Original Articles

Of False Prophets and their recipe for Disaster (Part I) – by Rusty Walker

 

 Even a basic understanding of the Jinnah Institute (JI) report and the related testimony to Congress by Moeed Yusuf of the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) should make certain things very obvious to Pakistanis, Americans and the global community: the report is grossly misleading, and written by the False Prophets tasked with reinforcing the propaganda of Pakistan’s military establishment.  The fallout of continuing to grant credence to those who advocate acomodating the Taliban in a future Afghan government can be seen in the massacres  and terrorists attacks that continue to engulf both Pakistan and Afghanistan.  These include the massacres of Shia muslims in Mastung, innocent civilians in Karachi and Peshawar and the assasination of ex-Afghan President, Rabbani. 

All these acts were committed and then proudly admitted to by the Taliban and their partners like the LeJ-SSP.  Like the False Prophets who authored and developed the JI report, all these killings can be linked to the ISI.

It should be very clear that the self-anointed “foreign policy elite” is nothing more than a corollary of Pakistan’s military establishment. When the United States Congress and other US think tanks entertain the views of Messers Moeed Yusuf, Shuja Nawaz, Ejaz Haider and most of the other 53 contributors of the JI report, they are hearing the views of General Kayani, General Pasha and the high command of the Pakistan Army and ISI.  The military establishment has near control of the “intelligentsia” and Pakistani media which it is using to manufacture opinions that would allow it to sustain its control overPakistan and strengthen its policy of strategic depth in Afghanistan and Kashmir. It is tragic that the JI report is also sponsored by our tax dollars via USIP.

 The JI Report, “Pakistan  theUnited States and the End Game in Afghanistan”, while not mentioning “Strategic Depth” by name, exclusively presents views that square with the infamous “DeepState” strategy.  The report begins by declaring that the JI seeks to “articulate independent national security strategies for Pakistan,” and the tenor of the report is nothing short of an imperialist view of Afghanistan.  Evident from the start is the parental tone that makes clear that Pakistan is not only a stakeholder, but has firm expectations about who should be included in the futue  Afghanistan political arrangement as well as the structure of its security apparatus.

 Pakistan, the often proclaimed past victim of Russia,India and the U.S. is positioning itself, upon the NATO  troop drawdown, to continue its interference inAfghanistan. It will do so by utilizing its shadowy “Deep State” proxies that will now openly negotiate by light of day with the “Quetta Shura Taliban and the Haqqani network” in the reconciliation process. As the report goes on, “A reconciliation process that leaves out the Taliban…may confirm the Pakistani security establishment’s worst fears….Pakistani Pashtuns would also be resentful of the outcome and the TTP may use this sentiment to increase recruitment and justify continued attacks against the Pakistani state.”

 Let’s be clear about whom we are discussing in mild diplomatic language. The Taliban’s Quetta Shura is the primary leadership of the Afghan Taliban. This is the same group that at one point, the Pakistani security officials decided to treat the Taliban, Quetta Shura and Tehrik-e-Taliban (TTP) not as three organizations, but one, according to News International, 2010. Such a Quetta Shura/Haqqani network, would provide a dangerous power-base were it “to be part of the new political arrangement” as the report suggests. Such influence may very well broaden already established links with Tehrik-i-TalibanPakistan (TTP), and al Qaeda. Ultimately, the report legitimizes Taliban, but no less than Hilary Clinton, Secretary of State, on the U.S. administration’s encouragement, is also unfortunately negotiating with the Taliban.

 A recent suicide killing illustrates the Taliban insurgents’ style of peace negotiations.  September 20, 20011 marks the day that former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani was assassinated by a turbaned, Taliban suicide bomber. Also, wounded in the attack, was Karzai’s adviser Mohammad Masoom Stanekzai who is chief executive of the Afghanistan Peace and Reintegration Program, funded by the U.S.and its coalition allies ostensibly to bring mid-and lower-level Taliban back into the fold of Afghan society. Rabbani headed the Afghan government peace council set up to facilitate contacts with Taliban insurgents to work toward a political solution. Ethnic minorities have already begun to re-arm in the face of the on-going attempts at negotiations with the Taliban. Such tragic events will continue as long as the governments of the United States,Pakistan and Afghanistan are convinced it can appease the Taliban.

