The U.S. Federal Budget Pipeline: Where Do The Dollars Drain?

The U.S. Federal Budget Pipeline: Where Do The Dollars Drain?

By Emily Spence

In order to raise sales and personal royalty gains, Alan Greenspan, just prior to the release of his book The Age of Turbulence, carried out a public relations blitz dragged out for a whole week in which he made remarks similar to those conveyed in his hardback. These included statements such as “I am saddened that it is politically inconvenient to acknowledge what everyone knows: the Iraq war is largely about oil.”

Indeed, many Americans and people from other countries knew that domination of a region rich in fossil fuels represented the primary motive for the Iraq incursion and the only significant reason that Iran is not similarly assaulted is that it has an arsenal, unlike Saddam Hussein, capable of rendering serious damage in retaliation (i.e., aimed at U.S. troops in Iraq). Besides, the U.S. military is stretched too thin as it is with approximately 1,000 bases worldwide, along with operations occurring on every continent, such as the AFRICOM sorties, which are generally tied to oil company interests as the map at the first reference shows. [1]

Furthermore, plans to invade Iraq were long in the making, but the problem was finding the grounds, legal or not, to obtain the support of the public for such an outrageous act of violence, which to date has led to the displacement of millions of Iraqis and the slaughter of more than one million individuals, including over 4,300 U.S. troops. In tandem, George W. Bush and Tony Blair knew that the UN inspectors would not find Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and were hard pressed to find a reason that could justify the war. So the U.S. President came up with imaginative alternatives:

“Bush told Blair the US had drawn up a provocative plan ‘to fly U2 reconnaissance aircraft painted in UN colours over Iraq with fighter cover’. Bush said that if Saddam fired at the planes this would put the Iraqi leader in breach of UN resolutions.

“The president expressed hopes that an Iraqi defector would be ‘brought out’ to give a public presentation on Saddam’s WMD or that someone might assassinate the Iraqi leader. However, Bush confirmed [in a memo written approximately two months prior to America’s preemptive attack on Iraq that] even without a second [United Nations] resolution, the US was prepared for military action. The memo said Blair told Bush he was ‘solidly with the president.'” [2]

This in mind, it behooves the public, particularly the American public, to realize that U.S. armed invasions and covert operations, in general, have little to do with protection of Americans from global terrorists and more to do with obtainment of fossil fuels on behalf of the Pentagon and favored companies, whose heads contribute to government officials’ campaign funds and offer other perks like high paying jobs upon the completion of terms in office. As such, it would be more accurate were the directors of the Department of Defense to change its name to the Department of Assault. Doing so would, certainly, better reflect the United States history that has been well chronicled by Bill Blum, who indicates, “From 1945 to the end of the century, the United States attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist movements struggling against intolerable regimes. In the process, the US caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair.” [3]

He, further, reminds that, prior to 1945, there existed a total of 168 separate invasions of countries around the world by the United States. This information was derived from the revision to the 1969 rendition of the Appendix to a report researched by the Foreign Affairs Division, Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, US Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1975 and listed as “Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-1945. [4]

Meanwhile, Alan Greenspan summarized, in talks and The Age of Turbulence, his displeasure with the Bush administration. “My biggest frustration remained the president’s unwillingness to wield his veto against out-of-control spending,” Greenspan indicated. “Not exercising the veto power became a hallmark of the Bush presidency. . . To my mind, Bush’s collaborate-don’t-confront approach was a major mistake.”

It, certainly, was and, in the Obama administration, it still is a major mistake compounded by other factors. These include the bailout funds committed as of December 2008 in the amount of $8.5 trillion, which  represents 60% of the GDP [5] and the $1,449 billion, 54% of the federal budget, allocated for military  expenditures in 2009. (This is in contrast to $1,210 billion, which represents 46% of the $2,650 billion total intended for the 2009 federal outlay, which is largely comprised of money borrowed from Chinese government controlled institutions). [6]

Out of such a reckless and cavalier setting, the total federal debt, itself, has blossomed to around $100 trillion [7], according to some researchers, based on the ongoing pattern of spending loaned funds and expecting future taxpayers to foot the ultimate bill in a ponzy-like scheme, one that makes the USA inarguably the world’s biggest debtor. (While Barack Obama seems to consider spiraling healthcare costs as the primary driver of the public deficit, surely he jests. Based on the tabulations above, it is clear that warfare and preparedness for extended wars is the largest cost that taxpayers subsume.)

