"The Jewish people as a whole will be its own Messiah. It will attain world domination by the dissolution of other races...and by the establishment of a world republic in which everywhere the Jews will exercise the privilege of citizenship. In this New World Order the Children of Israel...will furnish all the leaders without encountering opposition..." (Karl Marx in a letter to Baruch Levy, quoted in Review de Paris, June 1, 1928, p. 574)

Thursday, 3 March 2011

American Terror and Anti-Americanism in Pakistan


Is CIA Leading the American Diplomacy in Pakistan?

By Saleem Bokhari

Raymond Davis, the American who killed two innocent Pakistanis in the provincial metropolis on January 27, had links to the CIA, confirmed sources in the country’s premier intelligence agency.

ISI sources told The Nation that the conduct of the CIA around the tragic incident has “virtually thrown the partnership into question”. They said: “Irrespective of the commonality of objective in the war on terror, it is hard to predict if the relationship will ever get back to the level it was prior to the Davis episode. The onus of not stalling the relationship between the two agencies now squarely lies on the CIA.”

To a question, the sources said: “The ISI and the CIA enjoy a professional relationship that has grown stronger over the years. There have been ups and downs, but to say that the ties are the worst since 9/11 would be incorrect. Neither are the ties alarming. Pakistan is doing all that is within its means and capacity to combat the menace of terrorism and our track record speaks for itself.”

About the drone attacks that have killed hundreds over the past months, the sources said these attacks come under “an autonomous CIA operation and Pakistan or the ISI has never provided any target information for drone strikes.”

The sources rejected the misperception fuelled by TV talk shows that information about the targets was being provided by Pakistan. They put to rest aspersions that drone attacks came to a halt after the Davis episode because Pakistan had stopped providing information about targets.

To another question, the sources said: “Pakistan is at present fully engaged in operations against the Taliban in South Waziristan and does not have the wherewithal or the capacity to undertake a simultaneous operation in North Waziristan, which could only be tackled once gains in the South have been consolidated.”

The US has been mounting pressure on Pakistan to launch an offensive in North Waziristan without a delay.

About the allegation that the ISI is protecting and relocating the Haqqanis, the ISI sources dispelled it as “complete insinuation”. The sources said: “Such stories, to the best of our knowledge, are leaked to the media with the connivance of the CIA and it’s regrettable that the CIA leadership on many occasions failed to show respect to the relationship between the two agencies and acted in arrogance towards the ISI, which has only resulted in weakening the relationship.”

The sources said: “It is unfortunate that the CIA leadership fails to understand that the ISI works and will continue to work for national interest regardless of the CIA’s stance.”

To a question, the sources said: “The CIA’s outdated approach of exerting pressure is counterproductive and will result in isolation of the CIA in an operational environment where its performance has been found wanting. This approach has offered more questions than answers.”

The ISI sources said that the enemies have started a propaganda campaign against Pakistan in order to defame it. Baseless allegations are being leveled against the country, they added.

Meanwhile, a report in the EU Times online newspaper said Raymond Davis has been found in possession of top-secret CIA documents that point to him or a US task force (TF373) operating in the region, providing Al-Qaeda terrorists with “nuclear fissile material” and “biological agents”.

The report, quoting Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR), said: “Top-secret CIA documents found in Davis’s possession point to him, and/or TF373, providing Qaeda terrorists with ‘nuclear fissile material’ and ‘biological agents’ to be used against the United States itself in order to ignite an all-out war in order to reestablish the West’s hegemony over the global economy that just months from collapse.”

The report carried an SVR warning that the situation in the subcontinent has turned “grave” as it appears open warfare is about to break out.

The report said Davis was discovered making contacts with Qaeda after his cell phone was tracked to the Waziristan tribal area bordering Afghanistan.

“The combat skills exhibited by Davis, along with documentation taken from him after his arrest, prove him being a member of the TF373 black operations unit currently operating in the Afghan War Theater and Pakistani tribal areas, and comprised US Military Special Forces soldiers, CIA spies and freelance mercenaries,” said the report.

Indicating how the US creates a particular atmosphere to implement its agenda, the report cited Operation Northwoods. According to the report, Operation Northwoods was a series of false-flag operation proposals that originated within the United States government in 1962. “The proposals called for the CIA, or other operatives, to commit acts of terrorism in US cities and elsewhere. These acts of terrorism were to be blamed on Cuba in order to create public support for a war against that nation, which had recently become communist under Fidel Castro. One part of Operation Northwoods was to develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in Florida cities and even in Washington,” said the EU Times report.

