Israel Leaves Trail of Lies in Afghanistan

By Gordon Duff


The second time this week, the London Times has run articles submitted by Israeli intelligence, irresponsible, inaccurate and intended to bring chaos.  The first article claimed that US sources had verified Saudi Arabia’s intention to allow Israeli planes to use their territory for an attack on Iran.  The government of Saudi Arabia issued a strong denial in hours.  Today’s Israeli press release, carried as a news article by the London Times is far more sinister but also leaves a trail.  We are putting the London Times in for the Yellow Journalism Award of the Week, something usually reserved for Fox News.

The article itself is what we call a “plant.”  The substance of the times article includes a meeting with an imaginary Taliban commander and a hodge podge of misinformation, outright lies and subterfuge.  What is more important is why the article was written and why such a transparent piece of propaganda is a sign of Israel feeling the upheaval or worldwide scorn after the massacre of human rights activists in the Mediterranean.   The real pressure to cause a rift between NATO and Pakistan, something India and Israel have worked for, has been exacerbated by President Karzai’s attempts to draw close to Pakistan to support his failing regime.  Karzai, educated in India, had, for most of his rule, worked closely with India and, less publicly, Israel, something his people would have hated him even more for, if that were possible.

Continually dogged by accusations of corruption and for surrounding himself with druglords from the minority Northern Alliance, Karzai’s every act has moved Afghanistan into chaos and closer to civil war.  Now that the end is on him and on his friends, India and Israel, he has run to Pakistan for help and Israel has run to the Times to stop him.

The timing of the article, immediately after the Times attempted to divide the Islamic world by claiming Saudi Arabia and Israel were planning an attack on Iran, is, in itself an additional sign of how little the London Times is valued by organizations powerful enough to have it print stories that would humiliate any reputable paper.  It was important for Israel, the close ally of India, to discredit Pakistan and attempt to tie it to the Taliban, an organization that has killed thousands in Pakistan.  No mention is made of these attacks, however.  No mention of Israel and India and their role in arming and training the Taliban as part of a program of surrogate warfare against Pakistan, the world’s only Islamic nuclear state.

The gist of the article is simple:  Pakistan is running the Taliban because Pakistan ran the Taliban during the 1980s, when, frankly, the Taliban didn’t exist.  The article further claims that Pakistan’s ISI, their version of the CIA, is working with President Zardari to organize the Taliban. Read more of this post

When the Guns Fizzed and the Gizmos Fizzled

All the “Daisy Cutters”, Nuclear tipped bombs, and the finest drones on the planet could not stand up to the raw grit of those that opposed occupation. All the kings horses and the all the kings men could not put humpty back together or subdue the fierce fighters of Afghanistan and Pakistan. There are clear signs of operationalization of the peace plan in Kabul. The surge was imply to assuage the hawks in the Republican Party–the real Afghan reassessment was to get American boys out of the treacherous Hindu Kush. Defeat is a clichéd word–there are no winners in war. Victory is exaggerated concept. Absolute defeats have never been able to quell the resistance. Absolute victories have always lead to future wars–be it Sparta, Versailles or Kabul.

As Shakespeare would say “when the hurly burly’s done, and the battle is lost and won“–there is time to make a fresh start.

When a country is not able to impose its will and might–it is some sort of defeat. The Americans today need a face saving exit strategy from Afghanistan. The Taliban, Pakistan and all other countries of the world should assist the US in a phased, expeditious and honorable withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Over the past several years, we have predicted that the US will exit Afghanistan in 2011 right before the US elections. The tell tale signs of the operationalization of this policy is writ in large all over the billboards called newspapers.

There are numerous indications confirming our well calculated predictions: the polite decline to Delhi on their exuberance to begin training the Afghan forces; the offering of Shadow drones to Pakistan; the peace talks with the Afghan Taliban; the mood and the statements of the big boys in preperation of the Afghan Conference on January 28th, 2010; the acceptance of the Pakistani point of view on halting further operations in FATA; the usage of Pakistani mediators in back channel diplomacy to include the Taliban in the current Kabul government; and the offer of further US military and financial aid to Pakistan. The carrots offered to Pakistan are not for free–Milton Friedman was right “that ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”. Pakistan is being offered new toys and more Dollars for her assistance in helping the American extricate themselves out of the Afghan quagmire.