Simultaneously, the IMF and WB directors, in a way, must be beside themselves with glee over the mounting shortfall. Like the personification of Bernie Madoff, Simon Legree and Uncle Scrooge all rolled into one, they draw together in a perfect vision of eager anticipation over the financial killing yet to come.

As Vi Ransel explains about them in two sections of “Manufacturing Poor People”:

“The World Bank loans money to a poor country to “help” in its development, to build up a part of its economy. “If”, and almost certainly when (that’s The Plan) the poor country is unable to pay the usurious interest on the loan because of declining exports (again, The Plan), the country has to borrow more money in order to service the debt. Enter the [International Monetary Fund].

“The IMF extends more loans, with more of those stainless steel strings more tightly bound around the victim, er, I mean, loan recipient, trussing up the “benefiting” poor nation like a Thanksgiving turkey about to be devoured by the West, The Rich. The country which borrows money… must give tax breaks to Western transnationals. The country must slash wages and refuse to protect local businesses from being ravaged by cheap imports and corporate takeovers.

“The country is further strong-armed to sell, at fire sale prices, all its government-owned mines, its railroads, industries and utilities to privately-owned, mostly-foreign corporations. The country must allow its forests to be clearcut and its land to be strip-mined. Money for education, healthcare, food assistance and the transportation infrastructure must be sheared back to service the debt. And the interest on the debt, through the wondrously magical Western miracle of compound interest, keeps growing and growing and growing and growing and on and on and on and on… And all the while, the people of the country are less able to feed themselves, since they are forced to grow cash crops for export to feed that debt service.


“Well, U.S. transnationals didn’t intend to ever let that happen again. There would be no more giving a real leg up to potential competitors. And thus we arrived at where we are today. And, in fact, the ruse works so well, that since the Seventies the plutocracy has been using the very same template here at home, – with an increasingly heavy hand. See U.S. auto workers, healthcare, the bank bailout, foreclosed homes, 600,00 jobs a month jettisoned, the murder of California, et al. Who, or what, will be next?” [8]

Will it be the entire USA? Perhaps it will be in that the public finances in America are, currently, arranged   along this line:

In Fiscal Year 2008, $412 Billion was spent to pay back interest on money owed to holders of the National Debt. It represents the third biggest federal expense and the full amount owed in 2009, due to continued borrowing, will be, in all likelihood, higher as it equaled $214 Billion by May. Furthermore, educational spending in 2008 received a mere 4.4 percent of the budget while the accumulated estimated total for the interest owed on the National Debt is estimated to be $445,095,000,000, although the sum will, obviously, increase as more money is borrowed. [9]

Meanwhile, the current monthly aggregate for the 2009 interest owed comes to roughly $42.8 billion per month while the entire monthly federal outlay is approximately $220.8 billion per month. Therefore, the $42.8 billion in interest paid back each month represents around 5% of each tax dollar spent or, posed another way, totals over nineteen cents for each dollar expended while the budget deficit, itself, entails loans close to fifty cents on every dollar paid out with an increase in borrowing in 2010 by $87 billion to $1.3 trillion over 2009 anticipated to occur according to a White House spokesperson. [10]

In addition, there will, ultimately, be less tax dollars to collect in that presently America is hemorrhaging jobs at one every thirty seconds according to some analysts. So why not spend money to bail out the families living in their cars and under tarps in tent cities by providing employment and income through a widespread Works Progress Administration (WPA) and extended Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) programs as occurred during the Great Depression?

