"Hello saab, yes its me Asif; you want AQ Khan...........well saab....20%, no what I meant was 30%........."
" You want total control of the nukes.........no problem"
" You want to station more American troops in Pakistan....no problem"
One will be watching for more of his antics; the gall of an ex-convict to become the de facto Prime Minister of Pakistan, on the back of his wife's death.
Clearly we have come a long way in Pakistani politics from the likes of Jinnah, and Ayub Khan.
Given the history of the family, is it not wise to steer the new generation away from politics, and be a little bit more sensitive, and not establish a new political dynasty at this juncture; at least let the poor clueless lad finish his studies, instead of emotionally blackmailing him into such a heavy and serious burden.
In the midst of the current national crisis within Pakistan, the military brass still had the time to launch a cruise missiles, to let India know who was boss. Now I know Punjabis are known for their brawn, and not their brains, but the sheer irrelevance of it at such a time when there were other more pressing issues explains the basic mentality of the military.
The missile testing of India was mainly for the benefit of China, not Pakistan. India as the third largest economy on earth, this year, and the fourth biggest military power has a natural right to test such weapons; Pakistan in her current state doesn't.
Has the UK participated in any strategic projects in Pakistan? Well of course not.
Not a single machine tools factory; steel mill; chemicals factory; armaments factory; heavy engineering factory; electronics factory; power stations; dams or for that matter any significant construction projects. Nothing!
Even in the inventory of Pakistani arms there is very little or no British equipment. Yet Pakistan continues to be a member of the Commonwealth, along with Ghana and Botswana, and Bhutto and Sharif doing some of their main political presentations in London until very recently.
Even Musharaf has to consult with London saab about sensitive internal state policies, more recently. I wonder, did Blair contact Musharaf about the fate of Pakistanis in the 2001 riots in Northern England? Did Blair phone Musharaf explaining why seriously misguided young Pakistanis were being used in the UK for false flag ops by Netanyahu’s Israelis (he was in LONDON at the time), with MI5 cooperation and assistance in Jewish dominated London in 7/7 2005? Did Blair phone and explain to Musharaf what 7,000 UK troops were doing in Southern Afghanistan? Nehi saab!
The Russians will be indifferent, and the Chinese beyond an alliance of convenience have made no real strategic commitments to Pakistan. Though unlike the fake American partnership and friendship of convenience, the Chinese have been more cooperative in the security/strategic arena. Finally the Chinese don't 'bitch slap' Pakistan time and again, in the way Americans have been doing over many decades; I suppose the Pakistanis like it rough, hey?
The only countries that may show signs of missing it are Muslim countries such as Bangladesh, Malaysia, Indonesia, Saudi and Iran.
But appealing to Pan-Islamism isn’t an effective viable security policy, as the OIC is a hot air talking shop without any effective direction or action. Do we remember the D8? It went nowhere. Do we remember CENTO, it disappeared after two decades.
Pan Islamism isn’t helping Iraq, with the continuation of the genocide there. Most foreign fighters in Iraq are Arab, and drawn from Iraq’s neighbors in Saudi Arabia and Syria. Blood brothers from across the border. Pan Islamism isn’t helping Afghanistan, but most of the help for the resistance is coming from the blood brothers in Pakistan, and considerable financial help from Iran, racially the same people as the Pashtuns and Tadjiks in Afghanistan.
No amount of wishful thinking will convert Pan Islam into a viable security policy to bolster Pakistan’s security in the long run. In fact, quite the contrary, Pan Islamism has been used by the British since the early part of the twentieth century and more recently the Americans and Israelis to infiltrate and destroy Muslims societies as a key portal of entry, using Islamic fundamentalists as the fifth Column: Iran 1979, Afghanistan since 1979, Somalia since the 1990’s, Palestine since 1977, and Pakistan more recently at a ‘certain advanced stage’ with Turkey, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Indonesia starting on the process, but not yet in the disaster zone.
The Qaid-e-Azam, a thoroughly modern man never intended Pakistan to be a fundamentalist state, or tilt in the direction of Islamic fundamentalism.
So what is effective security policy that is comprehensive and lasts, and not forgotten like the silly D8 proposal or CENTO? Well we look at the map and the people, and we see that Pakistanis and Indians are racially the same people. Further Pakistanis and Indians get along without any problems at a basic level. Pakistanis watch Indian movies, and identify with the characters in the movies as their own. That Pakistan has an extensive border with India. Simple basic logic states that you seek your strength and security from this community---A Pan South Asia security block.
One can understand why poor brown illiterate people might want to queue up behind America------it is rich, and an amazing country in many ways. But it has very little in common with Pakistan:
- 60 years of independence has not given ordinary Pakistanis a good experience with America.
- Most Pakistanis for good reasons are America averse.
- America contains over 8 million Jews who view Muslims, any Muslims with suspicion, and a threat to Israel.
- America still pursues a Zionist state policy in foreign affairs openly---not even covert, which obviously in the long term harms Pakistan's interests.Why then should Pakistan in a 'acha saab' way queue obediently behind such a policy.
- Bush has said in a private conversation that he intends to attack Pakistan, after Iran ---January 2003.
- Bush's regime threatened Pakistan with annihilation in 2001 if Pakistan didn't follow American policy----A Muslim with real Izzat would never have taken such threats lightly, and then still several years later continued to bow to such a threat.
- The Americans years after years presume to know what is best for Pakistan, and tell Pakistan so directly, even though reality has shown that they don't.
Given these facts Pakistan should be untangling herself from the USA, and not allowing more American troops onto Pakistani soil, and prostituting Pakistan's honor for a few worthless $, which in the long term have very little value.
Obviously the writer understands that a high percentage of the Pakistani military brass are made of low caste Hindu Chamar Chamcha's from the Punjab whose fore fathers converted into Islam----and given this fact, pleasing the saab at what ever cost is an inherent chamar chamcha urge/trait, but such a policy must fail ultimately, and it is Pakistan which must pay the price, and this is sad given that it is a nation filled with otherwise fine people.
The writer fully understands that the Pakistani army has been busy spending the greater part of its time and misguided energy killing its own Muslim brothers and sisters-----in fact after the fall of the Pol Pot government in Cambodia, I believe that the Pakistani army has killed more of its own people, than any other army in the world.-------Masallah! But sadly the civilian politicians are worse, and the future of the country rests on the Pakistani armed forces.
The author strongly recommends a major substantive paradigm shift in both the internal and external state policies of Pakistan. Business as usual internal and external policies will not help save Pakistan in the near future. Superficial window dressing and short term cosmetic changes will not save Pakistan. That the military/bureaucratic elite grasp this nettle of hard facts stated above, and find the courage to make real progress to secure Pakistan’s future.
The writer fully understands why India had to be viewed as the main enemy to justify Pakistan's existence since 1947, and why every single security issue in Pakistan was/is played out through the pism of India as the common enemy. Why Pakistan initiated all the aggression against India, and India very moderately responded in very measured ways. Why the state structure has been indoctrinated against India.
BUT now the situation has changed. Pakistan has created the monster of Islamic fundamentalism which is running rampant within Pakistan, within garrison Pindi, with prodding from America and Bilaat saab back in the late seventies. Because of this internal problem there is a correlating external problem, which is the prospect of Western intervention to secure 'fundamentalist Pakistan' and her nukes.
'Hai ALLAH give me guidance as to what I must do?'-hypothetically speaking:
Half a martial law with half a democracy to please London and Washington saab is not going to work. You get your feet in two different boats, and you end up falling into the lake. So which one is it going to be?
They need democracy to infiltrate and destroy Pakistan from within. Clearly Asif Zardari and Sharif aren't going to solve Pakistan's serious problems are they, as major power brokers after Bhutto's death ? They will be adding to them.
Summary of main points.
- The state must achieve a high level of internal security to the standard of North Korea, without it being overly repressive. Democracy is not an option for now.
- Cut all linkages and dependency with the UK/USA in especially security matters. The foreign bases closed, and foreign security personnel asked to leave. A simple action of this type will get the middle classes and a significant portion of the urban poor, with the peasants behind the Pakistani leadership. It’s populist, but extremely effective. Let us not follow policies for the sake of a few $. $100 million monthly military aid is simply not worth the trouble that this alliance is causing. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYavJtpbHdY&feature=user
- Prepare for possible future conflict with the USA/UK/Israel, especially under Hilary Clinton.
