Thursday, May 03, 2007

Scapegoating Pakistan

It is scarry to think that Pakistan, despite its denials, is not only promoting the Taliban but also sees its future to be linked to maintaining the Taliban. How do they know that the Taliban will not get out of the cage? What will the tiger do to his handlers?

By Ken Silverstein
Harper's Magazine

"It is now the conventional wisdom in Washington that American efforts to defeat Al Qaeda are being undermined by Pakistan."
"There are factions within Pakistan's political and defense establishment ... that are sympathetic to the Taliban"
"But is Pakistan really to blame for our failures to stomp out Al Qaeda?"
" former senior CIA official Michael Scheuer [said] ... 'The first duty of any intelligence agency,' he said, 'is to protect the national interest. Pakistan is not going to destroy the Taliban because at some point they would like to see the Taliban back in power. They cannot tolerate a pro-Indian, pro-American, pro-Russian, pro-Iranian government in Afghanistan."
"The conduct of the ISI has been a source of concern, and not without reason. The agency, which worked closely with the CIA during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, subsequently helped bring the Taliban to power in 1996."
"The ISI has a strong radical Islamist influence due in part to its primary role in protecting Pakistan from India, a conflict framed in religious terms."
"Add to this that the United States is unpopular in Pakistan."
"How does this play out in the real world? Very simply, Pakistan cooperates with the United States when it serves its interests and doesn't cooperate when it feels that its interests aren't served.Islamabad has, despite all the current hysteria to the contrary, generally cooperated in fighting Al Qaeda—indeed, Musharraf has survived several assassination attempts by Al Qaeda, and Pakistan's Army has taken more casualties in the tribal areas than NATO and coalition forces in Afghanistan."

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