The Great Game revisited

The Great Game revisited

Charles Ferndale | Arab News

The Israeli Army — which, despite Israel’s veneer of democracy, actually runs that country — has for some decades now pursued certain policies of direct relevance to Muslim countries in its vicinity. Amongst these countries are Iraq, Iran and Pakistan. First and foremost amongst these Israeli policies is the determination of that army to remain the pre-eminent military power in the region. And in order to retain its military hegemony, the Israeli Army must necessarily prevent any Muslim country in the region from obtaining effective nuclear weapons. And if, like Pakistan, such a country already has nuclear weapons, then the Israelis believe it is essential to disable that country to the point where it ceases to operate as a nation militarily. Once we have understood the centrality of this policy to the Israeli Army, then much of what has happened, and is happening, in the region falls into place.

For example, Iraq was developing a nuclear bomb. Israel destroyed the facility where Iraq’s bomb was reputedly being developed. But Iraq still remained a militarily powerful nation that might be a threat to Israel, and it was too powerful for Israel to defeat alone, so Bush and Cheney obliged the Israelis by invading Iraq on false pretexts. The result was the decimation of the Iraqi Army, the division of the country into three areas so it ceased to operate militarily as a nation, and the control of Iraqi oil by companies amenable to US interests. Job done.

The persistent threats to Iran issuing from the White House under Bush were designed to generate a political climate at home that would allow the US to bomb Iran’s nuclear facilities, so as to disable its supposed nuclear weapons program. If Iran had a bomb, it would be of little danger to anyone, because, were Iran to use such a bomb against Israel, as Hillary Clinton said, America would “obliterate” Iran. On the other hand, were Iran to use a nuclear weapon defensively against an Israeli attack, then America would have to respond with more care. So the only result of Iran possessing a nuclear weapon would be to curtail Israel’s power to bully countries in the region.

It follows that any American attack on a supposed nuclear weapons program in Iran could only be designed to maintain Israel’s military pre-eminence in the region. An American attack on Iran’s nuclear program could only have been on behalf of Israel. A clear case of Israel controlling US foreign policy on its own behalf. If Iran is building a bomb, the main reason would be to defend itself against Israel. So the best way to put an end to the supposed Iranian nuclear weapons program would be (i) to disarm the nuclear threat from Israel, and (ii) for NATO militarily to guarantee Iran against attack from its neighbors, especially from Israel. Why has the West not pursued this effective policy that would also reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world? If India were disarmed and Pakistan were guaranteed military protection against Indian attack, why would Pakistan need nuclear weapons? When perfectly rational policies are ignored in favor of dangerously ineffective ones, something fishy is usually up. The Kashmir dispute also falls into this category.

Why are NATO forces in Afghanistan killing Afghans? Surely not for the good of the Afghans. As for democracy, the overwhelming wish of the people is for NATO forces to leave immediately. This is the principal reason for the Afghan national revolt that people in the West call Islamic militancy. The NATO forces are there for two reasons: One, for the oil and gas reserves around the Caspian Sea, which, at the very least, the NATO countries would like to deny to Russia and China; and, two, to destabilize and weaken Pakistan on behalf of Israel. That India would also like Pakistan to be weakened is just an added bonus ensuring India’s participation in the skullduggery, partly by means of a close covert alliance with Israel.

In order to maintain its military dominance in the region, Israel has for years set about destabilizing any Muslim country that poses a threat to its dominance. Pakistan is the only Muslim country with nuclear weapons and Israel is within range. So Pakistan must be weakened to the point at which it ceases to operate militarily as a nation. Pakistan is supposed to be the West’s foremost ally in the fight against Islamic militancy, so Israel cannot attack Pakistan directly, and, if Israel did, she would certainly be defeated. So what to do? Well, two strategies come to mind: One, use America to attack Pakistan for you; and two, train and send into the border regions of Pakistan gangs of thugs willing to commit atrocities that will then be blamed on “barbaric Muslim militants”, suggesting that Pakistan has lost control of its territory to dangerous extremists and so may lose control of its nuclear weapons. Is there any evidence that these policies are being pursued by Israel in Pakistan? Yes, though regrettably my sources must remain anonymous. Perhaps the best-informed person in Afghanistan has said that he knows for sure that the Israelis are training teams in Badakhshan and are sending them into Pakistan’s border regions to commit atrocities. Two British friends who have covered Afghan wars since 1980, tell me the same thing. Rumors of Israeli-trained provocateurs amongst the tribesmen in the Khyber Agency and in Swat are rife. Then there is, of course, the completely public evidence of the daily US infringements of Pakistani sovereign airspace by drones. These drone attacks always kill many more innocents than so-called insurgents. The traditional authority of the tribal elders is weakened because they cannot protect their people, thus further destabilizing the region and allowing the infiltrators easier access. In addition, they weaken the authority of the Pakistan government and of the army, both of which are made to look as if they condone the attacks, which surely is one of the main purposes of the attacks. Perhaps Asif Ali Zardari’s government and the army do condone the attacks, but if so, they do so against the interests of a group of people — the Pashtuns — who already feel alienated from central government. Thus Pakistani unity is further eroded, much to the satisfaction of the Israelis.

That the destabilization of Pakistan has been on the minds of US officials for some time is suggested quite strongly by an article in the Guardian of Aug. 27, 2008. The article entitled “Take this war into Pakistan” was written by the Afghan ambassador to Norway, Jawed Ludin. I assume that Ludin was speaking as Afghan ambassador to Norway and so had the approval for what he said from his government. I am assuming also that since the Afghan government is simply the instrument of the US, the US authorities knew in advance of the contents of the article. Maybe they were testing the water. In this article Ludin says: “Without having to invade Pakistani territory, (a) coalition (of US, Afghan and Pakistani military forces) should establish a viable presence by opening military bases on Pakistani soil. A supreme commander, with deputies from Afghanistan and Pakistan, should be appointed to devise and implement an effective counterterrorism strategy on both sides of the Durand Line… The coalition should also ensure the security of Pakistan’s dangerous nuclear arsenal.”

Earlier in the article the author says, “the US must recognize the utter futility of working with the Pakistani military” which he suggests is untrustworthy and unfit to protect Pakistan’s interests. This implication is rather odd given that later he says that the “coalition of the willing”, that must set up bases in Pakistan to run an efficient counterterrorism offensive, should include the Pakistan military (I take it in only a junior capacity). So here we have a proposed force led by a “supreme commander” of unnamed nationality that will lead Afghan and Pakistani soldiers (the Pakistani leadership having been sidelined) on Pakistani soil (which somehow they have entered without invasion) to take control of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons and to beat all the terrorists, by means undescribed.