Wouldn’t such a plan go further than bailouts to financial institutions and the ever present resource wars as a way to jumpstart the American economy, as well as US taxpayers who are watching 73 % of every tax dollar going to military expenditures (54%) and interest payments (19+%)? (With only 27% left for everything else, it forces one to wonder from where funds are going to derive for universal public health care, future Social Security payments, Medicare, Medicaid, public education and assorted other programs, such sustainable benign energy provision on a model close to energy independent Denmark’s enviable prototype as described by Thomas L. Friedman in “Flush With Energy”. [11]

Then again, the Pentagon directors probably have concluded that they need their resource wars in that the U.S. military is the single biggest user of oil in the world and it takes lots of oil to get the further oil supplied to American favored oil companies so that it can be returned in large measure and at high expense to the armed forces. In other words, it requires the type of assurance for a continued oil supply that only beaten down countries and puppet governments can render.

On account, open combat and covert operations will continue to be the favored means to obtain fossil fuels. Consequently, the military will continue to drain away the majority of the U.S. federal budget while the US covert operations budget, by itself, will surpass a staggering $50 billion for 2009.

“‘That’s the largest-ever sum,’ according to Aviation Week’s Bill Sweetman, a longtime black-budget seer — a three percent increase over last year’s total. It makes the Pentagon’s secret operations, including the intelligence budgets nested inside, ‘roughly equal in magnitude to the entire defense budgets of the UK, France or Japan,’ Sweetman adds. All in all, about seven and a half percent of the Defense Department’s total spending is now classified.” [12]

By and large, the ongoing U.S. financial mess provides signs that, while China’s rising, the USA will never gain back its former glory days that gave rise to both world dominance and a large middle class. As the country continues to lose jobs at the rate of approximately one every thirty seconds to either offshore company sites or business cutbacks, it has nowhere else to go except to sink down into increased hardship, as well as some degree of destitution, for an increasing number of Americans and the nation as a whole.

The unending act of misappropriating a land’s collective assets year after year has a way of ensuring this final result. As Ethel Grodzins Romm alleges,“What could our worst enemy do to damage this strong and beautiful country? He could do no better than to get us to squander our human and natural resources on dubious missions and then trick us into plugging our ears against the howls of those who object.”

[1] Major Oil Corporation and U.S. Military Activities in Africa (

[2] Confidential memo reveals US plan to provoke an invasion of Iraq (

[3] The question of oil: U.S. corporate interests in control of … (

[4] APPENDIX II from ‘KILLING HOPE’ by William Blum (

[5] Cost Of Bailout Hits $8.5 Trillion-Total sum represents 60 per … ( bailout-hits-85-trillion-total-sum-represents-60-per-cent-of-gdp/).

[6] The Federal Pie Chart (

[7] The Real US Federal Debt Has Ballooned to More than $100 … (

[8] Manufacturing Poor People (

[9] Tax Chart 2009 Notes & Sources (

[10] US to borrow 46 cents for every dollar spent (

[11] Op-Ed Columnist – Flush With Energy – Op-Ed – (

[12] Pentagon’s Black Budget Grows to More Than $50 Billion … (

Emily Spence is an author living in Massachusetts. She has spent many years involved in human rights, environmental and social services efforts.

Who Wants Pakistan to Wage War Against Itself?

[The other shoe has finally dropped, the secret assassins (who have only one goal, to force the Army to wage total war against the local “Taliban”) have made their first attempt to eliminate the other half of the anti-Mehsud faction, Turkistan Bettani.  The Generals should ask themselves these questions: what superpower relies on “Islamists” to carry-out its dirty work, who has just put a Special Ops. general in charge of a war of assassins on Pakistan’s border, and who insists that the Army wage war within Pakistan?]

Attack on Baitullah Mehsud’s rival commander office averted

Updated at: 0944 PST,  Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Attack on Baitullah Mehsud’s rival commander office averted TANK: An attack on the office of Baitullah Mehsud’s opponent group commander Turkistan Bethni has been averted.

