Archive | July 14th, 2011

IMF Bogs Down Arab Revolt, Reinforces Imperial Policies

NOVANEWS

John Glaser

Over at Econlog, Arnold Kling directs us to this interesting and much needed articlearguing that the IMF has “outlived its purpose.” Excerpt:

Now, before Tunisia and Egypt even have new governments in place, the IMF has jumped to offer them loans for vast infrastructure projects in the desert—as if the fund didn’t know that young Arabs there want ways to start businesses and have careers, not temporary construction jobs.

The Greek debacle and the North African drama raise existential questions about the IMF. Responsible governments have no business borrowing vast sums from abroad, rather than from domestic sources. That’s what tinpot regimes do. And lending even more to borrowers who can’t pay what they already owe? That’s what loan sharks and mafiosi do.

The IMF’s business model sabotages properly functioning capitalism, victimizing ordinary people while benefiting the elites. Do we need international agencies to enable irresponsible–verging on immoral–borrowing and lending? Instead of dreaming up too-clever-by-half schemes to stumble through crises after they happen, why not just stop imprudent banks from accommodating foreign borrowing by feckless governments?

The piece is good in its entirety, so do read it.

One of the many reasons IMF/World Bank policies tend to exacerbate the problems that countries experiencing this Arab Spring face and have faced is because they help legitimate the state officials of Arab tyrannies (so long as the U.S. legitimates them too) by (1) implementing doomed Keynesian booster-programs and (2) orchestrating top-down policies that these tyrants then use to their advantage. I blogged a bit about this back in May, but here is Austin Mackell at the Guardian in the same month:

The new loans being negotiated for Egypt and Tunisia will lock both countries into long-term economic strategies even before the first post-revolution elections have been held. Given the IMF’s history, we should expect these to have devastating consequences on the Egyptian and Tunisian people.

[The IMF] would rather make backroom deals with Mubarak-appointed finance minister, Samir Radwan, and the generals currently running Egypt who are themselves members of an the economic elite that sees its privilege threatened by the approach of democracy.

Mackell discredits himself by citing the economically illiterate Naomi Klein later in the piece, but it is important to note the overlap here. Those opposed to the Western imperialism that has in many ways held back the entire region should rightly oppose the economic technocrats attempting to pull the levers from their outfits at the IMF and World Bank. And those who understand that economies free from the white-knuckled grip of these dictatorships (again, many propped up by the U.S.) would empower and improve the lives of these populations should oppose what these international economic agencies do, which is falsely branded as imposing free market policies.

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The War in Somalia

NOVANEWS

John Glaser

Jeremy Scahill’s excellent report at The Nation magazine exposes secret CIA prisons which confine uncharged individuals in terribly inhumane conditions without access to legal council, a Somali intelligence agency supported and trained by the CIA, and on the ground operations conducted by the Joint Special Operations Command. All of this intervention into the lawless Somali country is done unilaterally and kept largely secret from Congress and the American people. Excerpt:

As part of its expanding counterterrorism program in Somalia, the CIA also uses a secret prison buried in the basement of Somalia’s National Security Agency (NSA) headquarters, where prisoners suspected of being Shabab members or of having links to the group are held. Some of the prisoners have been snatched off the streets of Kenya and rendered by plane to Mogadishu. While the underground prison is officially run by the Somali NSA, US intelligence personnel pay the salaries of intelligence agents and also directly interrogate prisoners. The existence of both facilities and the CIA role was uncovered by The Nation during an extensive on-the-ground investigation in Mogadishu.

Among the sources who provided information for this story are senior Somali intelligence officials; senior members of Somalia’s Transitional Federal Government (TFG); former prisoners held at the underground prison; and several well-connected Somali analysts and militia leaders, some of whom have worked with US agents, including those from the CIA. A US official, who confirmed the existence of both sites, told The Nation, “It makes complete sense to have a strong counterterrorism partnership” with the Somali government.

The CIA presence in Mogadishu is part of Washington’s intensifying counterterrorism focus on Somalia, which includes targeted strikes by US Special Operations forces, drone attacks and expanded surveillance operations. The US agents “are here full time,” a senior Somali intelligence official told me. At times, he said, there are as many as thirty of them in Mogadishu, but he stressed that those working with the Somali NSA do not conduct operations; rather, they advise and train Somali agents.

Not only does this add further credence to the claim that the Obama administration is conducting an additional war (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Libya, Yemen?) in Somalia, but it demonstrates how irreparably disconnected the Executive’s war prerogatives are from Congress, the courts, the American people, or any form of checks, transparency, or accountability under the law.

Libya is to some extent unique in that the operations were publicly announced and conducted with a level of international support; and we’ve seen the, albeit limited, backlash against such broad interpretations of presidential war-making powers. These secret engagements in Somalia are not even publicly announced, giving the Obama administration and its secret army and intelligence services full reign to do whatever they want. Additionally, such covert, embedded operations like the one in Somalia have many more entangled unintended consequences and blowback potential, which has already arisen, as Scahill reports:

In the eighteen years since the infamous “Black Hawk Down” incident in Mogadishu, US policy on Somalia has been marked by neglect, miscalculation and failed attempts to use warlords to build indigenous counterterrorism capacity, many of which have backfired dramatically. At times, largely because of abuses committed by Somali militias the CIA has supported, US policy has strengthened the hand of the very groups it purports to oppose and inadvertently aided the rise of militant groups, including the Shabab.

Many Somalis viewed the Islamic movement known as the Islamic Courts Union, which defeated the CIA’s warlords in Mogadishu in 2006, as a stabilizing, albeit ruthless, force. The ICU was dismantled in a US-backed Ethiopian invasion in 2007. Over the years, a series of weak Somali administrations have been recognized by the United States and other powers as Somalia’s legitimate government. Ironically, its current president is a former leader of the ICU.

Current American intervention in Somalia, as documented by Scahill and others, is therefore troublesome on two levels. On the one hand, the lawlessness of the rendition program in Somalia and neighboring countries, the criminally harsh and negligent treatment that suffering detainees endure without charge or trial, and the reliably inhumane behavior of the Somali agents the CIA supports and trains all create serious human suffering and contribute to a very ugly humanitarian crisis there.

These are crimes which are unlikely to ever be accounted for. On the other hand, the demonstrated history of these policies leading to additional security threats and destabilizing circumstances serves to further indict U.S. national security planners for engaging in policies that have the predictable result of further endangering American citizens and further entrenching the U.S. in dangerous countries and groups. Again, with no accountability.

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More on the New War in Somalia

NOVANEWS

Brian Beyer

 

A new expose from the Nation by Jeremy Scahill detailing the CIA’s same, old dirty tricks is certainly troubling. Candidate Obama assured the American public that extrajudicial actions by the CIA and Defense Department were a thing of the past. Transparency, much like hope and change, were buzz words that were constantly used to show everybody that the era of Bush was over. A new ethical era was to take hold in the White House, and would be anchored by Nancy Pelosi’s vow to oversee a Congress of integrity.

