ThereAreNoSunglasses

American Resistance To Empire

GOV EX.COM Mocks Latest Citizen Effort To Remove Obama

[This is why there will NEVER be an “American spring,” no matter that the rest of the world is fully capable of rousing the concerned and the angry into a political “critical mass.”  Between the masses of Am. unemployed (who cannot waste scarce resources to flock to DC), those fighting the “minimum wage” struggle to survive day to day, the disabled (who need the help of others to go), war veterans (who love war) and the shrinking Middle Class (who are either too afraid to endanger their own jobs, or the rest, who could care less), American resistance is impossible….UNTIL….resistance becomes a means for survival, or after the New Dark Ages overtakes us all. 

UNTIL “We The People” become a nation of economic refugees, who are willing to mass around Washington by the millions, like the “BONUS ARMY” of WWI veterans, led by heroic Gen. Smedley Butler.

But….we can continue to hope, or to look for such a mass-movement to save us, since most of us refuse to do anything like this to save ourselves, our families, or even to save our own country. 

Until PROTEST becomes PATRIOTIC, like the motivated veterans of the first great war, Americans will helplessly, watch with envious, unfounded anticipation, as American psywarriors and an army of effete diplomats manage to ignite “Springs” and “colored revolutions” around the world.  

Perhaps the CIA subversives adapted the many lessons learned in the process of turning the American people into a nation of SHEEP into an opposite plan of action, giving them a template for social agitation.  Such a template, if applied to selected target audiences, would allow the psy-operators to produce a nation of ravenous wolves, who would to serve as proxy forces for the Empire builders.]

How to Manage Expectations for Your Rally to Overthrow the American Government

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A protester holds a "Don't Tread on Me" flag during a protest outside the statehouse on the first day of the South Carolina Legislature. A protester holds a “Don’t Tread on Me” flag during a protest outside the statehouse on the first day of the South Carolina Legislature. Rainier Ehrhardt/AP


10,000,000 protestors?  MORE LIKE 1,000

Retired Army Col. Harry Riley expects that somewhere between 10 million and 30 million people will help him shut down Washington on Friday for Operation American Spring. Operation American Spring, in case you didn’t get your invitation, is a militia-heavy protest explicitly aiming to force Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, and Eric Holder from office. This is not going to happen. 30 million people will not show up for Riley’s protest. And the protest will not overthrow the government.

So, for the benefit of the future of the Overthrow Obama protest movement, here is a guide to managing expectations and making your attempted coup the best version of itself.

Learn from the Examples of Others

Had Riley based his estimate on anything other than, we presume, the numbers he’d like to see in the papers, he’d know that promises to send We the People to the door of American power rarely meet lofty turnout estimates. Last October, “10,000” truckers were reportedly on their way to literally clog the Beltway and shut down traffic in protest of Washington politics. In reality, about 30 truckers showed up, and they caused no delays worth mentioning. In November, Larry Klayman promised that “millions” would show up at his rally “to occupy Washington D.C” and call for the overthrow of President Obama. Instead, the crowd looked more like this:

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Of course, this advice applies beyond the realm of the “overthrow America” protest genre. In 2012, a coalition of progressive groups planning to march on the Tampa RNC failed to top 500 in attendance, despite estimates of thousands. And Glenn Beck famously estimated that his 2010 “Restoring Honor” rally would draw 300,000 people to the Lincoln Memorial. While still an indisputably enormous event, Beck had a crowd of about 87,000 people instead, based on the most generous of reliable estimates.

Despite the symbolism of crowd size, journalists who have ever actually tried to cover a protest or rally know that it’s very difficult to get accurate head counts. In other words, there is some leeway here when it comes to numbers — no one will fault you for saying 10,000 people would come to your protest, if it’s really only more like 8,000. The effect is the same. The best estimate of the crowd at the famous Million Man March is 837,000, for instance, with a large margin of error of plus or minus 20 percent. But you have to make sure the crowd will be big enough to fake it, at the very least. If you say that 10 million people will attend your weekday rally, you’re setting yourself up for a great disappointment that would impress even the Millerites.

