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Today's Stories

June 4, 2009

Arno J. Mayer
The Future of Israel and the Decline of the American Empire

June 3, 2009

Paul Craig Roberts
As the Dollar Falls Off the Cliff...

Kathy Kelly
A Weaver's Welcome to Pakistan

Alan Farago
Bailing Out the Land Speculators

Franklin Lamb
Israeli Spies and Fake IDs

Bill Hatch
Why Congressman Cardoza Stiffed Michelle Obama

Nadia Hijab
A Stifling Embrace

Dean Baker
Reporters With Pom-Poms: Cheerleading the Recovery

Binoy Kampmark
Whither GM?

Manuel Garcia, Jr.
What Happened to Air France Flight 477?

Remi Kanazi
Oslo Redux?

Behzad Yaghmaian
The End of Idealism in China?

Website of the Day
A Time Comes: the Story of the KingsNorth Six

June 2, 2009

Uri Avnery
Racists for Democracy

Robert Weissman
Bankrupt Thinking

Conn Hallinan
Shadow Wars

Gideon Spiro
Obama and Israel's Nuclear Arsenal

Roger Burbach
US-Cuba Policy: "Still Stuck in the Past"

Dylan Quigley
My Experience with Dr. Tiller

Dave Lindorff
The American Taliban Claim Another Victim

Ray McGovern
Navy Vet Honored, Foiled Israeli Attack

Belén Fernández
Israel's Newfound Concern for UNIFIL

Martha Rosenberg
Give It Up, Wyeth

Willie L. Pelote, Sr.
GOP: California's for the Rich (Poor People Should Move)

Website of the Day
You Bet Your Health

June 1, 2009

Pam Martens
Wall Street Braces for New Cops on the Beat

Yitzhak Laor
Washington's Mirror

Mark Weisbrot
More Stimulus, Not Deficit Reduction

Ramzy Baroud
Netanyahu's New Quest

Saul Landau
Dancing the Afghan Jig

Eugenia Tsao
Smug Toronto Seethes as Tamils "Go Too Far"

Afshin Rattansi
Women in Darfur: "We Saw No Evidence of Genocide"

Debra Sweet
The Murder of Dr. Tiller

Abdul Malik Mujahid
Obama's Trip Egypt and American Muslims

Bill Quigley
Haiti's Revolutionary Priest Gerard Jean-Juste: Presente!

John Wright
The Tragedy of Susan Boyle

Website of the Day
Young Neo Con Anthem

May 29-31, 2009

Alexander Cockburn
Sotomayor and the Last of the WASPs

Patrick Cockburn
Iraq: The Mother of All Corruption Scandals

Vijay Prashad
Reeling Republicans

Gary Leupp
The Destabilization of Pakistan

Ray McGovern
The Impossible Rehab of Colin Powell

Rannie Amiri
Spies, Lies and Mr. Lebanon's Demise

Bill Hatch
The Mechanic's Tale: a Short Chapter in the History of Foreclosures

Chellis Glendinning, Stephanie Mills and Kirkpatrick Sale
Three Luddites Talking ... on a Computer!

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Dosed, But Not Spiked: an Interview with Grace Slick

David Yearsley
Eros and Susan Boyle; Fakery and Simon Cowell

Jean-Christophe Servant
A River of Acid: Mined Out in Zambia

Dave Lindorff
Sotomayor's Problem Isn't That She's Too Latina

James McEnteer
Straw Dogs: the Media and Sonia Sotomayor

Missy Beattie
A Place Called Despair

James C. Faris
On Evolution: a Critique of Darwinism

David Macaray
When Workers' Rights Go Unenforced

Harvey Wasserman
The Catastrophic Economics of Nuclear Power

Adam Federman
Drilling the Marcellus Shale Through the Halliburton Loophole

David Ker Thomson
Turtle Island: Adventures in Recycling

Mark Seth Lender
Great Egrets Return

Stephen Martin
Big Trouble in Little Britain

Joseph Nevins
Sin Nombre is Only Part of the Border Story

Sophia Mihic
Star Trek and the Continuing Mission of American Imperialism

Lorenzo Wolff
Dylan Kelehan Gets What He Needs

Poets' Basement
Fleming, Shields and Greer

Website of the Weekend
Petition: Grant Parole to Leonard Peltier

May 28, 2009

Joan Roelofs
The Philanthropies and the Economic Crisis

Paul Craig Roberts
Torture and the American Conscience

Ralph Nader
Corporate Frankensteins

Mouin Rabbani
The Dangers of False Optimism in the Middle East

Joe Bageant
Plain Truths From Appalachia: a Redneck View of Obamarama

James McEnteer
America Held Hostage

Dedrick Muhammad
Obama and the Harsh Racial Reality

Richard Morse
On Speaking Out in Haiti

David Macaray
Have We Turned Into Sheep?