Just as Obama campaigned to make the most sweeping changes when it came to the realm of foreign policy (Guantanamo Bay, ending the war in Iraq, ending torture, etc.), it was in foreign policy that he became the most like Bush. In fact, many would argue that Obama has not only continued many of Bush’s odious practices, but has institutionalized all of these practices because of his refusal to change course.

While the secret prison that was discussed in length surely was troubling, it almost seems like the least of worries when compared to some of the statements made by officials concerning future plans for Somalia. And yes, that comparison still holds for a prison “infested with bedbugs and mosquitoes” that result in prisoners getting “rashes” prompting them to “scratch themselves incessantly.” These prisoners, who like at other covert rendition sites run a high chance of being completely innocent, “described the cells as windowless and the air thick, moist and disgusting.” Additionally, torture and perpetual interrogation are commonplace. Again, I don’t wish to trivialize the significance of yet another secret prison site, but there are much more troublesome plans in the future for Somalia:

During his confirmation hearings in June to become the head of the US Special Operations Command, Vice Admiral William McRaven said, “From my standpoint as a former JSOC commander, I can tell you we were looking very hard” at Somalia. McRaven said that in order to expand successful “kinetic strikes” there, the United States will have to increase its use of drones as well as on-the-ground intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance operations. “Any expansion of manpower is going to have to come with a commensurate expansion of the enablers,” McRaven declared. The expanding US counterterrorism program in Mogadishu appears to be part of that effort.

The neverending “War on Terror” knows no bounds or limitations. Wherever and whenever, if there is even so much as a perceived threat, then a new theatre in the war could be opened. Al-Shabaab is currently the aggressor du jour, competing for the spotlight with Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

And just like enhanced interrogation was the Newspeak of yesteryear, so today is “kinetic.” No, drone strikes that kill dozens is not indicative of a war. Nor are recon missions and surveillance. It’s just the new style of diplomacy, albeit bloody, messy and in the dark.

What’s even more frightening is that McRaven is already talking about bringing in more diplomats (read: special ops, surveillance, and all different kinds of boots on the ground). The only way that such an operation would ever be able to take off, naturally, is with a little kickback to the military industrial complex in the form of “enablers.”

Later on, if a Congressional hearing is ever scheduled to review the covert operations in Somalia (don’t hold your breath), the chickenhawks and policymakers can use justification by quoting Abdulkadir Moallin Noor, the minister of state for the presidency, “We need more; otherwise, the terrorists will take over the country.” I hate to break it to Noor, but the 30 square miles that the Somali “government” controls in Mogadishu is hardly what I would call a sterling record.

It is this statement from Noor that succinctly summarizes everything that is wrong with American foreign policy. Surely, Al Shabaab is dangerous to Somalis. It would be foolish to deny that their hardline Islamism and ruthless attacks on innocent civilians is problematic. But why should the US be concerned? Why should more money be poured into a far off land only to achieve minimal, if any results?

The American public will continue to hear the trite justification that Somalia is becoming a safe haven for terrorists or that terrorism, no matter where, must be fought at all cost. But before the United States begins yet another doomed military adventure, Washington ought to remember that Al-Shabaab has only once launched an attack outside of Somalia.

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Will the US Really Leave Iraq

NOVANEWS

An Analysis

By Prof Lawrence Davidson

Part I – Second Thoughts
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The time for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq is coming closer. In 2008 the United States and Iraq agreed to a Status of Forces Agreement that set a deadline of the end of 2011 for all American troops to leave the country. However, just like someone who starts to beg off a promise when the time for action approaches, U.S. officials are now expressing second thoughts.
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Back on May 24th outgoing Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he “favored extending the American presence, noting that the Iraqi military will need help with logistics, intelligence and defending its airspace and that a continued U.S. military presence will send a ‘powerful signal that we’re not leaving, that we will continue to play a part.’” We will continue to pursue “our role in the region.” Considering that we have known for some time that the Iraq war was waged for largely contrived reasons and constituted a violation of international law (the waging of illicit and unnecessary war), it is difficult to know just how Gates defines “our role.”

To date in Iraq, that role has equaled the removal of one dictator (who we once supported) at the price of killing over one and a half million Iraqis (and approximately 4500 Americans), the maiming of an even greater number, the destruction of the nation’s infrastructure, and the creation of conditions for multiple civil wars. Washington has also opened the way for Iran’s influence in Iraq to eventually become predominant. In accomplishing all of this the Americans have nearly bankrupted their country. Given such achievements, one would think the reasonable thing would be to cut one’s losses and get the heck out.

But no, Gates’s attitude has carried over to that of the present Defense Secretary Leon Panetta.Panetta recently made his first journey to Iraq to “hold close door meetings with Iraqi officials…to press them for a decision on whether they will allow U.S. troops to remain in the country….” And, by the way, Washington has increased the price for continued assistance. The U.S. wants the Iraqi government to shut down those subgroups that are closest to Iran. Thus, as Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, put it “Iran is directly supporting extremist Shi’ite groups that are killing U.S. troops and any agreement to keep American forces there beyond the end of the year would have to address this problem.” Of course, such a demand, if actually met by the Iraqi administration, would mean the collapse of their government because those “extremist Shi’ite groups” are part of the present parliamentary coalition. It could also hasten the outbreak of civil war.
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Has anyone in the U.S. government thought this through? Well, certainly not Defense Secretary Panetta.  He seems to be too taken up with righteous indignation. “In June we lost a hell of a lot of Americans [in Iraq] as a result of those attacks [allegedly by ‘Shi’ite groups].” Panetta said that the anti-American Shi’ites were being supplied with ever more powerful weapons by Iran. He continued, “we cannot just simply stand back and allow this to continue to happen….because, very frankly, they [Iran and the Iraqis they support] need to know that our first responsibility is to protect those that are defending our country. And that is something we are going to do.” One hears the words and their meaning appears straightforward. Well, that is if you are the average man or women from Peoria or Spokane. But maybe someone in Washington (or even Peoria and Spokane) ought to ask what Panetta’s words seem to say in Basra or even Baghdad. Here is one interpretation:

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1. The United States invades Iraq, massacres its population and destroys its infrastructure, but those who insist America withdraw its troops and physically resist their presence are “extremists.”
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2. The U.S. can pour billions of dollars worth of weapons into Iraq and the rest of the Middle East, putting them into the hands of select groups who will ally with Washington, but Iran, operating on a much smaller scale, cannot do this without being labeled as a supporter of terrorism and extremism.
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3. Although the Iraq invasion was launched under false pretenses, U.S. troops stationed there are “defending our country.” Defending it from who? From those Shi’ite extremists? They do not threaten the USA, the USA threatens them and that is why they are being belligerent! From Iran? American troops virtually surround Iran while Washington calls for the overthrow of its government. Come now Mr. Panetta, just who is threatening who?