- Embrace India comprehensively. Sign a FTA asap, with India. Legalize the LOC whilst Dr. M M Singh is around quickly. Before the BJP come back into power in 2009, and President Hilary at the whitehouse. There after push for a South Asian security block of which Pakistan is a fully accepted integral part. Joint military exercises with India and Bangladesh, and integration of the military of South Asia like NATO.
It is easier to manage, control and satisfy 33 million (1951) people than it is to manage, control and satisfy 89 million (1981). It is easier to manage, control and satisfy 89 million people than it is to manage, control and satisfy 170 million (2007). It is proving difficult to manage, control and satisfy 170 million people, and when the population reaches 400 million by 2050 it will be a guaranteed disaster.
Ayub Khan was not far off the mark when he stated in the sixties that in the future unless the population growth was addressed seriously people in Pakistan would be ending up eating each other.
The most drastic and crude state measure of coercion with population control is starvation as practiced by the British in Ireland (50% got rid of during the 1840’s), and India as an instrument of state control (Bengal famine of 1943, during the war, when the Japanese were in Burma, and Bose in Japan). The Soviets and Red China also practiced this for future economic gains and development, and as a necessary and worth while sacrifice. I don’t think failed state Pakistan has the discipline to carry out such a policy, and of course there are moral objections, but I thought I would mention it.
Coincidentally some elites in Europe are floating this idea around centered around the UK/Bilderberg group naturally (Malthusians—followers of Thomas Malthus, nineteenth century British ‘philosopher’). They envisage a world with a reduced population from the current 6.5 billion to about 1 billion, made up mainly of Europeans of course. They pray for war and conflict which naturally enough impacts on the local population.
The conflict in Iraq has a Malthusian feel to it. 2 million Iraqis killed since 1991, through sanctions and conflict and 4 million turned into refugees. The country has been turned into a vast uninhabitable sewer. General Abazaid states that his country intends to be in Iraq for another 50 years, and if that is really true, the Iraqi population will have disappeared well before than.
No, in Pakistan we don’t have to think in such dire and drastic terms yet. There are many effective and civilized methods available to satisfy, manage and control the population growth. It however requires honest government action and highly organized planning, which the Pakistani military are capable of.
So what is all this fake video appearance business of OBL more recently into 2007 about? I think these fake videos tell us more about the fabricators than they could possibly tells us about a man who past away long ago, and who was just a puppet of Western/Israeli Intelligence agencies and managed through the ISI.
He was also built up into something more than he really was, or capable of being to serve Zionist propaganda purposes, of the 'evil genius Eastern potentate'------in short he was a deeply foolish man who allowed ultimately his Western managers, via the ISI to use him to invade three Muslim countries; Afghanistan 2001; Iraq 2003 and as the world seems not to notice Somalia 2006. With Iran, Syria, Pakistan, and Saudi on their sites later.
He possibly had no role in 9/11, and was used as an unwitting 'poster child', by the main actors which were Israeli intelligence, their American assets/puppets and the ISI.
So what are these fake video's specifically about? Well obviously Bush and co need to perpetuate the myth that GWOT is still THE issue (Benazir's assassination supposedly underlines this), when in reality it seems to be all falling apart. Obviously the primary objective of GWOT was the expansion of the Israeli empire, by the Israelis, whilst the lone superpower went around on Israel's behalf smashing Muslim countries.
9/11 carried out by the Israelis and their assets in America was the starting gun for all this, and the idea that first established this was in 1996, with the 'Clean Break' paper written for Netanyahu, and some now refer to as 'Bibi's war'. When that policy paper seemed too Israeli orientated, they switched to a more grandly named policy paper called the 'Project for an New American Century'. Then they got themselves and a few dim wit gentiles to sell it to America in power, with the help of 9/11, an inside/outside job by Netanyahu's Israelis and his American assets. He was in New York directing the show.
To wage war for a very long time under the banner of GWOT, and stealthily expand your Israeli empire under the GWOT umbrella, you need a hell of a lot of things going your way, which it clearly isn't. The law of probability/natures balance won't allow it:
- Israel needs to win every war that it fights, to expand its empire, but after Lebanon 2006 against Hezbollah, when they got a bloody nose fighting against 5,000 lightly armed guerrilla's than we are in for the very long haul here for Israel.
- Israel has to deal with 50,000 Hamas fighters on its flank, eventually before they strike out for greater empire, AND crush Hezbollah---good luck.
- Jews consider themselves as the 'chosen', but let us assume that essentially that they are 'human'. Not of course of the every day variety, but 'human'. No human can sustain war, and the psychology of war for ever. It takes its toll. Such pressure for war will break Israeli society, and one could eventually see an exodus of educated Israelis, which should spell the end of Israel, with the religious fruitcakes running the country.
- Israel's pawn, America isn't doing so well in Iraq and Afghanistan. They boasted of 7 countries in 5 years over at the Pentagon initially in 2001.Now they are struggling to maintain control of these two countries.
- The American economy is being bankrupted, and thus it will collapse eventually. It will not be able to conduct more wars along the present economic trajectory. In fact China and Japan could have vetoed these wars a couple of years ago, if they wished. But I suppose from the Chinese perspective everything is perfect; The Americans are wearing themselves out and China within a very short time will become the largest economy on earth, a superpower, owning large parts of America, and banker to the world.
- I imagine somewhere along the line Americans will wise up too, and ask why they are fighting Israel's wars. The joy of killing brown 'Ay-raabs' will wear out eventually one assumes.
- Sadly but very slowly Muslims are wising up and mobilising to a degree at the street level, though their response to the American/Israeli aggression has been very very weak, from the perspective of the Muslim state. Nearly all of them seem to be in awe of big bad Zionist America, and are happy to attend meaningless summits eating ice-cream with them, as if everything is normal instead of being a little bit more vigorous in opposing the genocide of Muslims, especially in Iraq.This has of course contributed to further American aggression against Muslims.
So why continue trying to sell a dead horse. Well because 'They' don't have better ideas, and because they in their obsession with Greater Israel have fixed their mind set too rigidly to be able to compromise on it now. It is of course a stupid idea, and some in America will be grunting along with this 'loser policy' until bankruptcy of the economy intervenes to permanently stop it, and America there after attends economic 'basket case' summits with several Asian countries about how best to reschedule its debts.
It would be mightily helpful for Pakistan, and for Muslim countries if the myth of al-Qaeda was blown away, because unfortunately a lot of people in Muslim countries and in the West still give this essentially non -existent group too much credit------it would be good for Pakistan, certainly.
It would certainly be good for Pakistan, if Pakistani officials finally confirmed that OBL passed away, several years back. Then the issue of fake videos of OBL would be put into a new perspective by the discerning world when they appear at very coincidental occasions, and Pakistan wouldn't be constantly prodded to do better against al-Qaeda by American politicians, or pushed to allow American military personnel into sovereign Pakistani territory.
Pakistan whilst being a key player in the charade of al-Qaeda, has also been instrumental as the 'gofer' between Zionist intelligence and al-Qaeda. In addition it is also ironically/contradictorily the country which has directly accounted for the capture of most of the al-Qaeda leadership.
From a 'Pagal bacha Ulloo' perspective although this may look and sound good for Pakistan as an indispensable ally for America 'saab saab you need me, and love you so much', in the final analysis it is in fact a very dangerous game, since who can say that Pakistan in the pre-text of fighting the war on terror ends up itself being occupied by the USA.
Not forgetting the huge problems thrown up the Islamisation of Pakistan issue, fundamentalism and the ISI'S alleged links to the Taliban and al-Qaeda. All the problems that this is causing Pakistan now, for all to see.
Daily Kos: http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2007/12/27/215037/33/96/427038
Bhutto said Omar Sheikh killed Bin Laden
Thu Dec 27, 2007 at 07:34:32 PM PST
This isn't going to be a long diary... I just came across a video posted on another site. At just after six minutes into the video, Benazir Bhutto says that OBL was killed by Omar Sheikh... The video is from November of this year.
Now, there's lots of evidence to suggest that Osama bin Laden is dead -- this isn't new, and has been suggested by Karzai, the FBI, Musharaff, by Mossad, by the NYT and by other organizations. Bush himself famously suggested that Osama bin Laden no longer worried him. His funeral was reported in the Muslim Press. (h/t to WRH)
She clearly and unmistakably says that Osama bin Laden is dead.
Compound F has a diary in which he talks about how Bhutto was attending dinner parties with big players in the National Security State, like Brzezinski and Scowcroft. She gave speeches at the Council on Foreign Relations. This was a woman with access to information.
