The Deadly Faux Pas by Pakistan’s International Man of Peace

Source: ET

Imran Khan is having a ball. He is having the highest point in his sad and depressing career as a Prime Minister ever since he took office. Actually, the Kashmir crisis that coincided with his administration came as a heaven-sent blessing to give Imran Khan’s egotistical ramblings as a self-important and supposed international man of peace.

He has been criticized by the opposition for being selected by the military establishment in Pakistan. Especially, after the current military regime of General Bajwa took upon itself to destroy the political career of former and deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for baseless reasons when Dawn Leaks occurred. Dawn Leaks, which was a leaked report of the Sharif brothers, then in power in federal and Punjab provincial governments respectively, advised the military to curb extremist and terrorist entities in the country. It is ironic that the same leader whose supporters thrive on declaring Nawaz Sharif a traitor would today justify his statements.

In his latest gaffe, Imran Khan revealed that “Pakistan Army and the ISI trained Al-Qaeda” and you can easily hear it in the following statement.

 

He also said that “Pakistan made a huge blunder by joining the US war on terror.” I cannot think of a more disastrous statement coming from a Pakistani head of the government representing the country on such a diplomatic forum is nothing short of disastrous. At least, there is consensus in the international community about the need to dismantle the terrorist Taliban regime in Afghanistan following the 9/11 attacks, since Osama Bin Laden had been given state asylum over there.

While I personally don’t mind the statement about the military training Al-Qaeda and there are a lot of people pointing out that there is finally a leader who is speaking the truth about the military, it is not exactly historically accurate. The Pakistan army and the ISI never trained Al-Qaeda, the Islamist terrorist organization inspired by Syed Qutb in Egypt and which stemmed out of the ideology of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Pakistani Army instead trained and helped arm the Mujahideen, which later would become the Taliban, who would fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan and then with the help of Pakistan would establish an Islamic Caliphate in the country suspending all human rights and persecuting the local population.

For his dream run, this is a massive PR disaster which was being vehemently defended by government and PTI spokespersons, the military, and the nationalist liberals and conservatives who sympathize with him. But it is a costly gaffe to make on a forum like Council on Foreign Relations, even if Imran Khan had confused Mujahideen with Al-Qaeda. This counters the narrative of Pakistani urban nationalists who voted for PTI that Imran Khan is more effective or shining on the international stage. What Imran Khan undoubtedly has is charisma and surely that causes the world to pay attention to a “handsome” celebrity as opposed to serious leaders like his predecessors. But actually, his speaking from the heart often proves damaging to Pakistan’s cause. This is just another example.

Consider this tweet about the support for Kashmir from a UN body.;

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Not sure who briefs Imran Khan on foreign affairs but it clearly was someone overzealous who was overstating the number of member countries in the United Nations Human Rights Commission. And also, it is not the only blunder by the foreign affairs team of the ruling party. Pakistan also missed the deadline to submit the resolution for Kashmir at United Nations Human Rights Council, so there is a lot more trouble on the foreign affairs front for this administration than just the trainwreck tour of the Great Leader.

Here is the full video of Imran Khan’s talk at the Council on Foreign Relations.

 

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Unleashing Cricket Bigotry

Source: The Sun

The Pakistan Afghanistan cricket game in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 was perhaps the darkest moment in the sporting event, politically speaking. Even though I cannot speak much for the Afghan side, but it is safe to say that the game brought out the worst in both the nations, at least among the rioting fans in the stands. Afghan and Pakistan fans brawled on more than one occasion after the game, clearly due to the verbal exchanges.

The game surely brought out the ugly, racist, and xenophobic side of Pakistan. The Pakistan twitter was terrible enough to trend “Pakistan v Namak Haraams,” an expression used for unfaithful traitors. Pakistanis particularly have a problem with the Indian Cricket Board supporting the Afghan team and providing it with a home base, something which the Pakistan Cricket Board offered earlier. Of course, the Indian “interferences” in Afghanistan, whether political or sporting, threaten the national security of Pakistan. So while we hate the Afghans, we need to be in charge of everything about Afghanistan.

