Saturday, June 13, 2009

How Bruce Reidel lost his way

Bruce Reidel started out as a low level operative in the CIA(?). He weasled his way into the Democratic party and some got the ear of Brack Obama. His initial analysis was good. It mimicd the ongoing reviews called by the outgoing Bush Administration which wanted to overhaul its Afghan policy and try to convert defeat into victory. Mr. Reidel however is no expert on Pakistan, and is not familiar with the culture, traditions and history of the republic. His recent rendition of Pakistani history, published in the Wall Street Journal displays a paucity of ideas, and a bankruptcy of vision and a total absence of understanding of the Pakistani ethos. His book has some edges, but one could overlook them because it had kernels of truth which could be tied together in a good bead story.
Mr. Reidel’s initial articles took a somewhat balanced view. He talked about a regional approach, and aptly described the resolution of Afghanistan, tied in to the resolution of Kashmir. He discussed the fact that the root cause of the problems lay in the disenfranchisement of the Kashmiris, and once that problem was solved and Pakistani’s Eastern borders secured, Islamabad would be more emendable to helping the US in the war in Afghanistan. Mr. Reidel also talked about “convincing” the Pakistanis into helping the US and he also discussed a Marshall plan for Pakistan and a the sacrosanct nature of the Durand Line.
Pick a rock, any rock, and you can find “experts” predicting gloom and doom. One wonders how much venom the bigots can spew. Judging by the decibel level of the doomsayers, one can always judge the level of frustration that they face. News about Pakistan is accompanied with the pugilistic doomsayers who come out in droves.
Mr. Reidel’s ”in depth” analysis of the Afghan war however was mostly based upon the writings of an unknown two bit teacher by the name Rashid Ahmed, a 3rd rate professor at an open admisison university of Pakistan which used to be called Islamabd University. In terms of academic standard or admission cireterio the campus on which Mr. Rashid Ahmed works in, the campus is known as a party campus, with dorms full of sixties type of hippies and a woman’s wing which has always been embroiled in scandal and mischief . Mr. Rashid Ahmed wrote what the CIA wanted to read. His book was very well received in the west, and he has now become a celebrity talking about this that and the other as if he is an authority on the Taliban or the Pakhtuns. He is neither. Mr. Ahmed Rashid is a pawn in the hands of Mr. Reidel. the Dollars make him repeat his master’s voice.
Over the past few months things changed. The Afghan review came out. It was pretty much a regurgitation of the old NEI, CIA and DOD reviews. The old policy was sold to the American public as new. Mr. Holbrooke was appointed as an envoy of Afghanistan and Pakistan instead of the original Pakistan and India envoy. After vociferous complaints by Delhi Kashmir was taken off the agenda. “K” may be part of Mr. Holbrooke’s silent agenda but it is not to be mentioned publicly. The Free Trade Agreement between pakistan and the US remains elusive as does the access of Pakistani Textiles to the US market. The ROZ has been placed on queue in the COngress and may appear on the agenda next year. Puny aid of $1.9 Billion is to be awarded to Pakistan, but half o fit will be spent on enhancing US embassies.
In other words the Neocon agenda continues with few nuanced changes.
The CIA has almost always been wrong on predicting major events. It has been a total failure in monitoring real and perceived enemies. Filling Gitmo, renditions and torture are not success stories that should be rewarded.
The CIA has once again come up with policy statements for the new President. In fact the new policy is partly based upon the recommendations of the intelligence agencies.