• What does this mean?
• What do Brzezinski and Scowcroft have to say about this?
• What does Joe Biden-- who was a political ally of Bhutto-- have to say about this? Or ANY of the candidates or politicians, for that matter...
I've suspected that bin Laden has been dead for some time. His videos in recent years seem to have been forgeries, and they've always come at politically opportune times. (see, for example, this from dKos's Booman23's site, or this from the BBC questioning the authenticity of the tape in which bin Laden claimed responsibility for 9/11).
Now it's possible that Bhutto was mistaken and all of this other evidence is wrong. But also likely is that Bush recognized that a dead enemy can be just as effective as non-existent WMDs in manipulating the American people.
To those who think that Bush wouldn't go that far, I'd just point out that Bush knew since the beginning of 2007 that Iran did not have any nuclear weapons program, and moreover that they stopped their weapons program in 2003. Yet the danger of nuclear war remains. For what?
Bush lied to get us into war with Iraq. That's costing us $2 Trillion and impacted on countless lives. Over a million Iraqis have died.
So, do I believe Bush would lie about Osama bin Laden to try to keep the terror myth going and seize control of the country's political process?
I've had enough of this bin Laden nonsense. Haven't you? And if I haven't convinced you, think about what a scandal it would be if Bush knowingly covered this up. For years, even. All the while, telling us bin Laden is still lurking out there.
The Rothschild's of London, through their tool the CFR and their agents in America are once again attacking the Russian people (this explains the aggressive UK ops against Russia from within and her periphery), though the writer below, Mike Whitney, wisely skirts this issue, otherwise he would have difficulty getting publication for what is otherwise another excellent piece of real journalism.
Brzezinski is thus not really original with something to say, but simply peddling Rothschild Zionist international agenda's disguised as an imperative of American national interests.
Well Mr. Brzezinski how is spending a couple trillion American $'s pursuing endless conflict in the best interests of America? Expending the lives of young American men and women in the process; bankrupting the American economy along the process; diplomatically isolating America along the process; Turning America into a Jew run police state; endangering the safety of the planet. How is that a smart clever policy for America?
The true smart move for America is live and let live----We are and never will be GOD, controlling the whole world, and the greedy money worshipping, materialistic, ego worshipping Jew is the last people GOD would choose to rule this earth, otherwise it would have happened a lot earlier. So let us stand against a mad Jew driven uni-polar world, 'using' America, pursuing impossible dreams.
Putin Agonistes: Missile Defense will not be Deployed
By Mike Whitney
12/19/07 "ICH " -- --
It's been a lot of hard work, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has finally achieved his goal. He's cleaned up the mess left behind by Yeltsin, put together a strong and thriving economy, and restored Russia to a place of honor among the community of nations. His legacy has already been written. He's the man who rebuilt Russia. The last thing he wants now, is a pointless confrontation with the United States. But how can it be avoided? He understands Washington's long-range plans for Russia and he is taking necessary steps to preempt them. He is familiar with the heavyweights of US foreign policy, like Zbigniew Brzezinski, and has undoubtedly read his master-plan for Central Asia, “The Grand Chessboard”. Brzezinski's recent article in Foreign Affairs, (A publication of the Council on Foreign Relations) “A Geostrategy for Eurasia” summarizes his views on America's future involvement in the region:
“America's emergence as the sole global superpower now makes an integrated and comprehensive strategy for Eurasia imperative."
Eurasia is home to most of the world's politically assertive and dynamic states. All the historical pretenders to global power originated in Eurasia. The world's most populous aspirants to regional hegemony, China and India, are in Eurasia, as are all the potential political or economic challengers to American primacy. ... Eurasia accounts for 75 percent of the world's population, 60 percent of its GNP, and 75 percent of its energy resources. Collectively, Eurasia's potential power overshadows even America's.
Eurasia is the world's axial supercontinent. A power that dominated Eurasia would exercise decisive influence over two of the world's three most economically productive regions, Western Europe and East Asia. A glance at the map also suggests that a country dominant in Eurasia would almost automatically control the Middle East and Africa. With Eurasia now serving as the decisive geopolitical chessboard, it no longer suffices to fashion one policy for Europe and another for Asia. What happens with the distribution of power on the Eurasian landmass will be of decisive importance to America's global primacy and historical legacy.”
So, there it is. The US is moving into the neighborhood and has no intention of leaving. The war on terror is a fraud; it merely conceals the fact that Bush is sprinkling military bases throughout Central Asia and surrounding Russia in the process. Brzezinski sees this as a “strategic imperative”. It doesn't matter what Putin thinks. According to Brzezinski “NATO enlargement should move forward in deliberate stages” . The US must make sure “that no state or combination of states gains the ability to expel the United States or even diminish its decisive role”.
This isn't new. Putin has known for some time what Bush is up to and he's been as accommodating as possible. After all, his real passion is putting Russia back on its feet and improving the lives of its citizens. That will have to change now that Bush has decided to install a “Missile Defense” system in Eastern Europe. Putin will have to devote more time to blocking America's plans. The new system will upset the basic balance of power between the nuclear rivals and force Putin to raise the stakes. A confrontation is brewing whether Putin wants it or not. The system cannot be deployed. Period. Putin must now do whatever he is necessary to remove a direct threat to Russia's national security. That is the primary obligation of every leader and he will not shirk his responsibility.
Putin is an elusive character; neither boastful nor arrogant. It's clear now that western pundits mistook his reserved, quiet manner as a sign of superficiality or lack of resolve. They were wrong. They underestimated the former-KGB Colonel. Putin is bright and tenacious and he has a vision for his country. He sees Russia as a key player in the new century; an energy powerhouse that can control its own destiny. He doesn't plan to get bogged down in avoidable conflicts if possible. He's focused on development not war; plowshares not swords. He's also fiercely nationalistic; a Russian who puts Russia first.
But Putin is a realist and he knows that the US will not leave Eurasia without a fight. He's read the US National Security Strategy and he understands the ideological foundation for America's “unipolar” world model. The NSS is an unambiguous declaration of war against any nation that claims the right to to control its own resources or defend its own sovereignty against US interests. The NSS implies that nations' are required to open their markets to western multinationals and follow directives from Washington or accept a place on Bush's “enemies list”. There's no middle ground. You are with us or with the terrorists. The NSS also entitles the United States to unilaterally wage aggressive warfare against any state or group that is perceived to be a potential threat to Washington's imperial ambitions. These so-called “preemptive” wars are carried out under the rubric of the “war on terror” which provides the justification for torture, abduction, ethnic cleansing and massive civilian casualties.
US National Security Strategy articulates in black and white what many critics had been saying for years; the United States owns the world and everyone else is just a guest.
Putin knows that there's no way to reconcile this doctrine with his own aspirations for an independent Russia but, so far, a clash has been averted.
He also knows that Bush is flanked by a band of fanatics and militarists who plan to weaken Russia, install an American stooge (like Georgia and Afghanistan) and divide the country into four regions. This strategy is clearly presented in forward-planning documents that have been drawn up in Washington think tanks that chart the course for US world domination.
Brzezinski is quite candid about this in his article in Foreign Affairs:
“Given (Russia's) size and diversity, a decentralized political system and free-market economics would be most likely to unleash the creative potential of the Russian people and Russia's vast natural resources. A loosely confederated Russia -- composed of a European Russia, a Siberian Republic, and a Far Eastern Republic -- would also find it easier to cultivate closer economic relations with its neighbors. Each of the confederated entitles would be able to tap its local creative potential, stifled for centuries by Moscow's heavy bureaucratic hand. In turn, a decentralized Russia would be less susceptible to imperial mobilization.” (Zbigniew Brzezinski,“A Geostrategy for Eurasia”)
Partition is a common theme in imperial planning whether its called apartheid in Israel, federalizing in Iraq, “limited independence” in Kosovo, or “loose confederation” in Russia. It's all the same. Divide and rule; undermine nationalism by destroying the underlying culture and balkanizing the territory. This isn't new. What is amazing, is that Bush's plan is going forward despite 7 years of uninterrupted foreign policy failures. Hubris and self-delusion have a longer shelf-life than anyone could have imagined.
Putin is surrounded by ex-KGB hardliners who have warned him that America cannot be trusted. They have watched while the US has steadily moved into the former-Soviet satellites, pushed NATO to Russia's borders, and precipitated regime change via “color coded” revolutions. They point to Chechen war where US intelligence services trained Chechen insurgents through their ISI surrogates in Pakistan—teaching them how to conduct guerrilla operations in a critical region that provides Russia with access to the western shores of the resource-rich Caspian Basin.