America had a decision to make. Stick with General McChrystal’s policy of more soldiers, more mercenaries and more war–supplemented with more drone bombing and more targeted murders (drones and otherwise). More war has always created more enemies. This has never been more true than in Afghanistan and Pakistan today.

Washington’s other choice was less war, less soldiers and less enemies. President Obama hedged his bets with the first option, and then is pursuing the 2nd option aggressively.

While some may claim that the Great Game is over–and Pakistan won. However, this is not the time for crowing from the rooftops. This is the time to let loose the doves from the allow them to to fly into the sun. There are many steps between the lips and cup. There are many impediments to peace in the Panshir and tranquility in Waziristan. We believe that the right steps are being taken.

A show of strength followed up with massive financial aid and assistance will yield the right results. Once the troops begin leaving, the civilian surge, accompanied with suitcases full of Dollars will persuade the warlords to switch sides (just like the Northern Alliance switched sides in 2001).

There are huge dangers to he peace deal. Bharat (aka India) keenly aware of its sagging influence in Central Asia (specially after the ignominious eviction from Tajikistan) may play the chagrined loser, and stage another Mumbai type of false flag, and try to wage war on Pakistan. This would derail the peace plan. Some of Bharati surrogates in Balochistan and the TTP may be allowed to torpedo peace in the Khyber Pass by assassinating another Pakistani leader, in trying to create ethnic strife in Pakistan. Other international powers may have vested interests in ensuring that the Taliban do not come into power or even share the government in Kabul. Both Israel and Iran are scared of The Talibs.

If President Obama is able to pull this off–it will be a miracle. He has to keep the Indians at bay by selling them toys (double advantage, dollars and Peace); he has to appease the Pakistanis so that they continue their assistance in achieving peace; he has to browbeat Iranian resistance through sanctions and threats; he has to assuage the Chinese that Afghan venture is over with no threat to Beijing; and he has to keep the Russians cool so that they do not think that Central Asia has been taken from them. If he can do this tap dance, the US corporations can make huge profits.

Delhi needs Viagra to prove its manhood. The US can offer the blue pills in many forms–obsolete nuclear plants declared unsafe for America, stripped down F-16s (with lots of spare parts and services), and tons of below quality equipment that the Indians would love to plunk down hard cash for. After all the business of America is doing business. If the US can figure out how to sell billions of Dollars of machines (which will rust in a few years) to Delhi that would be a great achievement. If the US can make a profit out of the Afghan war to recuperate some of its losses, it will be a happy camper. Read more of this post

Logic behind “war against terrorism”

It is no new development that almost every week two-three American or even British delegations come to Pakistan in order to deliver the newest instructions not only about how to fight the ‘war on terror’ but even on how to run the country. While the Jewish senator Lieberman was pressurizing Pakistan to launch a military operation in North Waziristan, David Milliband was advising our government on how to deal with the situation in Karachi. Though we have to concede that this government in power even lacks certain professionalism and may need one or the other advice it is unfortunate that it is the former colonial ruler who wants to further mislead us in this melee drama.

The same is the situation with the so-called ‘war on terror’ and our role as allies of the US and the West in this war. While we do have our own problems with extremism in Pakistan those problems are very different from the ones the US and the West are having. Their efforts to use Pakistan in order to fight and win their war in Afghanistan by deliberately pushing the taleban into Pakistani territory and pressurizing with the threat of stopping the money flow and the Pakistani government and army to fight the war according to their rules and principles has acquired an obstinacy during recent weeks which is really amazing. Judging by the latest remarks of special envoy Holbrooke it looks as if they are offering to run the country for us -at least for the time being, because Pakistan has no place in their ultimate agenda of building American Empire.He also seems to think that we have forgotten the treacherous role he had played at that time in Kosovo and Palestine, which reflected his anti-Islam sentiments.

Their losing position in the Afghan war and especially the recent deadly attack on their CIA operational base in Khost has made all the alarm bells ring in Washington. The panic is so big that whatsoever logic there might have been in the “war against terror” is falling prey to it. While it is an established fact that US and other Western think tanks and intelligence agencies considers that al Quaida has been relocating their “dispensable staff to Yemen after their situation became uncomfortable in Fata and Afghanistan, and it is alleged that several attacks on US installations have been launched earlier from Yemen and Westerners have been abducted for ransom on a regular basis the US states that still Yemen is not so important and the center of activity is in Afghanistan and Pakistan. That is why the pressure on our government and army is mounting to push us into a full fledged civil war.

