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25 August 2010

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William R. Cumming

Well why we know that Pakistan is a complex country based on economics, ethnicity, language and culture (just as the US)it is evident that we want to persist in fighting blindfolded? Wondering if this leads some in US policiy and military circles to wonder why and create resentment? PL what is your explanation? Mine is corruption and stupidity here and in Pakistan and the belief that the American polity cannot be trusted with the truth. The truth being complexity not simplicity. Hey are we really down to one war? Heard coordinated attacks exceeding a dozen in Iraq recently? Here is my belief? The foreign policy elite in the US believe that only by cooperating with the elites of other countries even if totally corrupt or self-dealing and undercutting US interests, that cooperation is still better than what might be around the corner? How do we know--because we know how those corrupt authoritanian (usually) governments really operate because they often reflect the way the US operates. The never-ending story? iaesuauasatrearssucltnrr

Jose

This post, plus the previous post "Mossad in America - Giraldi", makes me wonder if we truly are to stupid to be a superpower.

Shouldn't the people that knew about the double cross be charged with treason or accessory to murder?

We need to understand that Pakistan's national interest can not allow a pro Indian government in Kabul, so how will COIN solve this dilemma?

Implode Pakistan?

Do we really want to live with the consequences of that mess?

Another question, why are we pointing the finger at Iran for the Afghan mess if we knew what the ISI is doing since 2004?

I love this quote:

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg? Four. Calling a tail a leg doesn't make it a leg. ~Abraham Lincoln

Fred

Looks like Karzai did in Afghanistan what the neo-cons friend Ahmed Chalabi was trying to do in Iraq.

What was National Security Advisor (and subsequantly Secretary of State) Condolezza Rice saying or doing about this?
How about Iran's good buddy Elliot Abhrams? Not to mention such policy heavyweights as former Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs Karen Hughes. I wont even bother to ask about President Bush and Vice President Cheney (or his daughter Liz).
What a success for the 'Project for a New American Century'.

LeaNder

Sir, Colonel, Patrick Lang,

all I remember from my times in US conspiracy circles post 911, which - I studied literature, felt too much enamored with coherent narratives - was the Pakistan/Afghanistan/Indian perspective. And it spite of my at times "feminist" perspectives I didn't even consider the attack on the Taliban as a proper approach to 911. But what do I know?

LeaNder

Correction, I didn't realize I can use Firefox again. And I can't see what I posted anymore.

But yes, the Afghan/Pakistan/India context felt the center not all the distractions, or Machiavellian uses of 911 to take down the "new Hitler" Saddam, felt the most interesting part of 911, which includes Daniel Pearl and his misuse (?) in narratives I didn't even want to read, since his couldn't be published anymore.

How much of this is a narrative made coherent for us readers? You tell me or FB Ali?
http://books.google.de/books?id=66hZAAAAMAAJ&q=pearl+inauthor:Bernard-Henri+inauthor:L%C3%A9vy&dq=pearl+inauthor:Bernard-Henri+inauthor:L%C3%A9vy&hl=de&ei=H1Z1TJbMHIvNjAebqqSZBg&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=2&ved=0CDkQ6AEwAQ

Eliot

Sarah Chayes called the revitalized Afghan insurgency a "Pakistani Invasion." It's largely correct, while the Taliban are largely Afghan they are dependent on Pakistan for funds, material, and logistics. They could not sustain the insurgency without that aid.

Cooperating with Islamabad makes little sense under these circumstances. We can hope that aid and continued American pressure will influence Pakistan to change directions but that is foolish. Pakistan considers Afghanistan part of it's existential war with India and will never relinquish it's "right" as kingmaker in Kabul. They will never support anything other than a Pakistani client state.

LeaNder

Sorry; blind flight, I wasn't aware I could post via Firefox again, but have the distinct feeling something was unfinished or unedited: I wish I had more time for the Afghanistan/Pakistan/India angle.