These friends of theDeep State, i.e., the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), Sipah-e-SahabaPakistan, (SSP) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) are networking their murderous work in concert. In the last few days, a mother and child, amongst other innocent policemen were killed in a bombing inKarachi, and thirty Shiites, most of whom were Hazaras, were executed in Balochistan by the LeJ and SSP.  The marginalized Ahmadi, Barelvi, and Deobandi Muslims, together with Shiites, Hindus, Sikhs and Christians are all targets for the very jihadist combatants being supported by the ISI, and being left alone by thePakistan military. These are the very same cross-pollen operatives with whom the central governments insist on appeasing by negotiation. Further complicating civil societies understanding of the realities is the deceptive propaganda from the mainstream press, unfortunately gaining traction, that such violence is either “sectarian” or punishment for the most recent myth being perpetuated of an “Iranian fifth-column.”  Fortunately, Ahmadi and Shiite Muslims, among other brave progressives, are active on Social Networking, where they are speaking out. But, the military establishment, via its ever faithful Judiciary proxies,  has already cast Twitter and Facebook as a threat to national security in an apparent attempt to set the stage for banning it altogether.

 The Taliban is gaining favor, in the language of the JI report, apparently due to ethnic and symbiotic sentiments across the Durand Line formulating the erroneous and false equation that Pakhtuns = the Taliban.  There is no mention of the Pakhtun nationalists that are anti-Taliban and are represented by mainstream, quasi-secular political parties like ANP, PPP and PkMAP.  The JI report appears to gloss over any real distinction made between the two.  The JI report, if implemented, in fact is a thinly-veiled declaration of permanency for the infamous “Strategic Depth.”

 We know that the primary author, Moeed Yusuf agrees with the policy if we listen to his statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, only days after the killing of Osama bin Laden:

[ http://foreign.senate.gov/imo/media/doc/Yusuf%20Testimony.pdf ]

conducted, May 5, 2011.

 Moeed Yusuf’s message above, if spoken in plain language instead of diplomat doublespeak. could be interpreted as follows: “We as Pakistanis know we are “reviled” by the international community (actual term used); the Americans should continue funding us with billions more aid than promised, but do not tie it to combatting any terrorists, don’t have any expectations, and don’t expect our government to change current double-cross Pakistan policies.”  Yusuf gives no credibility to thePakistani elected government and indeed, does not even mention President Zardari by name.

 As he asks for more funding, and audaciously admits to the gullible Senator Kerry Committee, “Pakistan’s refusal to target Afghan insurgent sanctuaries inside its territory, explained partly by capacity constraints and partly by its concerns about an antagonistic Kabul, is actively raising Western costs inAfghanistan.” Yusuf follows that by noting “There is also an active effort to try and win the ‘hearts and minds’ of Pakistanis, which again is, an overly ambitious goal with unclear utility.”

A negative assertion indeed, meaning, don’t expect our hearts and minds aligned with the U.S.-so, drop the pretence of any mutual understanding – but, keep the millions coming. He implies in the presentation that there is always the threat that Pakistanwill be overtaken by terrorist who will use their nukes. This is an insidious, transparent threat that is more often used by the powerless to threaten the powerful. But, this is the thread running through his commentary.

