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Ear to the Ground

The Price of America’s Patronage

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Posted on Jan 18, 2008
Charlie Wilson
politics-now.com

Congressman Charlie Wilson was for many years a patron of Pakistan.

Roger Morris, who served on the National Security Council staff under Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon, has written a fascinating history of the United States’ many interventions in Pakistan. It’s the sordid story of “the world’s longest running military despotism, and of America’s most generous and tragic patronage.”


War in Context:

Benazir Bhutto was a precocious 23-year-old in 1976 when she noticed Army Chief of Staff Mohammed Zia ul-Haq come and go at the office of her father, Pakistani prime minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. “A short, nervous, ineffectual-looking man,” she remembered the general, “whose pomaded hair was parted in the middle and lacquered to his head.” Along with the hair, Gen. Zia’s thick mustache and diffident manner seemed to Islamabad politicians a Punjabi version of English comedian Terry Thomas. “Bhutto’s butler” they called him.

Then, suddenly, in July 1977, Gen. Zia was no longer amusing when his junta arrested Mr. Bhutto and his cabinet, and imposed martial law. There followed more than a decade of military tyranny as Pakistan became, in Salman Rushdie’s phrase, “a nightmarish land.” That era and its sequels would be the setting of Benazir Bhutto’s political career, climaxing in her assassination Dec. 27. She was emblematic of her country’s nightmare, and of the tortuous role the United States played in it. It is a history—forgotten, denied—that haunts us all.

Benazir was a year old in 1954 as Washington adopted Pakistan as its Cold War client, lavishing the first of what would be billions of dollars on a military that by the end of the 1950s seized power amid the country’s chronic poverty and hostility with India. It was cozy, enduring patronage. Pentagon and CIA men shared with their Pakistani peers an occupational contempt for non-alignment and the hindrance of democratic politics.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 21, 2008 at 8:53 pm Link to this comment

Re: To all my Pakistanis countrymen - By A Khokar, January 21: “The howling stray louts may not obliterate the journey route of a caravan…”

Better choose carefully which caravan you team up with, then, AK. There aren’t many that go through Milton Keynes, though - try these “louts” instead http://uk.reuters.com/news/video?videoId=72095 but Check this out, it’s funny! http://asadraza.blogspot.com/2007/04/stamford-high-bhangra-video.html

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By A Khokar, January 21, 2008 at 5:08 pm Link to this comment

Douglas,

They say:
The howling stray louts may not obliterate the journey route of a caravan!

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 21, 2008 at 2:08 pm Link to this comment

To all my Pakistanis countrymen - By A Khokar, January 21: “Blood of many a patriot sons have gone into its soils to nurture it….”

Cowshit nurtures soil, AK, NOT blood (nor bullshit!). You are sick, man…....

“Forget about mistakes”, you can always make the same mistakes again…...

“Forget about the times”, you’re headed back to the stone age anyway, uhh…....

“Forget about misfortunes”, they will be as nothing compared to living in a nuclear-desolated contaminated countryside…....

“Forget about the days”, a nuclear winter will make it seem as one long night…....

“Forget about the plans”, your illusions of greatest esteem have brought you all to your end…....

Even Pakistan could be said to be a kind of “settler society” like the USA (and Israel). They all moved there (West) from India in the 1940’s.

And, just like the American Wild West, they love killing “Injuns”, uhh http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bGkOwQTUQlg&feature=related

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By A Khokar, January 21, 2008 at 10:29 am Link to this comment

Forget about the days
when its been cloudy, but
don’t forget your hours in the sun

Forget about mistakes
that you can’t change now, but
don’t forget the lessons
that you’ve learned

Forget about the times
you’ve been defeated, but
don’t forget the victories you’ve won

Forget about misfortunes
you encounter, but
don’t forget the times your luck has turned


Forget about the days
when you’ve been lonely, but
don’t forget the friendly smiles you’ve seen