Operation Northwoods proposals, it said, included hijackings and bombings followed by the introduction of phony evidence that would implicate the Cuban government. The report also referred to the US Department of Homeland Security’s grim warning that the threat of terror strike on America is at a higher level than it has been since September 11, 2001, and the WikiLeaks release of secret US government cables that Qaeda is on the brink of using a nuclear bomb.

US Spies Consider Pakistan their Playground! The secrets becoming public, in the aftermath of Raymond Davis’ killing of two Pakistani civilians, are taking a serious dimension in the Pak-US relations. Both countries claim to be ‘friends and allies’ in the so-called war on terror. The focus of this war is on Afghanistan and in the tribal areas of FATA on the Pak-Afghan border. Both parties insist that the so-called terrorists and extremists are concentrated in these borderlands, and the US war in Afghanistan cannot culminate successfully unless they are destroyed or defeated. Overtly, the Pak-US military machine is committed to achieve their declared objective.

More so, this effort has the moral and legal approval of almost all those who side with the United States in its geo-political perceptions. The Pakistani leadership also supports this effort militarily in its territories, and allows the drone attacks on the suspected militant safe havens, despite the damage done to innocent civilians and their property. The allies in the so-called war on terror place no limits while supporting each other in the collective war effort; unfortunately in it even ‘collateral damage’ to our civilians does not worry our President.

The question is: Does this alliance give an open license to the US to indulge in activities inside Pakistan that may, can and will harm its internal stability, and its political and national interests? The investigations conducted in the wake of murders committed by US spy Raymond Davis have disclosed harrowing details of a covert spy network set up by America inside Pakistan, which is operating in full force; its aims, objectives and targets are yet unknown. But what are Pakistan’s national security agencies doing?

In a previous article on USA’s strategic objectives in Pakistan, I had voiced fear that Blackwater had come to Pakistan for two purposes. Firstly, it was deployed to search and locate our nuclear assets; and secondly, it was tasked to develop links with the extremist elements to escalate the threat of terrorism in Pakistan, which will provide the ruse to the US to launch surgical strikes against our nuclear assets in the garb of striking militant hideouts. Nevertheless, the information surfacing in the Raymond Davis case confirms my suspicion.

Reportedly, according to the information revealed during the investigations, the US citizen had met some militants over lunch in a posh and exclusive diner in Lahore’s red-light area before going to Mozang for a personal meeting with another contact. This information is elicited from his cell phone record. But still Raymond’s personal details are a mystery. His name is suspect; he speaks fluent Urdu and Pushto; his profession and qualifications are false; and the US diplomats are hedging all quarries about him – all these are the hallmarks of an accomplished spy working in a target country. Therefore, it is clear that Raymond is a member of Blackwater or a spy agency. It was previously reported that most Blackwater operatives speak local languages, wear local dresses and have beards.

Usually whenever a spy is compromised, his country disowns him. But the US had the politico-military clout to come out openly to the aid of its spy. Perhaps, it has adopted an overt course in the Raymond case due to the fact that our ruling elite is in league with Washington in the deployment of its (US) spies in Pakistan. This could be the only logical explanation for the tacit permission granted by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to our Ambassador in Washington DC to issue any number of visas to American citizens without clearance from the national security agencies and the Foreign Office. The media reports too claim that within three days of this open-ended permission, Pakistan’s Embassy in the US issued 500 visas to American nationals for various purposes. These visas were issued with one year validity, a sufficiently long period to set up an active spy network for any professional espionage operative. If “500 visas in three days” is any indication by now, there will be thousands of US undercover agents operating in Pakistan.

But what is such a large force of secret operatives doing in Pakistan? The deployment of this force of ‘spies’ on our soil certainly indicates that Pakistan is on high priority in America’s security perception. Without doubt, our security agencies should have analyzed the reason for such a large influx of agents. So far, the government officials in general and our Interior Ministry in particular have been denying the existence of Blackwater in Pakistan. The Raymond episode has shattered their stand.

Now there is no doubt that besides Blackwater, there are many US agencies covertly active in Pakistan. In a talk show, a political analyst suggested that these undercover agents have been deployed in Pakistan to locate and apprehend Osama bin Laden, who America suspects is hiding somewhere in Pakistan. That is just a cover story; Osama was, reportedly, suffering from kidney failure, and was on dialysis when the US attacked Afghanistan – he may be dead. However, Washington is keeping him alive for ulterior motives. The actual targets and objectives are different.