 Yusuf asserts with pride that the Pakistan military is “relatively efficient,” suggesting the military is whom we should deal with; and yet also presents the argument that the reason for not doing anything with the Afghan Taliban is that the military would be spread too thin. Are they efficient or not? In fairness they have been the efficient helping with flood victims recently, but, the “efficiency” remark is debatable in light of excuses for lack of action in FATA.  Further, the notion that there is “nothing sacrosanct about a five-year term for a government in a parliamentary system,” leads one to believe that the elected government can be removed in a simple coup at any time as history has illustrated? This comment further unnecessarily degrades the elected PPP government; in fact, it appears to dismiss any nascent elected democratic setup in Pakistan.

 One hopes theU.S.congress is smart enough this time to see through this security establishment guise, and deal directly with the elected Pakistan government, and monitor where the money is diverted. Pakistan’s economy is in dire need of funding for building solid infrastructure. Yusuf prefers to let the billions flow in, with no monitoring by th eU.S.ostensibly because then it won’t be the “American’s fault” if funding accomplishes nothing. This is a ruse. It should be noted that billions were lost to Musharaf’s government and no one knows where it went. Yusuf’s presentation and the JI Report would have been better served focusing onPakistan’s president’s agenda.

 The elected government prefers its funding diverted towards internal needs- such as the marginalized Balochistan, KP and other provinces, education, energy sector and literacy, dire law and order needs in Karachi.  It needs funding and training for the local police, in an effort to show the Pakistani people the elected government is more important for security, than the Generals  that wave their clenched fists in the face of India while looking the other way as their Taliban assets run amok, killing not just 30,000 Pakistanis but more than 5,000 Pakistani soldiers.

 As I have always stated, thePakistan military is necessary for national defense, but it should be directed by the people of Pakistan through elected civil government. Elected politicians must answer to the people, militaries need to answer to and be funded by, those ranking members of the government.  Currently, Pakistan is hostage to its own military establishment.  The challenge for the United States and the Global community is to work under this limitation but first, the world must accept this glaring fact!

 Yusuf’s position aligns with the military establishment in the Senate Committee Hearing and in the JI report, but who else’s opinions are reflected in this document?

 The policy report proudly proclaimed that the “perceptions” are from “Pakistan’s Foreign Policy Elite.” Actually, it is mostly “retired civilian and military officials, parliament, media experts and civil society practitioners.”   The contributors are the establishment, and I did not see “civil society” although I may be mistaken. I do not wish to denigrate their contributions. The body of contributors is formidable, including an old Pak military Brigadier friend of mine, I very much admire. But, couldn’t a case be made that there is an absence of voices from the grass roots community? Perhaps progressive leaders of the community, the average business entrepreneur, prominent corporate voices that give jobs to the unemployed, and the working class, in affect, the voting citizens of Pakistan.

 There is absolutely no mention of a prominent Pukhtun scholar and expert, Farhat Taj. It seems a deliberate effort was made to exclude dissenting opinions like hers and other Pakistani progressives who have written extensively about the blowback caused by supporting extremist Jihadi militias like the Taliban and its related Sipah-e-Sahaba, Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, Jaish-e-Mohammad etc.  All this in the name of an elusive policy of strategic depth, that has gained Pakistan nothing but death and destruction.

 These voices are not being heard, or at least not indicated by the list of attendees. Various political factions from the agencies the provinces have been represented, but most participants are the self-declared foreign policy elite. We can agree that they are educated, experienced and qualified to be the arbitrators of policy consensus. This is not disputed. The report is not declared to be a consensus, but the strongest voices clearly prevailed: those of the establishment/ “deep State” that intend to include the “Good” and “Bad” Taliban in Afghanistan’s future government, which means they are here to stay in Pakistan.  Are we to assume that all Pashtuns on both sides of the Durand Line agree with a Taliban presence in theAfghanistan government?

We know this is not true. Does this not portend a Taliban power-grab in the future resulting in continued violent sectarian and ethnic civil war of the type that has characterized much ofAfghanistan’s past? Pakistan should allow self-determination to occur in Afghanistan, and this goes for the United States as well, or trust will never be gained from this fragile nation as it prepares to lick its wounds and begin to heal itself from within.