Selective Amnesia of Americans: Pakistan is the most mistreated friend in the world. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is the organization that gave us the fiasco of Bay of Pigs becuase it didn’t have a clue that the Cuban had Russian missiles hidden in their closets. By the time they found out it was too late. The CIA is the same organization that couldn’t predict the simple fact that the USSR was ready to implode, a fact known to almost everyone on the streets of Moscow or Kabul. Justifying the Banality of a brutal Occupation in Iraq and Afghanistan: The Thinktanks attempt to complete the circle of complicity between a sycophantic press, and a non-inquisitive servile public. The nation is forced to accept the only argument that it is being repeatedly inundated with
The truth is out. Mr. Reidel is a bigoted racist who has brought the likes of Mr. Kilcullen to the forefront to wage war on Pakistan. Mr. Reidel’s rancid and hackneyed imperviousness to everything Pakistani blinds him to the large spectrum of vivacious Pakistani diversity, makes him deaf to the varied cacophony of Pakistani ideas, gangly numbs him to the inherently punier societal contradictions of the country, and helps him ignore the profound internal cohesion, so that he can surreptitiously inexerably and single-mindedly negatively highlight the putative and superficial dissonance of a highly complex society. Mr. Reidel can say nothing good about Pakistan. He can thus impugn them with being enmeshed and ensnared in everything that goes wrong with anything. Mr.Reidel has not spent a lot of time in Pakistan. He however claims to be an expert on Paksitan. Textbooks only get you so far. It is pedagogical to investigate the didactic provenance of his cabal and research the incipient truculence of his petulantly portentous and venomously vindictive and revanchist commentariat.
Pakistan cannot be handed the forced foster parentage of failed American policies in South Asia.
A passionate attachment of one nation for another produces a variety of evils. Sympathy for the favorite nation facilitates the illusion of an imaginary common interest in cases where no real common interest exists, infuses into one the enmities of the other, and betrays the former into participation in the quarrels and wars of the latter without adequate inducement or justification.” (George Washington, Farewell Address, 1796)
Mr. Reidel’s recent article in the Wall Street Journal was a new nadir of his incompetence. That article and the compendium of his flummoxed ad hominem trope has serious errors in it, which is typical of the odiously conflated half-baked harebrained doctrinal tripe so pervasive in the open hunting season on Pakistan these days. Mr. Reidel is wrong, totally wrong on Pakistan.
The “Firm” participated in the Mossedegh snafu in which they an elected and popular prime minister and installed Reza Shah as emperor. The CIA is the same organization that didn’t have a clue about the popularity of Imam Khomeni and ’till the last moment continued to support the Shah of Iran. “The Company” is the same spy agency that tried to buy arms from Iran to fund the Contras in Nicragua. The CIA was unable to predict the USSR’s invasion of Afghanstan and it took them two years to join the Pakistanis in their war against the Communist invaders.
Mr. Reidel–stop this nonsense!
here are a few new players who have jumped on the Anti-Pakistan bandwagon. The Darth Vader plenipotentiary of the Neocons is the Australian Rupert Mrudock. The Neocon agenda was to implement the Plan for a New American Century (PNAC). This plan called for maintaining the supremacy of the US through violent conflict if needed. According to PNACers the destruction of the USSR accorded an opportunity to trample over smaller nations in order to encircle any future threats to America. Hence the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The bad wars, sheer incompetence of the executers, and the stiff resistance given to the invaders brought many American policy holders to their sense. It is very consternating and most disappointing that the phlegmatic doyens and placid cognoscenti of the Obama Administration lacked the imperious intellect to reject this compendium of insipid depredation, and chose to egregiously reproduce the vapid pabulum and rambling crypto-racist putrid screed written by this doltish and vindictive votary of prurient scurrility.
The puerile headlines in the Hate-Pakistan press remind me of the old schoolyard song. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words shall never harm me“. The risible rhetoric is amazing in its transparent bias and mind boggling in its obeisance to the Gods of mendacity. Congressman Denis Kucinich once remarked that “the American press is worse than Izvestia and Pravda” in kowtowing to the government line.
The misanthropic media has almost become an organ of the state and is used by the military to disseminate misinformation and outright lies. Headlines are added at the discretion of the editor. Many times the headlines are totally disconnected from the actual essay. Even the paragons of the left wing media like the New York Times were used like a fiddle to play the swan song of the WMDs. The list is long. The childish name calling is not limited to the New York Times Company. The juvenile vacuous, vapid chatter is as ubiquitous now as it was in the war mongering days that fueled the frenzy to attack Iraq. The New York Times apologized, but continues its venomous diatribes against Pakistan.