Part II – The Rational Thing To Do And Why
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A rational analysis of the American position in Iraq would demand adherence to the Status of Forces Agreement and the withdrawal of all American troops from the country at the end of 2011. To do so would:
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– Put an end to what was and is, after all, an immoral war and a disastrous occupation.
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– .Prevent the U.S. from possibly being dragged into a new Iraqi civil war. Given what we have done to that country, another round of civil war is quite probable. The Sunni gunmen are still out there, they too are anti-American, and some of them are really extremist (though they are not al-Qaeda operatives and certainly have nothing to do with Iran). So, if we are “in country” when Iraq goes through the next phase of violent upheaval, American troops will be attacked by both Sunni and Shi’ite militias.

– Avoid a possible direct confrontation with Iran. Panetta threatened to “go after” those endangering American troops “unilaterally.” We have seen where the logic of such statements have taken the U.S. in the past. Will Washington end up attacking “sanctuaries,” or “supply trails,” or “training bases” in Iran? That is a formula for “mission creep.”
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– Save a near bankrupt nation (the U.S.) a lot of money.
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Part III – Prolonging The Disaster
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From the first moment of the American invasion of Iraq, the men and women in Washington did not know what they were doing. When confronted with reality they retreated into fantasy. The result was that their perceptions of what was real in Iraq were so off the mark, so far from what was actually the case, that the subsequent occupation was a gigantic deadly mess. That was the doing of the Bush White House–A bunch of neo-con ideologues and right-wing religious zealots. You would think that the Obama White house could do better. And maybe they will. Perhaps all this talk by Panetta and Mullen is just posturing to serve as a cover for the ultimate retreat. Perhaps the Iraqis will tell us to get out and thus save us from ourselves.
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However, some things have not changed from the time of the Bushites to that of the present administration. For instance,
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1. The need to avoid finger pointing by the opposition party (in this case the Republicans) is a constant political requirement. Come the 2012 election, President Obama does not want the Republicans telling the American electorate that the Democrats “lost” Iraq, and all those dead soldiers died in vain.
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2. The lobbies that pushed for the invasion of Iraq back in 2003 are still their behind the scenes in today’s Washington. Some of the most important ones wanted to get rid of Saddam Hussein for the sake of Israel (not for the sake of the Iraqis) and an outcome that turns Iraq over to Iranian influence would be a disaster for them. Therefore, they must be pushing for a continued American presence in that country. Keeping the U.S. in and Iran out of Iraq is probably “our role” as far as those lobbies are concerned.
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3. All the politicians in Congress and the White House still breathe the hallucinogenic air of American exceptionalism. In that atmosphere there can be tactical mistakes, but never strategic ones. And defeat is seen as unnatural, somehow against the will of divine providence. Viet Nam must never occur again.

The reader should note that all of these constants reference domestic politics and image. That is, perhaps, a key to the American problem. Foreign policy decisions, especially in the Middle East, most often reference domestic political forces and their desires and needs. They do not necessarily reference the reality of the foreign situation in question. It is like walking a cliff line with your thoughts a thousand miles away. So, the American desire to stay in Iraq is a function of politics configured in Washington and not Baghdad. If the Iraqis concur, the disaster will just be prolonged.

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Fine Diplomacy to ward off looming dangers

NOVANEWS

By Brig Asif Haroon raja

Both Gen Musharraf and President Zardari went out of the way to accommodate US legal and illegal wishes. They were successfully brainwashed that the chief threat to Pakistan’s integrity and to their rule was from local extremists and not from India and that the US was Pakistan’s well-wisher. To keep our rulers scared and committed to fight militants with full strength, not only aid was made conditional to its performance in war on terror but also sponsored terror attacks were organized against sensitive installations. Attack on GHQ was organized in 2009 to spur Gen Kayani to undertake mother of all battles in South Waziristan.

Our rulers have got so fixated with the US fed threat that they have become oblivious to the fact that as against the paltry sum of $10.5 billion allocated for 2002 – 2009, only one-third was received by Pakistan most of which was payment for services rendered. Share of Pak Army was $1.8 billion only. Yearly $1.5 billion Kerry Lugar Bill was meant to rob Pakistan of its sovereignty. In 2010, only $ 179.5 million was received and for 2011, the promised tranche of $300 million has so far not been paid. In the wake of soured relations, $2.7 billion close support fund to Army is suspended. $800 million, catering for previous expenditures incurred has been withheld to punish Army. War on terror has cost Pakistan over $68 billion.

Investments have ceased and economic activity has almost come to a grinding halt due to energy crisis and disturbed security and law and order situation. Human losses are several times more than the collective losses suffered by coalition forces in Afghanistan while social traumas are incalculable. Pakistan is suffering grievously on all counts but our rulers are still clinging to the aprons of haughty USA despite its discriminatory and distasteful behavior.

Ten-year war has not only given tremendous experience of fighting guerrilla war to both Army and militants but also has removed inhibitions and fears of each other. The militants could not have continued fighting for so long without external support and safe sanctuaries across the border. In case the militants that had remained loyal to Pakistan and its Army till 2004 are brought back into our loop, they can give a great boost to Pakistan’s defensive effort against twin threat which it faces now in wake of soured relations with USA. If steps are not taken towards de-radicalization, situation will further worsen in coming times since militancy has spread to every nook and corner of the country and have-nots are getting more and more radicalized.

The low intensity conflict (LIC) has caused substantial wear and tear to the weapons & equipment and has also fatigued the troops living away from families and peacetime stations and living amid hazardous environment where life has become cheap. Casualty rate would have been three times higher had the units not perfected drills and adopted innovative techniques to counter the menace of improvised explosive devices and sudden raids on isolated posts in FATA and Swat region. Low intensity conflict training imparted to units and attractive welfare package to troops since 2008 has paid dividends.

In order to preserve arms and equipment and to keep the Army battle worthy to confront the real enemy across the borders, there is a definite need to plan its de-induction from restive areas and to hand over counter terrorism responsibility to a separate force under a separate HQ. Counter terrorism force should be created for each major urban centre to deal with urban terrorism.

In 2007, there were active plans to handover frontline security duties to Frontier Corps (FC) and Frontier Constabulary duly trained by the Army and US-UK trainers. Latter had been imparting training to FC men in Warsak and some other locations since 2005. Not only several FC wings were raised to make additional battalions, their scale of weapons and equipment was also enhanced to add to their firepower and to enlarge their scope to carryout defensive and offensive tasks independently. By now, the FC should have been sufficiently trained and enriched with considerable experience to tackle militant threat along the border regions independently.

Opinions on war on terror whether it is our war or someone else’s war, and whether militants are terrorists with whom no talks should be held are sharply divided. Those claiming that it is not our war far exceeds those who think on the lines of USA. This division in perceptions is to the advantage of militants and disfavors security forces embattled with militants.