 However, self-determination is clearly not the goal of this  imperialist report, as it asserts towards Afghanistan, “an “actionable policy,” the objectives of which “lead Pakistan to pursue three outcomes:”

 1. A degree of stability inAfghanistan: “best served by a relatively stable government inKabul lthat is not hostile towards Pakistan.” Taken at face value this is understandable, but how you impose “actionable policy” on a free and sovereign nation is not mentioned. 

2. An inclusive government in Kabul: “adequate Pashtun representation that is recognized by all ethnic and political stakeholders in Afghanistan.” Also, a “sustainable arrangement would necessarily require the main Taliban factions – particularly Mullah Omar’s “Quetta Shura” Taliban and the Haqqani network – to be part of the new political arrangement.” And thus, with no apparent assent from the current Afghan leaders, the enemy is apparently available for a seat at the governing table.

What is ignored by these assumptions is the will of the Afghan people. Any Afghan government seen influenced byPakistan, such as the Afghan Taliban, will be opposed by the majority of Afghans, including Pashtuns.Pakistan’s military and security apparatus cannot succeed in implanting a proxy regime inKabul. But, given Pakistan’s 184 million population, the deep state operatives have enough resources to fragment the 30 million or so population in Afghanistan. It certainly can use its ISI-supported insurgency to keep the region in perpetual conflict. This must not be tolerated by Pakistanis, the PPP government and President Zardari who favor trade agreements, good-neighbor policies, and support for the duly elected Afghanistan government.  Sadly, they are not the one’s empowered to do this and thirty-five years of bad foreign policy have ensured that the Pakistan army is calling the shots in favouring the Taliban.

3. Limiting Indian presence to development activities: “Pakistani foreign policy elite accept that India has a role to play inAfghanistan’s economic progress and prosperity. However, many participants perceived the present Indian engagement to be going beyond strictly development. They wish to see greater transparency on Indian actions and objectives.”Reading between the lines India could interpret this as the threat of the now uncontrollable LeT, for whom Pakistanis are never responsible, and allegedly does not even exist, despite of all evidence to the contrary.  In fact, the heart of “Strategic Depth” is the LeT  now  beyond the control of even the security establishment.  Furthermore, this report validates that contrary to the aspirations of Pakistan’s elected leaders, the military establishment feels that investing in bigotted and misogynist killing machines like the Taliban trumps infrastructural development.

 The most inflammatory areas of the report in fact are reserved forIndia and the United States. The “Views on U.S. Strategy in Afghanistan” the report goes on, are” inconsistent and counterproductive toPakistan’s interests.”  Here is a transparent assessment of Pakistan’s hatred of theU.S.presence: “scathing criticism was targeted at the political component of the strategy, which is largely seen to be subservient to the [U.S.] military surge.” The “policy elite” see the “end game in Afghanistan as bleak also because of the belief that theUnited States would want to retain some long-term security presence inAfghanistan, which will likely create unease among the Afghan Taliban and countries in the region, including Pakistan.”

And yet,nowhere in this report are there any suggestions and strategy for dealing with the presumed mutual US/Pakistan policy of a war against the terrorists in its Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).

Substantiating this failing of Pakistan’s responsibility, is the alarming statement that seems to assume general understanding: “participants believed that the United States would continue to push the Pakistan military to ‘do more’ to stamp out militant sanctuaries while Washington tries to open up direct channels for talks with the Taliban—with an eye on reducing reliance on Pakistan’s security establishment in the political reconciliation process.” Translation: The U.S.should NOT expect Pakistanto be pushed to do more to stamp out terrorists, if we expect to get negotiating leverage; and don’t expect to marginalize the ISI’s strategic depth agenda. If this is accurate it is obviously at cross purposes with U.S. policy, but in-line with strategic depth.

