Are We At War With Pakistan?

Justin Raimundo
In the days before the Empire,  generals – particularly Chairmen of the Joint Chiefs – kept their  mouths shut. The Founders’ justified fears of military intrusion  into the political realm were still present in the American consciousness,  and the idea that an American general might try to influence policy  directly, by making public statements on controversial political topics,  was considered outside the norm. Today, however, no one is shocked by  Admiral Mullen’s testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee  that we are, for all intents and purposes, already at war with Pakistan:

“Extremist organizations  serving as proxies of the government of Pakistan are attacking Afghan  troops and civilians as well as U.S. soldiers. For example, we believe  the Haqqani Network – which has long enjoyed the support and protection  of the Pakistani government and is, in many ways, a strategic arm of  Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Agency – is responsible for  the September 13th attacks against the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.

“There is ample evidence  confirming that the Haqqanis were behind the June 28th  attack against the Inter-Continental Hotel in Kabul and the September  10th truck bomb attack that killed five Afghans and injured another  96 individuals, 77 of whom were U.S. soldiers. History teaches us that  it is difficult to defeat an insurgency when fighters enjoy a sanctuary  outside national boundaries, and we are seeing this again today. The  Quetta Shura and the Haqqani Network are hampering efforts to improve  security in Afghanistan, spoiling possibilities for broader reconciliation,  and frustrating U.S.-Pakistan relations. The actions by the Pakistani  government to support them – actively and passively – represent a growing  problem that is undermining U.S. interests and may violate international  norms, potentially warranting sanction. In supporting these groups,  the government of Pakistan, particularly the Pakistani Army, continues  to jeopardize Pakistan’s opportunity to be a respected and prosperous  nation with genuine regional and international influence.”

If the evidence is so “ample,” why didn’t Mullen reveal any of it during the course of his testimony?  It’s “classified,” which means we ordinary mortals aren’t entitled  to see it: we just have to take their word for it. In this context,  however, their word isn’t worth a hill of beans.

The earlier part of Mullen’s   testimony was a paean to the “success” of US/NATO efforts in Afghanistan:  except for a few minor glitches, he strongly implied, everything’s  coming up roses. How, then, to explain the brazen attacks on the Inter-Continental   Hotel in Kabul, and the Taliban strike at the US embassy, which penetrated  to the very core of the American presence in the country – the Afghan  equivalent of Iraq’s “Green Zone”? It must be the ISI,  Pakistan’s intelligence agency – yeah, that’s the ticket!

Facing questions about his  competence, and that of his generals, Mullen struck back with a conspiracy  theory that explains away – or, at least, explains – the severity  of these attacks, which fatally undermine his Pollyanna-ish narrative.  The Obama administration has been laying the groundwork for this particular  conspiracy theory for quite some time, peppering the Pakistanis with  accusations of complicity in Taliban attacks on US forces – albeit  without producing any public evidence. You’ll recall that the President  himself, during the 2008 campaign, explicitly threatened to strike at  Pakistan – and even John McCain was horrified.

The Justice Department is playing  a key role in the anti-Pakistan offensive, utilizing the infamous David  Headley – a DEA snitch and “former” terrorist operative – to  fill in the details of Pakistan’s alleged perfidy. Headley claims  he was trained by the ISI at one of several terrorist training camps  run by a Kashmiri separatist group, the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), and that  Pakistan was the real source of the terror in Mumbai. Go here for the suspiciously murky details  of his convoluted story, but suffice to say that I’d sooner trust  the word of a used car dealer who’s down to his last dime. While in  the pay of the DEA, Headley traveled around the world committing and  planning terrorist acts – but you’re a “conspiracy theorist” if you think this throws a shadow of suspicion on his character, his  motives, or his “testimony.”

With military ties tightening between  the US and India – Pakistan’s ancient enemy – one  thing is clear: Washington is tilting toward New Delhi. This shift began  in 2006, when India and the US agreed to cooperate on the development  of “civil” nuclear power. However, as the Council on Foreign Relationsreports, under the terms of the agreement “India  would be eligible to buy U.S. dual-use nuclear technology, including  materials and equipment that could be used to enrich uranium or reprocess  plutonium, potentially creating the material for nuclear bombs.”

Pakistan and  India have come close to a nuclear exchange on several occasions over  the years. With theHindu ultra-nationalists who wield increasing political  clout frothing at the mouth for war, the introduction of such technology  poses a deadly danger to the entire region. A nuclear sword of Damocles,  forged by the US government, is hanging over the heads of Pakistanis – and we wonder whythey hate us.

The Americans  are playing a very dangerous game with Pakistan, doing everything in  their power toundermine the elected government, while at the same time  decrying the threat of “extremism” in that nation. But they can’t  have it both ways: if they fear destabilization, then why are they doing  their utmost to provoke it? You’d almost have to be a “conspiracy  theorist” to make sense out of it.

We are fighting  an unwinnable war in the region, one that doesn’t serve our interests,  eithergeopolitical or economic, and we’ve tasked our military with  solving an insoluble problem: how to win over a people whose land we’ve  occupied. Our military leaders, in response, are forced to invent plausible  reasons explaining why they’ve been unable to accomplish the impossible.  The blame Pakistan narrative serves that purpose admirably.

The ass-covering  isn’t limited to the Afghan war, however, as Mullen’s remarks made  all too clear. In warning against letting the alleged problem with Pakistan  fester, unacknowledged, Mullen told the Senators:

History teaches us that it is difficult  to defeat an insurgency when fighters enjoy a sanctuary outside national  boundaries, and we are seeing this again today.”

A revealing comment if ever  there was one: the US military is still burning with resentment over   their defeat in the Vietnam war, and they blame the politicians for  not letting them “win” by bombing the entire region into submission.  Mullen is signaling to Congress and the civilian leadership that the  military isn’t going to stand by, this time, and let itself be railroaded  into taking the blame for another humiliating defeat. Mullen’s message  to Congress, and the White House, is clear: let us go after the Pakistanis – or else….

The Obama administration, already  intimidated by all things military, is going along with the program.  What the anti-Pakistan campaign we’ve been subjected to in recent  months amounts to is that the Obama administration is angling for the  equivalent of Richard Nixon’s invasion of Cambodia – an act that  ended in disaster for all concerned, including the US.

Remember, Pol Pot arose from  that slaughterhouse. Who knows what monsters will rise in the wake of  our invasion of Pakistan?

It’s just what the politicians  need – a fresh overseas war to take our minds off the economic and  social crisis here at home. Think of it as another “stimulus package”  – war being the only stimulant bothparties can agree on.

http://theuglytruth.wordpress.com/2011/09/26/are-we-at-war-with-pakistan/#more-29350

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