their all-weather ally, and the U.S. their fair-weather friends," said Daniel Markey, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. "This kind of loan could be seen as self-serving by the Chinese, and continue that impression."
The paper reports that, in Pakistan, "the climate of crisis and public anger over domestic bailouts in the United States and Western Europe have made even a modest infusion from its Western allies politically difficult."
With American intelligence agencies calling Afghanistan a "downward spiral," a move by Pakistan away from the West and toward China's sphere of influence cannot help but jeopardize America's position in the region.