 Incredible as it may seem, in light of these irreconcilable differences the report goes on to state: “Regardless, there was no support for a breakdown of the Pakistan-U.S. relationship. While that is a conciliatory comment, are we to believe anything from such a misleading report from false prophets?

About the author

Rusty Walker

About the author: Rusty Walker is a world-travelled, Independent Political Analyst, educator, author, Vietnam veteran-era U.S. Air Force, from a military family, retired college professor, former Provost (Collins College, U.S.A.), artist, musician and family man. Rusty Walker is an ardent supporter of Pakistan.

25 Comments

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  • False Prophets after Fake Civil Society. A subtle way of hitting the couch civil society whose prophecies are not just misleading but criminal in nature. Thanks a lot Rusty for your essay.

  • It is conscientious Americans like Rusty Walker who write with greater devotion to truth than our media sellouts of the ISI! More power to your pen sir!

  • In essence, it seems that Pakistan’s deep state has to be dismembered in one way or they other. They are duffers and they are dangerous.

    Great article Rusty

  • According to Urooj Zia, a struggling journalist (with dubious connections and background), LUBP is impersonating, Mr. Walker.

    UroojZia Urooj Zia
    This is the man whom the cowards at LUBP are impersonating in the “by Rusty Walker” post: walker-creative.com Tsk. #FakeFatwaRedux #Phattoo

    UroojZia Urooj Zia
    @KhanSarban Because I have a brain and know his work and his writings very well.

    Urooj Zia is the same person who used vilest language against the family of Shaheed Taseer, LUBP and others.

    http://pakistanblogzine.wordpress.com/2011/04/24/meet-urooj-zia-a-bolshevik-made-in-pakistan/

    Urooj Zia is supported by Beena Sarwar. Shame!

  • Urooj Zia used to work as a junior assistant with Sherry Rehman until recently. Sherry fired her after Urooj wrote dirty remarks against some PPP leaders and Taseer family. Simply ignore her, she is an attention seeker with no real worth or honour.

  • Rusty, firstly, great article and it is good to see that the outside world can see the dilemma of the average Pakistani who is at the mercy of the Deep State. The problem with those who are casting the silly allegations for you is that blogs like this have countered their dubious scholarship. Failing to justify their warped positions, they are resorting to ad hominem attacks. Just ignore them.

  • Rusty…what is the point of this article?
    I am not defending the deep state or whatever other crap it is called now but fact of the matter is just a few years ago the US was asking for military action in South Wazirstan, it was taken. Then US was asking for action in N wazirstan and now against the Haqqani Group. Can some of your friends answer me one question? When will the US take action against Taliban in Afghanistan? For the last ten years it is all about Pakistan is not doing this and Pakistan is not doing that but what the f is the US doing except for playing COIN and not really COIN games. So please spare us these sermons. Pak army and the US are together in this game for the last 30 years and especially in the last 10 years and they will continue to play this game.

    It is pity that common Americans, Pakistanis , and Afghans are paying for this gamesmanship with their precious lives.

    Clowns whether in this think tank or in some other think tank are merely clowns.

  • Btw,
    False propaganda is not only the US domain others know how to do that too.
    President Bush looked for the WMD and now Obama finds that US is losing in Afghanistan because the Pak army is not taking action against the Haqqani network… gimme a break. Would the US win the war in Afghanistan if Pak army does go after the Haqqani group…any bets?

  • Urooj Zia is a child. She wasn’t fired by Sherry Rehman, she was fired by News international 1 1/2 years ago. Isn’t she Lubiah or someone else named like that on twitter? Beena Sawar knows her from her News international days.

  • Yesterday the story was that US had information 72 hours before abt a truck full of bombs but Pakistan did not do anything about and the US allowed that truck to blast through.

    If the U.S. knew that a truck bomb was coming what did it do to stop it?
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/sep/22/us-bomb-warning-pakistan-ignored

    Today the story is that the phones had been used to call Pakistani intelligence operatives before and during the assault. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/09/23/eveningnews/main20110965.shtml?tag=stack

    ISI is so clumsy but the US is scared of it. When would this joke stop playing or per C. Christine Fair how long they are going to hit rewind and play?
    No False propaganda here since it is reported in the US media and not by some Pakistani think tank.