Frankly, so bizarre a scheme is too stupid even for Indian and American intelligence officials stationed far from the action. But, if not, then its drift is obvious: The Pakistani military command should be fragmented, disabled, sidelined and the country’s nuclear “arsenal” should come under responsible control (like that of the Afghans, I suppose). Pakistan should be deprived of central military national command.

Events in Waziristan, in the Khyber Agency and in Swat Valley all suggest that the central authorities of Pakistan have indeed relinquished control of these border areas. Balochistan is also in a state of turmoil that makes it impossible for the central authority of the Pakistan government and army to govern there. Much of this is the result of 60 years of gross incompetence and nepotism in the central government and in the army, but it has created an environment easily exploited by Pakistan’s enemies. The Baloch tribes on the Iran side of the border are also being financed by outside agencies, so their insurgency will weaken the central control of the Iranian government.

In short, Israel’s foreign policy in the region, has, with the aid of the US, become a very successful one. The only thing I fail to understand is why the people of these countries let it happen. Especially the militants: They are supposed to be true Muslims, yet they really seem to relish doing their enemies’ dirty work. I suppose when you are very poor, money can buy just about anything. And when you are ignorant, you are easily fooled.

— Charles Ferndale has degrees from the Royal College of Art, Oxford University, and the Institute of Psychiatry, University of London. He divides his time between the UK and Pakistan. E-mail:

A sinful pretext



A sinful pretext

What heroic deed is it that Baitullah Mehsud is gloating over it so boastfully? Isn’t killing of the innocent to be ashamed of, not to be proud of? Isn’t it a sin, no virtuous deed to murder a human being for no crime of his or her? And in what scriptures is it written to slaughter women and children in suicide bombings and bomb blasts? Wherein our noble religion, Islam, teaches this? Wherein it preaches killing and maiming of your own faithful? Doesn’t it prohibit harming of even the innocent infidel? And what kind of a creed is Baitullah practising that he is seducing raw youth into becoming human bombs and butchers of innocent humanity? Isn’t a sin, plain and simple? What kind of a jihad indeed is he waging that he is mowing down in droves his own compatriots in thuggish assaults of his hirelings and murderers? If he is outraged at the Americans’ drone attacks, has he to kill our own people to pay the wages for the aliens’ evil deeds? His logic stinks, and unbearably. It is all perfidy, of the evilest kind. It speaks of a putrid soul and a diabolical mind, bereft of all human attributes and all replete with bestiality. But why is the Islamabad hierarchy providing a ready pretext to thuggish characters like him to operate their fanatical factories and run their murder shops? Why is this hierarchy behaving so spinelessly in bringing to an end the Americans’ criminal drone assaults, causing so much of instability in our polity, sparking so much of radicalisation of our moderate citizenry, and spawning new recruits in shoals for Baitullahs to become their suicide bombers and terrorist slaughterers. Haven’t Maulvi Nazir and Maulana Gul Bahadur, once declared pro-government commanders, turned against Islamabad and joined ranks with Baitullah, once their professed bete noire, precisely because of these drone attacks in their regions? So why is this Islamabad establishment so pussyfooted in getting these attacks stopped when this unacceptable criminality of our American “friends” is evidently proving so disastrous and so destructive to us in every manner? When will this chicken-hearted hierarchy pluck up a bit of courage, get out of its meaningless chant of these drone strikes being “counterproductive”, and speak out firmly that it would have none of it any more? After all, what is it that it is behaving so slavishly and so gratefully to the Americans who are loath even to acknowledge even a bit the tremendous sacrifices this country has rendered in fighting a war whose worst victim it has become itself because of their failures? Over the time, some 2,000 of our soldiers have died and many more gored in this fighting. Have the Americans or their NATO allies ever made even a passing mention of this? Never. They always mourn their own dead and injured, making not even a respectable fraction of the casualties our security forces have suffered. Why; is it because their men are a superior race and ours are no human beings, but just robots or worms that better be crushed than stay alive, and that better be forgotten than be remembered? Nor do they ever speak of hundreds of al-Qaeda leaders and fighters our agencies have caught. They only cry that our tribal region has become haven of al-Qaeda activists who had crossed over from Afghanistan. If so, then who is to be in the dock? They themselves; isn’t it? Where were their warriors when al-Qaeda cadres were crossing over? Sleeping, or munching on pistachios, or what? And where were then their “omnipresent” satellites of which they make so much? Resting or what? There indeed is too much of skullduggery to the American’s discourse. And this nation will rue woefully if the Islamabad establishment doesn’t stand up even now and speak up firmly and unreservedly. Their discourse is sinister; their designs are diabolical. This country is in the deep lap of their conspiracy aiming against its very existence. There, evidently, is a complete convergence of their interests with India in the region and a complete unanimity between the two over their goals in Afghanistan. And that equation spells doom for Pakistan in every way. The Islamabad establishment must not let this happen. It must tell the Americans to stop their thuggish drone assaults. If they don’t, it must tell the nation they have not and will now have to be stopped by us. And it will find the people ready for making supreme sacrifices for their national security and integrity.

Baitullah & teachings of Islam

Baitullah & teachings of Islam

Shahzad Salam Kasi
The cruel act of terrorists from Baitullah Mehsud in Manawan attack has shaken the people of Pakistan, but they can’t take the spirit of being Pakistani from the people of Pakistan. The so-called Ulema of our beloved country have again failed to criticize this Un-Islamic act by Baitullah Mehsud and their so-called Jehadis. Our Islamic scholars always say, “we condemn this act” but only when asked to do so. Can they say openly about these terrorist that; are they Muslims or not? Because these Ulema are excellent on declaring non-Muslims to anyone whom they differ even slightly. So, here is the case of humanity. Can Maulana Fazl-ur-Rehman, Qazi Hussain Ahmad and other Ulema can openly say that Baitullah Mehsud and all his followers are non-Muslims and Kafir ?

Russia, China cooperate on new currency proposals: Kremlin

Russia, China cooperate on new currency proposals: Kremlin

by Staff Writers
Moscow (AFP) March 30, 2009
Russia and China are coordinating proposals on a new global currency that could replace the US dollar as a reserve currency to prevent a repeat of the global economic crisis, the Kremlin said on Monday.”We have received proposals from our colleagues in China, detailed proposals,” President Dmitry Medvedev’s top economic adviser Arkady Dvorkovich said. “Our positions are very similar.