Harvey Wasserman
The 8 Green Steps to Solartopia

Website of the Day
Col. Peters: Just Kill the Gitmo Detainees

May 27, 2009

Joanne Mariner
Military Commissions, Round Three

Paul Craig Roberts
Doublespeak on North Korea

Walden Bello
Can China Save the World From Depression?

Dave Lindorff
Recidivism and Guantánamo

Brian M. Downing
Along the Durand Line

Carlos Villarreal
Separate But Equal Just Fine in California?

Nadia Hijab
Israel's Next Move: Armageddon Now?

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The PCBs of the Hudson River

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RadWaste and Texas' Future

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The Fall of a Brazilian Financier

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Overcoming the Poverty of Ambition

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The Case Against Shell

May 26, 2009

Manuel Garcia, Jr.
Fearful Pride: North Korea's Second Nuclear Test

Mike Whitney
The Next Leg Down: When Deflation Becomes Entrenched

Sharon Smith
Obama and Abortion Rights: What We Learned at Notre Dame

Marjorie Cohn
The Gitmo Appeasment Plan: Obama Buckles on the Constitution

Dean Baker
Waterboard the Fed

Deepankar Basu
Was the Indian Election a Debacle for the Left? If So, Why?

Fred Gardner
The Vindication of Sgt. Northcutt

Jordan Flaherty
New Orleans for Sale

Josh Ruebner
Rethinking the Costs of Peace

Brian Cloughley
The Man Who Murdered Count Foulke Bernadotte

Website of the Day
The Montana Town That Wants to Become the New Gitmo

May 25, 2009

Diane Christian
Looking at Torture

John Ross
Mexico's Shock Doctrine

Kenneth Hartman
The Trouble With Prison

Uri Avnery
Netanyahu Goes to Washington

Fred Gardner
"War on Pot" Overrides "Support Our Troops": the Punishment of Sgt. Northcutt

Cindy Sheehan
Day of the Dead

Sen. Russell Feingold
Prolonged Detention and the Rule of Law: a Letter to Barack Obama

Sibel Edmonds
Two Sides of the Same Coin: From State Secrets to War to Wiretaps

Franklin Lamb
Der Spiegel Tries Again

Dave Lindorff
Memorial Day in the Land of the Weak and Wussy

Daniel Wolff
Learning to Read in the Pacific Northwest

Website of the Day
Decoration Day

May 22-24, 2009

Alexander Cockburn
How Long Does It Take?

Michael Teitelman
Obama, Torture and John Walker Lindh

Mike Whitney
Credit Default Swaps: the Poison in the System

Ray McGovern
Cheney Breaks the Taboo: Support for Israel Feeds Terrorism

Sonia Cardenas /
Andrew Flibbert
Why We Love to Hate Pirates

Clive Hamilton
Biblical Prophesy and the Iraq War: Bush, God, Iraq and Gog

Conn Hallinan
Swine Flu Fallout

Fred Gardner
Sgt. Northcutt's Homecoming

Carlo Cristofori
The Latest AfPak War

Dean Baker
A Friendly Financial Intervention

Rannie Amiri
King Abdullah's 57-State Solution

Andy Worthington
A Message to Obama: No Military Commissions; No Preventive Detentions

David Macaray
Democrats Betray Labor: Card Check is Pronouced Dead

Nadia Hijab
What Kind of State?

Franklin Lamb
How Not to Win Votes for Team USA

Ted Newcomen
The Forgotten Casualties

David Ker Thomson
Joy (Or How Hope, the Thing With Feathers, Gets Plucked)

David Rosen
Porn Wars

Mark Weisbrot
Climate Change and Intellectual Property Rights?

Robert Fantina
Gitmo, Democrats and Business as Usual

Heather Gray
Some Positive Directions in Public Health?