  • @Hoss,

    The Taliban in Afghanistan have their bases in Pakistan since the mid 1990s’. After 9/11, the double game played by our military estabishment ensured that more areas were “handed” over to the Taliban-Al Qaeeda combine and Pashtuns of KP and FATA were abondoned to these wolves by the Pakistani State. Without Pakistan, the problems in Afghanistan are greatly reduced.

    Liabaah has written against Urooj Zia and does not get along with Urooj who is not only abusive but wrote a bizzare account of Taseer’s death that attempted to obscure the details. The Taseer family was deeply upset at this dishonest piece of journalism by Urooj. And Urooj was briefly associated with Sherry Rehman. Sherry Rehman herself has been deeply inconsistent and in the last 2 years, she has done her best to malign her own party, PPP and align her self with the establishment. For JI to produce such a crappy report speaks volumes about Sherry who heads JI!

  • @Hoss, who says the US has not made mistakes and big ones at that. Google “Airlift of Evil” and Kundoz and you will realize that the United States allowed the most dangerous sectarian-Jihadis and their Pak army backers to be literally flown out when Kundoz was about to fall to the revived Northern Alliance post 9/11. The Pakistani military establishment has been playing a double game since 9/11 and it is only 9 years later in 2011 that the US is talking sense on Afghanistan.

    However, atleast there is an element of reason and we can engage with reasonable and honest Americans like Rusty. Lets use this oppportunity to arrive at solutions.

  • Ansari,

    Pakistan playing double games and the US merely makes mistakes. Mistakes that prolong the war for another ten years. US is so naive in the world affairs that it can’t figure out who is playing the double game but you can. Try and analyse things not play partisan games here.

    We have problems with the Pakistan Army but the US never had those problems with the army. It has supported the army for the last 60 years over every single civilian government in Pakistan. The current drama will culminate in only one drop scene.

    What is honest and reasonable? He is posting well formulated commentary and analysis so he is knowledgeable. Please refrain from this honest and reasonable crap in a political discussion. He has a pov and a partisan pov.

    An artist and a street painter with such profound knowledge and info is just part of the game.

    ————-

    Editor’s note:

    Dear Hoss, May I suggest that instead of ad hominem, you focus on the content of the article. The author is a well wisher of both USA and Pakistan. You or anyone else may politely disagree with his point of view, but resorting to slander and personal attacks is not acceptable. Thanks for your understanding.

  • Hoss, your question, “Rusty…what is the point of this article?” That’s a fair question.
    My point has always been simply questioning the misinformation out there and trying to define the truth and so we all can try to come to terms with it within the U.S. and Pakistan. You’ll note that I try to give some perspective and balance from a positive point of view.

    To be blunt, My point is: To point out the same truths that I have for the last two years: Questioning the various FCS misinformation, and establishment apparatus lies, and “official documents” that nuance the truth, that only yesterday, the JCS head, Admiral Mullen, and Former CIA director, Panetta, finally saw fit to disclose publically- namely: the blatant duplicity of the ISI and Pakistan military in its dealings with the Pakistani people and the U.S. My second “agenda,” is my concern for my friends, the Balochs and Shiites that I see being subjected to a massacre, that is more often than not, being portrayed as simply “Baloch radicals,” or in the case of Shiites (Hazaras)- mischaracterization of : “sectarian conflict.”

    I have lots of friends in Pakistan who are affected by the current political difficulties there and I am trying to help in shining a light on the truth as far as I can see it. To Hoss: This isn’t the first time you have questioned my motives. You’re a smart guy, as I have read your comments before. I can understand attempts not to be naïve, but everyone isn’t cynical in their motives.