“We have similar positions on the development of the international financial architecture,” he told reporters.

Ahead of the Group of 20 summit in London later this week, the Kremlin has published a raft of proposals to overhaul the global economic order, including plans for a supra-national currency that could replace the US dollar.

China has come forward with similar ideas.

US President Barack Obama has said he does not see why the dollar should be replaced and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said the summit would have more immediate issues to discuss.

“So far, not everybody is ready for that,” acknowledged Dvorkovich. “We will insist on that at all levels.”

Medvedev has said the international community should have a say when the world’s richest countries make decisions with global implications, as in the US financial crisis, sparked by the collapse of the market for subprime or higher risk mortgages.

Moscow also understood however, that many countries were not ready to undertake additional “political obligations,” said Dvorkovich, expressing hope that major economies would at least be open to consultations on the subject.

Dvorkovich said he hoped Russia and other major developing economies would also get an equal say and the attention they deserve during the G20 meeting.

“We are hoping that our voice will be heard but I would like to stress that we do not have a desire to pit our voice against that of our partners,” he said, referring to developing economies Brazil, India and China who join Russia in what is known collectively as ‘BRIC.’

“There will be no separate joint (BRIC) communique, nor should there be,” Dvorkovich said. “This is the summit of the leaders of the G20 countries.”

Critics have suggested China and the United States, whose economies are closely intertwined, would likely steal the show by promoting their own agenda and turning the G20 forum into a ‘G2’ summit.

Dvorkovich said the US and China would have ample time to discuss bilateral issues on the summit’s sidelines

Separately, Dvorkovich said Medvedev would meet Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on April 1, just before the summit. Medvedev was also scheduled to meet US President Barack Obama, China’s Hu Jintao and Britain’s Brown that day.

14 terrorists enter Islamabad, Lahore: intelligence report

14 terrorists enter Islamabad, Lahore: intelligence report

LAHORE/PESHAWAR: Intelligence agencies have warned law-enforcement agencies of the entry of 14 terrorists into Islamabad and Lahore, a private TV channel reported on Wednesday. According to the report, the men are disguising themselves as preachers. It recommends beefing up security at important government and private buildings, hotels, and other public places. Officials in Peshawar told Daily Times security agencies have been warned that seven suicide bombers were planning to carry out a Manawan-style attack on government installations in the NWFP. “We have intelligence that seven suicide bombers have been looking for targets which may be in Peshawar or any other district (of the Frontier province),” senior government officials said. Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud had on Tuesday claimed responsibility for the police academy attack in Lahore and threatened of more attacks “in the next few days”. staff report/daily times monitor

Pakistan, Turkey Afghanistan vow to fight terror

Pakistan, Turkey Afghanistan vow to fight terror

Thursday, April 02, 2009
ANKARA: Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkey on Wednesday vowed to increase coordination among their political, military and intelligence tiers to jointly fight militancy and terrorism and achieve greater economic cooperation to bring peace and stability to the region.

President Asif Ali Zardari, Turkish President Abdullah Gul and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who gathered here in the Turkish capital for a day-long summit, reiterated their resolve to follow up on the decisions taken during the second Istanbul summit.

The three presidents, who were also accompanied by the chiefs of general staff and army staff as well as highest intelligence officials of their countries, focused in their talks on trilateral, regional and international issues of common interest, particularly from a security and stability perspective in the context of the fight against terrorism.

Mindful of the importance of coordination and cooperation in security matters between political, military and intelligence authorities at the regional level, the three countries decided to continue trilateral contacts at different levels.

The three presidents decided to expand and strengthen the trilateral cooperation among Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey, and stressed the need for interaction among their relevant political institutions.

Turkey accepted a request of Pakistan and Afghanistan to host a regional summit of neighbouring countries of Afghanistan for a broader initiative to help the country recover from years of strife, war and infighting.

“It is for the first time that the military and intelligence chiefs of Afghanistan and Pakistan attended the trilateral summit, which is a reflection of deeper commitment to work together,” Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told APP after meeting his Afghan and Turkish counterparts on the sidelines.

The trilateral summit that came only four months after the second summit in Istanbul last year, focused on security and intelligence, with the three heads of states stressing closer cooperation to deal with the extremists more effectively.

Later addressing a press conference with President Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai, Turkish President Abdullah Gul said the focus of the summit was peace, security and prosperity in the region.

“Turkish [people] have always sided with their brethren in Pakistan and Afghanistan. They have a special place in our hearts,” he said. Gul said it was due to the same reason Ankara peace process was launched in 2007. He said: “We know problems of our countries in a better manner and any solution from outside would not be as effective as we would propose.”

According to the understanding developed at the third summit, the three countries will continue to pursue a structured and comprehensive dialogue at different levels; including trilateral military cooperation and training; security cooperation in counter terrorism and counter narcotics; energy projects; transport corridors; establishment of organised industrial zones in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and undertake socio-economic projects on education, health and vocational training.

The day-long summit attained greater significance as it will help Turkey, a key member of the military alliance of the 26 member Nato, convey the perceptions and requirements of Pakistan and Afghanistan at its forthcoming summit in France. Citing the reasons for holding the summit side by side with Nato meeting, the Turkish president said the Untied States was taking keen interest in the region. He said Turkey would play its role in helping the United States understand the situation in the region.

The joint statement issued at the end reiterated the resolve to continue trilateral contacts at all levels. The statement said the three presidents who were also accompanied by their military and intelligence chiefs, covered bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest, especially from a security and stability perspective.

The meeting noted the process initiated at the first summit in Ankara and subsequent meetings of the Joint Working Groups and agreed to continue it forward by including the military and intelligence chiefs of the three countries along with the political leadership in a reflection of complete unanimity at all tiers.

The three countries also agreed that their foreign ministers will meet once a year along with their heads of military and intelligence counterparts to broaden the area cooperation and effectively address the issues confronting the two neighbours.

Turkey is of the view that both Pakistan and Afghanistan need to resolve all their issues, counter extremism, terrorism and militancy and work for the betterment of the people for greater regional peace, stability and solidarity of the two countries.

During the meeting, the leaders reviewed the agreements finalised at the December summit in Istanbul and focussed on ways to seek their early implementation.

Under the decisions taken at Istanbul, Pakistan and Turkey can initiate joint projects on the Pakistan side, besides having similar joint ventures with Afghanistan on the other side of the border.