Farzana Versey
The Myth of Manmohan Singh

Chris Genovali
A Paler Shade of Green

Ron Jacobs
His Terrible Swift Sword: the Legacy of John Brown

Jay Diamond
Why the Left Should Cheer Hannity and Limbaugh

Dr. Susan Block
The Binds That Bond

Ben Sonnenberg
"Ballast": An Endlessness of Almost Ending

David Yearsley
Handel's Ghost ... Again

Lorenzo Wolff
My Problem with Led Zeppelin

Poets' Basement
Corseri and Bohm

Website of the Weekend
Bob Graham's CIA Notebooks

May 21, 2009

Jeffrey St. Clair /
Joshua Frank
The Politics of Bait-and-Switch: Obama and the Environment

Paul Craig Roberts
Morphing Dick Cheney

Chris Floyd
In Defense of George W. Bush

Gerald Paoli
Inside Iraqi Kurdistan: Life and Death in the Qandil Mountains

Zach Mason
Something's Gotta Give: Obama and the Hustler

Uri Avnery
A Quarrel on the Titanic

Andy Worthington
Out of Guantánamo

Niranjan Ramakrishnan
India: Two Funerals and a Wedding

Norman Solomon
The Afghanistan Escalation

Dave Lindorff
A Corporate Crime Wave of Labor Law Violations

Website of the Day
Swine Flu: The Panic That Wasn't

May 20, 2009

Michael Hudson
The Toll Booth Economy

Gary Leupp
Courting Hekmatyar: Obama and the Warlord

Michael D. Yates
Work is Hell

Jonathan Cook
Netanyahu Adviser Steps Out of the Shadows

Peter Lee
The World Doesn't Have a Pakistan Nukes Problem ... It Has a David Albright Problem

Binoy Kampmark
The End of the Tamil Tigers?

Peter Zinn
Eulogizing Lawyers

William Loren Katz
Tortured Reasoning; Tortured Results

Gary Lapon
Why Women Need Single Payer

Trudy Bond
Torture, Shrinks and a Groundhog's Day Moment

Website of the Day
Meet the Climate Change Lobby

May 19, 2009

Kristoffer Rehder
Check Point Iraq: a Soldier's Tale

Mike Whitney
The Real Lesson of the Financial Crisis

Ray McGovern
How Colin Powell Got Duped by the CIA

Vijay Prashad
The Indian Elections: a Game Changer?

Mirjam Hadar Meerschwam
Intimidation and Interrogation in Tel Aviv

Mustafa Barghouthi
Is Obama Up to the Challenge of Dealing with Netanyahu?

Andy Worthington
Gitmo: A Prison Built on Lies

Binoy Kampmark
Britain's Speaker Crisis

John Walsh
John Kerry vs. Single-Payer

David Macaray
Alcohol as Metaphor: Zero Tolerance in the Workplace

Website of the Day
So You Think That Veggie Burger is Organic...

May 18, 2009

Dave Lindorff
The US is Using White Phosporous in Afghanistan

Abdul Malik Mujahid
Thirty Years of Tragedy in Afghanistan

Jonathan Cook
How Many Secret Prisons Does Israel Have?

Ben Rosenfeld
Police Violence: How Many Kicks to the Head Does It Take?

Patrick Cockburn
These Killings Will Only Strengthen the Taliban

Ralph Nader
They Want It All: New Tricks From the Old Energy Lobby

Stephen Soldz
Psychologist Bryce Lefever Clarifies Defense of Torture

Eugenia Tsao
On the Devaluation of Labor

Walter Brasch
Cheney's Magical Mystery Media Tour

Roberto Rodriguez
War and Torture

Charlotte Laws
Politics and American Idol

Website of the Day
Disbar the Torture Lawyers

May 15-17, 2009

Alexander Cockburn
King of the Hate Business

Jeffrey St. Clair
The Case of the Missing H-Bomb

David Rosen
Sexual Torture: What is Acknowledged and What Remains Unknown

Mike Whitney
From My Lai to Bala Baluk: Obama Picks Up Where Bush Left Off

Bruce Page
A Real History of Rupert Murdoch

Jeremy Scahill
The Black Shirts of Guantánamo

Fred Gardner
Tortured Reasoning: Judge Bybee Rules Against Brian Epis

Tom Barry
Fighting the Drug War at Homeland Security

Mats Svensson
On the Beach in Tel Aviv

Ramzy Baroud
The Drones Are Coming

Mark Engler
Science Fiction From Below

Mark Weisbrot
Stealth Move by IMF to Get $100 Billion Without Congressional Debate

