Relief supplies are handed out at a camp for people displaced by flooding near Nowshera in northwest Pakistan.
The U.S. is providing the largest humanitarian response of any country to the devastating flooding in Pakistan, but its goodwill isn’t altogether altruistic. Part of the motivation is to clean up the American image in a country where 68 percent of the people have a negative view of the U.S. —JCL
The New York Times:
As the Obama administration continues to add to the aid package for flood-stricken Pakistan—already the largest humanitarian response from any single country—officials acknowledge that they are seeking to use the efforts to burnish the United States’ dismal image there.
Administration officials say their top priority is providing much-needed help to a pivotal regional ally in the fight against Al Qaeda. But when senior officials from the White House, State Department, Pentagon and Agency for International Development hold their daily conference calls to coordinate American assistance, they are also strategizing about how that aid could help improve long-term relations with Pakistan.
According to a survey conducted last month by the Pew Global Attitudes Project, 68 percent of Pakistanis have an unfavorable view of the United States. American officials hope that images of Navy and Marine Corps helicopters ferrying supplies and plucking people from rain-swollen rivers will at least begin to counteract the bad will generated by American drone strikes against militants in Pakistan. Many Pakistanis blame the strikes for a devastating series of insurgent attacks in Pakistan.