The trilateral summit is expected to bring Pakistan and Afghanistan closer. Earlier, Turkish President Abdullah Gul hosted a lunch for President Asif Ali Zardari, before the start of trilateral meeting on Afghanistan.

In the morning, the presidents of Pakistan, Turkey and Afghanistan informally met to discuss greater cooperation on security and intelligence sharing, ahead of the formal trilateral meeting later in the day. President Zardari also had a meeting with President Abdullah Gul, which was followed by his talks with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Darkness Renewed: Terror as a Tool of Empire

Darkness Renewed: Terror as a Tool of Empire

Chris Floyd

April 1, 2009

Here’s a purely hypothetical scenario. Let’s say you were a dedicated imperial militarist who believed that your country’s security, prestige and financial interests could best be served by war and the ever-present threat of war. Let’s say you had some really hot and juicy operations going on, endless deadly conflicts that were pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into your war machine and entrenching national policy even more deeply in the militarist philosophy – the machtpolitik – that you believe in.

But there’s a problem. The general public – the cow-like herd out there that doesn’t understand grand strategy the way you and your fellow elites do – is growing weary, and wary, of your Long War. The national treasury is bankrupt, the national infrastructure is rotting, the nation’s communities are dying; millions of people are out of work, losing their homes, losing their dreams, spiraling down into want, privation and despair. Yet you have big plans to escalate the war, expand your war machine, and maintain the global dominance that you believe is the right and natural role for your special nation – and its elites. What to do? How to galvanize the truculent, self-absorbed herd into enthusiastically supporting your vital agenda once more?

Well, here’s one purely hypothetical approach you might try. You goad and provoke violent extremist groups into retaliating against your attacks, your civilian-slaughtering invasions and incursions into their territory. Being unable to confront directly your war machine – the largest, most advanced military force in the history of the world, sustained by a tsunami of public money that each year surpasses the military spending of the rest of the world – they naturally respond with “asymmetrical” operations. At first, these are directed at nearby targets: your supply lines, the forces of your local proxies and allies, and other chaos-inducing depredations in the groups’ own regions, designed to foul the lines of your control and drive you out. Just as naturally, you use these attacks to justify an even greater military presence in their regions. The cycle inevitably, inexorably ratchets upwards and outwards, until at last the extremists strike at your homeland – either with your connivance, or your covert acquiescence, or, in any event, with your foreknowledge that such an attack was sure to come. This is the moment you have waited for; this is exactly what you wanted. Now you can whip the herd back into a martial frenzy, keep the Long War going, and push aside the rabble’s petty, small-minded desires for a peaceful, prosperous life at home, minding their own business.

One never knows exactly what goes on behind the imperial drapery in the Potomac palaces, of course; ordinary American citizens were long ago turned into Kremlinologists of their own government, trying to discern — through ceremonial signs, backstairs gossip, and slight deviations in ritualized rhetoric — just what their masters are really up to. But some cynics darkly suspect that scenarios something like the one sketched out above have already been enacted; for instance, in the “new Pearl Harbor” that struck America on September 11, 2001 – one year after a group channeling the views of future Bush Administration bigwigs (including Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Scooter Libby and many others) had openly pined for a “new Pear Harbor” to “catalyze” the American people into supporting their militarist agenda, which included an invasion of Iraq – whether Saddam Hussein was in power or not.

But leaving aside for now the ever-thorny matter of divining the varying proportion of connivance, acquiescence, foreknowledge, exploitation, incompetence and fate involved in 9/11, we can say this as an established fact: It is the policy of the United States government to provoke violent extremist groups into action. Once they are in play, their responses can then be used in whatever way the government that provoked them sees fit. And we also know that these provocations are being used, as a matter of deliberate policy, to rouse violent groups on the “Af-Pak” front to launch terrorist attacks.

In other words, just as I first wrote in the Moscow Times more than six years ago (and followed up three years later), the United States is deliberately fomenting terrorist attacks in order to pursue its political and military agendas.

[For more on how these policies and similar uses of terrorism and death squads have been realized in Iraq and elsewhere, see “A Furnace Seal’d: The Wondrous Death Squads of the American Elite,” “Ulster on the Euphrates: The Anglo-American Dirty War in Iraq,” and “Willing Executioners: America’s Bipartisan Atrocity Deepens in Somalia.”]

Eagle-eyed Jason Ditz at draws the connection between this policy and the most recent “asymmetrical” strike by a “tickled” terrorist group in Pakistan: the deadly attack on a police center in Lahore by the Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP). The group, led by Baitullah Mehsud, said the attack was in retaliation for the American campaign of drone strikes in Pakistan’s frontier regions – strikes which have killed many civilians along with usually unidentified “militants.” As Ditz notes, one goal of the campaign – which has been intensified by Barack Obama – is precisely the aforementioned fomenting of terrorist activity:

The Obama Administration has launched an ever growing number of attacks in the FATA, generally aimed at Mehsud’s training facilities in North and South Waziristan. In September, then-CIA Director Michael Hayden said the attacks were an attempt to “provoke a reaction” from the militant groups led by Mehsud. It appears that now, six months later, they have finally done so. [Hayden described this bloodsoaked strategy as “tickling” terrorists into a response.]

What’s more, Mehsud has now vowed to carry the fight back to American soil. As The Times notes (via

“Soon we will launch an attack in Washington that will amaze everyone in the world,” [Mehsud declared.] “The maximum they can do is martyr me. But we will exact our revenge on them from inside America.”

Whether or not the rag-tag TTP could actually carry out such a threat is another matter, as Juan Cole notes. But that is not really the point. The point is that once again, a violent group has been knowingly prodded into murderous action. Even better, it has now set itself up as a “deadly terrorist threat” to the sacred Homeland itself: yet another made-to-order supervillain from central casting.

And remarkably, this new, open threat to bring terror to the American heartland comes just days after Barack Obama announced his vaunted surge in the Af-Pak War, citing – what else? – the need to protect the United States from terrorists based in Afghanistan and Pakistan as his chief reason for escalating and expanding the conflict.  Yet another astonishing coincidence to justify the militarist agenda, which needs a constant supply of PR-plausible villains and hyped-up, nation-rattling threats like a junkie needs smack. And once again, we are left to puzzle out the varying proportion of connivance, acquiescence, exploitation, luck, etc., involved in this serendipitous pairing of declarations from Obama and Mehsud.