According to sources, unknown gunmen attacked office of Baitullah Mehsud’s rival group commander Turistan Bethni in Mal Mandi, which was averted through retaliatory action of Bethni group armed men. The attackers were managed to flee from the scene.

Pakistan’s Plans for New Fight Stir Concern

A girl displaced during the fighting in the Swat Valley carries her ration of food during a distribution at the Jalozai refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan.
A girl displaced during the fighting in the Swat Valley carries her ration of food during a distribution at the Jalozai refugee camp near Peshawar, Pakistan. (By Emilio Morenatti — Associated Press)

Pakistan’s Plans for New Fight Stir Concern

Swat Refugees, Others Question Move to Battle Insurgents in Tribal South Waziristan

Washington Post Foreign Service
Wednesday, June 24, 2009

CAMP JALOZAI, Pakistan — As they bake in a sea of plastic tents under the relentless sun, families displaced by the recent army campaign against Taliban forces in the Swat Valley have a single, burning question about the Pakistani government’s plans for a far more ambitious military assault against armed extremists in the tribal area of South Waziristan.

“What about us?” demanded Tahir Khan, 35, a farmer who fled Swat with his family one month ago and now lives among 50,000 people in this former Afghan refugee camp in northwest Pakistan. “Our homes are destroyed, our crops are burned, our animals are dead. The Taliban could come back anytime. Why is the army going into Waziristan when they haven’t finished the job in Swat?”

Khan’s question has a strategic dimension as well as a human one, and it is among many concerns being raised in Pakistan about the government’s decision to launch a second major army operation, aimed at flushing thousands of well-armed Islamist insurgents out of the toughest terrain and most rebellious tribal territory in the country.

On Tuesday, in a setback to the army’s momentum, a key pro-government commander was fatally shot in his compound. Officials and witnesses said the killer was apparently a loyalist of Baitullah Mehsud, a Taliban leader who is the main target of the government’s South Waziristan campaign.

Over the past several months, a solid national consensus has developed for the first time that the Taliban and other violent Islamist groups must be stopped. This has bolstered the army’s determination to crush the extremists after several years of failed raids and peace deals, and has done much to redeem the military’s prestige after a decade of unpopular rule.

In preparing for a full-fledged battle, the military has pounded South Waziristan for days with bombs and heavy artillery and moved in more than 50,000 troops. A sizable number have been shifted from the eastern border with India, signaling a major psychological shift in a military establishment groomed to fight a conventional war with its Hindu-majority neighbor.

“Finally, the mind-set has changed,” said Mahmood Shah, a retired security official in northwest Pakistan who often reflects military thinking. “There is a realization that the threat to Pakistan in modern times is not Indian divisions and tanks, it is a teenaged boy wearing a jacket” full of explosives.

But the Waziristan campaign, formally announced by the government last week, has also unleashed a flood of concerns. Military experts worry about the danger of opening too many fronts at once and challenging hostile tribes that historically have been notorious for defeating foreign invaders.

There is also widespread confusion about exactly who the enemy is and what the operation’s goals are. Numerous militant groups operate in the mountainous, tribal no-man’s-land straddling the Pakistan-Afghanistan border. In the past, Pakistan has tolerated local extremists while blaming those in Afghanistan for its problems, but today there are ever-closer alliances and fuzzier distinctions between them.

Among the homegrown militants, it is becoming difficult for Pakistan’s security and intelligence services to separate “good” Taliban leaders, whom authorities can presumably control or use against foreign adversaries, from “bad” ones, who have a rogue, anti-state agenda — especially since the two groups often seem to change places because of personal enmity or political convenience.

At the moment, Pakistan’s Public Enemy No. 1 is Mehsud, an elusive religious fanatic said to command thousands of fighters and dozens of

suicide bombers. He has asserted responsibility for a series of devastating attacks that have shaken the nation in the past year, including the truck bombings of two luxury hotels in the cities of Islamabad and Peshawar.