Farzana Versey
Of Scapegoats and Separatists

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It's Up to You to Save Troy Davis

Hannah Wolfe
What to Tell the Children

Cal Winslow
Fresno, the New Ground Zero in the Battle Between the SEIU and NUHW

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Labor Needs a Southern Strategy

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Involuntary Baptism

Mark Seth Lender
The Lion Tamer's Story

Robert Fantina
Lapel Pins, Arugula and Mustard

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Last Man Walking

Stephen Martin
Lipstick Nightmare for Spin Merchant

Charles R. Larson
Double Exile

Chase Madar
"Angels & Demons" and the Extraordinary Power of Imaginary Heretics

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Vaginas From Outer Space! Boldly Sitting Through Star Trek

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May 14, 2009

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Where Russia Went Wrong

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The Poisoned Mosaic: Judge Condemns Guantánamo Evidence

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The Pope's Pilgrimage: Legitimizing Netanyahu?

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The Limits of Liberalism

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Gen. McChrystal and Afghanistan

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Obama and Latin America: No Light, All Tunnel

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Cuba: Measure of a Revolution

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NATO in Georgia: Fun and Games

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The Sinking of GM: When Captains of Industry Don't Go Down with the Ship

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The AfPak Blues: Corpses of the Kids by the Truckload

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Generational Homelessness


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June 4, 2009

Is It Really a War on Pasthuns?

Clearing Misconceptions on Pakistan's War in Swat


Amid all the conflicting voices that report on the Pakistani military’s ongoing operation in Swat, it is difficult to ascertain what the reality is.  There are however a few misconceptions that must be cleared.

Is this Pakistan’s war?

This is most definitely Pakistan’s war, but those targeting Pakistan and its people are not always Pakistani.  A multinational conglomerate of Arabs, Uzbeks, Chechens, Turkomen along with Pakistani militants are responsible for the insurgency in Pakistan’s northwest and for terrorist activities in the rest of Pakistan.  As their power grew, they were joined by local criminal networks, which assisted them in targeted killings and kidnapping for ransom.  Those most often targeted are law enforcement personnel, and Pakistan’s police forces have borne the brunt of the attacks.

There is widespread realization in Pakistan today that these anti-state elements need to be eliminated for Pakistan’s own sake and those who continue to speak of this operation as “America’s war” or “America’s war for which Pakistan is being paid” are but a fraction of the population.  Primarily such rhetoric is spewed from a few members of the right-wing media and bitter politicians, like those representing the Jamaat Islami and playboy-turned-born-again Muslim, Imran Khan.  Interestingly, Mr. Imran Khan’s party, at its zenith, won one parliamentary seat, and the Jamaat Islami has never done well in elections either, with the exception of the 2002 election, which is widely believed to have been rigged.

Pakistan’s military, under General Kiyani, and the ruling civilian coalition of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in the centre, along with the Awami National Party (ANP) in the North West Frontier Province have taken collective ownership of the war.  The main opposition party, Pakistan Muslim League-N (N for Nawaz Sharif) has also backed the military operation.  Public opinion, as reflected by the elected political parties, is eager for the military to eradicate the militants, albeit with as little collateral damage as possible.

Is this a war against the Pashtuns?

It is sometimes incorrectly stated that the militant insurgency in Pakistan’s northwest (Pashtun dominated areas) is a symbol of Pashtun nationalism.  There is no truth to this.  As Professor Mohammed Taqi writes, “This is actually the cultural result of militarized madrassas and refugee camps where Pashtun children were forced to grow up during and after the Soviet-Afghan war in the eighties.  Many of these people have never really been true citizens of Pakistan or Afghanistan and nor have they ever really experienced Pashtun tribal society.”

It is quite amazing when the likes of Fareed Zakaria claim on CNN that the current military operation in Pakistan will spark ethnic fires between Pashtuns and Punjabis.  His statement represents a complete lack of understanding.  First, the military operation is being done at the behest of the ANP, which is the foremost representative of the Pashtun sentiment in Pakistan.  Like other innocent civilians in the NWFP, members of the ANP too have suffered beheadings, kidnappings and torture at the hands of the militants and are fully backing the military operation in their province so that the writ of the government can be established.