It is worth looking again at the implications of this policy of terrorist-tickling. As we noted recently, such things are not just counters on the Great Gameboard: they are deadly realities that kill, maim and despoil multitudes of innocent people around the world. So let’s go back to the first glimmers of this strategy in its Terror War context. This is from the Moscow Times article in November 2001:

In [a Los Angeles Times] article by military analyst William Arkin… [comes] the revelation of Rumsfeld’s plan to create “a super-Intelligence Support Activity” that will “bring together CIA and military covert action, information warfare, intelligence, and cover and deception.” According to a classified document prepared for [Donald] Rumsfeld by his Defense Science Board, the new organization – the “Proactive, Preemptive Operations Group (P2OG)” – will carry out secret missions designed to “stimulate reactions” among terrorist groups, provoking them into committing violent acts which would then expose them to “counterattack” by U.S. forces.

In other words – and let’s say this plainly, clearly and soberly, so that no one can mistake the intention of Rumsfeld’s plan – the United States government is planning to use “cover and deception” and secret military operations to provoke murderous terrorist attacks on innocent people. Let’s say it again: Donald Rumsfeld, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush and the other members of the unelected regime in Washington plan to deliberately foment the murder of innocent people – your family, your friends, your lovers, you – in order to further their geopolitical ambitions.

For P2OG is not designed solely to flush out terrorists and bring them to justice – a laudable goal in itself, although the Rumsfeld way of combating terrorism by causing it is pure moral lunacy… No, it seems the Pee-Twos have bigger fish to fry. Once they have sparked terrorists into action – by killing their family members? luring them with loot? fueling them with drugs? plying them with jihad propaganda? messing with their mamas? or with agents provocateurs, perhaps, who infiltrate groups then plan and direct the attacks themselves? – they can then take measures against the “states/sub-state actors accountable” for “harboring” the Rumsfeld-roused gangs. What kind of measures exactly? Well, the classified Pentagon program puts it this way: “Their sovereignty will be at risk.”

The Pee-Twos will thus come in handy whenever the Regime hankers to add a little oil-laden real estate or a new military base to the Empire’s burgeoning portfolio. Just find a nest of violent malcontents, stir ’em with a stick, and presto: instant “justification” for whatever level of intervention/conquest/rapine you might desire.

When the Obama Administration speaks of “continuity” in American foreign policy, this is an integral part of what they are talking about. So look to see much more on TTP and the demon de jure, Baitullah Mehsud, as the bipartisan Long War grinds on and on, with its ever-present need for “catalyzing” – and terrorizing – the American people into support for the militarist project.

Zionists: We hate you because you are evil, not because you are Jewish

Zionists: We hate you because you are evil, not because you are Jewish


April 1,2009

I have been under fire of late from two diametrically opposite quarters. First, the fanatical, self-worshipping Zionists who think that non-Jewish suffering should never ever be compared with Jewish suffering.

Needless to say, this psychotic attitude stems from deep-seated convictions that a Jew is a special creature whose life is worth more than the rest of humanity. Haven’t we noticed, for example, how Israel has made “Gilad Shalit”, the Israeli soldier imprisoned by Hamas, a household name all over the world, while next to nothing is mentioned about the estimated 10,000 Palestinian political and resistance prisoners languishing in Israeli dungeons and concentration camps?

And, second, some pro-Palestinian activists who believe that I should avoid invoking the holocaust in my writings lest this help legitimize the Zionist narrative and inadvertently justify Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people.

To our pro-Palestinian activists, I, with all due respect, would like to say the following. I sincerely believe that we would be walking in the path of immorality if we denied or belittled other people’s suffering. Indeed, it is imperative that we retain our humanity and moral fabric in the course of this legitimate struggle against the evil state. We must never imitate or emulate their ways and tactics. This would be self-defeating, self-destructive and immensely demoralizing.

Moreover, we must refrain from saying or doing things that would make others portray us as inherent enemies of Jews, because we are not.

We also need to be constantly vigilant and cautious about what we say and how we say it, lest we inadvertently besmirch the legitimacy of our just cause.

Israel is so manifestly criminal and ugly that we don’t need to deny anyone’s suffering to prove this plain fact.

In short, we don’t have to shoot ourselves in the foot. It is wrong and it hurts us a lot.

Obviously, the Zionists’ “arguments” are motivated, as always, by ill-will and a malicious desire to silence critics of Israeli criminality whose phantasmagoric expressions we all witnessed recently in the Gaza Strip.

The subject of contention this time has been an article I published a few days ago, entitled “Shame on us,” in which I strongly criticized efforts by some dubious “peace activists” to bamboozle some innocent Palestinian children from some impoverished localities into playing music before “holocaust survivors.”

This is what happened last week when a dozen young musicians from the Jenin Refugee Camp, in the northern West Bank, were taken surreptitiously to Tel Aviv where they were made to play a serenade before some elderly Zionists, some of whom veterans from the many criminal wars Israel had waged on our people. And as I said in the article, the ethnic cleansing of Palestine was not carried out by UFOs but by the very people our children are now being asked to cheer up.

Understandably, the not-so-innocent event left many Palestinians infuriated by the cheap exploitation of these kids for Israeli hasbara purposes. As one who lost three uncles in one day to Zionist murderers in 1954, I felt deeply wounded and humiliated by that event.

I am actually not against reconciliation between Palestinians and Jews. I don’t and never will view Jews as our inherent enemies. Some Jews are actually among the most effective supporters of our national cause. Those we salute for their honesty and morality.

However, it is obvious that true reconciliation in this part of the world requires that the slate be made thoroughly clean. Usurped rights must be returned to rightful owners, and wrongs must be rectified. This I say to honest and conscientious Jews who are genuinely interested in justice and peace.

But to the Zionists I would like to say that the following: the latest point of contention is not about music or even peace. This is first and foremost about human dignity of which the children of the holocaust and their children and grand children and great grandchildren have been trying to rob us.

And whether you like it or not, for us, at least, you represent the real Wehrmacht, the real SS and real Gestapo. You are the Nazis of our time. This is what we see from our vantage point. This is what much of the world sees. This is what many honest and conscientious Jews see.

You stole our country, you murdered our people, you destroyed our homes, and you expelled and dispersed the bulk of our people to the four corners of the world. And after all of this, you have audacity to dupe our children to sing and play music to you? This is simply beyond, far beyond, Chutzpah.

Some of you habitually babble the word “hatred” whenever a Palestinian asserts his people’s humanity and dignity.