It will be incorrect to assume that both external and internal intelligence shields are to be provided entirely by ISI. The ISI’s primary responsibility is to act as a first line defence against external threats and its internal wings primarily keeps a watch on anti-state elements and performs counter intelligence duties. Its political wing created by ZA Bhutto does dip into political affairs of the country, which is undesirable.

The IB, Special Police, FIA and CID all under Ministry of Interior are principally responsible for internal security but have somehow taken up a backseat and left everything to the ISI. Notwithstanding the urgent need to bring greater harmony between different agencies and to harness all intelligence resources and bringing them under one roof for national level coordination, there is a need to define the areas of responsibility and scope of each agency to avoid of duplication of work.

The US devised an effective homeland security system which helped in thwarting 9/11 type recurrence. In 10 years, no serious terrorist incident has occurred in USA. Likewise, Europe has also put in place modern techniques to prevent terrorism. Other than bombings in Madrid and London, no major terror incident has taken place in any European country. Even India has improved its security system. On the contrary, Pakistan which is the worst victim of terrorism has yet to devise a credible homeland security system to foil acts of terror.

Afghan Taliban, al-Qaeda and some affiliate groups continue to pose a threat to US-west interests. Among them, al-Qaeda is the only organization which has turned into an international outfit and developed long arm to hit western targets anywhere in the world. Other groups are local based and are effective within their own specific regions.

With the death of OBL and several al-Qaeda senior leaders as well as its operatives in Pakistan and Afghanistan, strength of this outfit has substantially shriveled in Af-Pak region but has not sapped. It is still a potent force in Arabian Peninsula from where it can hit western targets more easily particularly after it managed to enroll many white-skin young recruits in Europe and USA.

Series of cross border attacks from Afghanistan have occurred recently to give an impression that Afghan Taliban are carrying out reprisal attacks to avenge OBL’s death. The Afghan Taliban have so far stuck to their policy of directing their activities against occupation forces in Afghanistan only and not to meddle in Pakistan affairs despite efforts of foreign agencies and RAAM based in Kabul to create rift. The revenge phobia is confined to Pakistan only where TTP aligned with al-Qaeda has carried out several reprisal attacks at its own and at the behest of foreign powers.

The US promises enduring strategic partnership but its acts do not match its words since it has been treating Pakistan as an ally as well as a target. Of late it has become antagonist. Pakistan needs to carryout postmortem of its ten-year alliance with USA and determine whether it proved beneficial or harmful. Whether the relationship served our national interests or harmed them? If it is evaluated that the US has been using Pakistan to serve its own interests only and harbors ill designs against Pakistan, we need to determine whether we continue with this self-destructive conformist policy or radically change it or suitably modify it?

In case it is concluded that there is a definite need for re-assessing our relationship, we need to determine whether our future policy will be confrontationist or pragmatic so as not to out-rightly antagonize USA till its departure in 2014; but making sure that red lines drawn are not crossed. Given the tense geopolitical situation, fragile economy, unstable political conditions and restive home front, further degradation of our relations will be least desirable and will amount to playing into the hands of India, Israel and militant forces desiring Pak-US clash. Diplomatic skill will be required to ward of looming dangers but not at the cost of compromising Pakistan’s sovereignty and dignity.

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A Murdoch produced scandal

NOVANEWS

By Kourosh Ziabari

Zionist Murdoch latest

The scandalous closure of the “News of the World” tabloid after 168 years of publication once again demonstrated the Western media’s lack of adherence to codes of ethics and morality in journalism and showed to the international community that what is advertised as the freedom of speech in the West is nothing but unrestrained violation of the privacy of innocent citizens and betrayal to the common values of a civil society.

The “News of the World” was voluntarily closed down on July 10, 2011 after it was revealed that the staff and workers at the magazine had been clandestinely hacking the phone conversations of a number of high-ranking public figures in the UK including politicians, members of Royal Household and also ordinary citizens for many years. This unprecedented incident hugely damaged the reputation of the Zionist media mogul Rupert Murdoch and his News Corporation and stirred a widespread controversy all over the UK.

Controversy around the News of the World, a subsidiary of Murdoch’s News Corporation originally started in August 2006, when the Metropolitan Police of the UK sued Clive Goodman, the magazine’s royal editor, and Glenn Mulcaire, a close associate of Goodman and a private investigator for the allegation that they intercepted voicemail messages left for the cell phones of the members of Royal Family. They were both pleaded guilty and sentenced to prison in 2007. However, the allegations of phone hacking continued in the subsequent years and several public figures were targeted by the interceptions. In February 2010, The Guardian revealed that two UK telecommunication companies complained that over a hundred of their customers’ phone calls and voicemail messages were hacked by unknown sources; however, independent reports and Scotland Yard’s inquiry show that more than 4,000 people have been victimized by the phone hacking affair.

According to the Vancouver Sun, the News Corporation officials are facing demands to appear before the House of Commons “to answer allegations that they suppressed evidence of widespread illegal activity at the News of the World. The company is under mounting scrutiny following revelations that an internal inquiry in 2007 gathered “smoking gun” emails showing that several of its journalists were hacking mobile phones and making payments to police officers.”

As said by the report published on the Vancouver Sun’s July 11 issue, the News of the World editors and staff writers have been involved in stealing the British citizens’ email correspondences and phone conversations and paying bribes to the police officers since almost four years ago, but the evidence indicating these criminal activities have been seized by the Scotland Yard a few weeks ago.

“The evidence was only passed to the police last month, four years after it was collected. During that time, James Murdoch, European chief executive of News International, personally authorized at least one substantial settlement payment to a victim of phone hacking, in exchange for signing a gagging clause,” the report added.

The newspapers and news agencies have revealed that James Murdoch, the son of Zionist media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the European chief executive of News International has been personally involved in several cases of phone hacking and paid bribes to a number of victims to convince them not to publicize the matter in the media and withdraw their complaints from the national courts.

Charlotte Harris of the law firm Mishcon de Reya, which represents several of the victims seeking damages from the News of the World believe that the British tabloid will be sentenced to pay at least £20m to those whose privacy has been violated; however, according to some reports, the total amount of the compensation to be paid by the News of the World can reach to £40m.

According to The Economist, “privacy law in Britain is a late arrival, derived mainly from the European Convention on Human Rights and built up through judicial interpretation. The size of the awards against the News of the World will depend on the view taken by Sir Geoffrey Vos, a High Court judge, of the actual damage to hacking victims, as well as of the intrusion itself, when he hears test cases later this year.”

Now the whole world cautiously follows the developments in the UK to see what actions will be taken by the government to bring justice to those who have been flagrantly violating the privacy of British citizens for so many years. Unquestionably, the phone hacking scandal is not a trivial matter to be neglected irresponsibly. What has taken place is that the most private information and communications of British citizens, from the most high-ranking members of the Royal Family to the most ordinary citizen working in a restaurant have been mischievously and illegally monitored and collected by the staff and personnel of a magazine which is owned by a Zionist billionaire and media mogul. This is not something which can be gotten away with recklessly.