    I am not cynical, nor do I have a secret agenda. I may be unique in these essays, as an American who writes in support of Pakistan. I often have to take it on the chin from a battery of criticism about US policies. That was the reason for me deciding not to write anymore, when I wrote this: http://criticalppp.com/archives/57491 “Why I wrote about Pakistan…” Then came the predictable, rebuttal written against me that speaks to the very point I had made, http://criticalppp.com/archives/57527 by Shiraz Paracha. So, again I thought, why do keep writing? In order to write an article supporting the marginalized population within Pakistan, am I first expected to write a complete discrediting of my own country, making sure to list every egregious sociopolitical and international strategic folly the Pakistanis may come up with, or, that history may or may not write? LUBP encouraged me to write, so I continued despite my gut reaction not to, as I considered their praise and some of the comments supporting my views as progress, that maybe my essays are appreciated after all. I have not yet decided whether to write and turn in Part II of the last essay due to these obstacles.

    For the record, I often criticize my own nation’s strategies, but then, I’ll stick up for my home country of the U.S., because more often than not it gets inundated with criticism from Pakistan -it doesn’t need more from me. I’ll never be an apologist for the U.S.. Even in admitting our faults, though, and we admit to many, I see the success of liberties and freedom and the good people there. I think Pakistanis should do the same-stick up for the good people in Pakistan that are just trying to make it day to day in the face of politically motivated bloodshed in Karachi and dump sites in FATA under the prevailing pretense from the very security establishment that is capable of protecting them were it to change its own perspective and update and re-think its old strategic and tactical policies that no longer work.

    Thank you, for the compliments above, they have been noted with pride.

    And, Hoss, thank you for the “profound knowledge” comment, as it was an unwitting compliment. You should also know that I do not pretend to have all the answers. I am no longer a “street painter,” that was in my youth. But, I am not just another part of the “game.” Even an artist sometimes can pay close attention to geopolitics and try to help, as you do, and others in these comments, that care about the Pakistan people.

  • One last thing: My expressed views have not been without consequences already for my travels. My writing within Pakistan has almost assured me that I may no longer be able to come here again- I will no longer be able to see my friends in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and Waziristan (yes, I have good friend in a village in South Waziristan). And, yet, in the U.S., we are free to speak out and not be in danger from the U.S. government.

    The current Pakistan threat of banning Facebook or Twitter, is not a good sign. There should be a mass moverment against this slippery slope. It is more on the line of our erstwhile friend, China. Banning Social Media is not about national security, it is about stifling freedom of speech.

  • Rusty,
    Responding to Shiraz you wrote, “Typical anti-U.S. generalizations. The article seems to share the Pakistan military and security establishment point of view. Everything is the U.S. government’s fault. The “Military industrial complex, exists, only it exists in Pakistan, not the U.S.”

    Why do you think he is guilty of partisan propaganda and you are not? This is typical american exceptionalism that the US can do no wrong. This righteousness borders on insanity.
    You are not responding to questions, you are talking about “your sincerity and your friends in FATA and elsewhere and twitter and Facebook. Who cares about that; where are the answers to my questions?
    Btw, A US president introduced “Military industrial complex” in political lexicon so your denying it is just a hogwash. There is tons of material available on it from some serious and educated american political analyst in books and on the net. I would recommend you read them.

    Dear Editor,

    There is nothing ad hominem in my response. Politics is a game of interests. Rusty has a pov and he should be able to defend it and not hide behind “good intentions for Pakistan” That to me is a joke.

  • Hoss, your condescending tone merely reveals illustrates your insecurities. I obviously overestimated your insights.