In order to eloquently express and represent the sentiment of the nation about their Afghan brothers, Rawalpindi fast bowler Shoaib Akhter stepped up. With all the anti-Afghan bigotry he could absorb from my hometown, he repeated all the usual tropes, only stopping at not directly calling the immigrants parasitic, though he pretty much implied it. He probably took it down from his twitter later but this video has been saved for all posterity.

Even in Leeds, the venue for the game, the political atmosphere was full of tension. The Baluch and Afghan political activists found it the perfect opportunity to highlight the human rights violations in Baluchistan. A skywriting plane was carrying the message of “Justice for Baluchistan” and “End Forced Disappearances.” The “End Forced Disappearances” campaign has been making its appearance on public signage and newspaper front pages as well, which the patriotic British citizens of Pakistani origin have been tearing and destroying every chance they got in their exercise of “free expression.”


The playbook of the Pakistani xenophobes and racist nationalists, who are far worse than Trump’s base, attack Afghans in a standard fashion. For the usual part, they blame them as burdens on the economy and a source of crime. You can safely say that this xenophobia is prevalent from Peshawar and Gilgit-Baltistan to Islamabad and Karachi. The narrative also blames them for not being faithful enough for Pakistan even though it has given their refugees asylum for more than thirty years, even though it has refrained to allow citizenship to most of them.

Interestingly enough, the Pakistani nationalists believe the Afghan refugees owe Pakistan something for destroying their home country.

Gul Bukhari, the Pakistani dissident journalist, put the response to this baseless allegation by Pakistani nationalists in this tweet. With someone asking her if there are a more ungrateful people than the Afghans (who never repaid Pakistan’s generosity in kind), she summed up the entire Pakistan-Afghanistan political equation. Indeed they are a very ungrateful nation. We have been on the forefront for imposing war on them for forty years, pocketed dollars on account of Afghan refugees, and have imposed the Taliban on them to this day. With all the generosity, they have not bothered to thank (Pakistan) once. 

Pakistan almost lost the match against Afghanistan on June 29, but our people have certainly lost the moral high ground they think they always had.

The Most Important Decision by President Trump to Date

Source: The New York Times

More than a year ago, I had written how important it was for a Republican to win this election. There was only one reason behind it. The foreign and military policies in Iraq and Afghanistan. Of course, I did not want someone like Donald Trump to make it to the top.

Even though there are plenty of sane Democrats on that subject around as well and Hillary Clinton could easily be one of them. However, since the charismatic victory of President Barack Obama, elected with a massive anti-war mandate, and the pressure from Bernie Sanders progressives, who knew what direction policy would have taken. After President Obama turning the direction of the hands-on American Empire created by the Bush family and growing threats from China and Russia, American influence is only likely to fall in the coming years.

There has been plenty of areas where Trump has displayed how out of touch he is with American people, as well as how inappropriate his response could be to certain tragedies such as the Charlottesville rally. However, in foreign policy, he stuck to the conventional military wisdom of the Republican leadership.

Sure, he has deviated from the intellectualism of furthering the American Empire that has been the legacy of Bush 41 and Bush 43. This solidifies the notion that President Trump is a part of the same sentiment that got President Obama elected, as different both of them may be to each other. But where both agree is that America should not have invested heavily in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and that America should not be nation-building, a Bush era policy widely condemned as neo-colonialism.

But when I indeed wrote about a Republican winning, the precise person that I had in mind was Jeb Bush. Because he would have continued where Bush 41 and Bush 43 left office. While the execution of the military campaigns was flawed, even criminal, under Bush 43, you could say the intention and idea behind it were noble and well-meaning. But then again, you could not possibly ignore factors like business interests affiliated with the military industrial complex. And then there was all the corruption in the Bush 43 administration.