Michel Chossudovsky has done some excellent research on this little-known period of Russian history. In his article “The Anglo-American Military Axis”, he says:
“U.S. covert support to the two main Chechen rebel groups (through Pakistan’s ISI) was known to the Russian government and military. However, it had previously never been made public or raised at the diplomatic level. In November 1999, the Russian Defense Minister, Igor Sergueyev, formally accused Washington of supporting the Chechen rebels. Following a meeting held behind closed doors with Russia’s military high command, Sergueyev declared that:
'The national interests of the United States require that the military conflict in the Caucasus [Chechnya] be a fire, provoked as a result of outside forces", while adding that "the West’s policy constitutes a challenge launched to Russia with the ultimate aim of weakening her international position and of excluding her from geo-strategic areas.'”
In the wake of the 1999 Chechen war, a new "National Security Doctrine" was formulated and signed into law by Acting President Vladimir Putin, in early 2000. Barely acknowledged by the international media, a critical shift in East-West relations had occurred. The document reasserted the building of a strong Russian State, the concurrent growth of the Military, as well as the reintroduction of State controls over foreign capital....The document carefully spelled out what it described as " fundamental threats" to Russia’s national security and sovereignty. More specifically, it referred to "the strengthening of military-political blocs and alliances" [namely GUUAM], as well as to "NATO’s eastward expansion" while underscoring "the possible emergence of foreign military bases and major military presences in the immediate proximity of Russian borders." (Michel Chossudovsky, “The Anglo-American Military Axis”, Global Research)
That's right; there's been a low-grade secret war going on between Russia and the US for over a decade although it is rarely discussed in diplomatic circles. The war in Chechnya is probably less about “succession” and independence, than it is about foreign intervention and imperial overreach.
The same rule applies to the controversy surrounding Kosovo. The Bush administration and its EU clients are trying to fragment Serbia by supporting an initiative for Kosovo “limited independence”.
But why “limited”?
It's because Bush knows that the resolution has no chance of passing the UN Security Council, so the only way to circumvent international law is by issuing a unilateral edict that is promoted in the media as “independence”. By this same standard, Abraham Lincoln should have granted Jefferson Davis “limited independence” and avoided the Civil War altogether.
Author Irina Lebedeva reveals the real motives behind the administration's actions on Kosovo in her article “USA-Russia: Hitting the same Gate, or playing the same game?”
“The North Atlantic alliance (The US and its EU allies) documents indicate that the bloc aims at the “Balkanization” of the post-Soviet space by way of overtaking influence in the territories of the currently frozen conflicts and their follow-up internalization along the Yugoslavian lines are set down in black and white. For example, a special report titled “The New North Atlantic Strategy for the Black Sea Region”, prepared by the German Marshall Fund of the United States on the occasion of the NATO summit, already refers to Black Sea and South Caucasus (Transcaucasia) as a “new Euro-Atlantic borderland plagued by Soviet-legacy conflicts.” And the “region of frozen conflicts is evolving into a functional aggregate on the new border of an enlarging West.” Azerbaijan and Georgia in tandem, the report notes, provide a unique transit corridor for Caspian energy to Europe, as well as an irreplaceable corridor for American-led and NATO to bases and operation theatres in Central Asia and the Greater Middle East.”
Once again, divide and rule; this time writ large for an entire region that is being arbitrarily redrawn to meet the needs of mega-corporations that want to secure “transit corridors for Caspian energy to Europe”. The new Great Game. Brzezinski has called this area a critical “land-bridge” to Eurasia. Others refer to it as a “new Euro-Atlantic borderland”. Whatever one calls it; it is a good illustration of how bloodthirsty Washington mandarins carve up the world to suit their own geopolitical objectives.
Putin has seen enough and he's now moving swiftly to counter US incursions in the region. He's not going to wait until the neocon fantasists affix a bullseye to his back and take aim. In the last few weeks he has withdrawn Russia from the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) and is threatening to redeploy his troops and heavy weaponry to Russia's western-most borders. The move does nothing to enhance Russian security, but it will arouse public concern in Europe and perhaps ignite a backlash against Bush's Missile Defense system.
Russian Navy Admiral Vladimir Masorin also announced this week that Russia will move part of its fleet to Syrian ports where “it will maintain a permanent presence in the Mediterranean. Israeli leaders are in a panic over the announcement claiming that the move will disrupt their “electronic surveillance and air defense centers” thus threatening their national security. Putin intends to go ahead with the plan regardless. Dredging has already begun in the port of Tartus and a dock is being built in the Syrian port of Latakia.
Also, Russian officials are investigating the possibility of building military bases in Serbia and have been invited to discuss the issue with leaders in the Serbian Nationalist Radical Party (SRS) The prospective dialogue is clearly designed to dissuade the US from pursuing its present policy towards Kosovo.
Russia also delivered its first shipment of nuclear fuel to Iran this week which means that the controversial 1,000 watt nuclear plant at Bushehr could be fully operational within three months. Adding insult to injury, Iranian officials announced on Monday their plans to build a second plant in defiance of US orders to halt its nuclear activities.
Also, on Monday, “Russia test-launched a new intercontinental ballistic missile part of a system that can outperform any anti-missile system likely to be deployed” according to Reuters. “The missile was launched from the Tula nuclear-powered submarine in the Barents Sea in the Arctic.”
“The military hardware now on our weapons, and those that will appear in the next few years, will enable our missiles to outperform any anti-missile system, including future systems," Col.-Gen Nikolai Solovtsov was quoted as telling journalists.” (Reuters)
Bush's Missile Defense system has restarted the nuclear arms race. Welcome to the new Cold War.
Finally, Russia Chief of Staff, General Yuri Balyevsky warned:
“A possible launch of a US interceptor missile from Central Europe may provoke a counterattack from intercontinental ballistic missiles....If we suppose that Iran wants to strike the United States , then interceptor missiles which would be launched from Poland will fly towards Russia and the shape and flight trajectory are very similar to ICBMs” (Novosti Russian News Agency)
Balyevsky's scenario of an “accidental” World War 3 is more likely than ever now that Bush is pressing ahead with his plans for Missile Defense. Russia's automated missile warning systems can be triggered automatically when foreign missiles enter Russian air space. Its a dangerous game and potentially fatal every living thing on the planet.
To great extent, the American people have no idea of the reckless policy that is being carried out in their name. The gravity of the proposed Missile Defense system has been virtually ignored by the media and Russia's protests have been dismissed as trivial. But hostilities are steadily growing, military forces and weaponry are being put into place, and the stage is set for a major conflagration. This is every bit as serious as the Cuban Missile Crisis, only this time Russia cannot afford to stand down.
Putin will not allow the system to be deployed even if he has to remove it through force of arms. It is a direct threat to Russia's national security. We would expect no different from our own leaders.
By Mike Whitney12/01/07 "ICH " -- -- -
On Sunday, Russians will vote in their country's parliamentary elections. The results are a foregone conclusion. Putin's party, United Russia, is expected to win in a landslide. The only question is whether the margin of victory will exceed 70%. If it does, then Putin will continue to be the most powerful player in Russian politics even after he steps down from office next year.
Vladamir Putin is arguably the most popular leader in Russian history, although you'd never know it by reading the western media. According to a recent survey conducted by the Wall Street Journal, Putin's personal approval rating in November 2007 was 85% making him the most popular head of state in the world today. Putin's popularity derives from many factors. He is personally clever and charismatic. He is fiercely nationalistic and has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of ordinary Russians and restore the country to its former greatness. He has raised over 20 million Russians out of grinding poverty, improved education, health care and the pension system, (partially) nationalized critical industries, lowered unemployment, increased manufacturing and exports, invigorated Russian markets, strengthened the ruble, raised the overall standard of living, reduced government corruption, jailed or exiled the venal oligarchs, and amassed capital reserves of $450 billion.
If there's a downside to Putin's legacy, it's hard to see.
Russia is no longer “up for grabs” like it was after the fall of the Soviet Union. Putin put an end to all of that. He reasserted control over the country's vast resources and he's using them to improve the lives of his own people. This is a real departure from the 1990s, when the drunken Yeltsin steered Russia into economic disaster by following Washington's neoliberal edicts and by selling Russia's Crown Jewels to the vulturous oligarchs. Putin put Russia's house back in order; stabilized the ruble, strengthened economic/military alliances in the region, and removed the corporate gangsters who had stolen Russia's national assets for pennies on the dollar. The oligarchs are now all either in jail or have fled the country. Russia is no longer “for sale”.
