U.S. & Pakistan: And They Had Such Hopes!

06/16/2011 04:10 pm ET | Updated Aug 16, 2011

Pakistan arrests five who helped CIA track down Osama bin Laden.

U.S.-Pakistan relationship deteriorating.

Ripped from the headlines

Dear P,

I never thought I'd be writing you a letter like this, but I have to face the facts: This isn't working out.

It makes me really sad to have to say those words -- I've tried to deny it for the longest time, but I can't pretend any longer. Whatever we once had is gone. I can't tell you exactly when it happened. (Maybe you don't know either.) But I know it when I see it, and all the signs are there.

We're not partners anymore.

We've been together nearly 10 years now -- everybody was so surprised when it happened! And even though we were kind of pushed into each other's arms by tragedy, I really thought we had something that would last. (And no, it wasn't just your nukes that attracted me!)

We may not have had a lot in common -- different cultures, different religions and all the rest -- but I honestly believed we could make a go of it. I guess I was wrong.

The things I think are most important, you don't even care about. Oh, you go through the motions, and you say all the right things. "Your concerns are my concerns," you say. "Your terrorists are my terrorists" -- but when it comes to what you actually do about them, it's all a big nothing.

A relationship has to be based on trust. And we've lost that.

There are things I say to you in confidence, things that really matter to me, and the next thing I know, every word is out there, and everybody knows all about it! So then I start keeping secrets -- not because I want to, but because I have to -- and when you find out afterwards, you get all upset about it. You say I'm the one who doesn't trust you!

But how can I? And why should I, when I don't even know where your loyalties are! Am I the most important relationship to you, or not?

I thought you'd be ecstatic when you heard I got rid of bin Laden for you. (OK, and for me, too.) He was such a problem for you, you always said. "If only we could find him!"

So then I found him, right in your own backyard, and I gave him exactly what he deserved, and were you happy? Not a bit! You acted like I'd betrayed you -- and then you took it out on our friends!

They didn't do anything to deserve that kind of treatment, but that's not the way you saw it. You said they had to choose: one of us or the other. How do you think that makes me feel?

I hear what people say. I hear them say that for you, it's all about the money -- it's always been all about the money. I never wanted to believe that. And if I was extra generous with you -- a billion here, another billion there -- it wasn't that I was trying to buy your love. I certainly wasn't trying to control you. I just thought you were worth it.

But to take advantage of my generosity and then laugh behind my back? That's what really hurts, especially after all we once meant to each other.

I miss those days -- I'm not ashamed to admit it -- and I'd do almost anything to get them back again. To let bygones be bygones, and to be just the way we were.

What do you say, honey? Can we try it one more time?

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Rick Horowitz is a syndicated columnist. You can write to him at