Of course, lacking in detail, but this speech by President Trump is greatly symbolic. And one that even his nemesis in Senate, Senator John McCain would be proud of, as such a policy speech means that the hard work of the latter has been paid off. At least there is assurance that Afghanistan is not going to prove another Vietnam as the enemies and critics of America so frequently like to quote.

President Trump not only reassured that America is going to maintain its presence in Afghanistan, at least there will be no “hasty withdrawals” as in the case of Iraq, he also addressed irresponsible allies. While Pakistanis have been complaining about his tough talk pushing Pakistan to do more, nobody focused that he also pressed India to play its due contribution. Because like China, you would always find India conveniently shunning its due international affairs responsibilities from the war on terror to relations with Iran. Such brutal clarity from American leadership was much needed after eight years of intellectual ambiguity from President Obama.

It is hard to tell what the future holds for the free world in problem areas such as Afghanistan. However, at least the direction has been set right.

Nevertheless, let us not be too excited to proclaim this as a sign of furthering the American Empire.

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Another Moment of Our Insignificance

Source: dawn.com

Source: dawn.com

It was that moment again. The moment that you would anxiously dread for your entire life. Just like dreading war in peace time. Just like anticipating an intruder without a gun.

It feels like staring at death. In sheer terror, you scramble to save your life, leaving behind all this dear to you, except your life. Something which you are condemned to carry with you.

Looking at everything you built, waiting for it to crumble down.

Thankfully, many of us escaped the ruthless blow of Nature, but many among us did not.

On October 26, that fateful day, the earth shook again, and almost swept everything away. And only those who live through the disaster, those who survive it, could tell you what it felt like.

And for those who could not make it, let’s keep them in our thoughts forever. For it so easily could have been us and our loved ones, as they are.

The Afghanistan quake was 7.5 strong on the scale. Some were calling it the worst earthquake in the history of Pakistan, but I knew they were wrong. It was nowhere near as devastating as the 2005 Kashmir quake, that I ironically wrote about just weeks ago. But it was pretty devastating nevertheless, especially for the people of KP, Northern Areas and Afghanistan.

And believe me, we can never understand the pain of those who lost their loved ones and homes.

But that’s not all what this week brought. It also .

In Rawalpindi and Islamabad, it had already been overcast and rainy for the past two days. And on the eastern dawnsky, Mars, Jupiter and Venus were converging in a magical astronomical display, only to be repeated after decades.

I missed it. Two days after the quake, I managed to find clear skies on the morning of the 28th. With what I had, I managed to take these.

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Maybe, some of you could spot Mars if you look hard enough. If you have the time for it, that is.

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Looking up at the sky at that moment was a different feeling altogether.

A feeling of significant insignificance.

The Pul-e-Jawan Experience: The Pakistan Country Forum Event April 11-12, 2012

Introduction Brief (Source: Furhan Hussain for Pul-e-Jawan)

Pul-e-Jawan is a peace initiative and a discussion forum covering India, Pakistan and Afghanistan peace and security issues. I learned about an event of the forum being organized by Bytes 4 All, an organization dedicated to internet freedom and online privacy in Pakistan, and had a chance to participate. The event that was held on April 11 and April 12, 2012 in Islamabad, covered various aspects of regional peace and security through the participation and opinions of the analyst-turned-Foreign Office advisor Mosharraf Zaidi, analyst and scholar Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa and the representatives of the independent US institutions monitoring aid in Pakistan including Nadia Naviwala of the US Institute of Peace, Danny Cutherell of Center for Global Development and Pakistani-American entrepreneur Awais Khan of American Pakistan Foundation. Indu Nepal briefly joined on live stream from Afghanistan to explain what the Pul-e-Jawan forum was about.

In one of the sessions, Pakistan’s foreign policy strategy was discussed. The most important piece of information was the fact that Pakistan had started engaging with all the ethnic groups in Afghanistan instead of just Pashtuns. Some found it hard to believe but it nevertheless was something positive. Pakistan’s approach of increasing trade with India and other nations was also discussed. A journalist from Waziristan asked about the compensation for the “Pakistani citizens” becoming victims of the war campaigns in the tribal areas from the Pakistani government. It was found that Pakistani government was largely clueless about the idea, let alone the thought of considering those casualties Pakistani citizens. Criticism of the alleged Saudi petrodollars funding terrorism was a positive. We also learned that people of Pakistan did not vote for internet freedom in 2008, causing a momentary outrage but life went on.