Russia is, once again, a major world power and a force to be reckoned with. It's star is steadily rising just as America's has begun to wane. This may explain why Putin is despised by the West. Freud might call it “petroleum envy”, but it's deeper than that. Putin has charted a course for social change that conflicts with basic tenets of organized greed, which are the principles which govern US foreign policy. He is not a member of the corporate-banking brotherhood which believes the wealth of the world should be divided among themselves regardless of the suffering or destruction it may cause. Putin's primary focus is Russia; Russia's welfare, Russia's sovereignty and Russia's place in the world. He is not a globalist.
That is why the Bush administration has encircled Russia with military bases, toppled neighboring regimes with its comical “color-coded” revolutions, (which were organized by US NGOs and intelligence services) intervened in Russian elections, and (threatened) to deploy a nuclear weapons system in Eastern Europe. Russia is seen as a potential rival to US imperial ambitions and must be contained or destroyed.
In the early years of his presidency, it was believed that Putin would comply with western demands and accept a subordinate role in the US-EU-Israel centric system. But it hasn't worked out that way. Putin has wisely resisted integration and consistently defended Russian independence.
The triumphalism which swept through Washington after the fall of the Berlin Wall has been replaced with a palpable fear that Russia's power will continue to grow as oil prices increase. The tectonic plates of geopolitical power are shifting eastward. That's why the US has joined in “The Great Game” and is trying to put down roots in Eurasia. Still, it's easy to imagine a scenario in which America's access to the last great oil and natural gas reserves on the planet--the three trillion barrels of oil and natural gas located in the Caspian Basin---could be completely blocked by a resurgent Russian superpower.
The most powerful of the Washington think tanks, the Council on Foreign relations, recognized this problem early on and decided that US policy towards Russia had to be reworked entirely. John Edwards and Jack Kemp were appointed to lead a CFR task force which concocted the basic pretext for an all-out assault on the Putin. This is where the idea that Putin is “rolling back democracy” began. In their article “Russia’s Wrong Direction”, Edwards and Kemp state that a “strategic partnership” with Russia is no longer possible. They note that the government has become increasingly “authoritarian” and that the society is growing less “open and pluralistic”.
Kemp and Edwards provided the ideological foundation upon which the entire public relations campaign against Putin has been built. And it is quite an impressive campaign. A Google News search shows roughly 1,400 articles from the various news services on Putin. Virtually all of them contain exactly the same rhetoric, the same buzzwords, the same spurious claims, the same slanders. It is impossible to find even one article out of 1,400 that diverges the slightest bit from the talking points which originated at the Council on foreign Relations. Readers should check this out for themselves. Its interesting to see to what extent the media is nothing more than a propaganda bullhorn for the national security state. Putin's personal approval ratings already confirm his enormous popularity, (85%) but the media continues to treat him like he's a tyrant. It is completely incongruous.
In most articles, Putin is disparaged as “anti democratic”; a charge that is never leveled at the Saudi Royal family even though women are forbidden to drive, they must by fully-covered at all times, and can be stoned to death if they are found to be unfaithful. Also, in Saudi Arabia, beheading is still the punishment of choice for capital crimes. When Saudi King Abdullah visits the US, he is not heaped with scorn for his regimes' repressive treatment of his people. Instead he's rewarded with flattering photos of he and George Bush strolling arm-n-arm through the Crawford sage.
Why is Putin blasted for “rolling back democracy” when American stooge, Mikhail Saakashvili, arbitrarily declares martial law and deploys his truncheon wielding Robo-cops to beat protesters senseless before dragging them off to the Georgia gulag? The pictures of Saakashvili's bloody crackdown appeared In the foreign press, but not in the US where the media had all its camera lenses focused on Garry Kasparov (contributing editor to the Wall Street Journal and right-wing loony) as he was led off to the Moscow hoosegow in handcuffs for protesting without a permit.
Poor, abused Garry.
What American wouldn't prefer a leader who stuck up their national interests rather than the interests of global Capital? Has Putin repealed habeas corpus, due process and the presumption of innocence? Has Putin abducted innocent suspects from the streets of foreign capitals and taken them to black sites where they've been tortured, water-boarded and sometimes killed? Has Putin initiated war's of aggression on defenseless countries killing and maiming a million or so civilians on “a pack of lies”? Has Putin created 4 million refugees and a humanitarian crisis which is likely to erupt into a region-wide conflagration?
Those aren't Vladamir Putin's Daisy Cutters and cluster bombs falling on Samara, Falluja and Tal Afar. That isn't Putin's armada in the Gulf off the coast of Iran. Those aren't Putin's intelligence agents and mercenaries executing covert operations in Mogadishu, Beirut and Islamabad.
Putin's crime is that he rejects Washington's “unipolar” world model. As he said in Munich:
“The unipolar world refers to a world in which there is one master, one sovereign; one center of authority, one center of force, one center of decision-making. At the end of the day this is pernicious not only for all those within this system, but also for the sovereign itself because it destroys itself from within.… What is even more important is that the model itself is flawed because at its basis there is and can be no moral foundations for modern civilization.”
"We are seeing a greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law....We are witnessing an almost uncontained hyper use of force – military force – in international relations, force that is plunging the world into an abyss of permanent conflicts. I am convinced that we have reached that decisive moment when we must seriously think about the architecture of global security.”
Well said, Vladamir. Good luck in the election.
This is a good piece of political analysis by a knowledgeable Afghan about the sorry state of Afghanistan at present. He identifies the problems, and provides the solutions. However I think some of his analysis is misplaced, which may have allowed him to get publication in a Western political online magazine.
"The Economist wondered how an inept individual like Hamid Karzai had managed to obtain the post of president of Afghanistan"
Blaming Karzai for 30 years of Afghanistan's woes is pointless, as he is wholly unsuited to be President of Afghanistan and the man has no real power. Finally he came to power only a few years ago, and Afghanistan's present problems started when outsiders started interfering in the country from 1973.
Power in Afghanistan is exercised by the USA, and then the British---he is their puppet, as the writer sarcastically noted 'Sir Hamid Karzai' though we should also mention his links to Unocal---what can you expect from an ineffective puppet? Karzai was chosen as a sop to the Pashtuns, who constitute the ethnic majority of the country, and as a compromise figure. When the Pashtun Taliban was defeated in 2001, so with it went the Pashtun power in the country, with a resurgent Northern Alliance, made up exclusively of non-Pashtuns.
Khalilzad the neocon is used by the Usraelis as a front for their unjust policies in 'brown' countries i.e whilst they do the dirty, and can use a 'brown' to front and speak for their policies. To that extent Condi Rice also serves that purpose. Over all the real villains of the saga are the ones who use such people like Khalilzad to cynically sell their message of look, 'I've got a pony tail, and I'm really cool'. That's the real crime of deception, and not just another Third World guy selling his country for personal gain. Same with weak minded ineffectual Karzai.
Then the logic from the above argument follows that if the USA and the UK have predilections for such types of men; Psycho sometimes KGB Hekmatyar during the eighties, and one eyed Mullah Omar and his merry Taliban in the nineties effected through their chamcha chamar's in Pakistan, then why hold a hope and a prayer that the USA and UK will behave very differently in the future viz Afghanistan and its present leadership.
Afghanistan is a Muslim country, which is also happens to be Aryan; whilst the UK and USA are Jew dominated countries. Simple.
The world narco trade is worth $400-600 billion annually, a considerable amount of which is naturally controlled by the UK, as an extension of its great heritage dating back to its colonial past. Though judging by Hollywood movies one would think it was a few South American gangsters! In terms of its organisation, extent and experience it is in fact the UK (London).
British and American forces are thus there protecting this harvest, and making sure the Afghan Mafia bosses are safe from harm. In contrast to the Taliban who had totally eliminated it, in the parts of the country they controlled. This has nothing to do with fighting fabricated fake al-Qaeda terrorism, but everything to with drugs money for the elites of London and the USA. For such elites the loss of life on both sides is acceptable to maintain this lucrative trade.
Afghanistan has no oil or gas, though theorists keep talking about the importance of the country as a route for such commodities. In reality ultimately Afghanistan is less about GWOT, terrorism and getting at the elusive al-Qaeda (as some readers might have deduced) and more about managing this whopping big market of narcotics.
