What are you if a Mean Street gang from another neighbourhood occupies your estranged brother's house and appoints you in his stead as head of his family and you sit there lording it over his wives and children? What are you when you incompetently chase the fierce cats that the Mean Street Gang has tasked you to kill into my house next door and threaten to break it down if I don't capture or kill them? Man or mouse? Have you ever heard a mouse roar? If you haven't, you should have heard Hamid Karzai the other day. He called the Taliban leader "Pakistan's Mullah Omar", forgetting that the description "Pakistan's Karzai" fitted him better once the ingrate lived on our munificence for two decades under the protection of our ISI. Now the latest occupiers of his country have ineffectively made him Lord Mayor of Kabul rejoicing under the title 'President of Afghanistan'. Dick Wittington returned to London when he imagined the bells tolling "Turn again Whittington, thrice Lord Mayor of London" and became a scullery boy again in the house of Mr. Fitzwarren. He found that his cat that he had sent on his master's ship to be sold had earned him a fortune because it had killed all the mice in the King of Barbary's palace. Sadly, Dick Whittington's cat missed one mouse. Wonder of wonders, America adopted that mouse after occupying his country and has appointed him twice Lord Mayor of Kabul so far. It expects him to kill cats a pipedream to beat all pipedreams The cats the poor hapless rodent is required to kill belong to the fierce breeds known as 'Taliban' and 'Al Qaeda'. Not surprisingly, the poor squeaker has not been able to kill or capture a thing. Instead, he has pushed them all into my house from where he bellyaches that they are now attacking him. Dick Whittington the man had a killer cat. Karzai the mouse has a killer dog, an 'Afghan Hound' named NATO, beautiful but stupid. With all its beauty it cannot match Dick Wittington's cat. So the Lord Mayor of Kabul has a brainwave: he pretends to be a pup by yapping from between the safety of NATO's legs, with American marines protecting him. Flushed with a false sense of strength he threatens that his ragtag "Afghan Forces" or whatever they're called will attack Pakistan and wipe out the terrorists and their bases. Is this guy for real? Does he want to start the Third World War? If the Pakistan Army was to respond, a clash between them and NATO forces could bring the world to the thermonuclear threshold. Karzai's handlers should restrain him; poor frustrated chap with his patrons and sponsors getting disenchanted with him by the day. He shouldn't worry though: when the day is done and the sun has set, and if he can avoid the fate of his predecessor Najibullah, he can return to live in Pakistan again to end his days in comfort, telling his grandchildren stories of the 'glory' that was once his as the Lord Mayor of Kabul who couldn't kill cats. Moral of the story: you can choose your friends but you cannot choose your neighbours. Pakistan is Afghanistan's neighbour and there is nothing Karzai in his green dressing gown can do about it. He has to lump it and learn to live with us, lest his country needs us again to liberate it one day. He shouldn't forget that US help notwithstanding, it was we who did what Napoleon and Hitler couldn't defeat the Russian Empire and liberate Afghanistan. Having vented my spleen let me get back to where I left off from last week in "Why Blame America?" and what we have reduced our own condition to by our own hand by not being able to distinguish between what is in our self-interest and what is not. That Karzai could have the temerity to squeak so lightly about violating our sovereignty is because he is being backed by the USA whom we have ourselves got into a controlling position over us. It makes a mockery of our nuclear bomb that a country from the Stone Age that got stonier after first the Russians turned it into a graveyard and then America bombed the rubble to sand could squeak to us like this. Karzai squeaked so loudly after America launched a brazen attack on Pakistani territory killing many of our innocent civilians and soldiers. All we did was impotent tongue rattling. We have invented another form of Jihad I call it "Jihad of the Tongue". Our "popularly elected" prime minister made America quake in its shoes by "condemning" the outrage. Our foreign secretary called in the US ambassador: only God knows what they really talked about. And Gullu Bachcha of "sovereignty of parliament" fame thundered from abroad that we will not "permit" such a thing. Who's looking for your permission, sonny boy? America said that the attack took place in full knowledge of the Pakistani authorities. Deny this lest your silence comes to mean that you did "permit" them. Or is it that we are quietly letting them do what we can't or won't our dirty work for us? If so, that's stupid, for it does more damage to public opinion at home than if we did the dirty work ourselves. No need to talk about "permit". These are not route permits into Pakistan, like the route permits governments used to give in the old days to those who wished to ply a bus. They know they way. They even know what you had for breakfast. Those around you tell them everything. America doesn't need sophisticated listening devices. It has our ruling elite. Just like a human bomb is the most dangerous weapon, a human bug is the most potent bugging device. They are spread like a virus all over Pakistan. Now we have got ourselves into such a bind that it seems that America is taking all the decisions and its ambassador is calling all the shots. Poor, dear lady, what can she do if our politicians go running to her, whether she calls them or not? What an awful bind we are in. If today it seems that our governments are made in the US embassy, whose fault is it, theirs or ours? If our great leaders meet her before every important decision and instead of hiding it they proudly have the photographs displayed in the newspapers thinking that they are showing their importance as the anointed ones when actually they are only proclaiming their impotence and self-enslavement, is it her fault? Our politicians go to the US embassy just as their feudal forebears used to go to pay their respects to the British deputy commissioner's office. Getting to the Viceroy was only for the crme de la crme the toadies of all the toadies. The only difference after 'independence' is that today the old toadies have been replaced by their progeny and the viceroy by the US ambassador. Haven't you seen them when they return from a visit to the fake Mount Sinai in our Diplomatic Enclave? Their faces glow as if they have just chatted with some god, like Moses did with God on the real Mount Sinai. "I have been to the mountain top and have beheld the other side. Therein lies the Carnegie Endowment." Pant pant Don't expect from these hopeless chaps and dark and dusky lasses any more than we got from their fathers and grandfathers. Such meetings only strengthen the perception that the road to power emanates from Washington and passes through Islamabad's Diplomatic Enclave. Then what is the difference between our leaders and Karzai? I'll tell you what. Afghanistan had to be conquered and occupied to have Karzai foisted on it. We didn't even have to be formally conquered to allow America to cleanse and foist their nominees on us as our rulers, whatever you may think of them, good or bad. The irony is that Karzai and our rulers supposedly represent "the will of the people". Forsooth What "will of the people" in an occupied country or in ours where an alien system imposes the will of the minority on us and calls it "democracy"? It becomes will of the people only when 51 percent or more of the electorate votes for one candidate or party. When that doesn't happen you either get a government with a "heavy mandate" but only 17 percent of the vote or the sort of mutant government that we have today, an animal unable to walk in one direction because its front legs face forwards and its back legs face backwards. Just because less than 50 percent come out to vote in western 'democracies', our aping them doesn't make it kosher. Why don't we copy some of the many good things that they do, like look after their people? We let them interfere, so they do. So would we if the shoe was on the other foot. Open the door to your home and any passerby will walk in. Have you every thought what we would do if we had the sort of power that America wields? At the very least, we would have circumcised every male in the world. E-mail: hgauhar@nation.com.pk