Dr. Ayesha Siddiqa’s session was a candid discussion primarily about civil liberties and national security, also including the state of affairs of Pakistan vis-à-vis its neighbors and the war on terror. Most of the discussion revolved around the internal affairs of Pakistan, the role of the military establishment and religious extremism. She discussed how the perceived freedom of Pakistani media was an illusion and how the Pakistani political left has been eradicated out of existence. She talked about how she had been criticized for being anti-military and explained that criticizing military does not mean that you advocate putting it out of existence. The highest point of her talk was when she mentioned that she decided to return to Pakistan since the battle for better civil rights and democracy would be best fought from within the country. She considered the thinking ones a minority in the country and was not as enthusiastic about supporting civil liberties over national security as your average hawk would have thought.

To tell you the truth, I personally had very little interest in listening to the US officials because I am not really thrilled about the subject of aid anyway. It always sounds pretty meaningless to me in terms of politics, but if it can be of help for underprivileged people, great. Also because they would not have had answers to any of the questions that I wanted to ask from anyone coming with US aid proposals and it was therefore absolutely pointless to ask anything. However, a lot of participants were very interested in the discussion and contributed enthusiastically to it. I couldn’t help but observe a few things which I am sure would be making US aid officials and the US government in general sick to their stomachs. I have noticed that some of the participants were literally crucifying the US for the uselessness of the aid initiatives due to the corruption in the Pakistani society and government and yet were complaining that not enough aid was being sent and not utilized on better projects. Now isn’t that unreasonable? What the hell are they supposed to do?

A journalist from Waziristan was talking about the need for investment in the tribal areas as unemployment was turning young men to militancy and probably what we refer to as terrorism. Another friend asked them about the lack of US contribution to Baluchistan. While both the gentlemen were spot on and I cannot recall with certainty if the FATA journalist asked them this particular question, but to answer the general mindset, I cannot understand how aid in itself could end unemployment and create industries in the region, which was actually the aim of some of the questions put to those officials. Perhaps the gentleman from Waziristan was referring to direct foreign investment, so that is what he talked about, it only came as a feedback for the personnel on how aid was really changing their lives. I think this kind of demand should be forwarded to an official of the Government of Pakistan instead of aid monitoring officials. I think it is about time that Pakistanis should realize that it is economic growth instead of the US aid that could really get them anywhere, especially when it comes to earning respect among the nations of the world. At least it will keep their government from being obsessive-compulsive beggars.

The thing that I liked the most about the US officials session was their honesty about the aid process. They admitted that the government processes were slow on the both sides, referring to the Kerry-Lugar Bill, which is actually in jeopardy overPakistan’s shady role in the Osama Ben Laden episode, but maybe not due to the dual nature of Pakistan-America relations. Though I do wonder how the military aid gets processed so quickly. They explained that if an NGO receives too much aid, it is most likely to go corrupt. Cutherell stated that aid will never solve Pakistan’s issues and Pakistanis have to take control of the things themselves. Common sense will tell you that as well, but Pakistanis are hooked to any kind of aid anyway. Too lazy and incompetent to earn money themselves perhaps. Awais Khan was suggesting people to vote in a better way, at which point I was forced to unsuccessfully ask who we should vote for, since I really cannot make up my mind. That was the end of that.