This polemicist’s troglodyte’s pauperized intellect, vacuity of ideas and teutonic bloviations are a prosaic and trite admixture of the clichéd and discredited Neocon assertions, unsubstantiated and facile aspersions, outright augean distortion, and pure unadulterated balderdash. Mr. Reidel has been caught “in flagrante delicto” with his pants down. His penchant for a revivified virulence of the macabre and ghoulishly political vaudeville shows a total lack of knowledge of South Asia and only a peripheral knowledge of Pakistan and Pakistanis.
The headlines use the worst words that they can find, despair, peril, dangerous, failed, disarray, implode, explode etc etc. Some Pakistanis worry about the use of the words. The real reason for the frustration is fear. They fear failure in the Hindu Kush. they are scared of getting thrown out of the Khyber, and they are frustrated by the lack of success in the Indus. All the huffing and the puffing has not enabled them to blow away the house.

India withdraws from Kashmir after facing defeat

The might of 800,000 soldiers was not enough to suppress the freedom struggle of the brave men and women who sought freedom from dominance and repression. After implementing the worst torture, rape and murder on the innocent civilians of the Srinagar and the Valley, Delhi has had enough. After killing 100,000 Kashmiris, have the Indians lost the stomach to kill more? The announcement to accept defeat and withdraw was not a gesture of chivalry, it coincided with a visit to Delhi by William Burns, the US Under Secretary of State. Apparently his silver tongue and President Obama’s letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh were enough to persuade India to pull troops back from Pakistan’s border and restart peace talks over Kashmir. India’s army and the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) have been brutally repressing Kashmir since 1989.
India’s predominantly Hindu troops in Kashmir have often been accused of raping, kidnapping, torturing, beating and killing Kashmiris with impunity, especially since the uprising began. Times
One letter from President Obama forced the Indians to withdraw their forces, shut down the consulates in Afghanistan and put a permanent halt to the nuclear tests. One test and the Nuclear deal is off. One ounce of Uranium unaccounted for and Delhi gets sent to purgatory. Politicians in Islamabad complain about the micromanagement of Pakistani affairs. The micromanagement of India is even worse. She was told to explode the nuclear devices by President Clinton and now she has been told by Obama to withdraw from Kashmir. Of course these diktats to Delhi did not come directly from Washington, they came from Beijing via Washington. The US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was informed by the Chinese to stop the destabilization of Pakistan. Now the same message was given to US Treasury Secretary who was recently in Beijing. This time the Chinese meant business. Thus the letter from President Barack Obama to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh clearly spelled out a plan for the Indian government, withdraw from Kashmir and stop the mercenary activity in Pakistan.
NEW DELHI: The US said on Thursday that it wants the Kashmir issue resolved in line with the aspirations of the people of Kashmir – a statement that reflects Pakistan’s stance on the long-standing dispute.
Addressing a press conference after meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns – on a three-day visit to India – stunned reporters by saying that the Kashmir issue had to be settled in line with the aspirations of Kashmiris. “It remains our view that a resolution of that issue has to take into account wishes of the Kashmiri people,” he said. Daily Times. US adopts Pakistan’s stance on Kashmir
We wrote about it in April 2009. We also continue to think that Richard Holbrooke is the US Ambassador for Kashmir, even though his official designation is “Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan” (”K” for Kashmir is silent in his porfolio). President Obama’s administration has to show the electorate some results before the 2012 elections and before the British and the Canadians withdraw from Afghanistan. Time is of the essence. Everything has to fall in place. The Pakistanis have to cooperate, the Chinese have to be listened to, Russia has to be kept at a distance, the Indians have to follow, and Iran has to be cajoled. The bellicose statements on Pakistan over the past few weeks was part of the US plan to assuage Delhi and make it seem like they were coming down hard on the Pakistanis. In actual fact the public statements had nothing to do with relaity. The US Army and the Pentagon is working very closely with the Pakistan Army. Several helicopters have already been transferred to Pakistan, and all the modern equipment to fight an insurgency, night vision glasses, bullet proof vests, and some drones have been handed over to the Pakistanis.
