Fazal Rahman, Ph.D. Completed on September 29, 2011
First posted on Make Pakistan Better
Much is being made of the recent statement of Admiral Michael Mullen, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, about the links between Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI) and the Haqqani resistance organization in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as support of the former for latter’s recent attacks on US military and other personnel. Extreme conclusions are being deduced and projected from that, with rampant speculations of imminent US military actions against Pakistan.
The possibility of US military action against the nuclear armed Pakistan with a large and powerful military, which has been bending backwards all the way to accommodate the US dictates for a long time now, is extremely unlikely, unless the Americans have gone totally insane. They are already in the quagmires of three major and unwinnable wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya. To risk another totally unnecessary war with a much more powerful and populated country, like Pakistan, the rulers of which have been its most obedient servants, would be beyond insanity. Nothing will make the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban and their allies happier or stronger than the conflict between the US and Pakistani militaries. It will also guarantee the total defeat of US imperialism in the region and will make its main adversary, Iran, also much stronger. The only way US imperialism can benefit in the region is through instigating a devastating war between Pakistan, on the one hand, and India and Afghanistan, on the other. Pakistanis need to be very much concerned and vigilant about such a real possibility.
The dream scenario for US, NATO, and Israeli imperialism, as well as for India, would be to provoke a war between Pakistan-in which overwhelming majority of Muslims are Sunnis-and Iran-in which overwhelming majority are Shias-which would destroy both these emerging Muslim powers. The US supported and Pakistan based terrorist organization Jundallah, which has carried out numerous acts of terrorism inside Iran, has been used specifically for that purpose. However, so far, the two countries have not fallen into that trap, and it is unlikely that they will. The sectarian conflict and violence between Sunnis and Shias within Pakistan must also be seen from that perspective. It is very likely that it is being fueled by foreign hands, as was done in Iraq.
So, what actually are the actual purposes of such statements? It is very likely that, among others, following are the main goals:
1. Overwhelming majority of Pakistanis are against the US policies and actions in the region and the subservience of their government, military, and ISI to US imperialism and its hegemony. They have strong sentiments against all that. It is certain that in the coming elections, its main ally, the ruling Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), is going to suffer a devastating defeat, first and foremost, as a result of that. Such public statements of high-ranking military and civilian officials of the US government are meant to create the illusion of conflict between the US and Pakistani establishments, for mutual benefit, i-e., continued domination of Pakistani political and military policies and actions by the former through the creation of the illusion of independence of the latter and the enhancement of its stature, prestige, and image among the electorate.
2. To further deceive and confuse the public in both countries about the Osama Bin Laden fiasco and fairytale. As was shown in my paper at that time, the whole drama was staged for specific political purposes and gains. All the credible evidence shows that Osama had died long time ago. No one knows who actually the US Navy SEALS killed in that raid, except a few top officials in both governments. Contrary to the claims of both governments, they both cooperated and collaborated in that plot. It is such a huge gamble that it is essential to continue to cover it up with whatever means necessary. It is not credible that the top echelons of Pakistani government, military, and ISI did not know about the raid before it happened.
3. US has been pressuring Pakistan to invade North Waziristan also, like it did in South Waziristan and other tribal and other areas, where resistance to US hegemony and invasions was widespread and strong. Haqqani group is supposed to be based in North Waziristan. Such statement is meant to enhance that pressure.
4. From the beginning of the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, Americans have been portraying the Taliban and their allies as inept, broken, defeated, and no match for them. They seem to have forgotten the lessons of their humiliating defeat in Vietnam, where they were acting similarly. Taliban and their allies have now come back roaring, after the necessary regrouping, rejuvenation, and reorganization into a formidable guerrilla force. In spite of lack of any external support and with incomparably inferior resources and weapons than those possessed by the high-tech war machines of US, NATO, and their clients, they have brought the invaders to a standstill. US alone spends more on military than all the rest of the world combined. And yet, they are unable to defeat the spirit of Afghans, who are some of the toughest and most experienced guerrilla warfare fighters in the world, and who have proven that they can do a lot even with minimal equipment and resources.
The imperialist camp continues to deceive and confuse the public about the reality of war on the ground, just like they did until the last moments in Vietnam, when they were forced to flee in haste, leaving much of their weapons and other equipment and assets behind, in face of rapidly advancing revolutionary Vietnamese forces towards the South Vietnam capital, Saigon. In spite of all the evidence to the contrary, they continue to portray the Afghan resistance as impotent and incapable of standing up to the imperialist might. That is why, in their reports, they minimize their own losses and maximize those of the resistance. Whenever their helicopters or aircraft are shot down-in spite of the resistance not possessing any effective anti-aircraft weapons- they claim that it was the result of mechanical failure or some accident. The key point is that they try their utmost to deny any credit of success or strength to the Afghan resistance. That is also the reason why they are now adding the Pakistan ISI to some of the successful resistance attacks on a US base and its embassy.
5. A more sinister purpose may be the possibility of a secret agreement between the Pakistani and American governments about a limited invasion of the tribal area of North Waziristan, where the Haqqani group is alleged to be based, by the American ground forces. Americans have been constantly pressuring the Pakistani government and military to invade that area, where the latter have very meager and limited control. After the invasion, Pakistani authorities can resort to the same hypocrisy as in the case of American drone attacks, which they have agreed to and assist, but condemn it in their public statements. They can also resort to other hypocrisies that previous President Parvez Musharraf had engaged in, for his decision to cooperate with the US in its phony war on terrorism and invasion of Afghanistan, i-e., impotence in face of American threats, coincidence of Pakistani national interests with those of the US in war against extremism etc.