Long introduction to a question to our dear Colonel, and FB Ali, is this worth reading, or is it more an attempt to seize the day with "reality-fiction":
http://www.amazon.com/Killed-Daniel-Pearl-Bernard-Henri/dp/0971865949

I of course appreciate anyone else's comment on the topic, both recommendations on what else to read and the publication above.

rst

The BHL book is kinda hysterical, so great is his fear (and demonization) of Pakistan. There are some interesting details, but they are better contextualized elsewhere. BHL is a bit of a dilettante journaliste, with unsavoury neocon overtones....

Cameron

B-H Levy is an ardent zionist who also believes Roman Polanski has suffered enough. What else would you like to know about him? You can read him fairly regularly at Huffington Post, if you can stomach either BHL or HP.

JohnH

Where is the modern day Joseph Heller of Federico Fellini to make art out of this nonsense?

The storyteller would not even have to be creative, only tell it like it is. Surely, someone must be up to the task.

Norbert N, Salamon

The Problem of Pakistani duplicity re USA should not surprise the USA elites, for these elites were forcing Pakistan to act against her own self-interest:

Pakistan wants to keep Afganistan as a semi-dependency, but especially keep India, Tadjiks and other non Pahhun people out of Government influence.

Versus the Soviet they helped the USA/CIA/etc cabal, versus the USA they keep their national interest re Pashun in front.

fasteddiez

What none of the posters here have addressed is: first, The Intel Community knows this "stop the presses!" information about the ISI; second, the NCA knows about it, as do the top commanders in the armed forces.

Therefore, there is tacit agreement amongst all of the U.S. leadership elite to use the Pakistani armed forces as a contractor for the exact mission of: a, facilitating Taliban, etc. offensive military operations (ingress, egress); and b, killing American troops (not to mention NGO's, State Dept., etc.

Those scumbags are actively, knowingly killing their own kind....there, I said it (well, perhaps not their own kind on a stratified, class type of model). And to think they like to use the troopies as prop backgrounds every time they run their mealy mouths, while speechifying on military installations.

The U.S. approved, ISI evacuation of large numbers of Jihadis from Kunduz, at the start of the conflict, should have been a heads up to all, on the double dealing proclivities of these superannuated cretins.

They do this so no one can hang the blame of "losing another war," on their sorry asses. This is also why they wheedle and plead for another baker's dozen of Friedman units....in order to maintain momentum, and keep our warriors' morale high. Yep good buddies, any of all y'all buying this shite?

JohnH

The farce goes on: "Key Karzai Aide in Corruption Inquiry Is Linked to C.I.A."
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/26/world/asia/26kabul.html?_r=1&hp

At what point can we officially stop calling this a war and begin calling it a money laundering operation--Chinese money to government debt to private pockets?

FB Ali

I would suggest that we take a more careful look at this. William Dalrymple has lived in India for about 25 years; he has a farm there. This article represents the Indian point of view on the issue, especially after the recent turn of events in Afghanistan which the article says represents a major strategic victory for Kayani and Pakistan's military, as well as a grave diplomatic defeat for India. There’s a lot of angst and anger there, as well there might. After all, India had Afghanistan pretty well sewed up.

The charges made against Pakistan also need another look. I have no personal knowledge of the goings-on there, but it may well be true that in 2004 and 2005 there was overt assistance to some insurgent groups by the Pakistan military for operations in Afghanistan (Dalrymple lumps all of them together as “Taliban”, but these are most likely to have been Haqqani’s fighters). I doubt very much that this has been the case in the last couple of years, in fact ever since the US formally agreed that Pakistan’s interests would be protected in a final settlement in Afghanistan. The exception would be for insurgent attacks on Indian assets in that country.