The consequences of this will be disastrous not only for the US but for this and every coming government which pursues the same policy. Anti-American and anti-Western feelings will rise and that means that on the long run Islamic or Islamist parties and forces will gain influence. Just recently a London think tank making a forecast of political development in Pakistan during the coming three to four years predicted that anti-American feelings and sentiments will rise though probably Islamist forces will not be able to take over the reins of government in Pakistan, as it is nothing but just a propaganda tool for Western media. But the fact that about 70% of the Pakistani population wants the implementation of the Islamic shariah -even if the opinions about what that actually means are quite controversial- should be of course a reason for concern to the government. But the US is not only pressurizing Pakistan to help winning their losing war. They are pressurizing their European allies as well.

By now the Afghan war is thoroughly unpopular in most of the countries of ‘old Europe’ as narrated by former US Secretary of Defense Mr.Rumsfield. Be it Britain or Germany or France, the governments of these countries bound by contracts to the NATO and the US are at loss to explain to their population why and how there is a need to “defend the freedom of their respective countries by waging war in the Hindukush”.

In the situation when all those economies have to deal with a crisis, when the rates of joblessness are going up and the social security systems are under threat, each and every government has to take loans in order to run the economy and re-start it, why there have to be billions of dollars spent on war in Afghanistan and why innocent people have to die there.

Interestingly, the West was never ready to sacrifice the lives of their own soldiers in that war; they always thought that somehow it would be the enemy only who would die – and may be the “collateral damage” of that population that a highly computerized war would cause. That is why it is only the Western dead who are counted, never the dead Iraqis, Afghanis or Pakistanis. And the immediate death toll is only the beginning.

We are just getting first reports about a rising number of children in Iraq being born with birth defects and later developing cancer. The cancer rate in Iraq has gone up manifold as a result of the radiation which has been released in the wake of the carpet bombings. Given the inaccessibility of the Afghan territory such reports may take a while to emerge from there also; but they are bound to come. This situation clearly shows how crazy the logic of this whole ‘war on terror’ is and how physically and politically dangerous its outfall will be on Pakistan, when US and NATO forces leave Afghanistan ultimately.

US allies, NATO & ISAF have murdered, tortured, raped, kidnapped, terrified millions of innocent Pakistani and Afghani through their 9/11 drama to justify attack on Afghanistan & Iraq.

In 1996 US oil Mafia and Unocal were negotiating oil pipeline building project between the Caspian Sea and the markets of East Asia and Europe. At that time US Government welcomed Taliban’s rise to power as a promising source of stability in Afghanistan against the Northern Alliance, so the claim that they are waging this war to liberate Afghanis from Taliban is nothing but a white lie.

As an immediate outfall, Pakistan has become a victim of this war because of our spineless rulers. If immediate corrective measures are not taken and those advising to do more are not shown the door, our survival will remain at stake as millions of people are forced to beg for food, clean water, flour, sugar, gas, electricity, safety and security. Pakistani nation has been trapped in the quagmire of an endless war of terror or civil war, which needs to be ended otherwise the wheels of history are going to grind us all without any exceptions.(Ali Ashraf Khan)

“But the mountains are the same”

The subject is a quote from Mark Franchatti’s article in The Sunday Times of January 03 entitled Can the West avoid Russia’s fate in Afghanistan?

Mark recounts his experience of the operation launched by the US forces and the northern alliance in the Shomali Plains against the enemy 30 miles away from Kabul on October 07, 2001. Amid the overstuffed optimism of the attackers, he recalls: “I watched as ‘allied’ war planes and cruise missiles streaked beyond a high ridge separating us from the frontline. Loud explosions echoed into the night…” Having worked on the ongoing war for eight years he now, like all people with a sense of history, has grown cynical about the outcome in Afghanistan. The subject quote is the reply given by the deputy, who suggested caution in view of the discomfiture of the British forces there on three occasions, to the then Soviet foreign minister, Andrei Gromyko, in 1980. The Boss had fumed: “Are you comparing our internationalist forces to those of the British imperialists?” Starting with “no sir” he ended up with this historic citation.

