“Perhaps…the strategy of the past six decades has suddenly changed. But I recall what Warren Buffett once called the four most dangerous words in investing: ‘This time it's different.’”Zakaria appears to take a different tack in his guest appearance on The Daily show. Maybe it’s just me, but he appears to give the impression that the Pakistanis have finally seen the light on the dangers of radical Islam within its own borders. Moreover, he at best only hints at the Pakistani military and intelligence forces’ longstanding relationship with the Islamists as part of its geopolitical strategy that pitted it against India and a USSR-controlled Afghanistan, instead focusing on an army’s reluctance to fight at all. Meanwhile, he contrasts the Obama administration’s emphasis on the dangers in Pakistan favorably against the Bush administration’s singular focus on Afghanistan.
The Newsweek essay adopts what is at best a skeptical tone, emphasizing the historical weight of what to Western eyes comes across as a sinister, symbiotic relationship. The U.S. effort that is given the most play is a bipartisan bill. The Daily Show by contrast emphasizes the turnaround, and highlights the Obama administration at the expense of the Bush administration.
Molding the message to the audience is nothing new; you only have to remember Jesus’ parables to understand that. Still, when you do that at the expense of leaving a very different impression of the long-term prospects of the recent turnaround in Pakistan, you are no longer being an intellectual, or even an advocate; you have become an entertainer.