With the assassination of Osama bin Laden, US foreign policy – or, rather, the rationale for it – has a giant hole in its very center: the task of the War Party is to fill it, and quickly.
Without a human face to put on the Terrorist Threat, without an ever-elusive target to lure us even deeper into the Muslim world, domestic political support for our post-9/11 multi-trillion–dollar excursion will quickly dry up. In a sense, the War Party is facing the same prospect they faced when the Soviet Union collapsed: total and complete irrelevance. That is particularly true at this conjuncture, with the US hurtling toward economic catastrophe and Americans getting noticeably restive in the face of cutbacks and severe economic straits.
What’s a warmonger to do?
Simple: come up with a new enemy, a fresh face – or, better yet, an entire nation that can be demonized and made to play the role of stand-in for bin Laden. That nation, as you’ve probably already guessed, is Pakistan.
“I’ve not seen any evidence, at least to date, that the political, military or intelligence leadership of Pakistan knew about Osama bin Laden at Abbottabad, Pakistan,” said national security adviser Thomas Donilon on the Sunday talk show circuit. Normally, such a statement would absolve the Pakistanis, or seem to: I’ll only note that the “leadership” could be taken to refer to the upper echelons of the Pakistani political and military establishment, clearly leaving open the possibility some in the mid-to-lower levels might have been in on the secret of bin Laden’s whereabouts.
Furthermore, Donilon’s words belie the US government’s actions, which were to demand from Pakistan the names of its intelligence operatives – an unusual request, to say the least. Rather than come out and say what they apparently believe, US officials – speaking “on background” – are accusing the Pakistanis of de facto complicity. “It’s hard to believe that [Pakistan’s top military commander Ashfaq Parvez] Kayani and [ISI director-general Lt. Gen. Ahmad Shuja] Pasha actually knew that Bin Laden was there,” a “senior administration official” told The New York Times. “But, added the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue, ‘there are degrees of knowing, and it wouldn’t surprise me if we find out that someone close to Pasha knew.’”
Pasha is expected to resign shortly, but the effort to target him as a secret terrorist sympathizer dates back to last year, when accusations surfaced that he personally met with the militants of Lashkar e Taiba (LET), and gave them money just before they pulled off the Mumbai attacks. The larger campaign to portray the Pakistanis, and the ISI in particular, as secretly aiding and abetting bin Laden has a longer history, and a very strange one.
The narrative being sold by the American “mainstream” media reads like the script of a very bad made-for-TV movie, or the kind of “thriller” that skips the theaters entirely and only comes out on DVD. This tall tale is intertwined with the murky, film-noir -esque saga of David Headley.
Headley has pleaded guilty to charges of acting as a scout for the perpetrators of the Mumbai terrorist attack, as well as having plotted to bomb the offices of a Danish newspaper that printed cartoons depicting the prophet Mohammed. He faces a sentence of life in prison, and his story of having collaborated with Pakistani military intelligence, who supposedly directed and financed both plots, is apparently the price he paid for the terms of the deal he made with US prosecutors – life in jail in the US, instead of India, which has demanded his extradition.
While Headley’s complicated tale of international intrigue and transcontinental terrorism is pretty much swallowed whole by the Western media, in India skepticism abounds. This jaundiced view stems from Headley’s rather interesting personal history.
PLEASE READ THE REST HERE:
- Pakistan under pressure on bin Laden – AFP (news.google.com)
- Pakistan ‘aware of US raid’ after it began (lookatvietnam.com)
- ISI involvement will surface in Chicago trial of Rana (hindu.com)
- “DEBATE: Was The Pakistani Government Complicit In Osama Bin Laden Hiding In One Of Their Suburbs?” and related posts (bookerrising.net)
- Pakistan lobbied U.S. within hours of bin Laden killing (cbc.ca)
- Pakistan to assess Bin Laden raid – BBC News (news.google.com)
- Donilon Says No Evidence Pakistani Leaders Hid Bin Laden (businessweek.com)
- Pakistani Official Says ‘Head’s Will Roll’ After Osama bin Laden Raid – ABC News (news.google.com)
- You: No heads to roll in Pakistan over Bin Laden fiasco: Rehman Malik (nation.com.pk)
- You Need More People: President Obama Points The Finger At Pakistan For Harboring Bin Laden (bossip.com)
- You Lie, Obama (lewrockwell.com)