Given this deduction, obviously the British are not worried about good governance, democracy, transparency, fighting corruption, building infrastructure, and a viable leadership that will serve Afghanistan properly, but more about creating an implausible highly spun excuse to stay in the neighborhood, and manage the scenery, as well as persuade others in NATO to do so, convincing everybody that the lighted armed Taliban of 8,000 constitutes a real threat to the world, whilst the ISI manages things for them from the other side, 'Punch and Judy' show. ALL FOR NARCOTICS.
Bahlol saab try and read some of the earlier works of Salman Rushdie, from the early eighties about British colonialism. The Jew dominated elite which financed the empire never gave up on the British empire wholly. Hence the preservation of the Commonwealth, and the Commonwealth games----it goes beyond mere nostalgia. In a sense after the retreat of the British empire during the late 1940's, 50's and 60's; the empire made a resurgence in the eighties, and into the nineties. In Bangladesh the British control the country through the army/elite; In India through the political elite; Dr. Singh is Oxbridge educated; Pakistan through the elite/military; Iran through the mullahs which they installed in 1979, and now finally Afghanistan in 2001, with a little help from the Taliban and al-Qaeda which through the ISI they helped establish, with input from other countries so as not to make it too obvious.
So my point is the British having gone to such painstaking lengths to establish a semblance of their former Imperial glory aren't going to make an exception for Afghanistan, and let go the reins of control without a real on the ground fight.
The British aren't going to leave Afghanistan unless they are given a bloody nose metaphorically speaking. Justice, fair play, and doing the decent thing will not make them leave Afghanistan. Pleading with them with any number of logical and rational arguments will not make them leave Afghanistan. They've planned this since the late seventies if not earlier, and they've used the USA to realise their goal in the country, and since they have finally realised it, they will not want to quit any time soon.
Sadly in light of current experience in Afghanistan, where the Koran is burnt, where dead Afghans are burnt, and many other such events the ordinary Afghan is yet again pining for the Taliban. The Taliban is not the true saviour for the Afghan people. It will never be. Iran, Russia and India will never allow the Taliban to 'save' Afghanistan. It is highly undesirable for the Taliban to save Afghanistan anyway. They are the wrong saviours. The Taliban is an American/UK/ISI creation which has allowed the UK/USA the excuse to enter Afghanistan.
Relying on foreigners to help alleviate Afghanistan's woes is at a minimum immature, and misguided. You rely on yourself, and your own resources, and organisation, and ingenuity to do so. It is the weak who seek justice and support from others, instead of finding strength and justice from within.
"The proposal that forces drawn from Muslim countries should be used to provide interim stability in Afghanistan, at the conclusion of U.S. military operations, is not new " Yes that is certainly a short term solution. Anything to get the present ISAF, NATO force out of Afghanistan and replace it with more compatible foreign forces, which has the confidence of the local people. The target was also to build a 70,000 army, which at present stands at 45,000 plus (over six years)----an inordinate long time for a superpower to train up a few thousand men, and another indication of the desire to stay in the country for another agenda, rather than really stabilise, and build a viable state.
- Afghanistan as a base to destabilise Pakistan, which is precisely what is going on now.
- As a base against Iran.
- As a theater for ops against Central Asia.
- Securing the narcotics route and trade.
- Projecting power to that region.
Well Bahlol saab over to you...................
Khalilzad and the Gangs of Afghanistan
by Bahlol Lohdi
Hamid Karzai is the grandson of Khair Mohammed of the village of Karz, not far from Kandahar. He was an indigent member of the Popalzai tribe with a large family who migrated to Kandahar seeking a better life. Normally, when a Pashtun is of noble stock he's known by a patronym, but more humble tribal members do not have that privilege. Therefore, perforce they resort to descriptive names like Karzai, Pashto for "born in Karz."
Not finding adequate employment opportunities in Kandahar, Khair Mohammed moved his family to Kabul. There he prospered because Kabul lacked hotels, so the nobility of Kandahar visiting Kabul were invited to stay at Khair Mohammed's modest home. They provided him with money to buy provisions for their stay with him, and Karzai's grandmother cooked their food and took care of their laundry.
Soon, Khair Mohammed came to the attention of the government as an ideal source of intelligence about the situation in Kandahar, garnered from the conversations of his paying Kandahari guests. His loyal service to the government resulted in his being given a deputy-head post in one of the government departments. He became known as "Mueen Khairo Jan," a term of contempt, for the Kandaharis had realized the extent of his perfidy.
Karzai's father, Ahad Karzai, benefited from Mueen Khairo Jan's connections and was admitted to the lower social circles of the Afghan royal family. He became one of the numerous court jesters. However, Ahad was dimwitted and insolent enough once to crack a joke at the expense of a minor royal family member. He was rewarded by being crowned with a crystal ashtray and, bleeding profusely, dismissed – obviously Ahad Karzai did not appreciate the fact that a royal appointment to the Afghan parliament didn't raise him to the status of someone who could poke fun at even minor royalty. His son, the British-ennobled Sir Hamid Karzai, seems to suffer from the same predilection to the folie de grandeur that afflicts parvenus and predisposes them to inappropriate behavior and comments. His public clash with U.S. President George Bush regarding Iran is just one of the more well-known examples of Hamid "Jan" Karzai's public faux pas.
During the Soviet occupation, Ahad Karzai joined "the usual suspects" in Peshawar. Where there was money to be made, the Karzais were bound to congregate.
While some of Ahad Karzai's sons were sent to America to invest the family's dubiously obtained fortune, Hamid, the constant butt of Karzai family jokes, was thought to be ill-suited to life in the United States, and left to pursue family interests in Peshawar, attached to the mercurial Sibghatullah Mojaddedi, one of the minor jihadi leaders.
In an article last year, The Economist wondered how an inept individual like Hamid Karzai had managed to obtain the post of president of Afghanistan. The answer is found in the development of the relationship between Zalmay Khalilzad and Hamid Karzai.
The symbiotic relationship between the ambitious hyphenated American, Khalilzad, and the nominal Pashtun hustler, Karzai, began when Khalilzad obtained an adjunct position at the State Department, as adviser on Afghan affairs, during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. At the time, both Mr. Ks were in their twenties.
Khalilzad, lacking name recognition or connections in Afghanistan, needed the local knowledge and connections of the Karzai clan. The Karzai family, for its part, thought Khalilzad's contacts at the State Department and elsewhere could be useful in furthering the cause of their erstwhile benefactor, Zahir Shah, and consequently themselves.
A study of the character profiles of both Khalilzad and Karzai leaves little doubt that both individuals have always been motivated by self-interest, irrespective of either Afghan or American national interests. This destructive nexus, aided and abetted by other unprincipled hyphenated Americans and ruthless Afghan mujahedeen warlords, is largely responsible for the tragedies visited on both countries.
And legions of foreign Afghan affairs "experts," some with little knowledge of the country's culture, ethnicity, and history, pontificating in the written and broadcast media, played supporting roles. Unfortunately, this tidal wave of "informed opinion," some ignorant and others tendentious, served to stifle any debate about the wisdom of the West's policy regarding Afghanistan and its consequences.
How Khalilzad ascended to the upper echelons of policymaking in the course of the two Bush presidencies is well documented. It only needs to be noted that, in addition to his neocon affiliations, his alleged expertise about the Muslim world in general, and Afghanistan in particular, were major determining factors in his advancement. Otherwise, his career may well have followed a similar path to that of his fellow American University of Beirut's Afghan alumni – nothing spectacular.
What is less known is Khalilzad's ambitious career goals in Afghanistan. For as it became increasingly obvious that, after the departure of Soviet forces from Afghanistan, the Najib regime would fall, Khalilzad reportedly suggested to the "Peshawar Seven" that, after the fall of Najib's communist regime, he should lead the successor regime in Afghanistan. This surprising proposal by Khalilzad was given a Bronx cheer by the mujahedeen leaders based in Pakistan, all of them quarreling about, and vying for, the same position in Kabul. This episode may explain why Khalilzad acquired the "King Zal" sobriquet in Washington.
It is a widely accepted view now that the Bonn Accord was a hastily drawn-up document, meant to give a semblance of order to the situation precipitated by the Northern Alliance's power grab in Kabul. Although John Simpson of the BBC was the first to walk into a deserted capital, the Northern Alliance claimed to have "liberated" Afghanistan from Taliban rule. They behaved as if U.S. ground and air forces had been minor factors in bringing about a change of regime in Kabul.
