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Archive for May 9, 2011

It’s All About Pakistan by Justin Raimondo —

Map of Pakistan

Image by Omer Wazir via Flickr

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-trilliondollar 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.


It’s All About Pakistan by Justin Raimondo —