Well, you are really sick to the bone if you think Palestinians must sacrifice their dignity in order to become a hate-free people according to the Zionist lexicon. We will not pay tribute to the killers of our children, we will show respect to our grave-diggers.

Besides, who do you think you are anyway to lecture us on hatred? After all, you represent and embody hatred in its ugliest form. The extirpation of a people from its ancestral homeland from time immemorial is a satanic act par excellence. The destruction and obliteration of hundreds of Palestinian towns and villages to fulfill Jewish nationalism is diabolical act of the highest order.

Your recent blitzkrieg in Gaza during which your Nazi-like army ganged up on a helpless, unprotected civilian population, exterminating them with bombs and missiles and incinerating their children with White Phosphorus proved once again that you are no better than the hateful Nazis you curse day and night for what they did to you sixty years ago.

Well, try to get yourselves out of this cocoon of self-denial. The Palestinian people don’t hate music nor do they teach their kids to hate Jews or non-Jews, it is your evil and murderous actions that generate hatred against you not only among Palestinians and Muslims but among many other people around the world.

Just look at your ugly faces in the mirror.

Procuring Academics for Empire: The Pentagon Minerva Research Initiative

Procuring Academics for Empire: The Pentagon Minerva Research Initiative

James Petras

The Pentagon’s military strategists have recognized that they have suffered political losses, with strategic consequences in their recent military invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan. US military support for the Israeli invasions of Lebanon and Gaza, the US-sponsored Ethiopian occupation of Somali, the coup attempts in Venezuela (2002) and Bolivia (2008), have also failed to defeat popular incumbent regimes. Worse still, civilian, family, community and national networks have reinforced the anti-colonial movements providing essential logistical support, intelligence, recruits and legitimacy.

Pentagon strategists, recognizing the socio-political bases of their failures, have turned to willing accomplices in the academic world to provide intelligence, in the form of ethnographic accounts of targeted peoples, tactics and strategies in order to divide and destroy local and national loyalties. The Pentagon is contracting social scientists to develop ‘social maps’ to identify leaders and groups, susceptible to recruitment in the service of the empire. For example, Pentagon-contracted academic ‘field research’ is designed to demonstrate ways in which traditional religious practices and rituals can be harnessed to facilitate imperial conquest through cultural warfare discouraging subjugated peoples from giving their support to national liberation movements. Rather than confront the imperial occupier with a goal of re-establishing national sovereignty, ‘cultural warfare’ strategies direct people to focus on ‘local concerns’. These are a few of the Pentagon funded “research projects” taken up by the ‘academics in uniform.’

The Pentagon is seriously engaged in this military-academic empire building strategy, allocating almost 100 million dollars to contracting academic collaborators and funding multiple ‘research’ projects throughout the world against targeted states, movements and communities.

The “Minerva Research Initiative” (MRI)

The biggest, but not the only, Pentagon-funded empire building research program in the social sciences is dubbed the Minerva Research Initiative (MRI). The MRI has contracted scores of academics from the usual prestigious academic brothels, including the veteran academic hookers and ambitious neophytes among post-doctorates and graduate assistants. These ‘scholars for empire’ are currently engaged in at least fourteen projects. MRI money has attracted a wide assortment of university affiliated psychologists, political scientists, anthropologists, economists, professors of religious studies, public affairs specialists, labor economists and even nuclear physicists from MIT, Princeton, University of California at San Diego, and Arizona State University among others. This Pentagon largess provides what Science (Jan 30, 2009 p 576) (official journal of the American Association for the Advancement of Science) calls a “banquet for a field accustomed to living on scraps.”

All of the regions and groups specifically targeted for the ‘Pentagon-academic’ investigation are currently in conflict with the US empire or its Israeli ally and include Southwest Asia, West Africa, Gaza, Indonesia, the Middle East. The Pentagon’s ideological parameter, which defines the MRI, is the “war on terror” or its ‘Overseas Contingency Operations’, new facsimile under President Obama.

The MRI has a special interest in academics who can target the field of Muslim-Arab organizations and activities, in order to study and develop methods to “diffuse and influence counter-radical Muslim discourse.” In other words, the MRI is contracting academic research, which will allow the Pentagon to penetrate Muslim communities, co-opt the leaders and turn them into imperial collaborators.

MRI is not merely a mechanism of “soft power” – a battle of ideas – it engages US academics in some of the more brutal aspects of colonial warfare. For example, the Pentagon-funded Human Terrain Teams (HTT), which operate in Afghanistan, are deeply immersed in the identification and torture/interrogation of suspected resistance fighters, civilian sympathizers and members of extended families and clans. One San Francisco State psychology professor on the MRI payroll, with longstanding ties to Pentagon counter-insurgency operations, is deeply involved in the “study of emotions in stoking or quelling ideologically driven movements.” Covert occupation intelligence operations have been deeply involved in “stoking” hostility between Shia and Sunni communities in Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, and Afghanistan. Torture and harsh interrogation techniques, used in the Middle East and Afghanistan, are based on academic studies of cultural and emotional vulnerabilities of Muslims and are used by US and Israeli military interrogators to “break” or cause profound mental breakdown of anti-occupation activists (“quelling ideological movements”).

Two US professors who solicited and secured major funding under MRI, one Eli Berman of the University of California San Diego and Jacob Shapiro of Princeton are working with Israeli counter-insurgency academics in researching what it takes for the Jewish state to manipulate Palestinian communities “to counteract grass-roots movements such as Hamas” (Science Jan 30/09) .

Berman and Shapiro have their own academic empire building ambitions, feeding off the Pentagon largesse and its military driven empire building. With the Pentagon money Berman claims “I’ll be able to do surveys and experiments around the world, partner with additional organizations and bring postdocs as well as several graduate students. We’ll be able to accomplish things in a matter of years rather than decades.”

This contemporary version of Dr. Strangelove with his version of instant counter-insurgency formulas cooked up by a world network of academics in uniform can poison the academic ambience – in much the same way that the Professor ‘Bermans’ at Michigan State, MIT, Harvard and elsewhere developed techniques for search and destroy missions against grassroots movements during the Viet Nam War. The danger and appeal to academics of Pentagon funding is especially acute nowadays, given the economic depression and the pseudo-progressive image of the Obama regime. Wall Street bailouts and the crash of the US stock market have reduced university endowments resulting in sharp reductions in academic budgets, salaries and research funding especially on non-military, non-business related research. The Obama regime’s double discourse of talking peace and escalating military budgets, increasing troops in Southwest Asia and extending sanctions on Iran may entice academics to justify the latter by citing the former. To procure academic recruits to the MRI stable, the Pentagon organized a workshop in August 2008, under the ideological façade of “complete openness and strict adherence to academic freedom and integrity.” Subsequently the Pentagon claimed to have received 211 inquires from academics seeking a place at the imperial trough.

