Baseball91's Weblog

May 3, 2011

Justice in Pakistan

When you are busy as a Republican or a Democrat, whether in a congressional campaign or a presidential one, you did not have a great deal of time to sit and study history. When there were wars going on and campaigns to arrange every two years.

The White House didn’t notify the Pakistani government in advance, over what the people within the Pakistan leadership long had known about the location of the bin Laden compound forty miles north of Islamabad. Pakistani troops did not participate in the secret operation which sound to be out of a Daniel Silva novel.

In the wake of the announcement of the new head of the CIA, in just a few days later, comes news of the death of Osama bin Laden. In the wake of the news this year about the killing of two Pakistanis by a CIA operative. With an awakening at that point about Pakistan’s history. The one which the New York Times had covered in their Sunday Magazine two years ago. It pretty much explained why Pakistan would shelter bin Laden.

With a history of the last twenty five years. When Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s army chief of staff had been Zia ul-Haq, who not only deposed prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto but crushed all opposition and introduced into the country’s public life — especially into the military — a quite new element of evangelical piety. When the military took over a country, not unlike in Egypt. Perhaps with the same attitude to the outside world, which could be found in Russia and China. When the stranger was always distrusted. Because of the mystery of the Russian soul. Or whatever place of birth from where a man, a woman, was from.

In a short time after the incubation of this Pakistani nation, Zia ul-Haq, a true believer, empowered religious societies and political parties in a bid to foster a new national ideology, where previous rulers — themselves religiously moderate — found Islam only convenient. A nation founded, different than Hindu India, based somehow on belief. “Since 1947, Pakistan understood itself, and organized itself, as a national-security state with strong cold-war ties to the United States. This clear idea of establishment of a nation came from of soldiers and bureaucrats and soldiers in its founding in 1947, with an identity as one as a refuge for South Asian Muslims away from an India bent on subsuming the new country back into the ‘Hindu raj.’ Because the tenure of Zia ul-Haq coincided with the CIA war on the Soviet Union in Afghanistan, Pakistan today was so different. Zia’s military and intelligence officials had been the ones who controlled the Afghan mujahedeen, doled out their American funds, and sometimes history catches up with current events,” wrote the New York Times.

Twenty-five years later, current President Asif Ali Zardari lost an important supporter when the Christian governor of the country’s most populous state was shot dead by a member of his own police guard. Admiral Mike Mullen, the Obama administration’s point man on Pakistan policy, told Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, a previous director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate – Pakistan’s military equivalent of the Central Intelligence Agency – that the CIA would not reduce drone strikes until Pakistan launched a military operation against the Haqqani network in Pakistan’s tribal areas. So American policy with the drones is to drive the Taliban deeper within Pakistan. And it seems safe to conclude the Pakistan army, which runs the country and supports the Taliban, does not care about anyone or anything except Muslims. And it was tough to be in such an alliance.

So in the same city with a Pakistani military base and military academy, with a Pakistan army which runs the country and supports the Taliban, why would you give prior notice to Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, a previous director-general of the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, that you were coming to get bin Laden?

The great American weakness had always been this desire to be friends with everyone. It had taken ten years to discover that the Pakistani army does not care about anyone or anything except Muslims? All a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had to do was read the New York Times’ article, “Can Pakistan Be Governed? And Is Asif Ali Zardari The Man To Do The Job?” The real answer is, no. The real answer is that Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani ruled the country, that there the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate was working, like V.S. Naipaul once warned about all of Pakistan, for the sole interests of Mecca.

The underlying difference about the adherents of Islam seemed to be an affirmation about “how we are different,” with little interest in helping anyone who is not Muslim. After the Cold War, with the hope that finally, in a free world, fervent true believers could empower religious societies and political parties. And bin Laden had helped set off a revolution in that part of the world.

Beware of the viability of alliances in any Pakistani partnership, which denied advances in their own society, in their belief in an ascetic way of life, with the evangelical Muslim piety which army generals seemed to like, to direct attention away from the misery on earth, in the hellhole of Pakistan, when the hellhole seemed to be everyone’s fault except their own.