The issue of “treachery” and “two-timing” is interesting. Such things happen between individuals, not countries (unless there is a formal pact). In March this year Col Lang titled a post on Israel-US relations: "Countries have interests, not friends." (he also called that an excellent principle!) That is equally true for the US-Pakistan relationship. The US is pouring money and material into Pakistan, not out of friendship, but because it needs that country to fight its enemies, al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Pakistan is obviously doing enough of that to warrant the continued provision of this aid. It never contracted to become the US’s vassal.

Pakistan knows that, if it suits US policy down the road, it will ditch Pakistan’s needs and interests in Afghanistan. Or, possibly, the US will decide to leave without safeguarding them. It is natural for it to make its own provisions for the aftermath. The basis for the policy is defensive, not offensive: it is to avoid being encircled by India. In earlier posts here I have outlined what I believe is the Pakistan military’s nuanced relationship with the various insurgent groups (the characterization in Dalrymple’s article is quite crude).

William R. Cumming

With over 100 million Muslims, and almost 1/2 of the country under siege by the Communists (Praxelites?)it is interesting that everyone thinks India is such an island of stability in an Islamic sea! To me India is while nominally a democracy its leadership rides a tiger just as much as the leadership in PRC. Is this all related in the sense that anyone is truly able to control any particular outcome in South or East Asia?erla

Arun

William R. Cumming - who characterized India as "an island of stability in an Islamic sea"? Such characterizations don't do anybody any good.

FYI, please follow the events in Bangladesh. The Supreme Court there has banned religion-based parties. The government is removing from mosque libraries the works of Abul Ala Maududi, who is considered to be evil genius behind the Islamization of Pakistan. The traditional policy of hostility to India has been abandoned by the current government (remains to be seen if it outlasts this government) and economic ties with India are growing. India has extended a billion dollar line of credit to Bangladesh, meant to improve ports, roads and railways. The intent on both sides is to make Bangladesh the regional transport hub and thereby improve its economic prospects.

So currently 2/3rds of the Muslims of South Asia live in (relatively) stable and progressive states.

Where is this island that you speak of?

Gautam Das

(1) Col. Lang,
Re the Dalrymple quote on the Taliban attacks on Indians in Kabul.

Dalrymple doesn't mention that the two Indian Army officers killed were unarmed doctors of the Medical Corps, a not insignificant fact not usually mentioned in the international Press reports. They were both part of the Indian Medical Mission.

(2) William Cumming,

You're right about India's own difficulties, though the large number of Muslims isn't really a problem, even though there are indeed some unhappy elements, including many in the Kashmir Valley (who not the only Muslim community in the state of Jammu & Kashmir - the others are not sympathetic to those of the Valley). The Communist leadership of the aboriginal disaffection with the Indian state is indeed more serious. The word you're looking for is 'Naxalite' , from a Communist agrarian rebellion that began in 1969 in a north Bengal village called Naxalbari. That rebellion was squashed and the movement also died down on its own in later years, but gave its name to later agrarian Communist rebellions in other regions in peninsular and central India. The word has become a generic name for a rural Maoist Communist agrarian movement, mostly against economic and social inequities - the grievances are real, and inexcusable.

Gautam Das
India

VietnamVet

Colonel,

This is a provoking series of posts.

It should not shock everyone that American media and the government are framing the Middle East wars in the best possible light; all the better to keep ripping off American tax payers. But, what the journalists and generals keep ignoring is the cultural and religious aspects of the wars. China, Pakistan and India are all involved and all have different political and religious views of the Hindu Kush.

What is delusional is to think that American can continue to keep fighting forever in a never ending mountain war. This weekend’s rally in DC is headlined to “Restore Honor”. Will one of Speakers dare to state we need our troopers back on our Southern Border to stop the spread of drug killing into America?

Charlie Wilson

Mr Vet:

Re: Tax Payers

"If God did not want them sheared, He would not have made them sheep".

I suggest we round up all the drug users and ship them south. That way they can be close to what they crave. In recompense we can take an equal number of theirs so our lawns are forever green and our pools clean so our brats don't get sick.

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