On the second day, MP Bushra Gohar of the ANP spoke about the achievements of the women’s caucus of parliamentarians for better legislation for women’s rights and acting in a united manner beyond party lines. She started the presentation with an ode to the active social role played by Pakistani women in all fields of life with a sentimental montage repeatedly focusing on Benazir Bhutto’s arrival in Pakistan after her self-imposed exile in 2007. The Tina Sani song was instantly criticized for its rather patriarchal lyrics, referring to the Anchal or the Chador, by the witty Tazeen who was interviewing Gohar, since all women do not wear it. Gohar apparently was one step ahead instantly explaining that she had the same problem and that the lyricist had also taken the criticism in a positive light. I personally found the lyrics overly sentimental and somewhat touching, but that’s poetry. Maybe it was the montage. You can check the song and the video for yourself, not that it’s important.

She pointed out how women parliamentarians took an initiative when they were left out of the Constitutional Standing Committee. The rest of the time was spent on defending the position of the Awami National Party on various fronts. She was asked why the tribal areas have been neglected by the ANP Government to which she responded that the FATA has been included in the KP province in the ANP constitution, apparently unlike the Pakistani constitution. She was spot on when she said that FATA has been reduced to a strategic space and its people strategic assets by the Pakistani states and should take a stand for their rights. In my opinion, that is where the polarized Pakistani nation is at one. She also mentioned that she had received death threats and acid attack threats from the Taliban for her views and even for her appearance and attire. Had the pleasure of briefly meeting her, a very intelligent and articulate woman. She is the kind of representative you would want to vote for any day, without getting impressed by her party much.

MP Bushra Gohar at the Pul-e-Jawan event (Source: Furhan Hussain for Pul-e-Jawan)

To my delight, and of everyone else’s if I may take the liberty to say that, Nabiha Meher Sheikh took her time out to conduct an excellent workshop on Critical Thinking and Cognitive Biases. This was important because some of the participants were realizing what biases meant for the very first time, if I may not be considered too biased for stating that. After the initiation, the participants were divided in 5 groups, each required to present and justify a local example of Groupthink. A couple of groups gave the example of the 1971 war, one of the lawyers’ movement and my group gave the example of Pakistani nationalists’ criticism of Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s Oscar winning documentary.

FATA Journalist Ihsan Dawar at the event (Source: Furhan Hussain for Pul-e-Jawan)

The stars of the show and the center of attention among participants remained to be two gentlemen from the beautiful tribal land of Waziristan, which has been abandoned by Pakistan ever since the independence. At least in my books. The radio journalists Ihsan Dawar and Umer Daraz Khan stole the show through their input about the situation in the tribal areas and bombarding all the speakers with stinging questions about the role of Pakistan in the tribal areas. They also gave a pretty hard time to the US officials and enjoyed a fair bit of preference as far as opportunities for questions were concerned, for which I admire the organizers. Gulalai Ismail was another prominent participant who gets my admiration for her Aware Girls project in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Participation of activists from the Hazara community and the Sindhi Hindu community was also something worth noticing and the event encompassed the diversity in Pakistan pretty well.

Before taking my leave of the event, I and my group proposed a new social media campaign idea which would involve online petition messages from the citizens of Pakistan and India to their governments for withdrawing troops from the Siachen glacier in order to end a pointless and bloody conflict, which was causing more deaths due to the horrific living conditions instead of the battle. The campaign is meant to go beyond just being an online petition, as it would constantly pursue the Siachen conflict, as it is often easily forgotten, and would remind India and Pakistan of what they are doing to their people.

All in all, it was a great experience and learned quite a bit from it and made a few friends. Other than that, still trying to develop something a bit more meaningful and constructive out of the experience at the Pul-e-Jawan forum.

Afghanistan: Colony or Outpost?

Source: Massoud Hossaini (AFP/Getty Images)

Regardless of what the public opinion is about the (still) ongoing war in Afghanistan, the United States is here to stay. Whether the Taliban stay or not. And they are most likely to because the NATO forces have still not been able to curb their insurgency and the situation pretty much seems like a stalemate. The issue with Afghanistan is that it offers key strategic territory in South Central Asia where the United States has not enjoyed significant political influence since the very early days of Cold War, or in other words, ever before, except for the Soviet Afghan War of the 1980s which was followed by the disintegration of the only challenger to the strongest power in the world.