Look at Some Polls

Riley’s high estimate of 30 million people amounts to a little under 10 percent of the entire U.S. population. While no one has polled reliably on whether Americans want to forcibly remove Obama and several other members of the federal government from office by force, we do have some polling on American attitudes towards the president and the government in general. Polling on impeachment is tough, but the most reliable figures out there seem to estimate that as much as 35 percent of the entire population would favor the House of Representatives bringing impeachment proceedings against the president (depending on how the Huffington Post asked that question, however, results varied widely).

35 percent! That’s more than 10 percent, so Riley’s in the clear, right? Not exactly. Take a look at those attendance figures up above. Under a million people showed up for the Million Man March. Glenn Beck’s highly publicized rally, at the height of his influence and with a still-fresh Tea Party, was under 100,000. By comparison, Operation American Spring’s Facebook Page has 800 likes, and Riley’s explanatory video promoting the rally has about 9,500 views:

Larry Klayman promised that “millions” would show up at his rally “to occupy Washington D.C” and call for the overthrow of President Obama. Instead, the crowd looked more like this:

In order to get even the low Riley estimate, nearly a third of all Americans who would support some sort of impeachment proceedings would have to take Friday off from work, travel to Washington, and stand with the militias for the protest. It’s not impossible that such a thing would happen. But it almost certainly won’t.

Have a Back Up Plan

Operation American Spring has a very detailed, widely-circulated plan. Mission? “Restoration of Constitutional government, rule of law, freedom, liberty “of the people, by the people, for the people” from despotic and tyrannical federal leadership.” It continues:

Assumptions:

  • Millions of Americans will participate.
  • American veterans and patriots are energized to end the tyranny, lawlessness, and shredding of the US Constitution.
  • Government is not the target, it is sound; corrupt and criminal leadership must be replaced.
  • Those in power will not hesitate to use force against unarmed, peaceful patriots exercising their constitutional rights.
  • Patriots may be incarcerated, wounded or god forbid; killed.

It goes on, outlining the plan of action, with the assumption that 10 million people show up to participate:

Phase 1 – Field millions, as many as ten million, Patriots who will assemble in a peaceful,non-violentphysically unarmed (Spiritually/Constitutionally armed), display of unswerving loyalty to the United States of America Constitution and against the incumbent government leadership in Washington D.C., with the mission to replace with law-abiding leadership. Go full-bore, no looking back, steadfast in the mission.

Phase 2 – One million or more of the assembled must be prepared to stay in D.C. as long as it takes to see Obama, Biden, Reid, McConnell, Boehner, Pelosi, and Attorney General Holderresign or be removed from office.

Consistent with the US Constitution, as required, the U.S. Congress will take appropriate action, execute appropriate legislation, deal with vacancies, or U.S. States appoint replacements for positions vacated consistent with established constitutional requirements.

Phase 3 – Principled leaders such as, Former Representative Allen West, Senator Ted Cruz, Doctor. Ben Carson, Senator Mike Lee, Former Senator Jim DeMint, Senator Rand Paul, Governor Scott Walker, Senator Jeff Sessions, Representative Trey Gowdy, Representative Jim Jordan, appointed by their peers, would comprise a tribunal and assume positions of authority to convene investigations, recommend appropriate charges against politicians and government employees to the new U.S. Attorney General appointed by the new President.

This plan would certainly send a message, but given the above, it seems prudent to make sure you have a Plan B in case the crowd is less than historically unprecedented.

The Curse of Zionism and the Endless Abuse of the Palestinian People

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[SEE: Israel protests Former Jordanian Foreign Minister For quoting Hitler]

The big Zionist lie and the task ahead

jordan times

by Kamel S. Abu Jaber

Influential American writer of the late 19th century H.L. Mencken once wrote of mass psychology: “The men… people admire the most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth…”

In his book “Mein Kampf”, Adolf Hitler states that in “… the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility; because the broad masses of a nation are always more easily corrupted in the deeper strata of their emotional nature…”.