“He has had a hand in virtually every terrorist attack in Pakistan,” the army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani, said this month. Other officials have variously described Mehsud as a monster, an enemy of the state and — perhaps to capitalize on public antipathies in this impoverished Muslim society — an agent of India and the United States.

As a counterweight, the government reached out this month to several other tribal militant leaders once affiliated with Mehsud. In a high-profile campaign to isolate him, military officials made agreements with two once-hostile fighters, Qari Zainuddin and Haji Turkistan Betani, and began hailing them as patriots.

On Saturday, a spokesman for Zainuddin said in a phone interview that his forces had established control over most of Mehsud’s turf. The spokesman also said that Zainuddin, a former Islamist rebel in his late 20s, had broken with Mehsud over his terrorist methods and fully supported the government.

But Tuesday, while Zainuddin was napping after morning prayers in the town of Dera Ismail Khan, a gunman burst in and shot him dead. Pakistani officials said the gunman was probably acting on behalf of Mehsud. Experts said the killing illustrated the unpredictable and risky nature of official efforts to play favorites among tribal groups, which are constantly embroiled in feuds and whose loyalties to the state are fleeting.

Yet another problem is the conflicting priorities of Pakistani and U.S. military planners as they struggle to refine their often uneasy alliance against Islamist radicals. Last week, just as the government was courting yet another militant leader as part of its prewar planning, a U.S. drone rained missiles on his territory, presumably aiming at an al-Qaeda or Taliban target but unintentionally jeopardizing the deal.

Although the U.S. government has strongly endorsed Pakistan’s new get-tough policy toward the extremists, American officials are also concerned that the Waziristan campaign could merely drive them into Afghanistan, where tens of thousands of U.S. and NATO forces are waging a grueling and protracted war against Afghan Taliban fighters and other insurgents.

“Pakistan wants to get rid of these militants from our territory now,” said Shah, the retired official. “The goal is not to push them into Afghanistan, but we can’t be underwriting the security of the U.S. and NATO. They need to fend for themselves.”

Despite the now-broad public antipathy toward Islamist extremists and the unprecedented support for army operations against them, the humanitarian toll from the recent Swat campaign — with hundreds of civilians killed and more than 2 million forced to flee their homes — has added a layer of caution to the general enthusiasm for the fight.

In the sweltering government camps and makeshift tent colonies dotting North-West Frontier Province, people cluster around radios, hoping for news that it is safe to go home. The army has proclaimed the Swat campaign a success and begun to escort thousands of people home to the neighboring district of Bunir. But many refugees are still haunted by the specter of fanatical fighters slipping back to harass them again.

“There are still pockets of Taliban everywhere, and they still have sophisticated weapons. A lot of them escaped to the hills or cut off their beards,” said Khurshied Ali, 42, who fled from Swat last month with 320 other villagers in a convoy of rented trucks. “They are not defeated yet. Before the army starts a new fight, we need them to finish this one.”

Special correspondent Haq Nawaz Khan contributed to this report.

The Fire of Lal Masjid Has Gone Out

Aziz urges ulema, judges to jointly work against terrorism

Updated at: 1339 PST,  Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Aziz urges ulema, judges to jointly work against terrorism RAWALPINDI: The former Khateeb of Lal Masjid Maulana Abdul Aziz Wednesday said the judges and ulema should come forward and jointly work out on the issue of terrorism.

Talking to media outside the Anti-Terrorism special court here, he said Lal Masjid Operation has spawned myriads problems, as the operation offers no solution to extremism.

Abdul Aziz continued that 1971 Operation led to the split of the country.

On the occasion, he condemned the abduction of former MNA Shah Abdul Aziz, adding if there are cases against him, they should be presented to the court.

Earlier, the ATC adjourned till July 13 hearing of nine cases, as the counsel of Maulana Abdul Aziz was busy at the Supreme Court.