Now the Americans have a choice, let’s drop the NATO part for a moment. They could either run Afghanistan as a functional colony (sorry the vassal state term hardly applies here), which they would probably plan to do, choosing a democratically elected local leader like Hamid Karzai for sugarcoating and keeping a US military viceroy to control the actual political interests. Or they could either use Afghanistan as an isolated outpost for the region leaving the internal affair of the rest of the country to its fate, constantly engaging in the conflict with the resistance and establishing military bases that are used for far greater interests of the United States in the region. The FP Magazine published an article about the Israeli military presence in Azerbaijan, but the US bases in Afghanistan are probably an even better option for war with Iran. Among many other advantages.

However, Iran is just one dimension of the episode. The campaign could even be broader than that and it is not necessarily about war. War just happened but it is actually about political influence and if that political influence is threatened, military force will of course be used. The dual US policies in Western Asia has created duplicitous allies such as Pakistan which is now offering them a taste of their own medicine by allegedly keeping a check on the US interests in Afghanistan, particularly apprehensive due to their own insecurities of growing Indian influence in Afghanistan. Whether that is true or not, it is true that India is more aligned with the larger US interest right now than Pakistan is. Furthermore, the US may not need Pakistan in the bigger picture as much as it used to do in the Cold War decades.

The US presence in Afghanistan has a great deal to do with the changed perspective of the United States towards Pakistan. It is seen as a problem area. Pakistan has been serving the US interest for decades and the utility of the state reached its zenith during the Soviet Afghan War from 1979 to 1989. However, after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, which for some odd but obvious reasons coincided with a sudden monstrous increase in religious extremism in Pakistan, all that has been changing gradually. This was pretty convenient for the future and thinking from the perspective that Pakistan has actually fulfilled its utility in the geostrategic targets of the West in the region, it is worth noting by all means.

It is an open secret that the Taliban were created by the Pakistani forces under the guidance of the American CIA as the more respected Mujahideen to fight against the Soviets and you hardly need any references to verify that. You know, one of those loosely declassified things of which there is no great evidence available perhaps. Call it a conspiracy theory, if you will. While there is no doubt that Osama Bin Laden was the man the US forces were after and that he was thought to be in hiding in Afghanistan in 2001, of which no one can be completely sure, but assuming that the United States attacked Afghanistan for that very reason is pretty naïve. At least that was not the only reason, if one at all. Actually it is pretty ridiculous to assume that in my books but I am sure the viewpoint I am offering is widely seen the same way as well. On a serious note, it seems that there were larger plans at hand.

However, things are not as simple as they seem, as is always the case with such affairs. Many among the US people are not even bothered about any advantages that the United States may be enjoying by occupying Afghanistan and want the government to call the troops back home. Others are too concerned about a terrorist threat rising from Afghanistan and would not mind if the military maintains its presence there but the fact remains that life is tough for the US soldiers in Afghanistan and the Taliban don’t seem to be giving up. You would think that they should have by now. It has been ten long years. More than that. The greatest problem that the United States is going to encounter in the future are the Afghan people, who could become out of control of the neocolonial power. They have a history of doing that at least.

Recently, two very unpleasant incidents occurred. A few American soldiers allegedly burned a copy of the Muslim Holy Book Koran and another opened fire on unarmed Afghan civilians including women and children in Kandahar. Both these events caused an outrage in Afghanistan with widespread protests for the former, given the religious fervor of the Afghan nation. The protests even resulted in the death of 2 US soldiers. Of course, it is hard for many in the West to understand the violent protests over the mere burning of a book but unfortunately that phenomenon is a reality in Afghanistan and the rest of the Middle East. These two incidents were purely individual acts, as much as you disapprove of them or not, but what they have done is that they have created tension between the common Afghan people and their US masters. Reminding them that America is a foreign power after all.