Notwithstanding the Pentagon’s claim of success in procuring academics, there are counter-signs appearing in the academic world, especially in light of the highly publicized kidnapping, torture and interrogation of thousands of Muslims and activists throughout the world including in the United States, by Special Forces.

Outside the far-right there has been a widespread reluctance among academics to be associated with a government identified with abuses at Abu Gharib and Guantanamo prisons, the shredding of the US Constitutional protections and open ended colonial wars of occupation.

Even in the case where powerful pro-Israel academics and lobbyists have successfully secured the dismissal of highly published professors critical of the Hebrew state, these vindictive purges were openly opposed by scores of professors around the country including several dozen Jewish academics. More recently, hundreds of scholars and researchers in the US, the United Kingdom and Canada, horrified by the Israeli war crimes in Gaza, have called on universities to boycott Israeli academic institutions and individuals who collaborate with the Israeli Defense Forces and the Mossad in the destruction of Palestinian institutions especially the bombing of universities in Gaza.

The principled stand of academics critical of Israel and US policy notwithstanding, distinguished academics who have substantially challenged the empire through their research and publications are not immune from retaliation designed to discourage other intellectuals: A recent case in point is the suspension of academic medical epidemiologist, Dr. Gilbert Burnham of the Bloomberg School of Public Health at John Hopkins University. Dr Burnham was publicly reprimanded and suspended from directing any research involving ‘human subjects’ for 5 years because of ‘ethical breaches of confidentiality’ (Science, March 6, 2009 Vol 323 page 1278). These ‘ethical violations’ referred to his co-authorship of the first rigorous large-scale epidemiologic survey of mortality in Iraq during the US invasion and occupation. Extensive site surveys throughout Iraq found that upwards of 600,000 Iraqi civilians had died from violence between the time of the US invasion in March 2003 and the summer of 2006. The results of this study of imperialist war-induced death and destruction, published in the prestigious medical journal Lancet in October 2006, was denied by a furious Pentagon but confirmed by subsequent studies. The so-called ‘ethical violations’ referred to a minor technicality: the incomplete coding of some of the names of the Iraqi families interviewed on the Arabic language survey sheets. For imperialist institutions, like Johns Hopkins University, using the phony pretext of ‘protecting the privacy’ of the hundreds of thousands of nameless dead in a US war of aggression to punish a distinguished epidemiologist send a message of intimidation to scholars to refrain from documenting the genocidal consequences of imperialist wars on a colonized people. By publicly punishing Dr. Burnham on these trumped up charges, the Pentagon-John Hopkins University are sending an unambiguous message to academics not to research and reveal the real human costs of military empire building. One thing is clear, the identity of those tortured or dispossessed on the basis of policies developed by the Pentagon sponsored Minerva ‘academics’ will certainly be kept ‘confidential’ –and very likely hidden in mass graves.

The fact that the Bloomberg School of Public Health levied extraordinarily severe punishment on one of its own faculty epidemiologists for a technical methodological error (the usual procedures is a private reprimand) and the fact that the sanctions were given the widest public notice indicates the highly political nature of the entire process. What is not clear is whether the financial backers of the Bloomberg School (with their own Middle East Agenda) may have had a say in the punitive decision.

We can expect the Obama regime, with its ‘missiles for peace’ rhetoric and populist images, will provide a cover for Pentagon recruitment of liberal academics to “work for change from within.” Unmasking the role of the Pentagon’s Minerva Research Initiative as an integral part of Obama’s military escalation is a challenge to all academics who are opposed to empire building and who support the reconstruction of an American republic supportive of international rights of self-determination.


James Petras is the author of more than 62 books published in 29 languages, and over 600 articles in professional journals, including the American Sociological Review, British Journal of Sociology, Social Research, and Journal of Peasant Studies. He has published over 2000 articles in nonprofessional journals such as the New York Times, the Guardian, the Nation, Christian Science Monitor, Foreign Policy, New Left Review, Partisan Review, TempsModerne, Le Monde Diplomatique, and his commentary is widely carried on the internet. The James Petras web site:

Man dies in London protests on G20 summit eve

Man dies in London protests on G20 summit eve

Posted: 02 April 2009 0741 hrs

Man dies in London protests on G20 summit eve

LONDON: A man died Wednesday after collapsing at a demonstration in London’s financial district, the scene of earlier violent clashes ahead of the Group of 20 summit here, emergency services said.

After a day of protests across the British capital to mark Thursday’s meeting of world leaders here, a man died in hospital after falling down unconscious inside a police cordon near the Bank of England headquarters.

Police and the London Ambulance Service said they were alerted by a member of the public and tried to resuscitate the man — despite at one point being pelted by bottles from protesters — but he was declared dead in hospital.

It was not clear how he died, but several people were earlier injured when anti-capitalist protesters held in a police cordon surged against the barriers following violent clashes and an attack on a bank that led to 63 arrests.

Thousands of protesters rallied outside the Bank of England headquarters Wednesday ahead of the G20 summit, where world leaders will seek a response to the global financial crisis.

Anti-war activists also peacefully protested outside the US embassy in another district of the capital.

Police said about 4,000 protesters, including anti-globalisation, anti-war and environmental activists, converged on the financial district to demand more help for the poor and the punishment of bankers they blame for the crisis.

Some of the demonstrators smashed their way into the offices of the state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) near the Bank of England, breaking the windows and hurling out office equipment including computer parts.

Riot police protecting the main doors of the building came under a hail of glass bottles, beer cans and eggs, while other officers entered the bank to try to repel anyone attempting to get inside.

“Scum” and “Beat inflation — eat the rich,” were sprayed in graffiti on the windows of the office, which had been closed for the day as a precaution.

Outside the Bank of England activists scuffled with police, hurling taunts, paint bombs, firecrackers and glass bottles, while baton-wielding police responded with occasional charges to keep masked demonstrators at bay.

Demonstrators chanted: “Build a bonfire, build a bonfire. Put the bankers on the top.”

Protesters taunted bank staff watching from the balcony, urging them to jump. The bank walls were left covered in graffiti.