The Zionist big lie about Palestine — “a land without a people” — that the entire Western world adopted, and the biblical, Talmudic myth of the “chosen people” have been the most important factors behind all the tragedies and atrocities that Palestine and the Palestinians have been subjected to since the First Zionist Congress in Basel, Switzerland, in l897.

Our Arab-Muslim civilisation has never had a moment of rest, or peace of mind, since Zionism was able to penetrate Western civilisation to the point where tens of millions of Westerners, the neoconservatives, adopted that esoteric Talmudic myth, placing Zionist interests before and above their own national interests.

We Arabs, Jordanians and Palestinians especially, are victims of a torrent of lies by a few international media magnates that every day enter every room of every household, propagating not only sex and violence but also, above all, the Zionist ideas of the extreme right.

American Secretary of State John Kerry has been travelling to the region for some time now in an effort to bring about peace between Palestinians and Israelis.

So far, his efforts have been shattered against the rock of Israeli resistance.

What will get Israel to agree to a settlement is not going to be good sentiments or feelings, wishes or intentions.

What is needed is a counterforce, be it military, political, economic or the oil weapon.

Unfortunately, such force is not available now, nor does it appear to be likely in the near future.

And while we are arguing and fighting among ourselves about Jordanian-Palestinian identity, right of return, Sunni-Shiite issues, etc, the land continues to be swallowed up by the insatiable appetite of a settler-, citadel-minded Zionist state supported by the full force of the West.

Joschka Fisher, former foreign minister of Germany, recently wrote regarding peace in our region: “No such hope currently exists for the Middle East…” (The Jordan Times, January 31-February 1, 2014)

An Arabic proverb says: “The rope of lies is short.”

Hopefully that will prove to be true in the case of Zionism, too, though for that to happen, we need to intensify our efforts in that direction.

I believe that Jordanians and Palestinians alone are a match for Israel, and that while we will welcome any support from other Arabs, Muslims or others, we can face Israel alone.

We have a great storehouse of sympathy and support throughout the world, even in the West: people whose sense of fairness, justice and humanity has made them stand with us and against the lies.

And these are the people with whom we should remain in close and constant contact.

It is perhaps time for the appointment of a high-ranking roving ambassador for Jerusalem affairs, personally deputised by His Majesty King Abdullah and the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, whose mission would be to attend every meeting, conference, symposium that discusses Jerusalem, Palestine and all other related issues, with the authority to call for meetings, even with heads of state, should the need arise.

By the terms of the l994 peace treaty with Israel, Jordan was entrusted with the care and protection of the holy places in Jerusalem.

The agreement signed by King Abdullah and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas last year is only a reminder of that sacred duty.

As the first qiblah of Islam and holding the most sacred shrines of Christianity, Jerusalem needs to be kept in the hearts and minds of just people everywhere, and His Majesty’s ambassador should be the symbol of that trust.

The writer is director of the Royal Institute for Interfaith Studies and former foreign minister of Jordan. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.

Langley Orders Reverse Rhetoric In Ukraine…Calling Putin Obama

Ukraine PM: Russia Wants to Start World War III 

voa

Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk chairs a meeting in Kyiv, Apr. 25, 2014.

VOA News
Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is accusing Russia of wanting to occupy Ukraine “militarily and politically,” as both Kyiv and Moscow mass troops close to their mutual border.

Yatsenyuk warned Friday that Russia’s actions could lead to a wider military conflict in Europe. He told an interim Cabinet meeting that Moscow “wants to start World War III.”

U.S. President Barack Obama also criticized what he called Russia’s “further meddling” in eastern Ukraine, where armed, pro-Russian separatists have occupied government buildings.

Speaking in Seoul, Obama said he would talk to “key European leaders” later Friday about implementing wider sanctions in the event Russia further escalates the situation.

He said Russian President Vladimir Putin must decide whether he wants to see his country’s already fragile economy weakened further because he failed to act diplomatically in Ukraine.