The Best Laid Plans of Armies and Free Men

Qari Zain laid to rest in DIK

Updated at: 1718 PST,  Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Qari Zain laid to rest in DIK DERA ISMAIL KHAN: Qari Zainud Din, rival of Baitullah Mehsud has been laid to rest in Dera Ismail Khan, Geo News reported Wednesday.

Earlier, his body was brought here from Abbotabad for burial.

His body was put in CMH Abbotabad in view of security apprehensions.

In the morning, the body was taken to his uncle Maulvi Sher Muhammed’s house situated in Jangi Saeedan here, where his (Qari’s) wife, mother and other family members cast a last glance at his face.

In the meantime, the secret security agency’s personnel put security cordon around the area. Later on, his body was transported to Frontier Force Regiment Center by an ambulance.

After security clearance, his body was moved to Dera Ismail Khan, where he was laid to rest in Chah Syed shah Munawwar Graveyard near Madina Colony.

During the burial, police continued strict security cordon around the areas.

57 PAF officials arrested over links with terrorists

57 PAF officials arrested over links with terrorists

Updated at: 1744 PST,  Wednesday, June 24, 2009
57 PAF officials arrested over links with terrorists ISLAMABAD: Over 50 Pakistan Air Force (PAF) officials have been court marshaled following arrest on charges of having links with terrorists while an important PAF official who is also wanted is at large.

According to information gathered from Geo News source, action against some of the PAF officials over links with terrorists began in former president Pervez Musharraf’s regime.

More arrests were undertaken after a PAF official Mushtaq was apprehended. As many as 57 officials were arrested from Kamra, Lahore, Sargodha, Mianwali and Karachi. Of these, 26 had to face court marshal who were awarded three and half to 17 year imprisonment while six were awarded capital punishment on involvement in serious crimes.

Those awarded death sentence are: senior technicians, Karamdin, Khalid Mehmood; carpool technician Nawazish; junior technicians, Niaz, Nasrullah and Adnan.

A wanted carpool technician Amir is still at large whose photos have been affixed at all the air bases.

Murder of anti-Baitullah commander a major blow to army operation

Murder of anti-Baitullah commander a major blow to army operation

Wednesday 24 June 2009

. LAHORE: The June 23 murder of Qari Zainuddin Mehsud, a Pakistani Taliban commander and the arch rival of the FBI’s Most Wanted Commander Baitullah Mehsud in Dera Ismail Khan, has come as a major blow to the Pakistan Army’s Operation Rah-e-Nijat in the South Waziristan agency on the Pak-Afghan border, which was launched only last week in a bid to expand the ongoing military offensive against the TTP (Tehrik Taliban Pakistan) from Swat Valley to Mehsud’s mountainous Waziristan stronghold.

Zainuddin, the leader of a rival faction of Mehsud’s tribe inhabiting the troubled South Waziristan region, was shot dead early Tuesday morning while he was asleep in his Dera Ismail Khan home by a lone gunman, who escaped after firing. Baz Mohammad, an aide of the militant commander who was also wounded in the attack, said that one of his personal bodyguards had barged into Zainuddin’s bed room after morning prayers and opened fire. “Zainuddin was martyred on the spot. I think those companions of Baitullah who had joined us recently after getting amnesty from us, were behind the assassination”, he said. Although Qari Zainuddin too had a ruthless past, he had recently parted ways with Baitullah and accused him for a string of suicide bomb attacks that killed thousands of innocent Pakistanis. Zainuddin had further accused Baitullah of masterminding the December 2007 assassination of the former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Well placed interior ministry sources in Islamabad conceded that Zainuddin was being seen by the Pakistani authorities as a key to a successful army offensive in South Waziristan given the fact that like Baitullah, he too was a native Mehsud and had been challenging Baitullah’s leadership in a bid to stage a coup against him. The murder has shattered the Pakistan army’s hopes of exploiting internal divisions in South Waziristan against Baitullah and the recently launched battle against him is now going to be harder. The sources claimed that Baitullah was genuinely shaken by the challenge being posed by none other than one of his former associates.