Forget about the plans
that didn’t seem
to work out right, but…

Don’t forget to Always Have A Dream

*********************************
Keep smiling my fellow country men and be one and United.

*May God keep this land of my dreams and glory ever flourishing!
*Blood of many a patriot sons have gone into its soils to nurture it.
——————————————-
Love for all, Hatred for none

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 21, 2008 at 12:44 am Link to this comment

It is hard to make them learn some pleasant uttering - By AKholar, January 20: “I did write a comment for some other discussion but I think; it may be appropriate to mention it here also…”

Oh, thank you so much, AK. That does give us something to talk about. Its impossible to ‘discuss’ anything with a sexist (a Pakistani military man) who are rather like so much aged parrots that it is hard to make them learn some pleasant non-misogynist unbigoted uttering after they have picked up their foul habits.

Well, at least it is heartening to know that “Pakistanis know not any dithering in the given resolve’, at least as far as the military mind itself views things there. That must be really helpful in the global war on terror, then, huh?

Sadly, though, Pakistan’s military are deluded in their pride about having nuclear arms and presuming to maintain some balance of power with India’s large military (also nuclear-armed) on its border. At least, so it would seem…...

What is most likely to happen with US support and “aid” is that there will be another Iraq-Iran style of conflict as there was in the 1970’s after the US puppet Iranian shah was toppled by a democratic moslem majority. Pakistam could well become the equivalent of a Saddam Hussein Iraq in attacking India for its own obsessive reasons - or even defending itself against a pre-emptive attack by India.

But, will that really happen. Perhaps it will be the Pakistani military dictatorship which will be toppled by the Taleban and Al Qaeda which ahve both already infiltrated its ranks? Then India will have no option but to attack and to invade, given the history of mutual aggression over the past 60 years!

Again, sadly, nothing that Pakistan has done has helped to prevent that potential Armageddon (the MahaBharata version). So much for Pakistan “minting a good ‘Strategic rent monies’ in return for her services and assigned ventures while working as proxy” for the US war-mongers.

As you say, AK, “The assigned jobs to Pakistan demand a sure success and only a strong Army… can bring forth the desired success to get paid…. Pakistan has proven to be a special gun for hire…”. That thus typifies a military structure which can, in turn, control intelligence assets in the field such as Taleban and even Al Qaeda forces (wherever they come from) in the remote tribal and mountain regions.

It is assuring then, that such effective control over militants and extremists in the region makes the military men (such as yourself) confident in stating that “Pakistan has some 80-100 nukes in her valet ensuring her security. It is absurd to say that Pakistanis may not be able to guard their endeared assets that they guard so jealously.”.

Mind you, though, AK,  with all the tittle- tattle in the media to discredit Pakistan, it has not made Pakistan to dither even an inch in its resolve of being a good ally in the war against terrorism and its preparedness with a first-strike nuclear capability to ensure its “strategically dominant position in the wider Middle Eastern theatre”.

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By A Khokar, January 20, 2008 at 9:05 am Link to this comment

Douglas,

Where as I find now that you are hard wired for your bashing habit that it springs up; when ever you try to address others. You may be old enough now, like the aged parrots that it is hard to make them learn some pleasant uttering after that they had picked up the foul language. Any how, thanks for your concern.

I did write a comment for some other discussion but I think; it may be appropriate to mention it here also. So:

Pakistanis know not any dithering in the given resolve.

Owing to the geopolitical and strategically dominant position of Pakistan that it enjoys in the wider Middle Eastern theatre; this has always been a matter of concern for all the western intrusion forces assailing in the area, to entice Pakistan and lure her in; in some sort of alliance; to act as proxy for them. This strategic domineering poise of Pakistan has earned her a good relations and preferred positions among the western allying forces. Pakistan has also been minting a good ‘Strategic rent monies’ in return for her services and assigned ventures while working as proxy. The record shows that in Afghan war against Soviet Union as well as in, on going American Adventurism; to keep the US terrorism agenda high; Pakistan proved its worth and is duly paid heftily for the jobs.