His comments echoed that of U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who said Thursday that Moscow is making “an expensive mistake” by failing to restrain the separatists.

Underscoring the threat to Moscow’s economy, credit agency Standard and Poor’s cut Russia’s credit rating to BBB- . The agency said it is concerned about increased capital outflows from Russia, and said the rating could be cut further if sanctions are tightened.

Both Obama and Kerry have accused Russia of failing to uphold the four-party deal it signed last week calling for all parties in Ukraine to lay down their weapons and vacate public buildings. Kerry said Moscow has not taken “a single step” to de-escalate tensions since the deal was signed in Geneva.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on Friday blamed the West for raising tensions, saying the Pro-Russian militants would only lay down their weapons if the Ukrainian government first clears out its own protesters in the capital.

Lavrov also denounced Kyiv’s security operation to clear the pro-Russian militants, calling it a “bloody crime.” Ukrainian officials on Thursday said the crackdown killed up to five people.

Ukraine’s Interior Minister Arsen Avakov is vowing the operation will continue. On his Facebook page, Avakov said “terrorists should be on guard 24 hours a day,” but that civilians have nothing to fear.

The flurry of diplomatic exchanges come amid rising tensions along the Ukraine-Russian border, where a huge Russian military force is gathered. A Ukrainian diplomat at the United Nations told VOA that Moscow has doubled its military presence on the border to about 80,000 troops.

Pakistan Moves Heaven and Earth To Silence Pak Media Criticism of ISI

Pemra chief ‘sacked’  4-17

Geo News senior anchor Hamid Mir was shot six times  4-20

Third party exploited senior journalist’s criticism of ISI

Pakistan’s Geo TV in trouble for accusing ISI over attack on journalist Hamid Mir

ndtv

Edited by Zoya Anna Thomas

Pakistan's Geo TV in trouble for accusing ISI over attack on journalist Hamid Mir

File picture of journalist Hamid Mir.

Karachi:  Pakistan’s Defence Ministry today moved to cancel private news channel Geo TV’s license, saying that it has accused the ISI of attacking journalist Hamid Mir, without evidence.

The attack on leading Pakistani journalist Hamid Mir last week in Karachi had led to unprecedented criticism and discussion on television channels about the ISI’s dubious role.

The President of Geo TV, Imran Aslam, has openly accused the ISI of targeting journalists, calling for a probe.

Mr Mir was shot and wounded on Saturday in an attack that his family also alleged was orchestrated by the Inter Services Intelligence or ISI.

According to a statement released in Karachi, the Defence Ministry has provided the authority with evidence that suggests the media group is involved in smearing the image of ISI.

“The news channel has breached the code of conduct by accusing Director General of ISI Lt Gen Zaheerul Islam of masterminding the attempt on senior journalist Hamid Mir,” the statement said. “All those who are involved in the mala fide broadcast, riddled with baseless allegations, will be taken to task.”

Hamid Mir, who hosts a prime-time current affairs talk show on the Geo News channel, was attacked on Saturday while travelling by car to his office from the airport in Karachi.

The government has announced a special commission to investigate the attack and offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

A spokesman for Karachi’s Aga Khan University Hospital said Mr Mir was “conscious and stable”.

The shooting came less than a month after gunmen tried to murder another prominent liberal journalist, Raza Rumi, known for criticising the Taliban.

A Nation and An Economy Guided By the Principle of Creative Destruction

http://www.princeton.edu/~achaney/tmve/wiki100k/docs/Creative_destruction.html

Creative Destruction In the Global Energy Industry

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http://www.troymedia.com/2014/04/17/creative-destruction-in-the-global-energy-industry/

creative destruction 3

creative destruction 2

creative destruction 1

Using Social Media To Help the CIA To Destabilize the World

World instability

Security forces from Provincial Reconstruction Team Ghazni secure a landing zone while Polish medics arrive to provide medical care in Ghazni province, Afghanistan. Poles and militaries from other Eastern European countries participated in Iraq and Afghanistan with the hope that someday when they need military assistance, the U.S. would provide it, said Robert D. Kaplan, chief geopolitical analyst for Stratfor.

