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Confronting U.S. Misconceptions About Pakistan

Michael Kugelman Thursday, May 19, 2011

As the American media breathlessly reported the news of Osama bin Laden's death, several observers pointed out an error made by CNN's Wolf Blitzer, among others: Abbottabad is not a suburb of Islamabad, as he described it, but rather a garrison city located about 35 miles from the Pakistani capital.

Blitzer's mistake, though minor in the scheme of things, is emblematic of a broader failure by Americans to understand Pakistan. Much more is made of the outlandish conspiracy theories held by many Pakistanis about the U.S. than of Americans' misconceptions about Pakistan. With the U.S.-Pakistan relationship in dire straits following the raid on bin Laden's hideout, it is high time to expose these myths. ...

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