Although it is a conventional and familiar tradition in the Western countries such as the United Kingdom or the United States to listen in the phone communications or electronic correspondences of citizens on baseless allegations such as precluding terrorist activities, the NoW affair is a particular case as it implicates journalists and reporters who are supposed to be the trustees of people in the society, but unfortunately, these trustees have become traitors and trampled the principles of morality and decency underfoot.

Now, it’s the responsibility of Murdoch and his men to explain to the public opinion the reasons why they stigmatized the reputation of thousands of people and stole their personal information for commercial purposes. Even their apologizing to the victims of phone hacking whose valuable personal information and private communications have been stolen cannot appease the pains of these victims. It’s for sure that the history will not forgive Murdoch and NoW staff for this disgustful and loathsome offense

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Pakistan: Tackling the Crises through a United Response

NOVANEWS

By Dr. Raja Muhammad Khan

From its very emergence in 1947, till to-date, Pakistan is a country which remained in a crisis situation. There has been frequent eruption of the crises indeed, in a series; one after the other. However, despite its short life, enormity of threats, incoherent political system and the glaring issue of the good governance, comparing with many of the countries, Pakistani nation deserve appreciation for managing these crises most efficiently. The term crisis means a situation, which has threatened, or threatening to harm people, property, institution/ organization or country as a whole. It may be attributed to an unstable condition, as in political, social, or economic affairs, involving an impending abrupt or decisive change. As one goes deeper into the history of nations, it would be known that, a crisis is bound to come from time to time. However, “the only way to prevent the same type of crisis from happening again is to learn from it, to debrief after the crisis is over, to understand the root causes behind the crisis, and to take steps to keep them from recurring.”

Nevertheless, the most significant factor is that how the nation and national leadership behaves during and after the crisis. Do they lose control or remain cool to prudently respond to the situation as warranted. For example, the crisis faced by Pakistani nation during the devastating earthquake of 2005, energised and united the people and the leadership to tackle the event as a challenge to face with and come out successfully. Leaving their personnel chores aside, the nation rose to face the challenge, fixed their clear goal; to rescue the affected people, provide them relief and later rehabilitated them on war footings. There was a mammoth international assistance to reinforce this national effort. However, the nation reacted as a whole and crises were handled efficiently. The primary and the most organised contributors; the armed forces of Pakistan got recognition for its astounding services both domestically as well as internationally. There was a repeat of the efforts during the 2010, floods, again an unparallel devastation in the history of Pakistan.  The nation once again stood to the test of the time. The lessons learnt from these crises are; to have a strategic and peripheral vision; to plan for the worst: a united national act: making up of institution to deal with such like crises in the future too and to derive maximum from the right people.

The nation once again confronted a similar type of the crisis situation after the unfortunate incident of Abbotabad raid to haunt OBL by United States Navy SEALs and later attacking PNS Mehran in Karachi, where two surveillance aircrafts; P-3C Orion were targeted by terrorists. As if these incidents were not enough, our adversaries, who were joined in by many domestic elements, put Pakistan and its security forces through a defaming campaign, indeed, worst of its kind. Unlike previous natural crisis, this manmade crisis has put the nation in an extraordinary situation and indeed in disarray. Indeed, the nation felt betrayed from a coalition partner, for whom, Pakistan has done a lot in its entire history. It is because of US that, today we have internal instability, weapon culture, falling apart social filament and indeed now a sense of insecurity. Besides, the country has suffered losses worth $ 71 billion.

In the garb of so-called global war on terror, Pakistani armed forces and in fact, the nation is at war since last one decade. Waging of this war was also to benefit the US. The nation stand justified in asking the question that, if this was the reward of what we did for US. Sabotaging the sovereignty and national respect through US actions has made the nation incensed and there developed a sense of absolute hatred among the nation for United States. As per US own assessment, there has drastic fall of US acceptance level in Pakistan ever since of this un-natural alliance took place in 1950s. The nation as a whole feels that, it is about time to say goodbye to this opportunist friend by re-aligning ourselves strategically and asking for a self-dependence.   Sabotaging the sovereignty of Pakistan has put a question mark on the future role of US and many other regional and global actors, who got an encouragement after this incident. Furthermore, the planned propaganda to de-fame Pakistani armed forces and its intelligence apparatus, especially the ISI by Western media and US has reached to a new height. In making the accusations, US State Department and Pentagon joined hands and badly polluted the global environment against Pakistan.  Regretfully, some of the Pakistani media apparatus took a lead from the US media and became its partner in this malevolence de-faming campaign as part of US deliberate agenda. Armed Forces of Pakistan and its premium intelligence agency, ISI are being repeatedly targeted.

All this deliberate media campaign is aimed at creating a wedge between the masses and armed forces. So much so, some of individual acts by personnel of Frontier Corps Balochistan and Pakistan Rangers Sindh were attributed to a planned activity or towards the mindset of the security forces. This all is being done to create a spirit of discontentment in the nation about its armed forces. Indeed, the nation always looked back towards its armed forces at the time of crisis, and by the grace of Allah Almighty, they were not betrayed. On their part, the armed forces strongly believed that, their real strength is the people of Pakistan, who supported their action in meeting the crisis; may be the manmade or natural.  A careful and insightful analysis would lead us that, over the years, the global and regional actors have identified the real strength of Pakistan; the armed forces having strong support of the people of Pakistan. These national entities while acting jointly have been pulling the nation, out of crisis so far, which disappointed the adversaries repeatedly.

To undo this national strength, over the last few months, there have been massive propaganda against this national power centre to an extent that a man in street was compelled to think differently. Pakistan armed forces and its premium intelligence ISI were projected negatively to the extent of being cruel and brutal organizations. The aim was to pitch the masses against its own security organizations. However, the campaign was initiated by its US and Western media, but soon joined by local actors and propagandists who preferred their personal interests worth of few USD over national interests of Pakistan.  The question arise, despite of their brutalities world over, did any American ever spoke against CIA or FBI.  Those who taken a lead from US officials and its media, should have moral courage to ask them as to who has established torture camps in Guantanamo Bay Guantanamo bye.  Are not CIA and FBI torturing Muslims world over in these camps?  Is it not a violation of human rights? Only those people are being set free from Guantanamo Bay and other centre of tortures who accept a role for themselves against Pakistan or other Muslim interests in other countries or promise to serve the US interests. On daily basis, there are reports in US electronic and print media against Pakistani security forces and its intelligence agency, creating hatred among the masses. These propaganda reports are then taken over by some of domestic media channels, who further thrash, if any aspect is left out from foreign propagandists to degrade these national institutions.