The assigned jobs to Pakistan demand a sure success and only a strong Army and its hardy, witty and courageous people can bring forth the desired success to get paid. No wonder; Pakistan has proven to be a special gun for hire.

Right from its inception; Pakistan geo physical existence and its survival has remained threatened from its arch rival; India. So much so that under the dire requirements, in order to save guard its security and sovereignty; very covertly; Pakistan acquired her Nuke armaments to be at par with India. As per information floating in the press; Pakistan has some 80-100 nukes in her valet ensuring her security. It is absurd to say that Pakistanis may not be able to guard their endeared assets that they guard so jealously.

From the prevalent impasse in the Middle East; this can be easily envisaged that the entire Middle East is some how under virtual occupation by the US lead forces. Iraq and Afghanistan have since fallen and Iran is being strangulated very viciously to concede. What could be the choice left for country like Pakistan; except to be on the right side of the US and relish its alliance?

When we try to high light the heftily payouts of rents monies to so called, the hirelings like Pakistan; we must not keep our eyes shut to look at the paymasters; standing behind in the shadows as oppressors with their illicit designs and what are these transactions for? In the present day; in the context of USA adventurism that US is seen riding the beast of Terrorism; exterminating any one in her way to secure a hegemonic hold in the economic resources ‘rich lands’ of Middle East and Central Asia. The manipulators and assailants like USA be observed closely for their rampage. They are targeting the poor defence less countries; by the means of isolating them and bombing them from above and subjugate them by force. US are very vehemently perusing her rapacious greed to attain a sole dominance in the area and bring it into her folds.

This is much more worrying some for all of us, if at all we care…that this wisdom less pursuit is turning the entire world against America; rather than trailing the sheer absurdity that how the rents money is spent by Pakistanis?

Mind you with all the tittle- tattle in the media to discredit Pakistan or its disturbing internal political turmoil; it has not made Pakistan to dither even an inch in its resolve…of a good ally in the war against terrorism.
—————————————————
Love for all, Hatred for none

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By Blackspeare, January 20, 2008 at 7:07 am Link to this comment

From Central America to South America to the Caribbean to the Middle East to South East Asia to the Phillippines, the US fomented and supported totalitarian regimes——I don’t get it, do you???

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By waxman, January 19, 2008 at 8:07 am Link to this comment

WHO GETS THE FLEAS ?????

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By Expat, January 19, 2008 at 6:34 am Link to this comment

Douglas,
Hell yeah, I’m beyond caring at this point.  Throw the grenade and let god decide.  Hahahahahahaha!

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 19, 2008 at 6:14 am Link to this comment

By Expat, January 19: “Remember the Maine”, yeah, since at least 1898…  Any of “us” who think we are or have been in control are deluded….”

Hey, Expat, you’ve crossed over from my Ahmadinejad comment - but that’s still just as applicable, though.

I was just reading about “Should the U.S. violate Pakistan’s sovereignty if it knows it can capture key Al Qaeda figures such as Osama bin Laden?” on the LA Times website as you posted.

The two articles seem to have been written from the viewpoint that whatever the Bush administration and the Bush poodle in Pakistan say must be correct. But the worst thing about this parallel universe is that everyone has such a military-minded approach to these issues.

That is, no-one talks like a human being any longer and especially in the media. And the women are as bad as the men. They seem to be completely unaware that they have been totally sucked into some vortex of disinformation while they appear to cleverly spew out this garbage, though.

Sadly also noticeable was the fact that, although events since the middle of last year in Pakistan were being discussed, there was absolutely no mention whatsoever of the assassination of Benazir Bhutto. It was as if she had been written out of history - or she had never existed - and they were utterly pre-occupied with the standard supposed rogues’ gallery.