WASHINGTON (Army News Service, April 11, 2014) — Twitter, Facebook and other types of social media are contributing to global instability, said Robert D. Kaplan, chief geopolitical analyst for Stratfor — a team of intelligence experts.

The use of social media, he explained, has been shown to unite and rally demonstrators at a moment’s notice, enabling them to focus their energies on toppling regimes in just a matter of days. An example would be the use of it during the so-called Arab Spring, which began in December 2010.

Kaplan was keynote speaker at the 25th Annual Strategy Conference in Carlisle, Pa., sponsored by the Army War College, in partnership with the Joint Staff/J7. His remarks and those of others are not official U.S. Army doctrine. Rather they are meant to inform the Army of possible challenges it faces in the coming years and decades, officials said.

FAILED STATES

Failed, collapsed or weakened states pose a regional security problem and even a national security threat for the U.S. and its Army, Kaplan said, defining a weak or failed state as one where travel outside the capital can be dangerous — places like Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen.

Social media is not the only factor that will increasingly destabilize the world in the next 20 years, he said.

Ethnic and religious sectarian problems will continue to fester and create failed states in places like Africa and the Middle East, areas he compared to the post-Roman Empire Christendom in 4th, 5th and 6th-century Europe, where doctrinal battles and violence occurred between various sects.

Syria, Iraq and the Central African Republic area examples where that is occurring and Kaplan believes it will further spread as passions increase.

Another factor in the rise of failed states, he said, is the end of colonial rule and the strongmen who followed.

Like it or not, he said, the European powers sliced up the world in spheres of influence and domination, where protest and chaos was effectively quashed.

When that domination ended in the 1960s, strongmen — who were seen by their people as leaders against imperialism — emerged. Since these dictators now felt like they had moral authority, they governed how they pleased, he said, adding that it wasn’t always in the best interest of their own people, but at least they maintained tight control.

But with the era of colonial rule and strongmen ending, people are getting restless and want change, he said; however the change each tribe, ethnic or sectarian group seeks may be very different and this results in friction and clashes.

WEAK INSTITUTIONS

One of the most important factors creating global instability, he said, are weak institutions that Americans take for granted; things like the departments of motor vehicles, water and electric companies, police and firefighters. These are not top-level government agencies, but are services that make society function.

In vast swaths of Africa and Asia, these institutions are weak and in some cases nonexistent, he said. Weak institutions in turn give rise to feeble state identities. Feeble state identities in turn breed discontent and anarchy.

That discontent then often manifests itself in militant, radicalized groups like Hamas and Hezbollah, which can create regional security problems. The kinds of people that join these types of groups, he said, are more willing to die for a cause than they would be for the state.

Non-state actors, he said, are also empowered by new technologies that have the potential for doing a great deal of damage; for instance offensive cyber capabilities and plastic explosives that can fit inside a pocket. A very small group of people with ideologies and these types of weapons can cause a great deal of instability.

There’s not much the U.S. will be able to do in the coming years to address failed states, he said, because the money to do it might not be there. The U.S., however, can take selective actions it deems important using its special operations capabilities.

Meanwhile, he said, the Army and other services remaining strong can serve as a deterrent to those who would do America harm. In other words, even if the Army isn’t engaged in direct combat, its strength will dissuade potential aggressors.

DEALING WITH CHINA

As if failed states aren’t bad enough, Kaplan said there’s plenty to be concerned about with respect to non-failed states like China and Russia.

For centuries, China was effectively separated from India by the Himalayas. Then, new technologies made the world a much smaller place.

Now, the Chinese are building warships and routinely sailing in the Indian Ocean and they’re building airfields in Tibet for fighter aircraft. India too is building warships and is using its satellites to spy on the Chinese.

This can cause a great deal of mutual suspicions and mistrust, Kaplan said.