At Bonn, the international community, as represented by the UN, conferred legitimacy on the fait accompli presented by the Northern Alliance. The only concession that its members were willing to make was to have the hapless Karzai as the nominal Pashtun leader of the transitional authority. Nevertheless, Khalilzad bragged that he was, and would remain, the king-maker in Afghanistan. Subsequent events were to prove this not to be an empty boast, and one with disastrous consequences.
The situation facing the international community when the Taliban regime was toppled was analogous to the situation facing the Allies when France was liberated and the Vichy government collapsed. At that time, the French Communist Party, as well as criminal gangs in the guise of the Milice, had infiltrated all the organs of state – the government in Paris, announced and headed by Charles de Gaulle, was nominally in charge of France. It took great statesmanship and deft handling by de Gaulle and a handful of his supporters to finesse the ouster of the French Communists and members of the Milice from the ranks of "power ministries" and marginalize them in French society. The period between the signing of the Bonn Accord and the installation of a transitional government in Kabul should have been used to effect a similar process, distancing the Afghan mujahedeen warlords and their criminal gangs from the levers of power.
Unfortunately, the various loya jirgas, or "grand assemblies," attended and choreographed by Khalilzad as George Bush's special representative, instead of bringing forth the required apolitical, technocratic regime in order to begin the country's physical and social reconstruction, only served to entrench the status quo set in Bonn. Whether Khalilzad was outmaneuvered by the Northern Alliance or he was ordering things so that he would have a long-term position as "the power behind the throne," is a moot point.
However, his subsequent appointment to the U.S. ambassador post in Kabul, his eagerness to hold patently sham elections in order to have Karzai "elected" president, and the nature of his relationship with Karzai provide food for thought. It is perhaps worth noting here that, of all those who were involved in the shabby shenanigans misnamed a "peace process," only Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN secretary-general's special representative in Afghanistan, has had the decency and integrity to admit that the international community has failed the Afghan people.
The Afghan government is now widely described as being made up of various competing mafia groups. Initially, it was dominated by the Northern Alliance mafia. With the advent of Khalilzad's "vice-royalty" in Kabul, there was an influx of the "hyphenated American mafia" – people who rushed to Kabul either just to make a fast buck or to hold government posts both to enrich themselves and gain the status they lacked. In initiating and promoting this process, I suppose Khalilzad hoped to rule Afghanistan by acting as "the decider" in the turf battles that would inevitably occur between the competing mobs. In essence, Khalilzad fashioned himself capo di tutti capi, a position that suited both his temperament and his love of power.
The relationship between Khalilzad, the U.S. ambassador to Kabul, and Karzai, the Afghan president, was described in graphic and cringe-making detail in a New Yorker piece. And though it accurately portrayed the Afghan "leader" as a servile and ridiculous moron whose every action was being choreographed by the American plenipotentiary, it was a gratuitous insult to Afghan national pride.
While I'm sure that King Zal enjoyed reading the piece, in the spirit of "Look at me, Ma, I'm on top of the world," his petty arrogance and stupidity did immense harm to the image of the United States in Afghanistan.
Fortunately, he was recalled from Kabul soon thereafter, and his hopes of a sinecure as America's viceroy in Kabul, irrespective of which political party ran Washington, were dashed. Unsurprisingly, even the manner of his departure lacked grace: he encouraged Karzai and others to write pleading letters to President Bush, begging him to leave Khalilzad at his Kabul post. And his drawn-out departure from Kabul was marked by metaphorical heel marks leading from the gates of the U.S. embassy to the doors of his departing plane.
With the departure of Don Khalilzad, the hapless Karzai was left to fend for himself, with only the British as his main source of military and political support. But with the British military failure in Helmand, and an understandable reluctance by many NATO allies to expend blood and treasure to ensure the survival of a kleptocratic regime, Karzai's mantle of power began to look increasingly threadbare. Consequently, Karzai's erstwhile supporters and opponents regrouped to ensure their own future, and the misnamed National Front was formed last year. As predicted by the perspicacious Gen. Eikenberry some time ago, and substantiated by subsequent events, the regime is imploding.
So what policy choices are available to the international community to ensure a positive outcome of the Afghan "project"?
Before this question can be addressed, some "received wisdom" needs to be debunked.
Until quite recently, it was widely assumed that applying "hard power" to solve the Afghan problem would ultimately bear positive results. In fact it has had the opposite effect. Therefore, a giant step forward was taken when it was admitted that there is no military solution to the Afghan problem. The British trumpeting of their preparations to "destroy the Taliban," thus "securing the back end of the country" and reordering things in Kabul so that it would "cut the mustard," and their subsequent rude awakening from such neo-imperial dreams, at least served this useful purpose.
The shibboleth that "Afghanistan is a democracy" with "a constitution, an elected president, and an elected parliament" must be consigned to the dustbin of bad jokes. The Afghan people certainly don't believe it, nor do those foreign professionals whose careers have not depended on inventing and perpetuating the myth.
The claim, often forwarded by the supporters of the current Kabul setup, that there's no alternative to replace Karzai is nonsense. It is an artifice through which they hope to bamboozle the rest of the international community to help continue maintaining Karzai and their associated assets in place, despite the fact that these people are part of the problem as well as a bar to implementing a solution.
The unnatural prominence of the Karzai clan and the gallimaufry of self-styled politicians brings to mind the story of a ship that was hit and sunk during the Russian civil war. The captain, a competent and kindly man, was drowned, but the corrupt, cruel political officer survived. A member of the crew wondered aloud about the injustices of fate. His shipmate answered, "Well, comrade, you should know that gold sinks and sh*t floats!"
Extending this analogy to the current Afghan situation, in order to arrive at a solution to the deepening Afghan crisis, the international community will have to flush out the prevailing system and pan for Afghan "gold" to replace it – that is, of course, if it is tired of holding its nose and wants to stop thrashing about hopelessly in the Kabul cesspool while continuing to bleed men and material in Afghanistan.
But, some people would argue, these social flotsam have the support of their ethnic groups, so perforce one has to give due weight to their demands. This is hogwash. They no more represent their fellow Tajiks or Uzbeks than, say, Italian-American mobsters represent America's Italian community or Hispanic-American gangs represent America's Hispanic community – they represent no one but themselves and their gangs of cutthroats. In fact, their own ethnic groups would be happy to be rid of the lot of them, since they're raping and pillaging in their own community, but these inconvenient facts go unreported in the Western media, although the local IWPR reporters do write about it.
Moreover, the majority of Afghans, irrespective of ethnicity, are appalled that the international community accepts these people as their legitimate representatives – it is as if Al "Scarface" Capone, Charles "Lucky" Luciano, Jack "Legs" Diamond, Abe "Kid Twist" Reles, and their ilk had been deemed to be legitimate political representatives of their respective communities during the violent Prohibition era in America.
A final assumption that must be discarded, before moving on to consider the factors essential for a viable political solution, is the shibboleth that conflates NATO's future survival with that of its success or failure in Afghanistan. From the shrill and persistent vocalization of this meme, one would think that the NATO acronym stands for North Afghanistan Treaty Organization!
NATO's "success" or "failure" in Afghanistan depends on how its mission is defined: if NATO's intent is to preserve the status quo in Kabul, then it will fail. On the other hand, if NATO's objective is to prevent the installation of an extremist regime in Kabul, then its mission has a chance of success, provided that it restricts military operations to the minimum necessary to keep things stable, until a political solution for the Afghan problem is found.
The identification and rectification of past factual errors and assumptions are a necessary but not sufficient condition for ending the violence in Afghanistan, because the current mess has both external and internal causes. Moreover, the external factors are more important and determinative of future events in Afghanistan than the internal factors.
The local actors on the Afghan scene are only pawns in a chess game between competing foreign interests. They are fully aware that their political and physical survival depends on pursuing their foreign masters' national interests. The recent violent death of a National Front leader, and the perceived mysterious circumstances surrounding his removal from the Afghan chessboard, has rattled members of the "charmed circle" in Kabul. This is no bad thing and should make them inclined to reasonableness in the future.
Members of the National Front have been agitating for some time for the convening of an international conference about Afghanistan. Forgoing an analysis of their reasons here, it can be taken as an article of faith, based on their past behavior, that their motivation is chicanery aimed at achieving personal ambitions, contrary to the best interests of Afghan society.
Given the catastrophic results of the Bonn conference, it would be unwise to hold such a conference again. Moreover, the UN, which would be the convener, has been totally discredited in Afghan eyes by the partisanship and behavior of its local staff.