These external acts and propaganda campaign has put entire nation into crisis. The situation calls for united efforts by the armed forces, media and nation as a whole to tackle it amicable, keeping in view the national interest. Dealing with such a situation would call for a unanimous approach and skills and techniques required to identify, assess, understand, and cope with the situation, especially from the moment it first occurs to the point that recovery procedures start. Since the nation is facing a crisis where its adversaries are all out using extreme means aiming to destabilize and destroy the very basis of Pakistani nationhood and its national power, therefore, crisis management calls for long-term well thought strategy for a successful pulling out, where nation and its armed forces swim together. In this entire exercise, the role of leadership would be very vital.

The current crisis indeed calls for identification of the real motives behind the scene. Apart from the recognition of the motive, the actors and their respective areas of interests needs a thorough analysis.  No decision should be taken in haste nor there a need for a blame game. The leadership must remain cool and calm while making assessment and strategizing for the future course of action. Indeed, remaining calm but farsighted allows leader to consider various options before you make decisions, even if decisions need to make quickly. The people of Pakistan are to be taken on board all the time for their trust on institutions. Pakistani media has to play a very responsible and constructive role in overcoming the crisis of this magnitude. Rather becoming tool of US media, it must rebuff the global de-formation campaign.

In dealing with the crisis, we need to be persistent. Surviving a crisis mean you need to keep moving forward. The idea is crawl if you cannot walk and walk if you cannot run, but whatever you do, keep moving forward and do not give up. Flexibility and firmness, rather rigidity, would facilitate the crisis management process. In this process, we have to depend upon our own resources or the time tested and highly dependable friends only. Indeed, the real strength; the people of Pakistan has to be depended upon more than any global actor. While remaining patient, the golden principle of crises management is to be positive and optimistic. This is sometimes the toughest thing to do in a crisis. We have to keep believing there really is a light at the end of tunnel and we will get there.

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Pakistan: Capable of Occupying “The Last Trench”!

NOVANEWS

“The Nuclear One”

Jawad Raza Khan

 

Mission given to US media by Pentagon is brief, and crisp; let’s not give Pakistan any breathing space. Chains of stories oozing out of NYT (New York Times) and WSJ (Wall Street Journal) on the pretext of free media in on with full swing, US media is zeroing on Pakistan’s center of gravity The Nukes. By now, Pakistan is seen as an isolated nation filled with problems and about to fail, horrendously with nukes unaccounted for! especially after series of GHQ – Pentagon debacle stories. It definitely triggered with the incident of Raymond Davis and after playing its qualifying rounds through OBL and Mehran base is on the brink of a Great Divorce. Recent statement from the media manager of Pakistan Army with regards to American military aid to fight WOT could be a turning point of this unexplainable friendly relation between US and Pakistan.

On one hand, Pakistan has suffered loss of billions of dollars with scores of human lives perishing each day, even more than NATO forces operating in Afghanistan, which are comprised of more than 47 nations of the world. Concurrently, in the backdrop Machiavelli’s notion for the nukes of Pakistan, US President after bribe ring a section of Pakistani media through Kerry Lugar bill have launched a decisive campaign against its nuclear assets. This reminds me a joke………………….

Taking his seat in his chambers, the judge faced the opposing lawyers. “So,” he said, “I have been presented, by both of you, with a bribe.” Both lawyers squirmed uncomfortably. “You, attorney Leon, gave me $15,000. And you, attorney Campos, gave me $10,000.” The judge reached into his pocket and pulled out a check. He handed it to Leon … “Now then, I’m returning $5,000, and we’re going to decide this case solely on its merits.”

It is just to point out Attorney Leon (Pakistani Media) must understand that the Judge (US) has its own priorities and aims. Attorney Leon must recognize that building American perception at the cost of own interest is a fatal course of action. The resolute people of Pakistan are now capable enough to differentiate between the Good and Evil, media now has to prove its loyalty to Pakistan not to any foreign power even in the name of regional and cultural similarities.

Just to hint our sacred media about Nuclear Whistle Blowers around the globe, My Dear Pakistani media just Google a name Mr Mordechai Vanunu, you can fetch a great story apart of Dr Qadeer Khan’s engineered dilemma and related cooked up stuff against the Pakistan’s nuclear program.

According to Nuclear Weapons Archive website, “the most specific and detailed information to be made public about Israel’s nuclear program came from a former mid-level nuclear technician named Mordechai Vanunu. Vanunu had worked at the Machon 2 facility, where plutonium is produced and bomb components fabricated, for 9 years before his increasing involvement in left wing pro-Palestinian politics led to his dismissal in 1986. Due to a grave internal security lapse, prior to his departure he managed to take about 60 photographs covering nearly every part of Machon 2.”

He made contact with the London Sunday Times and began to write an exclusive story about the details of Israel’s nuclear program. Unfortunately for Vanunu, “the Israeli government had found out about his activities and the Mossad arranged to kidnap him and bring him back to Israel for trial,” the report added.

Vanunu spent 18 years in prison, including more than 11 in solitary confinement. Released from prison in 2004, he became subject to a broad array of restrictions on his speech and movement. Since then he has been arrested several times for violations of those restrictions, including giving various interviews to foreign journalists and attempting to leave Israel. He says he suffered “cruel and barbaric treatment” at the hands of Israeli authorities while imprisoned, and suggests that his treatment would have been different if he were Jewish (Vanunu is a Christian convert from Judaism).

Some of the famous quotes of Vanunu are:

  • The main points were: one, the amount of Israel’s nuclear weapons, how many Israel had, that no one could predict or know, including the CIA. They were thinking about a number like 10 or 15. But I came out with a number between 150 to 200.

  • I couldn’t sleep for two years; they tried to break my nerves. They used a lot of psychology to brainwash.

It is just a food for thought for you media sir, you can find a lot more on these type of nuclear whistle blowing far more ferocious and dangerous for world peace than Pakistan’s Nuclear program.

It is also a very sour fact for the enemies of Pakistan, that people of Pakistan recognizes the importance of this program in relation to the survival of this nation. Most of them relates it to the battle of trenches Ghazwae Khandaq as prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) and his companions used the trench tactics (when outnumbered) first time in Muslim history of warfare as an impassable obstacle, locking the two sides in a stalemate. The well-organized defenders, the sinking of allied morale against the forces Muhammad (Peace Be upon him), and poor weather conditions caused the siege to end in a fiasco……

That’s what will be the fate of enemies of encircled Pakistan with its last trench a nuclear one! so impassable.

With last trench in the backdrop, the situation cannot remain same for a longer period of time and that’s the reason, strategic siege of Pakistan is looking to be in its dying moments – agendas have been distorted – disappointment of the enemy is at the highest note – This is indeed a real test for all Pakistanis – They gave sweat and blood both, so much, that it is difficult to quantify even. The siege is enforced on all fronts; politically; economically; culturally; geo-strategically and above all militarily. East and west, north and south, all odds for Pakistan has really shaped Pakistanis into a one of the toughest surviving creatures on the planet.