What Mr. Zakaria also does not understand is that the Paksitan Army has a strong Pashtun contingent.  Therefore, it is not as if a Punjabi army is waging a war on a Pashtun insurgency.  The insurgency is often led by Saudis and Libyans (as demonstrated by the recent capture of several foreign militants, whose passports manifest surprisingly lax control at Iranian checkpoints) while the Pakistan Army works in close collaboration with the Frontier Constabulary, consisting exclusively of Pashtuns.

It is relevant to quote from two opinion pieces recently written in Pakistan’s widely read English daily, The News (to which I also regularly contribute).  Noor Khan, an internally displaced person (IDP) from Swat, writes:

“Like most Pakhtuns, I say the only feasible solution at this stage is a complete military operation resulting in the confirmed elimination of the leadership of the Taliban in Swat and ensuring that they do not return after the area is cleared. If it is abandoned in the middle yet again, the much-reduced supporters of the government will be finished off, and Swat will become as hostile as Waziristan…. The people of Swat are living in a situation of constant fear. When our loved ones are alive, we fear for their safety, when they are taken away, there is anguish over whether they will come back alive, when they are murdered, there is terror that their bodies will be left for scavengers to feed on, when they are returned, whole or in parts, there is the torment of giving them half-Muslim, secret burials in unmarked graves and when they are buried, there is constant dread of their graves being desecrated and their corpses being subjected to dishonour and humiliation. Our children are taken away and turned into monsters; our men are forced to lay down their lives to murder innocents and our sisters are dragged out of their homes by disappointed suitors and flogged publicly for imaginary crimes.”

Zubair Torwali, an IDP from Bahrain (a scenic town in upper Swat) writes:

“On May 28 the Pakistan army entered Bahrain and was greeted by the local people who came forward with white flags and kept on chanting “Pak Fauj Zindabad’ [Long Live Pakistan Army]. This is unique in that something like this has happened for the first time in the whole of the troubled Swat valley. It was also unique as Bahrain had been under the control of the Taliban since the beginning of April. When the brave soldiers of the Pakistan army saw this scene they also became emotional and began chanting slogans in favour of the army and the people. The people were so happy at this spectacle of the state forces that they happily carried the ammunition, guns and other luggage of the soldiers to their positions…. The war against the militants can only be won by winning the hearts and minds of the local population — and this has been done in Bahrain.”

Do the people in Swat want to be governed by Sharia or Islamic law?

Like elsewhere in Pakistan, the people of Swat are religious and very defensive about Islam.  However, like elsewhere in Pakistan, when it comes time to vote, they vote for secular parties.  The 2008 election was no exception, when they voted overwhelmingly for ANP candidates.

Much is made about the fact that the people of Swat lived under Islamic law before they became a part of Pakistan and hence want to return to it.  While it is true that the people of Swat want justice and opportunity, running water and electricity, and a chance to send their children to school, whether they are provided these basics under Islamic or secular law is of little concern to them.  In fact, given voting patterns, it can be argued that they have more faith in acquiring these rights by voting for secular political parties.  After all, the Islamic parties make Sharia a key electoral promise, yet they perform poorly in elections.

It is important also to reflect upon the history of Swat.  Prior to the Partition of India and Pakistan in 1947, Swat was a princely state, ruled by a wali.  Although the Wali was inclined towards Sufism, he introduced a legal system that was a combination of Islamic and customary Pashtun laws.  Yet, not only did he build infrastructure and schools promoting both education and tourism, but also legally sanctioned bars and “dancing girls”. 

At the time of Partition, the Wali of Swat opted to join Mohammed Ali Jinnah’s Pakistan voluntarily, but until 1969, Swat remained a semi-autonomous state with its own police and small army.  General Ayub Khan, who ruled Pakistan between 1958 and 1969, married his beautiful daughter, Nasim, to Captain Miangul Aurangzeb, who was the wali ahad (crown prince) of Swat, and was serving Ayub Khan as his aide-de-camp.  Although the marriage was a catalyst to merging semi-autonomous Swat into the rest of Pakistan, it wasn’t until Ayub Khan was asked to step down, that his successor, General Yahya, dethroned the Wali of Swat.

Subsequently, the ruling family merged into Pakistan quite readily, remaining active in national politics, but the people of Swat suffered from the inability of successive governments to fill the void in governance left by dethroning the Wali.

What is required therefore is to bring the legal system of the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA), of which Swat is a part, and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in line with that of the rest of Pakistan and to focus on enhancing a poor law enforcement structure.  And although the legal system in Pakistan in general could do with much reform, it must be uniform all over the country so as to avoid feelings of discrimination.