Consequently, the most productive course of action would be for the five permanent members of the UN Security Council to hold closed-door meetings in order to agree on a common approach to resolving the Afghan conflict that not only safeguards Afghan national interests but also satisfies the minimum requirements of the majority of the Security Council five.
On the meeting's agenda, Afghanistan's future international role should figure prominently. As I have argued elsewhere, the temperament of the Afghan population demands that Afghanistan play a neutral role in international affairs. If left alone, "malice toward none, charity toward all," along with fierce pride and jealously guarded independence, is as natural to Afghans as the air they breathe.
Consequently, the contentious matter of the deployment of foreign troops in Afghanistan must be addressed.
Unfortunately, the presence of Western forces on Afghan soil has become part of the Afghan problem and therefore can no longer be considered part of any future solution. Despite the ridiculous claims of a deluded Afghan ex-minister while in Canada, the Afghan civilian population neither appreciates nor forgives being bombarded, even by mistakenly dropped "friendly bombs."
So, until Afghan security forces are capable of ensuring internal and external security, there will be a need for a new security architecture.
The proposal that forces drawn from Muslim countries should be used to provide interim stability in Afghanistan, at the conclusion of U.S. military operations, is not new. It was already being considered prior to the Bonn conference. However, the British-inspired ISAF project, which later morphed into a NATO mission, caused the idea to be shelved. The idea now needs to be seriously considered anew, competent and experienced forces need to be identified, and the phased manner of their planned deployment needs to be discussed.
Lastly, there's the matter of how to provide the Afghans with honest and competent governance that can shepherd Afghan society toward the desired goals of security, stability, economic prosperity, and representative government.
The film Brewster's Millions provides an answer. In it, the title character is left hundreds of millions in a will, provided he can spend tens of millions in a very short period of time. Finding (like the UN's recent electoral effort in Afghanistan) that the only way to do this is to become engaged in a political campaign, and devoid of other planks for his political platform, he enters the race with the slogan "None of the Above," meaning his fellow candidates, who are known scoundrels. To everyone's surprise, Brewster wins the election by a landslide.
Similarly, were the international community to approach the Afghan people with a "None of the Above" proposal and suggest the installation of an interim government of competent, apolitical technocrats in Kabul, it would have the overwhelming support of the Afghan population.
However, even if this path were to be chosen, peace and stability in Afghanistan would not be achieved overnight. For the Afghan technocrats who are co-opted to take on the burden of cleansing Afghan society of the present gang culture would face a situation similar to that faced by the FBI task forces that were assembled to fight organized crime in America during the 1920s, '30s, and '40s. But, if foreign support for the various gang leaders is removed, the desired objectives are achievable.
In these days when the Israelis are offering to ‘help’ the Americans by providing lies about Iran which are in direct contradiction to the unanimous conclusion of 16 (!) American intelligence agencies, it is worthwhile to remember that Israel has a long and undistinguished history of providing lies to the United States (Abingdon is a former American diplomat):
“Abingdon said the Israelis provided intelligence to the CIA, and defense attorney Nancy Hollander asked him if he found the Israeli information reliable. ‘No,’ he answered, and she asked why not.
‘I feel the Israelis have an agenda ... they provide selective information to try to influence US thinking,’ he said.”
General Shlomo Brom, a former senior Israeli military intelligence officer, reported to the Israeli government that Israel was a ‘full partner’ in American and British intelligence failures that described Iraqi weapons of mass destruction. The Israelis actually had a secret unit attached directly to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s office which fed disinfo directly to Feith’s Office of Special Plans.
From Stephen J. Sniegoski’s wonderful article “The Israeli origins of Bush II's war” (I’ve removed the footnotes that are in the original):
“Intelligence writer James Bamford cut to the core of the Israeli manipulations:
To gain the support of the American government and public, a phony pretext would be used as the reason for the original invasion.
The recommendation of Feith, Perle, and Wurmser was for Israel to once again invade Lebanon with air strikes. But this time, to counter potentially hostile reactions from the American government and public, they suggested using a pretext. They would claim that the purpose of the invasion was to halt Syria's drug-money and counterfeiting infrastructure located there. They were subjects in which Israel had virtually no interest, but they were ones, they said, with which America can sympathize.
Another way to win American support for a pre-empted war against Syria, they suggested, was by drawing attention to its weapons of mass destruction program. This claim would be that Israel's war was really all about protecting Americans from drugs, counterfeit bills, and WMD — nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons.
Still, in the ‘Clean Break,’ neocons were advising Israeli military action. It should be emphasized that the same people — Feith, Wurmser, Perle — who advised the Israeli government on issues of national security would also advise the George W. Bush administration to pursue virtually the same policy regarding the Middle East, but employing American armed forces. As political observer William James Martin would astutely comment about ‘Clean Break’: ‘This document is remarkable for its very existence because it constitutes a policy manifesto for the Israeli government penned by members of the current U.S. government.’ Martin went on to point out that the similarity between that document's recommendation for Israel and the neocon-inspired Bush administration policy, purportedly designed for the benefit of American interests, was even more remarkable:
It is amazing how much of this program, though written for the Israeli government of Netanyahu of 1996, has already been implemented, not by the government of Israel, but by the Bush administration. The overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq, the two-year-old house arrest of Arafat and the attempt to cultivate a new Palestinian leadership, the complete rejection by Sharon of the land for peace agreement on the Golan Heights, with little U.S. demurral, and the bombing inside of ‘Syria proper’ with only the response from Bush, ‘Israel has a right to defend itself.’
The dramatic similarities between the ‘Clean Break’ scenario and actual Bush II administration Middle East policy are evident not only in the results but also in the sequence of events. Notably, the ‘Clean Break’ report held that removing Saddam was the key to weakening Israel's other enemies; and after removing Saddam in 2003 the United States would indeed quickly threaten Iran and Syria, and talk of restructuring the entire Middle East. Evident, too, is a similarity between actual events and the Yinon proposal of 1982, which also saw regime change in Iraq as a fundamental move in destabilizing Israel's enemies.
To reiterate the central point of this essay: the vision of ‘regime change’ in the Middle East through external, militant action originated in Israel, and its sole purpose was to advance the strategic interests of Israel. It had nothing to do with bringing ‘democracy’ to Muslims. It had nothing to do with any terrorist threat to the United States. Those latter arguments accreted to the idea of regime change as the primary military actor changed from Israel to the United States. But the Israeli government would continue to be a fundamental supporter of the regional military action, even as the ostensible justifications for action changed. The Sharon government advocated the American attacks on Iraq and has preached the necessity of strikes on Iran.
It would appear that for Ariel Sharon during the Bush II administration, the strategic benefits that would accrue to Israel from such a militant restructuring of the Middle East were the same as those that Likudniks sought in the 1980s. But unlike Begin's failed incursion into Lebanon in 1982, the Bush II effort not only relied upon the much greater power of the United States but also was wrapped in a cover of "democracy" and American national interest, effectively masking the true objective of Israeli hegemony. That helps to explain the much greater success of this intervention, which has come at no cost to Israel.
Instead, it has come at a cost to the United States. The United States has tarnished its international reputation through its militarily aggressive actions in contravention of prevailing international norms. It has also had to pay significant costs in blood and money: rather, the American people have had to pay those costs. And the United States has made itself, and the American people, a major target of international terrorism. In short, the benefits derived by the United States from its Middle East military adventure are highly questionable; but that is easily understood if one recognizes that the policy the Bush II administration has pursued did not originate as one to benefit the interests of the United States but rather to benefit those of Israel, as those interests have been perceived by the Israeli Right.”
Note the pattern. Feith, Perle, and Wurmser advocated tricking the Americans into supporting the Israeli attack on Syria by creating faulty intelligence on a mythological Syrian WMD program (that approach hasn’t ended, as witness the recent Israeli lies over the unprovoked Israeli attack on Syria in September), then Feith and Wurmser directly implemented the same deception by manipulating the American intelligence, with the help of Israeli intelligence sources, to create a phony threat from a mythological Iraqi WMD program. In the absence of having direct treason agents in the appropriate places in the American government, the Israelis are now having to do the deception themselves, returning to the ‘Clean Break’ model of attempting to fool the Americans by providing bogus intelligence on Iran. In each case, the intelligence lies are intended to lead to a war that fits Israeli Empire interests, all under the guise of following American national interests in stopping WMD programs. Three proposed wars (only one of which has occurred), three Israeli-Empire motives, three Israeli intelligence tricks, all involving mythological WMD programs in target states.