The troubling part about the announcement of bin Laden’s death was the association of the new American ideal in the old EYE FOR EYE concept of justice; that somehow it was just to to invade the sovereignty of a nation which refused to recognize justice itself, not unlike the way Egypt or Libya had been ruled; that the old clan behavior on concepts of power–whether it was the Haqqani or the Klu Klux Klan — was never to be changed. And that the ideals of the United States did not really differ much from the piety of Pakistani generals.

The troubling part about the announcement of bin Laden’s death was the failure to recognize the National Security concerns. Because the issue was not much different than what had existed in the Cold War. As the rich feared the poor, and all the chaos in the ensuing rebellion of the poor. Because Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani knows, as perhaps bin Laden had long ago come to understand, Pakistan cannot be governed? And Asif Ali Zardari is not the man to do the job. There is no human who seems to have the gifts to rule over the post-Cold War rebellion in Pakistan, Libya or even Egypt. In a culture where bribes have always flourished, along with an anger about the state of the world, and all of its every day misery, which is exhibited in an envy toward Europe and the United States over the state of the missing union in the Moslem world. In the new world order with the sixteen agencies addressed toward National Security. Towards a part of the world that demanded passports and birth certificates, when the stranger was always distrusted.

The United States might have been well advised to let bin Laden exist in his suburban house, and to quietly poison his water supply, rather to pursue the Big Bang Theory of the intelligence department. But the populace liked to be excited by the illusions of their own leaders –the ones who could not keep state secrets too long, with elections coming soon –wherever this was leading to. With the drones to drive the Taliban deeper within Pakistan.

Yes, finally justice in Pakistan. Two years after their own wrestling over supreme court appointments, as Asif Ali Zardari worried about rebellion in the streets, now the issue of justice in Pakistan was a world concern. Only Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani did not need the ISI to tell him any more what information was being given to the United States, as the war in Afghanistan continued. How soon would Pakistan be at war with the US?

As the Taliban came closer to home, Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States Hussain Haqqani said on Saturday that on May 3, 2011 Afghanistan and the US will hold trilateral talks to resolve the Afghan conflict, denying media reports about Pakistan advising Afghanistan against cooperation with the US. In this New Age Crusade of Muslims against the west in Afghanistan, just as the Afghans had fought against the Russians when American foreign policy somehow supported the locals. “The key thing is that all three players — the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan — understand that the way forward is: we have to defeat some people in Afghanistan and we have to engage certain people,” Haqqani said. In the charade called the Afghan War where American soldiers had to wonder why they had enlisted.

POST SCRIPT: Pakistani General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani reportedly said that Pakistan would reconsider its relationship with America in the event of another similar operation, in the aftermath of bin Laden’s killing. Yeah, like an American would ever marry a second Pakistani woman after seeing what happened the first time, in the clash of cultures. When you had been paying too much alimony for much too long. In this arranged marriage.

POST SCRIPT II: In the wake of this news in the aftermath of the death of bin Laden, comes the story this week that the German spy agency BND announced that it would not release thousands of files on Adolf Eichmann. Some documents suggest the German spy agency BND was using Adolf Eichmann as an informant – suggesting that both top-level Nazi officials and many lower-level operators escaped justice for reasons of national interest, convenience, or public embarrassment – and that Germany always knew of Eichmann’s whereabouts. As one of the masterminds of the Final Solution, Adolf Eichmann fled and lived in exile under his own name in Argentina after the war until he was captured and brought to trial by Israeli authorities in the 1960s.

This news comes upon the earlier release of a 900 page report commissioned by the German Foreign Minister in 2005, “The Office and the Past: German Diplomats in the Third Reich and the Federal Republic,” about the Foreign Ministry’s Holocaust involvement. According to this report, German diplomats were much more deeply involved in spying on Jewish emigrants from Germany abroad to actively contributing to the mass murder of Europe’s Jews until 1945. “The German Foreign Ministry collaborated with the Nazis’ violent politics and especially assisted in all aspects of the discrimination, deportation, persecution and genocide of the Jews,” said Eckart Conze. This news about Eichmann would suggest that nothing within the German Foreign Ministry had ever really changed in 1945, even though Germany allegedly had “taken an honest and painful look at its past.”

