Friday, July 16, 2010

The Land of the Pure, Part 5

So, Hillary Clinton is going to Islamabad. Here is an excerpt from US declines to go public on ISI's role in 26/11 [the date of the Mumbai massacre, akin to 9/11 in the US], dated July 17, 2010:

Ahead of the visits, state department officials welcomed the largely unyielding exchanges between Islamabad and New Delhi, saying "it is expressly the kind of dialogue that we think will help to address and resolve issues of interest between the two countries and of consequence in the region as a whole." Washington has now linked improved relations between India and Pakistan to its fortunes in Afghanistan.

And the situation in Afghanistan is very much linked to relations between Pakistan and India.

The Taliban were a creation of Pakistan to stabilize Afghanistan. Beyond that, the militant madrassas that teach Islam and jihad (and which spawned and continue to supply the Taliban), especially in Pakistan's border areas (where the Taliban seem to have a refuge from everything except Predator drones), were promoted to provide proxies and strategic depth: proxies to fight India in Kashmir, and strategic depth should India ever threaten Pakistan too much during hostilities.

As long as Pakistan perceives a threat from India, those in Pakistan's elite who support this system of militant madrassas will have reason to continue doing so, and this system, in turn, will continue to fuel jihad in Afghanistan, Kashmir, and far, far beyond. For example, from Pakistan: the Jihad Factory:

Jihad contradicts the sovereignty based on defined territoriality of a nation state. It is an interventionist ideology, which divides the world between Dar-ul-Islam (Muslim majority) and Dar-ul-Harb (land under a Non-Muslim majority, secular or otherwise, which needs to be converted to Dar-ul-Islam). Thus in the recent past we observe that footloose Jihad warriors are radiating outwards to Kashmir, Chechnya, Bosnia, Dagestan, Xinjiang and many other nation states. The purpose is to install pristine Islamic rule as interpreted by the Wahhabis. With scant regard for inter-state boundaries, Mujahideen in numbers that equal combatants in a regular army division have infiltrated the Valley. They are hard core trained Jihad soldiers of the ISI. It is an outright incremental invasion of India and not indigenous terrorism as the international community would like to believe. This is aggression under international law and the legitimate response can be war. Thus, Russia's action in Chechnya is by a nation state in defence of territoriality.

If you don't know where those places are and what is going on there, you need to. Some of the very same people who are our enemies in Afghanistan or Iraq are our allies in places like Chechnya, Bosnia or possibly even Xinjiang.

Why in Chechnya? The rebels in Chechnya are fighting Russia, and there are definitely elements in Washington that want the Cold War to restart (as there are elements in Moscow that want the same). Big power politics: the same guy is a terrorist in Afghanistan, but a member of an oppressed minority in the Caucasus.

Continuing now with US declines to go public on ISI's role in 26/11:

However, unlike New Delhi's tack, Washington declined to publicly excoriate ISI for its now-increasingly recognized role in promoting terrorism. Asked about LeT operative David Headley implicating ISI in the Mumbai attack, the mention of which by the Indian home secretary evidently queered the Krishna-Qureshi dialogue, a state department spokesman declined to elaborate. He said anything he disclosed "would either compromise intelligence information or an ongoing legal investigation."

Washington doublespeak for "I am trying to have it both ways here."

Skipping down, we get to the key point:

Washington and its intelligence agencies are particularly beholden to ISI for its selective help in the war on terror, while believing that there are only some bad apples in the organization and it is not an institutional or state-backed malaise.

Analysis from a different source provides some understanding. From Radicalization of Pakistan will increase threat to India:

Apart from the civil society and military a major stakeholder in Pakistan today is the US. It needs stability in Pakistan for its war on terror, neutralizing hard core Taliban in Afghanistan, access to energy rich Central Asian Republics and safeguarding of the nuclear arsenal there. Pakistan plays ball with the US in return for heavy subsidies. US will try to maintain its dominant position irrespective of who governs Pakistan but the presence of a strong military system of governance can be its preferred option if the elected government fails to establish stability.

Washington's doublespeak is a sign of doublethink - they actually seem to believe that the guys responsible for unleashing these jihadists on the world are somehow going to be trustworthy allies in stopping the very same jihadists that these guys unleashed.

The War on Terror - or whatever they're calling it these days - is falling into the gap between what is said and what is done.

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