In my opinion, the greatest challenge for the US strategists right now is this cultural shock and lack of trust in the long run. The longer the US military stays in Afghanistan, the more these incidents will appear. While no one needs to doubt the competence of the US military, you do not need to be a defense analyst to know that they don’t particularly enjoy their stay in Afghanistan, that too, under the constant threat of the attacks from the Taliban. In my opinion, a complete American pull out from Afghanistan will never occur in the short run, actually for a considerable period of time, and if it is made, it would be pretty embarrassing. Because quite frankly, they have achieved nothing in Afghanistan except for toppling over the Taliban regime and that was not the real objective after all. Removing their regime was never really a problem for the strongest country in the world anyway, though completely eliminating them is.

The US Presidential elections will be held later this year, that is, 2012. The candidates are on the campaign trail and there is some antiwar sentiment in the air with no less than 69% of the people disapproving of the US military campaign in Afghanistan, let alone the presence. This will certainly push President Obama to announce the withdrawal of the US troops from Afghan soil. The latest date is 2013 perhaps. But hey, wasn’t he supposed to pull them out in 2008? He actually increased the number of troops by 30,000 the very next year. Well that fits a person’s understanding from the perspective of the account presented above but perhaps not for the antiwar voter. Nevertheless, regardless of the outcome of the US elections, the US presence in Afghanistan will certainly not diminish after 2013 and as long as there are Taliban, there will be war. Actually some reports do point out that the military stay could even last up to 2024. Who knows.

Pakistan’s presence may only make the delay excruciatingly long or maybe not and maybe that is the new plan of stimulating the world economy. That’s just a joke, not a conspiracy theory. However, as much Pakistan would like to have a say in the political affairs of Afghanistan, they will not be given as much control as they were in the 1990s. Regardless of the Pakistani perspective and strategy, the US needs to see how it should run Afghanistan in the immediate future. Whether they want to run it as a colony, or a periphery if you want to be more euphemistic, or as a military base in a large and hostile battlefield. All that depends on how they engage with the Afghan people, making me think if only the word colony fitted that relationship. It seems something worse. An occupation maybe. Whether they want to appoint diplomats there or deploy generals with units prepared for battle. It is a bumpy ride ahead for the United States but not one that they can pull out of by choice.

This war is not over yet.

Getting Offended By Inhumane Things

A new episode in the theater of America’s global war on shadows has been the appearance of a video showing a group of US marines urinating on the corpses of Taliban militants. As often is the case with such videos, the world has expressed its shock and disgust. Afghan President Hamid Karzai called it “inhumane” and “dehumanizing” and Leon Panetta, the US Secretary of Defense, has called it utterly deplorable. Similar comments were made by the US Secretary of State and the spokesperson of the Taliban.

I agree with them. It is a bit inhumane and I have actually just learned that doing so can be considered a war crime as per the Geneva Convention. I have also noticed that the Afghan President, the US Government and Military and the Taliban have finally agreed upon calling something inhumane. This is a great event in the recent history of the world I can tell you. We have finally established that urinating on corpses is more inhumane than killing people, and that it is more inhumane than wars.

I am not really defending the troopers who urinated on the dead Taliban militants but I am surprised to see people who support wars to be disturbed by the unpleasant things that happen in them. Urinating on corpses in my view is a pretty harmless action, or a harmless “war crime”, if you will, if it is a war crime at all. That has more to do with the respect those soldiers have for the dead, but not anything more, I have to say. Quite frankly, I am not sure what politicians and generals expect soldiers to do when they send them out for a war.

I wonder why urinating on dead people is more offensive in our world than killing alive people. Why be so selective about what you find offensive.

Radio host Dana Loesch said that she would join the soldiers urinating  on the Taliban herself and that it’s a war after all.

While her decision to join the urinating company is purely her own to make, there is little doubt about the fact that it is a war, after all.

She has been criticized for voicing her honest opinion. What she said on the radio was a bit insensitive, even if that is the truth, as truth sometimes is. But I have more respect for her than the heads of state and statesmen condemning this gruesome act, which I do not approve of or endorse and, which will have no significant impact on the history of the world whatsoever.