Seymour Hersh
London Review of Books

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3 Comments »

  1. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/14/magazine/raymond-davis-pakistan.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
    Read about how the story of Raymond Davis affected U S and Pakistani relations. Or read about the Pakistani Army in the 1971 Civil War between East Pakistan West Pakistan that led to the founding of the nation of Bangladesh.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-blood-telegram-nixon-kissinger-and-a-forgotten-genocide-by-gary-j-bass/2013/10/04/aa475130-1fc9-11e3-b7d1-7153ad47b549_story.html

    Comment by baseball91 — August 1, 2013 @ 3:13 PM | Reply

  2. So was the CIA chief in Pakistan poisoned two months after bin Lauden was killed, by measures taken in revenge, by the Intelligence Agency of Pakistan?

    http://www.politico.com/tipsheets/morning-defense/2016/05/was-the-cia-chief-in-pakistan-poisoned-syrian-refugee-camp-bombed-dod-caps-congressional-travel-to-afghanistan-214152

    Comment by baseball91 — May 6, 2016 @ 6:33 PM | Reply

  3. Pakistan is angry that a Taliban leader was killed by a drone on its territory. And as an indication what is in the heart of the leaders of the Pakistani government, 1.5 million Afghanis are threatened with deportation. With allies like this, who needs enemies?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-06-16/mass-deportation-threat-raises-stakes-in-u-s-pakistan-spat

    With reference to the ramparts of the Red Fort to Pakistan’s sensitivities in Balochistan, Gilgit, and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir (POK), Modi’s subtle statement on India’s Independence Day “… shows a more aggressive track of Indian diplomacy” coming “to the fore if India’s hand of friendship is misunderstood,” in a geographic area where China has committed a lot of political capital, writes Distinguished Fellow at the Centre for Air Power Studies, Manmohan Bahadur. The China Pakistan Economic Corridor project will pass through Balochistan and Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir, and any instability in the two regions seriously will jeopardize those plans. And China might make note historically what kind of ally Pakistan has been, on matter of trust, with non-Muslim nations.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/indiahome/indianews/article-3742199/PM-Modi-s-Independence-Day-speech-called-Pakistan-s-bluff.html

    And three months later — on September 29, 2016 — that aggressive track of Indian diplomacy becomes visible, with the news today out of Kashmir.
    http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/uri-avenged-inside-story-indian-army-surgical-strikes-pok/1/776433.html

    Taliban would not survive a month without Pakistan support, said Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, if it ever loses its sanctuary in neighboring Pakistan. At an international conference in the northern Indian city of Amritsar — not far from the border with Pakistan — Ghani on December 4, 2016 urged its neighbor to take on militant groups on its soil instead of giving Kabul financial aid. After Ghani attempted to improve relations with Islamabad when he took office in 2014, clearly tensions are rising between Ghani’s Western-backed government and Pakistan, with 500,000 new Afghan refugees resulting in 2016. ISIS has claimed responsibility for attacks targeting minority Shi’ites in Afghanistan where sectarian violence has been rare. President Ghani said that 30 militant groups identified by the UN that are trying to establish a base in Afghanistan, according to a report today in Reuters.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Razakar_(Pakistan) The Culture there: what do you know about the victims of the Concert for Bangladesh, from Operation Searchlight, the Pakistani military crackdown to suppress the Bengali call for the right to self-determination in East Pakistan? [As a result of the 1971 conflict, eight to ten million Hindu people fled the country, with 30 million internally displaced, between 300,000 to 500,000 killed, and between 200,000 and 400,000 women raped. The numerous atrocities committed against women by the Razakars were supported by Muslim religious leaders, who declared that Bengali women were gonimoter maal (public war booty). Still today, mass graves are continually being discovered.

    Comment by baseball91 — June 17, 2016 @ 12:44 AM | Reply


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