US undersecretary od state for political affairs William Burns said, “Any resolution of Kashmir has to take into account the wishes of the Kashmiri people.” This line is a traditional Pakistan favourite, but has not been heard during the past few years of the Bush administration. The Indian government preferred not to commen. Times of India
The Times of India in the understatement of the year, says that the US stance on Kashmir has put another crease on Indian brow. The fact is that Delhi has not recovered from the epileptic seizure which it went into after receiving the Obama letter. Delhi gets some goodies for giving up Kashmir. The US secretary of state Hillary Clinton will visit Delhi towards the end of July. She will begin the negotiations on a reprocessing agreement. The Indians should have seen this coming after France approved a Nuclear deal for Pakistan which will be consecrated in September. That is the carrot for Pakistan for being good.
There are many things going on in South and West Asia. President Barack Obama plans to exit from Afghanistan by 2011, but he has to show results on the ground. He cannot show results on the ground without the help of Pakistan. Islamabad’s help can be bought only if it feels secure on the Eastern front. Hence the movement of Indian troops and planes away from the Pakistani border. To hide the retreat, Delhi moved them on the Chinese border, knowing full well that many generations of Indian planes have rusted on the airfields near the McMohan line without threatening a single Chinese. The movement of the troops is also dictated by the abject failure of the Stephen Cohen’s concoction called the “The Cold Start Strategy”. In 2002 and 2008, Bharati forces threatened Pakistan but could not cross the border. As the old Western adages go, never threaten if you can’t deliver, never bring a knife to a gun fight, and never cock your gun if you don’t intend to use it. World War IV hasn’t arrived, and enemies are not fighting with sticks and stones yet. Nuclear Mutually assured destruction (MAD) convinces many enemies not to issue empty threats. Pakistan’s 2nd strike capability, Hydrogen bombs and potent missiles have convinced India that she cannot cross the Pakistani border. She can yell Failed state from the highest steeples of Gharibabad and the deepest hold of Dharavi but the Lankans have proven that they can form the right alliances and defeat Delhi’s terror. Pakistan of course has learned the same lesson.
The Kashmiris and Pakistanis have won a decisive victory. It has forced one of the most arrogant armies to accept defeat and withdraw. Dlehi has also agreed to review the hugely unpopular Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA), which has made life miserable for the civilian population. Kashmir had exploded a couple of weeks ago after the rape and murder of two sisters. India had no choice, she had to accept the verdict of the people who are chanting “bhago bhago lashkar aya”, and “bhooka nanga Hindustan, dil seh piyara Pakistan”, “tijarat to bahana hai, Rawalpindi to jana hai”.
The retreat was deliberately announced before the the Manmohan-Zardari meeting on the sidelines of the SCO summit but had been agreed upon between Pakistan and India track II diplomacy that has been going on for several years. The blueprint for Kashmir was laid down by President Musharraf. However Pakistan is demanding a plebiscite under the auspices of the appropriate UN resolution.
Although this was a sort of placing-cards-on-the-table kind of visit, it was quite apparent that both sides are groping for something to hang the relationship on. Sources said, off the record, that another visit with nothing to show would signal serious drift in India-US relations. Times of India
The Times of India is right, the US and Bharat are drifting apart. The schism was very apparent when President elect Obama, and then President Obama did not call Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for a month. The rift was obvious when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton crossed out Delhi from her itinerary and visited China. Apparently the Chinese red her the riot act and asked her to stop destabilizing Pakistan, withdraw from Afghanistan and solve Kashmir. The Peoples Daily wrote several articles on the subject duly reported on this site.
President Barack Obama has taken some tough stances on issues. He is right on Palestine, and he is right on Kashmir.