Pakistan: Thy Wish Is My Command - Enhancing CIA Presence

29 November 2010

By Mir Adnan Aziz

"Tyrants use their power in three manners. The first is, that they strive that those under their mastery be ignorant and fearful, because, when they be such, they may not rise against them, nor resist their wills; the second, that their victims not be kindly and united among themselves, in such a wise that they trust not each other; and the third that they strive to make them poor and to put them under great undertakings, which they can never finish, whereby they may have so much harm that it may never come into their hearts to devise anything against their ruler". *(Alfonso X, King of Castile).

These words seem prophetic seen in the context of the West's attitude towards Pakistan and the subsequent shenanigans of our own rulers. A recent US request to 'extend' the sphere of drone strikes was countered by a spineless offer to 'enhance' CIA presence in Quetta. The powers that be,
confident by the accepted bondage at large, gave up on even the routine charade of defending sovereignty at all costs. It was, after all, an open admission to their connivance in 'limited' drone strikes and CIA presence in Quetta and surely elsewhere too. Hillary Clinton, British Foreign Secretary William Hague and German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, amongst a host of others, tell us in strident tones how to tax people fatally ravaged by their war. They warn us severance of alms in case of non-compliance. Beggars not being choosers, all we can do is say: 'thy wish is my command'. We are indeed a fractious nation in servitude.

Historically famines and poverty occur due to calamities or prolonged wars. We cannot stop calamities; forever wars are indeed of our own making. Our insecurity and grinding impoverishment is perceived to be planned by the government hence the bondage our lives have become. Seemingly, contrary to conventional thinking, politics and public offices have become the most burgeoning business. The US, with an administration that promised change, continues to engage in forever wars; we the satellites are giddy with the prospect in terms of dollars received. To those pundits who rant that we sold ourselves cheaply, it is the very act of selling oneself that is obscene; no amount of money can be redemption.

The hole in Lower Manhattan (with 'holes' a routine occurrence all over Pakistan) is a reminder of the action of a few non-Pakistanis in a few hours, the subsequent forever 'war on terror' a memorial to futility. Bush, who ironically majored in history, made a grave error going into Afghanistan; President Obama is making an even graver one escalating the war. The 2014 timeline is as fallacious as the 2011 one. After making a series of ignominious decisions to escalate the war in Vietnam, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara eventually said: 'wars generate their own momentum and follow the law of unanticipated consequences'. Afghanistan, the saga of spying and geo-political interventions chronicled by Rudyard Kipling in 'The great game' shall prove to be no exception.

President Obama's fundamental argument that occupying Afghanistan makes the US more secure is flawed, as only a small number (if any) members of al Qaedah reside in Afghanistan. If the US premise of their migration to Pakistan is true, will US troops stay on perpetually in Afghanistan. If they do, where does the peace equation come in with the Taliban calling for a total withdrawl of US/NATO forces? It should be clear beyond doubt that the focus of the developing political strategy is expanding the war theatre to the cities and towns of Pakistan. This blunder will have a trans-borders domino effect and strengthen militants with even moderates joining hands with them.

Obama's promised change and the post McCrystal implosion change in military leadership should have been cause for rethinking the entire Afghan policy; what we have instead is a regressive policy guided by the gospel of Petraeus. Meanwhile those that suffer see this war as a totally imperial
agenda whereas what President Eisenhower called the 'military-industrial complex' using the war to prosper. ‘Terrorism' experts are using the same to gain money and visibility while mercenaries in the garb of contractors mint (blood) money. This war has given carte blanche to many nefarious agendas (here and abroad) hindering a logical conclusion.

In the recent US election virtually no candidate talked about Afghanistan. The longest war in American history and the American public does not care to talk about it any longer. What apart from servitude, forces us to be the harbingers of western security at the cost of our own? The United States has already lost the War in Afghanistan. The Pentagon mindset believes that numerical and armament superiority is a precondition to sure victory; the history of wars tells us otherwise - it is strategic superiority that prevails. Afghanistan is a lost duel. History, geography and culture make the area a nightmare for any foreign presence attempting to impose its will on the nation.

When Gorbachev came to power he, like President Obama, inherited a war that was not in the interest of his nation. It took a Soviet dictator, pariah to the West, to end it. Would it be too much to expect the same from the Nobel peace prize winning torch-bearer of the ‘free and democratic' world?



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