Monday, January 24, 2022
Blog
Dec 1

Written by: Diana West
Wednesday, December 01, 2010 5:20 AM 

I'm hearing a lot about "blood on the hands" of WikiLeaks' Julian Assange -- and searching for evidence past initial reports last summer that WikiLeaks' war doc dump could inspire "revenge attacks" on compromised American sources in Afghanstan (did this happen? haven't found confirmation). So far, anyway, the blood I see from WikiLeaks is on the hands of a hopelessly misguided and disastrous US foreign policy determinedly ignoring Islam in its prosecution of wars in the Islamic world. Take this report (below) from the Guardian about a leaked document cables on Pakistan. Even as our now former ambassador Anne Patterson acknowledges that no amount of aid $$$ will persuade the Pakistan army (motto: "Faith in Allah, fear of Allah, and jihad in the path of Allah") to stop sponsoring the Taliban, the Taliban-allied  Haqqani and Hekmatyar networks, and the Mumbai attackers, we continue to dump more aid $$$ into Pakistan.

Gee, that sounds as if we are in effect supporting the forces fighting our own troops, doesn't it? Gee, maybe we're not really on the same side after all?    

The Guardian goes to cite approvingly the "fresh thinking" (read: dhimmi thinking) on this problem from our now former ambassador Anne Patterson, whose Wikileaked cable conveys the following:

The only way to end [Pakistani] support for the Taliban – and ultimately root out the group – was to "change the Pakistan government's own perception of its security requirements"[said Patterson].

Wow. Perception. Seeming vs. being. And how to open those doors of perception -- sans drugs, Jim Morrison or Aldous Huxley?

Resolving the 63-year-old Kashmir conflict "would dramatically improve the situation", she said, adding: "We need to reassess Indian involvement in Afghanistan and our own policies towards India, including the growing military relationship through sizeable conventional arms sales, as all of this feeds Pakistani establishment paranoia and pushes them closer to both Afghan and Kashmir-focused terrorist groups while reinforcing doubts about US intentions."

In other words, adopt the jihadist cause in Kashmir and against India! There's fresh thinking from a senior Bush-Obama diplomat.

Now for the the whole sorry story:

Pakistan's army is covertly sponsoring four major militant groups, including the Afghan Taliban and Mumbai attackers Lashkar-e-Taiba, and "no amount of money" will change the policy, the US ambassador warned in a frank critique revealed by the state department cables.

Although Pakistan had received more than $16bn (£10bn) in American aid since 2001, "there is no chance that Pakistan will view enhanced assistance … as sufficient compensation for abandoning support to these groups", Anne Patterson wrote in a secret review of Afghanistan-Pakistan strategy in September 2009.

The assessment highlights a stark contradiction – that one of Washington's key allies is quietly propping up its enemies – and is an admission of the limits of US power in a country that still views India, not the Taliban, as its principal threat.

With Washington fearful of deploying troops to fight al-Qaida in Pakistan, money has been its main weapon since 2001. It has given the army $9bn to fight the Taliban and al-Qaida in the tribal belt; on 22 October the White House announced an extra $2bn over the next five years.

Pakistan has paid a heavy price, losing more than 2,500 soldiers and many more civilians. Its generals insist they have cut erstwhile ties with the Taliban and other militant groups. But secret cables show US diplomats and spies believe the army and its Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency continue quietly to back selected militant groups.

Four are singled out: the Afghan Taliban, its allied Haqqani and Hekmatyar networks on the western Afghan frontier, and Lashkar-e-Taiba on the eastern border with India. Some ISI officials "continue to maintain ties with a wide array of extremist organisations, in particular the Taliban, LeT and other extremist organisations," Hillary Clinton, the US secretary of state, wrote in December 2009.

A senior ISI official said: "These are assertions without evidence and nothing more than allegations or points of view, as such do not merit a response." The main concern, he said, was "how such sensitive information could find its way to a media outlet, and continues to do so".

But Dr Peter Lavoy, a senior intelligence official, told a meeting of Nato allies in November 2008 that the ISI allowed the Taliban's Quetta Shura leadership council to "operate unfettered" in Balochistan, while it provided the Waziristan-based Haqqani network with "intelligence and financial support to conduct attacks in Afghanistan against Afghan government, Isaf and Indian targets … Pakistan continues to define India as its number one threat and insists that India plays an overactive role in Afghanistan."

The army chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, had been "utterly frank" about the consequences of a pro-India government coming to power in Kabul, noted a 2009 briefing in advance of his visit to Washington. "The Pakistani establishment will dramatically increase support for Taliban groups in Pakistan and Afghanistan, which they see as … an important counterweight."

Alarmed by the links with Haqqani, whose fighters kill American soldiers in Afghanistan, and fearful that policy towards Lashkar-e-Taiba could trigger nuclear war with India, US officials have urged Kayani to change course. "The biggest single message Kayani should hear in Washington is that this support must end," said one dispatch.

As ISI chief from 2004-07 Kayani presided over the spy agency as the Taliban surged in Afghanistan and Lashkar-e-Taiba prepared the Mumbai attacks. US officials consider it a sensitive point. "Kayani … does not want a reckoning with the past," they said before last year's US visit. "We should preface that conversation with an agreement to open a new page in relations. What is in the past is behind us."

US allegations of collusion cast fresh doubt on the credibility of former president Pervez Musharraf, who chafed angrily against suggestions of a "double game". "We are not a banana republic and the ISI is not a rogue agency," he told a congressional delegation led by a senior Democrat, Nancy Pelosi, in January 2007. Asked about the Taliban leader, Mullah Omar, he said: "I do not believe Omar has ever been to Pakistan."