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The real axis of evil

NOVANEWS

“When the US, Israel and India call some countries axis of evil, its like kettle calling the pot black.” Raja Mujtaba

By Brig Asif Haroon Raja

Israel, mainly created by Zionist terrorism and ethnic cleansing which saw three-quarters of indigenous Arab inhabitants of Palestine dispossessed of their homes, lands and rights has emerged as the leading terrorist state of the world. The US has given full liberty to it to indulge in indiscriminate human rights violations against the Palestinians in Gaza and West Bank. The Israelis are busy colonizing West Bank and Gaza and refusing to return Golan Heights to Syria. Israeli forces assaulted Gaza Strip in December 2008 which lasted for 22 days and nights. One of the strongest armies of the world was resisted by ill-equipped Hamas led Gazans alone. None came to their rescue or even to provide war replenishment and food.

Like the extremist Hindus in India wanting to build a temple in place of Ayodhia mosque, Israeli settlers keep making gory schemes to desecrate Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem and build a synagogue. Israeli leaders have taken the decision to include Al-Ibrahimi mosque and Rachel tomb in Israeli heritage sites. Israeli forces have stepped up acts of Judaization against Islamic holy places. But for emergence of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza, these two places would have been annexed by Israel by now. Indo-Israeli atrocities going on for over six decades have gone unnoticed by the so-called champions of democracy and human rights.

Another leading terrorist state India too has been given absolute liberty of action by America to persecute and abuse Kashmiris and other minorities in India. Kashmir is one of the oldest disputes in the world. Apart from wanton killings of ill fated Kashmiris, over 0.7 million Indian forces stationed in occupied Kashmir use rape as a tool to break the resistance of freedom fighters waging a struggle for over 60 years to free Kashmir from illegal occupation. Well over 100,000 Kashmiris, men, women and children have been martyred by trigger happy Indian security forces and more than 12000 women including small girls raped. Numerous cases of gang rapes by marauding Indian soldiers have occurred but no punishment has ever been meted out to the culprits.

Fake encounters, extra-judicial killings, cold blooded murders, illegal detention and torture in secret dungeons are a norm, while numbers of missing persons is innumerable. Methods of torture applied on the suspects, mostly innocent are too horrifying to narrate. The whole valley is littered with mass graves of unknown victims. Graveyards are also full of Kashmiris brutally killed by Indian soldiers. Voluminous details have already been penned down by numerous NGOs and Asia and International Human Rights Watch.

It is essentially due to massive abuses inflicted upon hapless Kashmiris on orders of seniors that cases of suicides, shooting of senior officers, desertions and mental disorders are multiplying among Indian troops serving in Kashmir. India lies to the world that it has crushed militancy in Kashmir. Several Indian writers and social workers like Arundhati Roy have laid bare the truth asserting that elections under the barrel of gun have become a finely honed instrument of charade to hoodwink the world that Kashmiris have accepted to remain as slaves of India. They ask Indian leaders whether military domination mean victory and how does a government which claims to be a democracy justify a military occupation?

Despite ongoing reign of terror, Indian military machine has failed to extinguish the flaming torch of liberty. In summer of 2008, a dispute over land being allotted to Amaranth Shrine Board coalesced into a massive non-violent uprising. Hundreds of thousands of people defied soldiers and policemen who fired straight into the crowds killing scores of people. Chants of Azadi (freedom) could be heard throughout the Kashmir valley. People from all walks of life were on the streets with placards and shouting Azadi. It was the first manifestation of democratic non-violent protests which completely unnerved India. This process was repeated in summer of 2009 and in 2010 thousands of tender age children with stones in their small hands came out in the streets and demanded freedom. Even they were not spared by gun totting soldiers who mercilessly sprayed bullets and killed many of them. However, resolve of the youth as well as the parents of those who lost their flowers was exemplary.

Both Israel and India harbor ambitions of becoming world powers and are pathologically anti-Muslims. Despite being militarily strong and economically sound and enjoying full patronage of sole super power, the two keep raising specter of security threat and remain in a state of constant fear. Israel keeps bellowing that it has been constantly threatened to be pushed into the sea. Under the garb of security it keeps expanding its borders at the cost of neighbors. Five times superior India too keep raising alarm bells of danger from Pakistan. Both justify state terrorism as self defense and present themselves as victim of aggression and oppressors to gain sympathy of the US and western world. Both excel in propaganda war and in art of falsification.

They believe that bigger the lies and more frequently lies are told; the more likely it is for the lie to get converted into truth. The two war mongers have been given a free hand by civilized USA and western world. Dragon policy was framed by Mossad and RAW in 2001 for carrying out false flag terrorism. Hindutva terrorist groups are trained by Mossad since 1980s. Israeli commander Eli Katzir is operating a counter terrorism unit in Indian occupied Kashmir for over a decade.

Israel and India are committing crimes with tacit blessing of USA. So powerful is the influence of Jews over US leadership that even if it wants to it cannot even point a finger at Israel or utter a word of protest. India too is trying to get into similar position with the help of its lobby in USA and its economic clout. India has convinced USA to ignore the sentiments of Kashmiris and to help in settling Kashmir dispute on its terms. But for undue patronage of USA, Israel and India could not have got away with its massive human rights violations. Reason for never even trying to restrain the two bloodthirsty nations is that the US is part of the axis of evil and is equally involved in similar activities.

Soon after 9/11, George W Bush administration erected a network of secret prisons and ‘black sites’ where opponents of US imperialism were jailed, tortured and murdered. Obama has continued with his predecessor’s policies including presidential assassination orders, indefinite detention without trial or charges, blocking court cases that threaten to reveal torture, domestic spying, and prosecution of whistle blowers and violation of international law. Like Gitmo, Abu Gharib and Baghram Airbase prisons notorious for merciless torture, secret prison manned by CIA known as ‘Salt Pit’ is located close to Kabul of which there are ghoulish tales of terror.

Blackwater under the garb of security contractors is being used for clandestine purposes. Hired assassins have been wreaking havoc in Iraq, Afghanistan and now in Pakistan. CIA operated drone attacks in FATA is another form of terrorism adopted by USA to inflict casualties without committing its soldiers to combat hazards. Hundreds of innocent people have been cut to pieces in reckless spree of drone strikes.

The US is purposely fuelling terrorism in Pakistan by encouraging cross border terrorism by CIA, RAW, Mossad and RAAM using Afghan soil, but blames Pakistan on this count. It has turned down Pakistan’s repeated requests to mine or fence possible infiltration sites along Pak-Afghan border for the reason that it doesn’t want to stop the flow of terrorists from Afghanistan into Pakistan.

The US, Israel and India are the real axis of evil since the three have imperialist and expansionist designs, are intolerant, ruthless and anti-Islam and believe in exporting terrorism. The three are taking undue advantage of their military prowess and are capturing the resources and lands of the weak through coercion, aggression or treachery. Hands of the three are soaked in blood of hundreds of thousands of Muslims.