Romanticism with the past is not the answer.  The Wali of Swat may have administered the state passably, modernizing it in his dream to create a “Switzerland of Asia”, but there were also repressive practices.  Practices that would not go down well in a society aspiring for democratic norms and civil liberties. 

For example, the family of Afzal Khan Lala, one of Pakistan’s most respected politicians who hail from Swat, was expelled from their native land by the former Wali because he considered their influence in Swat a challenge to his despotic rule.  It is interesting also to note how Afzal Khan Lala and Miangul Aurangzeb (both in their eighties) differ on the Swat operation.

In an interview with Azhar Masood in Foreign Policy Journal, the former wali ahad of Swat, Miangul Aurangzeb, dubiously sits on the fence, stating of the military operation:  “I neither approve it nor disapprove it.”

Afzal Khan Lala takes a clear position.  Having suffered the loss of two grandsons and been ambushed by the Taliban himself, he remains steadfast in his defiance, stating categorically:  “The Taliban movement is not an ideological movement. All the men of Sufi Muhammad and Maulana Fazlullah are loyal to Baitullah Mehsud. In fact, all the Taliban are loyal to Mullah Omar and most of them are criminals, looters, bandits, car  snatchers, absconders and  drug  runners. He is the centre of gravity both for Pakistani and Afghan Taliban.”

When asked if it was a class struggle, he responded:  “In class struggle between haves and have-nots, you do not become a criminal. You do not harm innocent people, snatch vehicles, dump arms and ammunition; you get popular through the force of ideology and not force. Taliban are terrorists and have no ideology.”

Is it possible to defeat the Taliban?

Yes, it is possible for the Pakistan Army to defeat the militants.  There are plenty of stories of the bravery and heroism of Pashtun fighters who are helped along by the rugged terrain in Pakistan’s northwest such that no invader could capture these freedom-loving people.  That may well be true, but it is only true for foreign invaders.  So Americans should beware. 

But the Pakistan Army is no foreign invader.  They know the terrain as well as the militants.  The historic Ambela Pass, which could not be taken by successive foreign intruders and led to their defeat at the hands of the Pashtuns, was taken by the Pakistani security forces, assisted by the Frontier Constabulary, in a matter of days.  So, in the case of Pakistan’s own war, it is much more a matter of will than ability.

In the past, during Musharraf’s time, the fight was often not sincere and plagued with half-baked “peace deals” because Musharraf and his cronies believed that if the Islamic threat was eradicated altogether, it would be impossible for Musharraf to present himself as the bulwark against terrorism and continue to win the west’s support.  As a result, operations were conducted with duplicity and alliances were entered into with political forces that supported extremist ideology.

Presently, the army, under General Kiyani, appears sincere in its efforts and not distracted by competing concerns of maintaining a political hold on the country.  The politicians, for their part, are backing the army and consolidating public opinion behind their efforts.

The most difficult part is not the military operation, but rehabilitation of the displaced and rebuilding of the destroyed infrastructure.  In this, Pakistan must be helped.  Presently, of the 2.5 million IDPs, only 200,000 are living in camps set up by the government and various relief agencies.  The rest are staying with relatives and friends.  The Pakistani people are very generous even with excruciatingly limited resources.  The state and the international community must ensure that the burden taken on by these friends and relatives does not break their backs.

Aid must flow to Pakistan.  But, given the unfortunate corrupt state of government affairs, it must be tied to strict requirements of transparency and accountability.  The international community should also take a special interest in infrastructure projects for the affected areas where a lot has been demolished as a result of this “grim but necessary war”, as Cyril Almeida, one of Pakistan’s finest columnists, remarked.  Building an expensive “super embassy” in Pakistan, as reported by some media sources, will do little good and much harm.  Not only will it give credence to the few that claim “this is America’s war”, but it will also lead Pakistanis in general to conclude that America is simply motivated by imperialist designs. 

Stabilizing and developing Pakistan is beneficial to the world at large.  The US also owes it to Pakistan to help it out of this quagmire, to make up for its abdication of responsibility in the aftermath of the Soviet defeat.  Hillary Clinton’s remarks in this context are gracious, honest and welcome, but they must be matched with appropriate action.

Ayesha Ijaz Khan is a London-based lawyer and political commentator and can be contacted via her website www.ayeshaijazkhan.com





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