Yet there are also hints that ISI policy towards militant groups is complex and changing. In a March 2009 briefing to the FBI director, Robert Mueller, the embassy noted that the ISI chief, General Shuja Pasha, "continues to profess a determination to end ISI's overt and tacit support for proxy forces". Speaking to the Guardian this year a senior ISI official acknowledged "historical links" with the Haqqanis but insisted the spy agency was not in a position to dictate action terms. Last spring Kayani and Pasha flew to Kabul offering to broker peace with the Haqqanis.

The cables betray much American frustration and anger at alleged Pakistani duplicity, but there is also questioning of America's own covert policies. "Unilateral targeting" of al-Qaida operatives in the tribal belt – a euphemism for CIA-directed drone strikes – had killed 10 of the 20 top al-Qaida leaders, Patterson noted last year. But the drones could not entirely eliminate the al-Qaida leadership and ran the greater risk of "destabilising the Pakistani state, alienating both the civilian government and military leadership, and provoking a broader governance crisis without finally achieving the goal".

While American efforts are fixated on using money to wean Pakistan away from militants, there is little fresh thinking. One exception is last year's policy review by Patterson, a well-regarded diplomat who left Islamabad earlier this year.

Pakistani paranoia was fed by insecurity towards India and America, she said. The only way to end support for the Taliban – and ultimately root out the group – was to "change the Pakistan government's own perception of its security requirements".

I think we better change our own government's perception of its security requirements. India, as a victim of jihad, is on our side. Pakistan as a sponsor of jihad is not. Simple.

Resolving the 63-year-old Kashmir conflict "would dramatically improve the situation", she said, adding: "We need to reassess Indian involvement in Afghanistan and our own policies towards India, including the growing military relationship through sizeable conventional arms sales, as all of this feeds Pakistani establishment paranoia and pushes them closer to both Afghan and Kashmir-focused terrorist groups while reinforcing doubts about US intentions."

Such a suggestion is politically highly sensitive. New Delhi has fiercely resisted any attempt to link Afghanistan and Kashmir. Indian officials portray an ideological, power-hungry Pakistani army as the problem. Most of Pakistan's woes "can be traced to the capacity and intentions of Pakistan's military", the Indian foreign secretary, Shivshankar Menon, told US special envoy Richard Holbrooke in February 2009. Holbrooke has pointedly avoided mentioning Kashmir.

Politicians in Washington are reluctant to antagonise India, an emerging global power. As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama identified the Kashmir conflict as being key to achieving peace in south Asia, including the war in Afghanistan. But he avoided mentioning it at all in his recent address to the Indian parliament.

Patterson's logic is shared by other western diplomats. Last year the Spanish ambassador to Kabul, Jose Turpin Molina, told his Pakistani counterpart that "It's over. You've won." The Pakistani replied that his country was an ally of Spain, to which Turpin said: "you are an ally to both sides".

The Pakistani "laughed heartily".

And the joke's on ... three guesses.

Tags:
Archive
<January 2022>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
2627282930311
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
Monthly
January, 2022
December, 2021
November, 2021
October, 2021
September, 2021
August, 2021
July, 2021
June, 2021
May, 2021
April, 2021
March, 2021
February, 2021
January, 2021
December, 2020
November, 2020
October, 2020
September, 2020
August, 2020
July, 2020
June, 2020
May, 2020
April, 2020
March, 2020
February, 2020
January, 2020
December, 2019
November, 2019
October, 2019
September, 2019
August, 2019
July, 2019
June, 2019
May, 2019
April, 2019
March, 2019
February, 2019
January, 2019
December, 2018
November, 2018
October, 2018
September, 2018
August, 2018
July, 2018
June, 2018
May, 2018
April, 2018
March, 2018
February, 2018
January, 2018
December, 2017
November, 2017
October, 2017
September, 2017
August, 2017
July, 2017
June, 2017
May, 2017
April, 2017
March, 2017
February, 2017
January, 2017
December, 2016
November, 2016
October, 2016
September, 2016
August, 2016
July, 2016
June, 2016
May, 2016
April, 2016
March, 2016
February, 2016
January, 2016
December, 2015
November, 2015
October, 2015
September, 2015
August, 2015
July, 2015
June, 2015
May, 2015
April, 2015
March, 2015
February, 2015
January, 2015
December, 2014
November, 2014
October, 2014
September, 2014
August, 2014
July, 2014
June, 2014
May, 2014
April, 2014
March, 2014
February, 2014
January, 2014
December, 2013
November, 2013
October, 2013
September, 2013
August, 2013
July, 2013
June, 2013
May, 2013
April, 2013
March, 2013
February, 2013
January, 2013
December, 2012
November, 2012
October, 2012
September, 2012
August, 2012
July, 2012
June, 2012
May, 2012
April, 2012
March, 2012
February, 2012
January, 2012
December, 2011
November, 2011
October, 2011
September, 2011
August, 2011
July, 2011
June, 2011
May, 2011
April, 2011
March, 2011
February, 2011
January, 2011
December, 2010
November, 2010
October, 2010
September, 2010
August, 2010
July, 2010
June, 2010
May, 2010
April, 2010
March, 2010
February, 2010
January, 2010
December, 2009
November, 2009
October, 2009
September, 2009
August, 2009
July, 2009
June, 2009
May, 2009
April, 2009
March, 2009
February, 2009
January, 2009
December, 2008
November, 2008
October, 2008
September, 2008
August, 2008
July, 2008
June, 2008
May, 2008
April, 2008
March, 2008
February, 2008
January, 2008
December, 2007
November, 2007
October, 2007
September, 2007
August, 2007
Privacy Statement  |  Terms Of Use
Copyright 2012 by Diana West