Before being killed, the sources said, Qari Zainuddin had almost succeeded in his efforts to arrange a jirga meeting of the Mehsud tribal chiefs in a bid to secure their support for staging a coup against Baitullah, the chieftain of the Mehsud tribe. It was also for the first time in recent years that the Pakistani military authorities had succeeded in their efforts to create divisions within the Mehsud tribe, after which Operation Rah-e-Nijat (the way of salvation) was launched in South Waziristan, primarily to target Baitullah Mehsud. However, Zainuddin was assassinated hardly a week after NWFP Governor Owais Ghani announced [on June 15 at a press conference in Islamabad] the federal government’s decision to launch a decisive military operation against Baitullah to eliminate him and dismantle his network, saying he was the root cause of all evils. The same day, Zainuddin had announced his support to the anti-Baitullah military operation, saying that whatever he and his associates were doing in the name of Islam was not a jehad, and in fact it was terrorism.

“Islam stands for peace, not for terrorism. Baitullah had betrayed both his religion and his tribesmen. To fight our own country is wrong. Islam doesn’t give permission to fight against a Muslim country. This is where we differ. What we are seeing these days – suicide bombings in mosques, in markets, in hospitals; these are not allowed in Islam. We don’t agree with them”, said Zainuddin in an interview to Britain’s McClatchy newspaper on June 15, barely a week before his murder in Dera Islam Khan by his own guard. Qari Zainuddin’s strong statements against Baitullah had led to speculation that the military authorities were encouraging him to stand up to his rival.

Circles close to Qari Zainuddin claimed that after his revolt against the TTP chief, Baitullah had taken several steps to mend fences with his former associate and had even offered to carve out a separate territory for Qari Zainuddin in South Waziristan if he dropped the fight. However, Zain had rejected the offer since he had a personal score to settle with Baitullah – his uncle and an ex Guantanamo Bay inmate Commander Abdullah Mehsud was allegedly killed by the Pakistani security forces in Zhob Balochistan on a tip off from Baitullah Mehsud, making him to turn against his former chief.

However, Qari Zainuddin was not the only one to have turned against Baitullah. He was being backed by Turkistan Khan Bhittani, another tribal leader, who had since long parted ways with Baitullah. If Zainuddin was a former Khasadar, Turkistan had been a former member of the South Waziristan Scouts, a paramilitary wing of the Frontier Constabulary. Both the pro-government commanders were poised to play a vital role in the success of the military operation in South Waziristan against their common foe. But the fugitive TTP chief seems to have struck first as usual, although Interior Minister Rehman Malik has stated that Qari Zainuddin seems to have been assassinated by one of his own comrades, Gulbadin Mehsud from Makeen, who made good his escape.

In fact, the military action against Baitullah Mehsud was launched even before a formal announcement was made about it on June 15. The Pakistan Air Force used jet-fighters to bomb his positions in Makeen, Ladha and Kotki area in South Waziristan on June 13 while the long-range artillery guns of the Pakistan Army deployed in Razmak in North Waziristan shelled his strongholds the same day. However, as the Governor NWFP made an official announcement to launch the anti-Baitullah operation in South Waziristan, Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani said on June 16 that the head of the Taliban in Pakistan must be eliminated.

“Baitullah has a hand in virtually every major terrorist attack in Pakistan and he is not fighting for Islam”, he said. It was, perhaps, the first significant indication from the military leadership that the establishment – long derided for avoiding taking the chief of Pakistani Taliban head-on – had had enough. As things stand, the battle lines seem to have been drawn once again in South Waziristan between the military and the militants led by Baitullah. The fugitive ameer of the Pakistani Taliban, a foe-turned-friend-turned-foe of the Pakistani establishment, is today a marked man by the American and the Pakistan security forces and his mountainous demesne in South Waziristan is under frequent aerial attacks by the Pakistani fighter jets and the Afghanistan-based US drones, in a desperate a bid to hunt him down..