The Chinese are mimicking what the U.S. did in the 19th and 20th centuries in the Western Hemisphere. The U.S. made the Caribbean its own lake and controlled the Panama Canal — the passage between the Atlantic and Pacific.

In China’s case, officials look at the East and South China seas — and increasingly the Indian Ocean — as part of their strategic sphere of influence. In other words, it’s their Caribbean.

For now, it isn’t in their interest to attack the U.S. because their military is not as strong as the U.S. and they can take their time building it up and gaining experience in using new military technologies, he said. Also, Kaplan doesn’t believe the Chinese are in meetings planning a world empire.

The problem for the U.S. with regard to China, he said, is that China will face internal instability over the coming decades because of an economic slowdown and tumultuous ethnic and social transformation.

When that occurs, the best way for China’s leaders to hold sway over their people will be to dial up nationalism, he said. That nationalism would take the form of provocations to its neighbors.

DEALING WITH RUSSIA

With respect to Russia, Kaplan said it too is acting in the same way the U.S. has in the past, dominating countries close to it like Ukraine, which he said the Russian people consider part of their heritage.

Throughout history, the Russians have felt the need for a buffer zone between their country and Europe, especially since it was periodically invaded by the French, Germans and others. America, he said, has been insulated from that threat by two oceans.

Russia’s need for buffers has not gone unnoticed by its eastern European neighbors, who are becoming increasingly uneasy, as Russia has proved willing to use force in Crimea and as it builds up its military forces elsewhere, he said.

Poles, Romanians and others are not reassured that they’ll get military assistance if needed from Western Europe, whose armies have been downsized much more than U.S. Army, he said. As well, Europe has become dependent on Russia for its energy needs, so this gives the Russians a great deal of leverage.

Because of Eastern Europe’s mistrust of getting help from the rest of Europe, Kaplan said they’ve turned increasingly to the U.S. for help, participating in U.S.-led exercises and contributing troops in Iraq and Afghanistan with the hope that in the future, the U.S. will remember their loyalties.

PARTNERSHIPS

So what can America do in the coming decades?

Besides maintaining a strong military, Kaplan said the U.S. can partner with other powers, India and Japan, for instance.

India views the U.S. presence in the Indian Ocean, for example, as a counter to China’s buildup. And in turn, he said, the U.S. values India’s military, although there isn’t a formal treaty like NATO in place.

The other thing the U.S. can do, he said, is to organize its interagency structure in a more vertical manner, like the British did in the 19th century and earlier with its East India Company. Economic, political and military agencies worked hand-in-hand in foreign policy, although today that policy would be viewed as imperialistic.

The U.S. military can use the vertical model to its benefit in national security by working more closely with the Department of State and agencies like the U.S. Agency for International Development.

An important area of national security where Kaplan sees the U.S. going in the right direction is the continued development of its home-grown energy requirements, which makes America less reliant on energy imports from places not always friendly to the U.S.

Besides his work for Stratfor, Kaplan, is a national correspondent for the magazine “The Atlantic,” author of “Asia’s Cauldron: The South China Sea and End of a Stable Pacific,” and in 2011 and 2012, he was chosen by “Foreign Policy” magazine as one of the world’s “Top 100 Global Thinkers.”

The 25th Annual Strategy Conference in Carlisle ran April 8-10.

Pakistan Continues To Live In “American Dream” Land

[The following is a concise, well-written, semi-lucid explanation of the current "iffy" state of affairs in South Asia, but the writer is completely delusional, as are ALL analysts associated with any of the major Pak news outfits.  He does not hesitate to detail the dire situation in Afghanistan, but neither does he miss a beat in broadcasting the Army's message of reassurances: "It is unlikely that Washington will let the Taliban grow again."  Like all Pak writers, this one assumes that the US is seeking to stabilize the region, despite ALL the evidence to the contrary, proving that the CIA and Pentagon are engaged in a perpetual effort to DESTABILIZE the world, so that they might have a free hand to murder and maim, at will.  Washington could care less (except for all of the political game-players within the Democratic-Republican war party) what happens to the people of either country, once they get clear from the mess that they have created there.  Afghanistan is doomed to the same fate as Iraq, to suffer another civil war...Pakistan is just doomed.] 

