Thursday, July 15

He ain't heavy, he's my genocidal, hallucinatory, two-faced 'ally'

Earlier this month the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, twisted his mouth into the shape of a pretzel to explain why it was okay for the U.S. to support Pakistan's nuclear arsenal but not okay to support North Korea's arsenal and Iran's nuclear ambitions. He also saw no problem with the United States as much declaring war on India when he sympathized with Pakistan's need to use nuclear weapons against India in order to feel safe.

Then Americans wonder why Pyongyang and Tehran laugh at Washington's lectures on nuclear proliferation. The leaders of both regimes have been doing clandestine nuke business with Pakistan for decades. They know Pakistan is the biggest nuclear weapons proliferator on the planet -- and so does Mullen, who is the highest ranking military officer in the USA and as such is the principal military advisor to the President of the United States, the National Security Council, and the Secretary of Defense.

That's not the half of the double standard America has practiced with regard to Pakistan. Barely a day goes by that the American news media doesn't warn of the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran because of the regime's end-of-time religious views, which American news analyst John Batchelor has termed "hallucinatory."

It doesn't get more hallucinatory than the views of Pakistani media mogul, Majeed Nizami, the owner of the Nawa-i-Waqt, The Nation, and Waqt TV channel. During a recent speech at a function given in his honor he declared that Pakistan's missiles and nuclear bombs were superior to "India's ghosts," and that unleashing nuclear war against India was imperative. "Don't worry if a couple of our cities are also destroyed in the process."

That would be the same Nation newspaper that cites the United States government as being behind every terrorist incident in the world, including the Times Square attack.

If you think Nizami is an isolated nut case, you don't know much about him, or Pakistan. He is the true face of the most powerful factions in Pakistan including its military leaders.

But in the view of the U.S. government and news media it's okay for Pakistan's military to hold hallucinatory views whereas it's not okay for Iran's leaders because, well, because.

It's the same for anti-Semitic views that abound in Pakistan. In the same article that discussed Nizami's view that nuclear Armageddon was the ticket to peace in South Asia, Pakistani journalist Shakil Chaudhary reported on a June 18 column in Nizami's Nawa-i-Waqt paper in which Lt. Gen. Abdul Qayyum (ret), former chairman of Pakistan Steel Mills, approvingly quoted Adolph Hitler as saying: "I could have annihilated all the Jews in the world, but I left some of them so that you can know why I was killing them."

Qayyum also cited as factual the infamous Franklin Forgery, in which Nazi propagandists put anti-Semitic statements in Benjamin Franklin's mouth.

But publishing anti-Semitic lies is perfectly okay in Pakistan as far as the American government and news media are concerned -- whereas it's not okay for Iranian hate-mongers to cite as established fact the anti-Semitic forgery Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Then Americans wonder why Iran's leaders smirk when they hear the American government accuse them of trampling human rights and institutionalizing anti-Semitism.

As to the bone-cracking pressure that the United States has been applying to other governments in the effort to dissuade them from trading with Iran -- Pakistan's gas pipeline deal with Iran was the exception. The U.S. government perfectly understood why Pakistan would need the deal and the only worry was that Pakistan might be hurt if caught up in the sanctions the United States.

That's not the half of it. A few days ago the American news media decried the savagery of Iran's government regarding the sentence handed down to stone to death an alleged Iranian adulterer. The 'international community' also set up such a yowl that the government stayed, at least temporarily, the sentence.

Where are the yowls from the American news media and international community about government-sanctioned stoning deaths for the same charge in Pakistan? Only a small handful of American blogs (e.g., Jawa Report and Jihad Watch) have reported on the situation -- reports that have never made it into the electronic and print media in the United States.

At least Iran (and Somalia, which also carries out stoning sentences) can blame its tribal bumpkins, as one Iranian democracy activist termed Iran's rural population, for clinging to the practice of stoning. But a 2009 Pew survey of public opinion among mostly *urban* Pakistanis found they supported the death sentence of stoning for adultery. That's the not the half of it:
... One of the ironies in the survey is the extent to which Pakistanis embrace some of the severe laws associated with the Taliban and al Qaeda, even as they reject Islamic extremism and these extremist groups. The new poll finds broad support for harsh punishments: 78% favor death for those who leave Islam; 80% favor whippings and cutting off hands for crimes like theft and robbery; and 83% favor stoning adulterers.
There is no irony; Pew interprets its data too narrowly when it reports that a majority of Pakistanis reject extremism. According to the findings, a majority of Pakistanis surveyed (71%) favored giving power to "religious" (i.e., Sharia) judges. Pakistanis reject extremism only when it has a suicide vest strapped to it and it's blowing them up in their own country.

And given the death sentence for blasphemy and other infractions of religious code that Pakistan's 'civil' society supports, it's pretty much a moot point whether the judges mete out civil or Sharia justice. Yet none of this has surfaced in the U.S. news media and the U.S. government has had not a word to say about it.

And while it's not okay for Sudan's government to carry out massacres that have been termed genocide (or democide; take your pick), the U.S. has never seen anything wrong with Pakistan instigating massacres of Kashmir's Hindus, Muslim Bengalis in Pakistan, and Afghanis.