  • I might appear to be condescending to someone who can’t even defend what he wrote. I got no problem with that.
    ******
    The Featured American Enemy of the Week is the Haqqani network in the Pakistan/Afghanistan border region. The New York Times warns in a headline today: “Brutal Haqqani Crime Clan Bedevils U.S. in Afghanistan,” and reports that military officials want “the group [put] on the State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.” Adm. Michael Mullen this week accused Pakistan’s intelligence service (ISI) of aiding the Haqqani clan in carrying out Terrorist attacks on U.S. troops and a U.S. embassy in Afghanistan. Earlier this morning, GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham suggested that a U.S. military attack on Pakistan might be needed in response, predicting that such an attack “will have a lot of bipartisan support on Capitol Hill” (does anyone doubt that?).

    Needless to say, the villain mastermind who heads this network, Jalaluddin Haqqani, has, as the NYT put it, “allied himself over the years with the C.I.A.” It quoted “one former American intelligence official” who “worked with the Haqqani family in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation in the 1980s”; that official “said he would not be surprised if the United States again found itself relying on the clan: ‘You always said about them, ‘best friend, worst enemy’.” Earlier this year, Reuters described:

    Former U.S. Congressman Charlie Wilson, whose relentless fund-raising for the Afghan resistance was depicted by Tom Hanks in the movie “Charlie Wilson’s War,” once called Jalaluddin “goodness personified.” [Jalaluddin] even visited the White House when Ronald Reagan was president.

    Reuters also noted that, back then, the U.S. used Pakistan’s ISI to funnel money to the Haqqanis to enable them to buy weapons. So the ISI’s funding of the Haqqanis has been going on since the early 1980s; the only difference is that it is now done without U.S. participation.

    Of course, the reason a new Villain Mastermind is needed in that region is because the one who played that role for so long, Osama bin Laden, was just killed. In July, 2004, the BBC reported on the origins of Al Qaeda and wrote: “During the anti-Soviet jihad Bin Laden and his fighters received American and Saudi funding. Some analysts believe Bin Laden himself had security training from the CIA.” President Carter’s National Security Adviser, Zbigniew Brzezinski, traveled to Afghanistan in 1979, met with bin Laden, and praised his mujadheen. And earlier this year, The New York Times’ John Burns wrote about his first meeting with bin Laden in 1989, and this is what he reported:

    In light of what transpired at Abbottabad, several things stand out: First, the fact that access to the camp lay through a C.I.A. contact involved in America’s financing and arming of the mujahedeen; Bin Laden and his cohorts were then, at least notionally, America’s men . . . [and] the close liaison, then and later, between the jihadis and the ISI, Pakistan’s spy agency, which acted as a conduit for American and Saudi backing of the mujahedeen.”

    Indeed, Newsweek reported in late September, 2001, that Pakistan warned the U.S. about the effects of funding bin Laden and friends.

    Half a world away, people who understood the ferocity of Islamic extremism could see the coming storm. In the late ’80s, Pakistan’s then head of state, Benazir Bhutto, told the first President George Bush, “You are creating a Frankenstein.”

    The Current Supreme American Enemy is Iran (U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice told Wolf Blitzer on Thursday that she was proud of walking out on the Iranian President’s speech because what he “does and says when he comes to the United Nations is absolutely odious, hateful, anti-Semitic, unacceptable” and that “the United States is gravely concerned about Iran’s nuclear program and its ambitions to have what we believe is nuclear weapon”).

    One reason Endless War is endless is because the U.S. is so adept at creating and strengthening the Enemies who then need to be dispatched (and that’s independent of how American actions are the principal cause of the anti-U.S. animosity which ensures the War continues). Orwell famously highlighted the propaganda that “we’ve always been at war with Eastasia,” but does the U.S. ever have any enemies that it did not at some point in the recent past fund, arm and/or cooperate with extensively? How many years until we hear a drumbeat of messaging about how necessary it is to wage war against that heinous, murderous, raping, racist Islamist regime in Tripoli — the one the U.S. is arming and funding and just installed in power?

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  • What I posted above is written by a famous American intellectual in a well known publication. Just wanted to see how quickly the “sincere friend to Pakistan” melts and the real person emerges.