No doubt, the fantasies of some turbanned sheikh hiding away in some remote mountain fastness are more appealing or exciting to both them and their readers. The fact that BB had told David frost that the Taleban weer based in Karachi and that Al Qaeda were based in Islamabad have little apparent interest to them in such a delusional state.
Let’s hang’em, guilty or not… http://www.latimes.com/news/opinion/commentary/la-op-dustup18jan18,0,6949531.story?coll=la-home-commentary

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By Expat, January 19, 2008 at 5:44 am Link to this comment

Douglas,
“Remember the Maine”, yeah, since at least 1898; maybe even before.  Any of “us” who think we are or have been in control are deluded.  It is theoretically possible for us to regain some semblance of control; but that would mean we would have to be informed, involved and committed.  Nah, ain’t gonna happen.  Ultimately, we get the thing we want; an axiom that can’t be denied.  There is nothing happening today that leads me to believe we will save ourselves.  In all probability; it’s probably too late.  What bothers me the most is this:  The corporatists, neo-cons, politicians, et al can do as they do; but they can’t do any of it without our consent; and we have given it without a doubt.

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By Douglas Chalmers, January 18, 2008 at 10:13 pm Link to this comment

“Along with the hair, Gen. Zia’s thick mustache and diffident manner seemed to Islamabad politicians a Punjabi version of English comedian Terry Thomas. “Bhutto’s butler” they called him…”

Well, true that “It was cozy, enduring patronage” that “Pentagon and CIA men shared with their Pakistani peers an occupational contempt for non-alignment and the hindrance of democratic politics”. but that is only an indication of where the real story of “the world’s longest running military despotism” lies.

It was not Pakistan as it had only existed as a nation since 1947 and has only been under military rule for a decade from 1958, another decade since the Zia Ul Haq insurrection of 1977 but, most significantly since Musharraf and his gang took over again in 1999.

Quote Wiki:- Pakistan was formed on 14 August 1947 with two Muslim-majority wings in the eastern and northwestern regions of the British Indian Empire, separated from the rest of the country with a Hindu majority, and comprising the provinces of Balochistan, East Bengal, the North-West Frontier Province, West Punjab and Sindh. The partition of the British Indian Empire resulted in communal riots across India and Pakistan—millions of Muslims moved to Pakistan and millions of Hindus and Sikhs moved to India…...

The first Constitution of Pakistan was adopted in 1956, but was suspended in 1958 by Ayub Khan. The Constitution of 1973, suspended in 1977 by Zia-ul-Haq, was re-instated in 1991 and is the country’s most important document, laying the foundations of government. Pakistan is a federal democratic republic with Islam as the state religion….

But Zia was perhaps your typical psychopath in uniform. Thus “The Mask of Sanity” - “semantic dementia” — the tendency to say one thing and doing something else, otherwise presumptiously but too cleverly known as Machiavellian statecraft.

Superficial charm and good “intelligence”
Absence of delusions and other signs of irrational thinking
Absence of “nervousness” or psychoneurotic manifestations
Unreliability, Untruthfulness and insincerity
Lack of remorse and shame…
etc etc (quote Wiki)

Thus it could be said that many in the institutions of any government, and particularly the military, are actually poorly integrated in ordinary society and unable to follow a life plan that is not laid down for them. They depend on such a boys’ club, then, for their existence.  At some stage,  their pathologic egocentricity is manifested and/or manipulated by external interests such as the CIA.

So, it is the USA which actually has the “the world’s longest running military despotism” (covertly since 1898 and ever less covertly since 1945, particularly since 1975) and it has been the USA’s most generous and tragic patronage which is nothing more than various forms of threat and manipulation which has distorted the world today and especially since the end of the Cold War.

In fact, the USA is the only remaining cold war monster given the far-reaching changes that both China and Russia have been forced to undergo in order to survive. Having failed to support democracy in other countries, its own democracy is now under threat at home but from those very government institutions, not some external menace as this misleading article on the War in Context website invites us to believe.

Note that our A Khokar has been posting his “Doomed before it could bloom” sarcasm about his homeland there too, uhh, gleefully rejoicing that the military will ever remain uppermost and that women will never have a place in politics.

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By jatihoon, January 18, 2008 at 12:43 pm Link to this comment

Time for America to wake up to real world.  Remember, “If you lies with dogs you catches flies.”

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