Rep. Allen West: Pakistan Playing the U.S. Like A “Bad Fiddle”

By Nicholas Ballasy | June 1, 2011 | 10:41 AM EDT

( – Republican Congressman and retired Army veteran Allen West (R-Fla.) said the United States has continued to pursue a relationship with Pakistan while getting played like a “bad fiddle.”

“We don’t need Pakistan to be successful but as long as you continue to let them believe that you need them, they’re going to play you like a bad fiddle and that’s exactly what’s happening,” said West at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday.

Rep. Allen West speaks at the Heritage Foundation 5/31/2011

“I was one of the first guys who came out and said that we do need to cut off this funding to Pakistan. Look, I spent two and a half years in Kandahar and any time we put pressure on the Taliban, they went to Pakistan. Now there’s a reason why all of a sudden these groups are finding sanctuary there. They feel that they’re not going to be bothered too much.”

West added, “In that part of the word, it’s very simple. People understand one thing – strength. They don’t understand compromise. They don’t understand negotiations. They definitely don’t respect appeasement.”

Other members of Congress like Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have said that now is not the time to cut off foreign aid to Pakistan.

“We need a good relationship with Pakistan. I hope we can have that good relationship with Pakistan. But this isn’t the time to start flexing our muscles,” Reid said.

McConnell said he does not think “disengaging from Pakistan, a nuclear power, in America is of best interest.”

U.S. and Pakistan’s relationship was thrust back into the spotlight after U.S. Navy SEALs killed Al Qaeda terrorist leader and 9/11 attack mastermind Osama bin Laden in a raid of his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan where he reportedly had been hiding for years.