In order to hoodwink the world, the trio never tires of drumming up the virtues of democracy, human rights and such like beguiling phrases but in practice their deeds are black. To cover their countless crimes against humanity, they take cover behind the façade of lies, deceit and duplicity but their hypocrisy is getting exposed since the world instead of becoming safer after ten-year futile war on terror has become more unsafe and insecure. The three are responsible for radicalizing Muslims. Indo-Israeli-US nexus and not terrorism is greatest threat to world peace.

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Pakistan: The Failed Social Contract

NOVANEWS

By Dr. Haider Mehdi

“It is time to stop raising the Islamist threat in the face of those clamoring for change and revolution…even the term ‘fundamentalists’ is a fabrication of the western media, which exploited their existence in ‘several Muslim’ countries for vested interests…The so-called Islamist danger which is talked very much about is in actual fact a nasty trick used by ‘Muslim ruling elite’ in cooperation with the West to threaten…and to unnecessarily frighten the people, and this has to stop.”

Faisal Al-Qasim, Doha-based Syrian journalist

The Pakistani public at large and selective revolutionary movements such as Imran Khan’s PTI have to come to grips with the fact that the present ruling elite, including the traditional ruling parties and opposition along with their supporters, the so-called urban liberals, are so deeply dependent politically and psychologically on Western patronage that their continued presence in this country’s political spectrum is an existentialist threat to Pakistan.  An impending and necessary future political revolution in this country must be aimed at the absolute removal of this Western-obsessed ruling elite from the political landscape.  The moral-political-psychological reform of this group is an impossible task and their continued participation in the country’s political processes must be eliminated.

Let me conceptually explain how the dysfunctional political mind of our present political elite operates: Cognitive perceptual biased views or disposition is a socio-psychological ailment having reached epidemic proportions in the Third World, most specifically in Pakistan.  This attitudinal trend is empathetic in rejecting nearly all indigenous social, cultural and political norms while according preferential acceptance to pro-Western values and ideas in all spheres of life – may they be in any field from technology to fashion to politics.  The origin of this attitudinal miasma is the continued legacy of the long colonial period of Western dominance.  The residual effects of this experience of subservient existence have caused the development of several complicated modes of complexes including symptomatic self-denial and the failure of self-recognition on a broad spectrum of contemporary realities.  Consequently, the spill-over outgrowth of this psychological state of mind has resulted in partial or total rejection of indigenous conventions – especially so the explicit rejection of political and social innovation needed for development of the country against the dominant pro-Western trends.

No wonder then our entire political existence, starting from Ayub Khan to the present ruling junta, inclusive of military and civilian rules, has been one continued sad political saga of US-Western dominated domestic and foreign policy stalemates.  The list of our political faults has been long painful, and yet some of the recent examples must be cited for illustrative purposes: Consider the political fallouts of the US-Britain brokered NRO regime, Musharraf’s “enlightened moderation,” and the resultant so-called war on terrorism, drone attacks, military operations against our own people, the missing and disappeared persons, the CIA-implanted mercenaries in every nook and corner of the country, the near genocide of the natives, the IMF loans, the ever-accelerating mass poverty and deprivations, and the unfortunate and inevitable dependence on the West’s financial and political patronage.

Considering the nature of the subservient/dominant relationship between Pakistan’s ruling elite and the West, the former has accepted the West’s ethnocentric and self-seeking explanations as a logical elucidation of an unfolding contemporary political phenomenon.  The Western media and successive US administrations have maintained a consistent barrage of assaults against our social-cultural indigenous development to an extent that no small amount of resistance is capable of undoing the mass damage that has been incurred by our historical and political nationalistic aspirations as a free and independent country.  In this respect, total political solecism (or rather, political impropriety) exists in Pakistan largely because of an absolute lack of sagacious thinking inherited in the psyche of our dependency mode.

The entire foundation and purpose of a democratic system are rooted in a social contract between the people’s elected representatives and the voters in which the former, under all circumstances and prevailing conditions, are obligated to serve the overall interests of the public – failing to do so morally revokes the people’s mandate.  It is for this reason that an elected government, when they are in a period of inefficiency and incompetence and unable to deliver the essentials of the democratic-social contract expected of them, should resign from the office of the political management affairs of the country.  As such, midterm elections in a parliamentary democracy are the basic part and parcel of the system.  It is the vent-valve in the process that restores the elected representatives and voters’ confidence in the democratic process and steers the political system to safety and fulfillment of its democratic mandate. A continuation of a dysfunctional regime for a specific time period is contrary to a democracy’s principles and norms.  And yet, the main opposition party, the PML (N) insists that it does not support midterm elections in the country fearing that it would derail the democratic political system – an ironic and a most crooked argument at best.

When the ruling PPP and the rest of the political parties in Pakistan should be offering the domestic audience and voters blueprints of their political platforms in sync with the democratic aspirations and demands of the public, proposing ways to deal with and resolve vital issues such as high unemployment, food price inflation, police brutality, the energy and electricity crisis, and conducting conflict-management in Balochistan, stopping drone attacks, ceasing military attacks against its own people, and bringing the US massive interference in the country’s domestic and foreign affairs to an end, the entire political establishment, inclusive of the incumbent regime and the opposition, continues to raise the Islamist bogey.

There is not a day when the incumbent PPP regime in Islamabad does not own the so-called war on terrorism as Pakistan’s war – implicating common Pakistanis as Islamist extremists.  What is happening is that, in fact, the political elite in Pakistan has been using the Islamist scarecrow to remain in power and continue to have the US-West’s patronage for their political survival.

In the dismal political existence which common citizens experience in their daily lives, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf  is the lone voice demanding midterm elections , an end to the war on terror, political settlement with the Taliban by mutual dialogue and a reconciliation process, and the need for a principled, ethical and moral democratic set-up in the country.  “The youth of this country think politics is entirely rubbish,” wrote the columnist Fasi Zaka.  “Therefore, (Imran) Khan’s message of bringing about a ‘revolution’ appeals to young people turned off by traditional politics.”

The trouble is that traditional political leadership in the country still suffers from the psychological ailment of seeking the West’s patronage for its political existence and they cannot escape from it.  “When compared to the other personalities in Pakistani politics, he (Imran Khan) is a saint,” says Zaka.

Imran Khan’s rising popularity can be attributed to the fact that he is not seeking US-Western support and partnership for the success of his political ascendency and political agenda: “Khan made ‘often pointed and critical statements on US policy which he characterized as dangerous and in need of change’ in a meeting with former US Ambassador Anne Patterson last year,” reported the Christian Science Monitor.  At last, Pakistan’s problematic and difficult political past has given birth to a leadership which is independent, nationalist, rational and forward-looking, and free of US-Western bogeymen.

In addition, the PTI entire political agenda is being written in bold script acknowledging the prime importance of the social contract in a democratic set-up – the ultimate goal of serving the masses’ interests!!

For the last 6 decades, it has been the failed social contract that has plagued successive political leaderships and consequently failed Pakistan!!

Now, it is in this social contract that PTI will have its success – and create a revolutionary democratic Pakistan!!

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