The violence calmed briefly but flared up as dusk fell, with protesters held in by police cordons charging the lines. Some tore down the crash barriers and dragged them towards the police, before riot officers surrounded them.

A shop dummy dressed as a banker was hanged by a noose from a lamp post, and then torched, with bits of the burning effigy hurled at police officers.

Several people were injured in the clashes, including one girl whose hair was soaked with blood as medics bandaged her head.

Neil Caffrey, an unemployed 45-year-old from London who had blood streaming down his cheek, claimed a policeman had caused his injury.

He told AFP: “I was standing my ground peacefully, there was a surge forward and he attacked me with a big metal truncheon.”

Asked about the raid on the RBS office, he said: “I saw one man pick up a large metal pole and smash the window. So what? He smashed a window, he’s angry. Sometimes a man has to shout to be heard.”

London police commander Simon O’Brien said: “It did seem to us from CCTV and police on the scene that they tried to find a way to ramp up the protest and hijack it into violence.

“We saw a determined attack on the RBS where… there was a clear attempt to throw lighted material in that premises.”

The protests stretched police to the limit, with 5,000 officers already deployed to protect US President Barack Obama, British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and other G20 leaders in London for the summit.

– AFP/yt

Obama’s Chicago Crowd Begging for Martial Law

Federal troops to quell urban violence?

Black on Black Love founder asks Obama to send help

Obviously, President Obama can’t read the tons of mail he receives. But there’s one letter floating around the White House that I hope he reads.

That letter is from Edward G. Gardner, a prominent Chicago businessman and the founder of Black on Black Love, the city’s pioneering anti-violence campaign.

Gardner is asking Obama to send federal troops to urban areas that are now under siege by domestic terrorists fighting gang wars.

Our children are dying in the streets.

Yet so far more attention has been paid to the violence in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Here are a few excerpts from Gardner’s impassioned plea:

“We realize that you are a strong proponent of ‘bottom up’ solutions that start within the community. Yet, the community-based approaches will only work when it is made evident that the lives of our youth are a national priority. That understanding will only come about with the presence of federal troops, stationed on the streets of America for the purpose of keeping our young people safe.

“Over the past couple of decades, Black on Black Love has held an event called ‘No Crime Day.’ Its purpose was to show that if we could have a day without crime, we could have a week without crime, and eventually crime and violence within our cities would permanently cease. Our hope is that this message will continue to live and inspire our communities. But we can’t do this alone. Without your support this becomes one more futile effort, another ant-sized solution in the face of an elephant called ‘gun violence.’ In this war zone in which we live, where children are afraid to walk across the street, our efforts will only have meaning if they are supported by the federal government, and that support can most effectively be demonstrated through the deployment of federal troops to the streets of America.”

•  •  •  •

Gardner and the board members of Black on Black Love have not yet received a reply from Obama or from anyone on his staff.

However, they did receive notification from the White House that they should resend the registered letter by regular or e-mail because it is virtually impossible to sign for all of the registered letters the president receives.

Spencer Leak Sr., the founder of Leak & Sons Funeral Home, serves as chairman of the board for the nonprofit. He also signed the letter, along with historian Timuel Black and Francis Wright, CEO of Black on Black Love.

“We feel that something extreme must be done about this domestic terrorism,” Leak said.

He argues that the Chicago Police Department has a “serious morale problem” and that could make it even more difficult to curtail the crime in embattled neighborhoods.

“We all can look at the numbers right now and see that we are going to have a summer that is going to be just as violent as the other summers,” Leak said.

When I called, Leak was just completing funeral arrangements for the 30th Chicago Public Schools student killed this year.

Rakeem Robinson, 15, died last Thursday from gunshots he suffered in a shooting last year in South Suburban Harvey.

The number of CPS students who have been killed so far this year has surpassed the number of students killed in the previous school year.

“We are trying to let the president know we respect the full plate he has, but this is something that has not been addressed by the administration,” Leak said.

What Gardner proposes is indeed controversial. But how many children have to die before we acknowledge that we are at war in our own country?

Gardner wrote:

“We have committed troops to Iraq and Afghanistan to protect their children. So it only makes sense that since ten times as many minorities are being killed in the streets of America, America needs to commit troops to protect the children who are being killed right here.”

•  •  •  •

Because Obama and several of his advisers come from Chicago, they should be familiar with Gardner’s long crusade.

Everyone wants something from the White House, and Gardner is no different.

He wants to save lives.

I hope his letter is given the attention it deserves.

Saudi Arabia IS “al Qaida”


Saudi Arabia IS “al Qaida”

Saudi Arabia paid the bills for half  of the costs of building an international army of mujahedeen to fight the Soviets.

Saudi Arabia helped pay the cost of sending those international jihadis all over the world.

Saudi Arabia paid the full cost of creating thousands of radical Wahabbi madrassas in Pakistan and in nearly every Muslim country.

Saudi Arabia is consistently linked to funding of Sunni jihadi groups in the Middle East.

The majority of the suicide bombers in Iraq have been Saudi citizens.

Most of the captured foreign fighters coming into Iraq are Saudis.

Fifteen of the nineteen identified hijackers on 911 were Saudis.

HIGHLIGHTS FROM: Pakistan’s Western Frontiers In Tumult

By Ramtanu Maitra

Within a very short time, the situation worsened. Aided by Saudi funding, to spread Wahhabi-led jihad inside the tribal areas, and huge sums of cash generated

by the opium explosion inside Afghanistan, militants almost paralyzed the Pakistani troops inside the FATA, and Islamabad was unable to maintain law and order in the area. As it stands today, Islamabad’s writ is virtually lost in the FATA, and weakened vastly in Balochistan and the NWFP.

The Swat Valley, located at the northeastern part of the NWFP (Figure 1), has already become autonomous, and has imposed Wahhabi-style Islamic Sharia law, in violation of Pakistan’s constitution. For all practical purposes, Islamabad has handed the Swat Valley over to the Saudi-funded Wahhabis.

By pursuing the old colonial policy towards the Baloch people and the tribal areas, Pakistani leaders have opened a floodgate to various forces in Britain, who would like the area separated from Pakistan, to form a buffer between oil- and gas-rich Central Asia; to the Saudi-funded Wahhabis, who are on a rampage recruiting terrorists and setting up Islamic schools (madrassahs) to convert moderate Muslims to hard-core Salafism in Pakistan and Central Asia, with the plan to set up an Islamic Ummah (nation) under a caliphate.