US President Barack Obama, who inherited the mess, has been haunted by the worsening situation which dates back to 2005. While Obama is fighting to make the US ‘secure’, he is being viciously attacked by the rightwing Republicans for an alleged softening of stance.

Obama being a statesman-like president, his lingo is polished and practical as against the bluster used by the naive. The US is currently plagued by the killing of seven CIA operatives in Khost along with two from the Xe Worldwide (Blackwater) by, reportedly, a “double/triple agent” developed by the US agencies. Many accounts have appeared in the media to decipher as to why should Dr Al-Balawi, the son of a Palestinian family forced to live in Jordan, have gone so desperate. A simple explanation appears to be that the US is paying for the sins of its ally, Israel, and due to domestic pressures the USA’s interest cannot prevail in defining the policy of the beleaguered superpower. It appears that the American good guys, generally, are made to look the other way to absorb the costs debited to the US a la ally’s atrocities.

The other grievous punch was the NW Flight 253 that has also provoked a controversy. While Secretary Napolitano thought “the system worked” by thwarting the offence, subsequent enquiries, virtually supervised by the president, revealed a “systemic” failure. Obama had to warn all concerned to put in their best for ensuring security of their country and people. However, the accused is a Somalian who allegedly was influenced by Al-Qaeda in Yemen. On Christmas Day, he tried to blow up the flight while carrying explosive material which luckily did not explode. The smart response of the crew and fellow passengers saved the day. As politics mars such serious stuff, the interests of genuine passengers get overshadowed. It has been projected that a database of more than half a million ‘suspects’ could have caused a slip which allowed the accused to board the flight, despite his controversial credentials. There are also question marks about the role of hops en route the destination.

Obama, like a great politician, had kept some elbow room for a settlement with the Afghans even as he announced his “surge”, recommended by his generals. While many signals to this effect have been coming from administration officials, Holbrooke of late has been speaking about it vociferously. The burden of argument sees the US at war with Al-Qaeda while the Taliban were only a tool thereof. Now a pattern is fast emerging whereby the Karzai regime would be supported in its efforts to woo those who are not diehard pro-Al-Qaeda. Such ‘fighters’ are considered to have joined the fight due to personal grievances, poverty or having been misled by the hardcore. Holbrooke is visiting Afghanistan and Pakistan this week to spring forward this strategy even while the US forces keep getting inflated.

General Barry McCaffrey in July 2008 after visiting the allied troops in Afghanistan opined that the US can “win the war if it keeps fighting for 25 years.” Insisting on NATO’s full-fledged cooperation for the revival of the Afghan state, he foresees the death toll soon mounting manifold among foreign forces in this “generational war.” Apparently very few in the US have the patience for following such a schedule due to the backbreaking economic meltdown inherited from the last administration.

Moreover the average American, generally, would not keep his focus on such long distance issues. This year would see important elections for the House of Representatives, 36 senators, and 36 governors which matters a lot to both the Democrats and the Republicans. Rants from Cheney are also prompted by the political agenda which gets boosted by the election schedule. The president as such faces all kinds of music on all counts and he has to show results which would win his party the necessary seats in the power structure to fulfil his manifesto.

Hamid Karzai’s moral dilemma appears to have been swept aside by the US for now. He is being treated as an “old donkey with a new saddle” as the Pashto proverb goes.

Meanwhile, drone attacks have swelled in the AfPak which provides the grist to the resentment mills. As civilians get killed, the Taliban turf expands. The same is true on the Pakistani side. One visible result of such tragic aerial bombing is that the US now finds hostility writ large even in the north of Afghanistan whose warlords were its partners since 2001. It appears that the US commanders have consistently used the remote control bombing, despite the damage done to their goodwill.

Recently the Defence Secretary, Robert Gates, conceded before a Senate Committee that, “civilian casualties are doing us enormous harm in Afghanistan.” Lately to show sympathy to the victims in Inzeri village in the Tagab valley of Kapisa province, Colonel Greg Julian and Lieutenant Colonel Steven Weir went to make, what the latter termed as “condolence payment.” Luckily, it was a dialogue of the deaf; otherwise the locals would have reacted badly to such an observation due to cultural divide between the two parties.

General Ruslan Aushev, a highly decorated Soviet veteran, emphasises: “Most Afghans loved us. That changed when we sent in the military because inevitably civilians get killed.” The Afghan mounds and traditions stand as invincible!


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