Published June 9, 2009
Tags: Army, Balkanization, Swat
Conn Hallinan | May 26, 2009
Foreign Policy In Focus
Sudan: The two F-16s caught the trucks deep in the northern desert. Within minutes, the column of vehicles was a string of shattered wrecks burning fiercely in the January sun. Surveillance drones spotted a few vehicles that had survived the storm of bombs and cannon shells, and the fighter-bombers returned to finish the job.
Syria: Four Blackhawk helicopters skimmed across the Iraqi border, landing at a small farmhouse near the town of al-Sukkariyeh. Black-clad soldiers poured from the choppers, laying down a withering hail of automatic weapons fire. When the shooting stopped, eight Syrians lay dead on the ground. Four others, cuffed and blindfolded, were dragged to the helicopters, which vanished back into Iraq.
Pakistan: a group of villagers were sipping tea in a courtyard when the world exploded. The Hellfire missiles seemed to come out of nowhere, scattering pieces of their victims across the village and demolishing several houses. Between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, 60 such attacks took place. They killed 14 wanted al-Qaeda members along with 687 civilians.
In each of the above incidents, no country took responsibility or claimed credit. There were no sharp exchanges of diplomatic notes before the attacks, just sudden death and mayhem.
Continue reading ‘Shadow Wars’
By Gary Leupp
May 29, 2009 “Counterpunch” — So far the principle result of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan following the events of 9-11 has been the destabilization of Pakistan. That breakdown is peaking with the events in what AP calls the “Swat town” of Mingora—actually a city of 375,000 from which all but 20,000 have fled as government forces moved in, strafing it with gunships. We’re talking urban guerrilla warfare, house-to-house fighting, not on the Afghan border but 50 miles away in the Swat Valley. We’re talking about Pakistani troops fighting to reclaim the nearby Malam Jabba ski resort from the Tehreek-e-Taliban, who since last year have been using it as a training center and logistics base. We’re talking about two million people fleeing the fighting in the valley and 160,000 in government refugee camps. Continue reading ‘The Main Result of the “War on Terror”: The Destabilization of Pakistan’
What is the United States preparing in Pakistan?
by Keith Jones
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari will undoubtedly come under renewed pressure to allow US military forces to wage war within Pakistan when he visits Washington this week for a trilateral summit meeting with President Obama and Afghanistan’s Hamid Karzai.
For weeks, the US political and military establishment and the American media have been mounting an increasingly shrill campaign to bully Islamabad into fully complying with US diktats in what Washington has redefined as the AfPak (Afghanistan-Pakistan) war theater.
At the US’s behest, the Pakistani military has for the past 10 days been mounting a bloody offensive—including strafing by warplanes and heavy artillery—against Pakistani Taliban militia in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP). The offensive has caused large numbers of civilian casualties and forced tens of thousands of poor villagers to flee.
Between 600,000 and a million Pakistanis have been turned into refugees by the Pakistani state’s drive to pacify the NWFP and the country’s traditionally autonomous Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), so as to bolster the US occupation of Afghanistan….
(The following is part of an article from Winter Patriot posted previously but deserves it’s own space for discussion purpose so is being reproduced here.)
Wither Iraqi style democracy? According to a very ominous cover story in Newsweek, it’s here in Pakistan. Newsweek is confident in asserting that ‘today no other country on earth is arguably more dangerous than Pakistan’. Not even Iraq. In fact, according to Newsweek Iraq is so 2006, Pakistan is it now; we’re the new black. We’ve managed to kick Iraq off the pages as the world’s most horrifying, most destructively precarious country and reclaim the title for ourselves. According to the Newsweek article, Pakistan has ‘everything Osama Bin Laden could ask for’ including a vibrant jihadi movement, political instability, access to worrisome weaponry, and a lonesome nuclear bomb. The article quotes a now deceased Taliban commander as romantically noting that ‘Pakistan is like your shoulder that supports your RPG’. It is swoon worthy stuff really. Continue reading ‘Iraq redux?’
Thoughts On The War Between The USA And Pakistan
Scrub towers in the distance,
Riders cross the blasted moor
Against the horizon.
Fickle promises of treaty,
Fatal harbingers of war;
Futile orizons…– Van Der Graaf Generator: “Arrow“
Signs and omens, suddenly everywhere, tell us war between the USA and Pakistan is imminent.
Chris Floyd has been doing his usual fine job in covering the recent developments and reading the tea leaves. Particularly disappointing is the flow of war propaganda from McClatchy, in the person of Jonathan Landay. McClatchy and Landay were among the few voices of skeptical reason on the national media scene during Bush’s pre-Iraq propaganda campaign. But apparently they are now on board with Obama’s pre-Pakistan propaganda campaign. Success at last! This must be the change we were hoping for, just as Obama’s marketers promised! Continue reading ‘Winter Patriot on Pakistan’
By Dr. Haider Mehdi
“At least 80 militants were killed and three soldiers martyred while 21 suicide vehicles, motor cyclists and bombers were eliminated during the …operation in Buner district…The operation in Buner is progressing smoothly…three soldiers embraced Shahadat, says ISPR Press release…”
The Nation, May 4, 2009
Pakistan’s political and military establishment is “romanticizing” the so-called “war on terrorism” – a war against its own people that has been going on for almost a decade now and which has its inauspicious origin in the dubious and odious American global agenda in this region of the world. The latest political tendency to “romanticize” this conflict is a dangerous phenomenon because the strategic contents of this policy do not offer a resolution to the issues involved – the logistics adopted here will only intensify and completely wreck the chances of a peaceful resolution of this country’s problematics. This is a war that, if continued, will not eliminate the enemies of Pakistan. It will most certainly kill Pakistan. The escalation and the “romanticizing” of this war poses the ultimate existential threat to this nation…
(Continue reading “Stop Romanticizing This War”)
Hard Rain Keeps Falling: Talking Peace in Prague, Dropping Bombs in Pakistan
“I saw a newborn baby with wild wolves all around it.” — Bob Dylan
While the usual gaggle of sycophants and media hive-minders — along with some ordinarily perspicacious analysts — tell us that Barack Obama literally changed the course of human history by disgorging a great load of thrice-chewed cud about nuclear disarmament in Prague this week, the high-tech drone war the great hero of peace is waging inside the sovereign territory of America’s ally, Pakistan, is helping drive tens of thousands of people from their homes and killing civilians almost daily. Continue reading ‘Chris Floyd on Pakistan…’