The only way

the news pak

Yasir Masood Khan

There are many speculations and assumptions running through the region about the US retreat and its repercussions on Afghanistan and its neighbouring countries.

It seems obvious, without a shadow of a doubt, that Afghanistan will be dragged again into a state of chaos, turbulence and anarchy. History has so far been unkind to that troubled country and every now and then it is dragged back to square one.

One wonders whether or not the US will be quitting Afghanistan for good. If so, then what’s next in the kitty of US strategies? Many scholars, intellectuals and think tanks anticipate a purely Afghan civil war. On top of that, the time spent there by the US with all its underlying motives will have been in vain. What that simply means is that it was a waste of time, energy, lives and resources on the part of the US.

Half of the game plan is already on the move — I refer of course, to the election’s outcome, which is just around the corner. So far Karzai has acted wilfully to his whiplashing master and will continue to do so. Nonetheless, recent resentment against US demands could prove to be expensive for Kabul. More likely still, the next government will be another dummy setup (Dari speaking), installed on the dictation of the US. Even if Karzai, otherwise, uses his own political influence in the presidential elections, the fate of the Afghan people will remain the same.

It is unlikely that Washington will let the Taliban grow again. A 60 percent turnout in the elections already assures the downfall of the Taliban. Still, the Taliban could get hold of the Pakhtun belt. Restricting the Taliban would be more conducive for US strategists, while preventing any backing or fuelling towards Taliban simultaneously.

The US departure could also have drastic implications for Pakistan. Unfortunately, Islamabad as usual seems to be in a whirlpool of ifs and buts, and no firm stance is appearing at the surface. Savvy foreign policymakers, political scientists and the military establishment must come up with visionary goals to cope with such an alarming situation.

India’s elections could also play an important role and one has to wait and see how Indian influence in Afghanistan is going to shape up. India is the fifth biggest donor in the reconstruction and rehabilitation process in Afghanistan. This can bring a double advantage to India — economic stability and alliance against Pakistan. For national security measures, Islamabad must remain vigilant to secure its north-west border to sustain peace and avoid cross-border terrorism.

China’s foreign policy in case of a civil war in Afghanistan is still unclear. Meanwhile, Beijing is busy promoting economic cooperation and continues to build infrastructure and roads. Even a continuation of bilateral trade depends on the volatility there; unrest in Afghanistan can put an end to China’s successful economic ascension.

Iran, as a neighbouring state, is highly concerned about the post-withdrawal scenario in Afghanistan. It has vowed nearly $1 billion in aid at international aid conferences held to help Afghanistan. Its aid in the first decade after the Taliban’s ouster was estimated at about 12 percent of the total assistance for reconstruction and development.

Tehran and Kabul have multiple disputes over water, Afghan refugees and drug trafficking. Tehran equally blames Kabul and Washington for not shutting down the production of opium. One should remember that Iran is a major corridor for narcotics smuggling to Middle Eastern and other European countries. Since the 1979 revolution, Iran claims to have lost more than 3,700 members of security forces fighting drug traffickers, many of whom were heavily armed. Tehran estimates that it spends around $1 billion annually on its war on drugs.

Washington has to play an anchor role before walking out; it must leave behind peace, tranquillity and stability in Afghanistan. This chiefly depends on whether the economic aid would be sufficient for Afghanistan to run its military affairs and secure the state from insurgency and internal turmoil.

As for the neighbouring states, Afghanistan would require them to pursue their foreign policies with utmost care. India, China, Pakistan and Iran will need to bury their animosities and grudges and stand together to avoid another conflict in the region. Peace is the only way forward for a prosperous and stable South Asia.

The writer is a research officer at the Institute of Regional Studies, and part of the visiting faculty at Quaid-e-Azam University.

Email: yasirmasoodkhan@gmail.com

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