I could spend the rest of the day providing examples of the double standard that the United States practices with regard to Pakistan but to sum: When it comes to human rights, nuclear proliferation, religious intolerance, and repressive measures against democracy, the only significant difference between Iran and Pakistan is that the United States covers for Pakistan whereas it doesn't for Iran.

Anyone who claims that the double standard is rooted in the U.S. government's need to stay on good terms with Pakistan because of the war in Afghanistan is either lying or misinformed. This covering for Pakistan's government, and even aiding and abetting its predatory, genocidal ways and constant war against Pakistanis who seek to bring real democracy to the country, goes back more than 60 years. Even during the years that the U.S. placed official sanctions on Pakistan's regime, the U.S. was funneling it money through institutions such as World Bank.

To cover for Pakistan for that long has meant that the U.S. government has had to tell bigger and bigger lies, which the compliant American news media have passed along to the public.

Just one of the lies, which has been pushed hard during the past year in Washington and dutifully parroted by think-tank denizens and the news media, is that Pakistan's interest in Afghanistan is because of the need for 'strategic depth' against India. Pakistan's ex-Prime Minister/ opposition leader Nawaz Sharif made short work of the lie just a few days ago when he announced that Pakistan needed to stop meddling in Afghanistan's affairs.

I note he tactfully avoided explaining what 'strategic depth' in Afghanistan has always meant to Pakistan's regime, which is simply the rape of the country. After Russia pulled out of Afghanistan the United States turned a studiously blind eye while Pakistan's mafias stripped Afghanistan of everything that was not nailed down. That would include factories, the country's once abundant forests, and even telephone poles. Read Pakistani journalist and political activist Ahmed Rashid's Taliban for more on that angle.

Another whopper is that Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has embraced Pakistan and Iran and Pakistan's worst terrorist organizations. He has certainly turned to Iran for help and under extreme pressure from the United States reached out to Pakistan. But his support for the Peshawar Declaration is just one piece of evidence to show that he has never changed his mind about Pakistan's threat to Afghanistan.

If American readers have never heard of the declaration -- you wouldn't have heard about it, not from U.S. mainstream media outlets or even EU ones, all of which promote the NATO agenda. The only English-language mention of the declaration available to the Western public that I've seen is an op-ed by one of India's most experienced career diplomats, former Ambassador M K Bhadrakumar. He served in the Soviet Union, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Germany, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kuwait and Turkey. In April of this year Bhadrakumar wrote for the Asia Times about The Alienation of Hamid Karzai in Washington:
... Obama should distinguish that it is the ISI and the Pakistani military whom Karzai (and the "warlords") considers to be his adversaries. His frustration is that the Americans are either far too naive to comprehend what is going on or are dissimulating since they are pursuing some "hidden agenda" in relation to the geopolitics of the region.

Karzai's alienation is widely shared by the Afghan elites in both Kabul and Peshawar. A grand tribal jirga was recently held in Peshawar just ahead of the US-Pakistan strategic dialogue of March 24, and was widely attended by noted Pashtun intellectuals, tribal leaders, politicians, professionals, civil society members, women's groups and representatives of established political parties of the North-West Frontier Agency.

Obama can always ask the American consulate in Peshawar for a report on the jirga. It will prove an eye-opener. Essentially, the jirga raised the widespread grievance that the Pashtuns do not trust Pakistan's Punjabi-dominated military establishment, which was leading the strategic dialogue with the US. The jirga alleged that the Pakistani military establishment's sole agenda is to attain "strategic depth" in Afghanistan and this lies at the root of the sufferings of the Pashtuns on both sides of the Durand Line.

The jirga issued the Peshawar Declaration, a statement which cautioned Washington that the root causes of terrorism lie in the Pakistani military establishment's "strategic depth" mindset and the Arab expansionism embodied by the al-Qaeda under the garb of global Islam.

It made an impassioned plea not to leave the helpless Pashtuns of the tribal agencies and the North-West Frontier Province at the mercy of the Pakistani army and the intelligence agencies.

In the prevailing circumstances, Karzai has no option but to turn toward Tehran for understanding and support. The Iranians have a profound understanding of the Afghan chessboard and can grasp the raging storms in the mind of the Pashtuns on both sides of the Durand Line. ...
Bhadrakumar, being a diplomat and all, was too polite to come out with the unvarnished truth, so I'll spit it out for him. The United States of America was planning on giving Afghanistan to Pakistan's murderous regime as a gift, in exchange for the hope that the regime would root out al Qaeda.

Then a volcano in Iceland erupted, and then there was an unusual weather pattern in Europe -- an extended 'blocking high' as meteorologists call it -- that kept large amounts of volcanic ash hanging over Europe. And then a reporter of perhaps not too sterling credentials ingratiated himself with General Stanley McChrystal.

And then, in the wake of the uproar about the reporter's story, the American public turned its eyes to Afghanistan and asked what the hell was going on over there in that country. Then the U.S. government, including the State Department and Pentagon, began to backpedal fast.

So if Afghanistan escapes the tender mercies of Pakistan's regime this time around, I guess you can file the entire affair under "Deus ex Machina." Because believe you me, given the duplicity of my government and cowardice of the American news media, it would take the intervention of God to save the Afghanis.