Anyhow, it is up to our security agencies to determine the real reason of their presence. What is immediately required is that Pakistan should adopt a visible and strong policy about its collaboration with the US on the ongoing war on terror. This policy should not provide a blanket permission to the US to induct as many personnel into Pakistan as it desires. In addition, the visa latitude provided by the Prime Minister needs to be terminated immediately and normal visa procedures should be applied to visa seekers. The US Embassy and its Consulates in various cities must not be allowed to expand beyond the normal diplomatic protocols.

At the same time, the expansion of the US Embassy and its regional offices points towards a sinister design against Pakistan, its sovereignty and its territorial integrity. Surely, Washington’s primary target remains our nuclear capability and assets. Also, there is, reportedly, another design that is to instigate, abet and organize anti-Pakistan sentiments and insurgency in Balochistan, which is a policy option of the US. Unfortunately, with such a large number of spies in Pakistan that design is achievable.

The unfolding events have generated a grave tension in the Pak-US relations, and immense diplomatic pressures are on Pakistan. The Raymond affair has provided an opportunity to our leaders to play politics. If this affair is not sorted out in an amicable manner, we might be in great danger. Already our Prime Minister lacking political acumen has made Pakistan a playground for American agents. Unless this decision is reversed, many US spies will be roaming here with orders to kill anyone and everyone, who crosses their path.

Pakistan, its government and its people need to limber up and stand firm in resisting the US designs. Otherwise, the US secret agents will have a field day in Pakistan to further their designs, and we will be collectively digging our own grave.

(Courtesy: The Nation)

Zionist American Academics want Pakistan Disintegrated. Renowned Pakistan expert and Senior Fellow, Foreign Policy, 21st Century Defense Initiative at the Brookings Institute, Dr. Steve P. Cohen, in an interview to Bernard Gwertzman on January 6, said that Pakistan’s failure “could happen in four or five or six years.” His pearls of wisdom are not limited to this prediction as there are many others like: “There’s failure in Pakistan on all counts;” “The fundamentals of the state are either failing or questionable;” “Except for its territory, which is strategically important, there is not much in Pakistan that is of benefit to anyone;” “Go down the list of factors, they are almost all negative. There is not one that is positive.” And there are many other thoughts that he has expressed but what is mentioned above should suffice for the reader to understand rest of his interview.

Most of my countrymen get carried away with the Pakistan experts who, ironically, do not reside in Pakistan and mistake symbols with the realities of the Pakistani society. The impact usually gets doubled-up if the expert is an American and tripled if a White American. The equation is extremely interesting: the White American Pakistan Experts have the neo-colonial hang ups while a large majority of the Wheatish Native Pakistanis still harbors the colonial complexes. Let’s try to challenge the equation, for once, but that requires a little more study of his enlightening interview.

Dr. Cohen thinks that in spite of the American efforts, Pakistan’s disintegration may not be prevented and the whole society, including the military, is insecure – he probably confused Police Naakay with the sense of insecurity. He equated General Kayani with General Zia as “smart and calculating;” – now, I do not know if the Army Chief takes it as a compliment. He said that Pakistan has quarrels with India and Afghanistan and the Pakistani security forces have seemingly accommodated the terrorist groups. Yes; as if the quarrels are totally unilateral and Pakistan is being the bad boy in the diplomatic equations with its neighbors. And apparently, he does not know that the Pakistan Army sacrificed over 3,000 of its personnel and Pakistan suffered losses of over three trillion rupees in a war on terror that we never invited to the region. This is such a strange accommodation of the militants, really.

I found his comments misplaced and I am not being emotional at all. What does he actually know of Pakistan is a big question mark as “his Pakistan” probably does not go beyond four meetings a day and a few scotch sessions with his interlocutors in a couple of urban centers of Pakistan?

Astonishingly, he has not seen where this country is moving to politically and a free media that unlike the American Media does not follow a certain agenda that once proved that Iraq had WMDs. The improvement in the social and political realizations of the civil society and an active judiciary along with a youth that is aware and is trying to find its political, social and economic space. Dr. Cohen conveniently missed the commendable role of the Pakistani democracy that it played toward strengthening the federation via political and fiscal decentralization, and responsibility that the Center felt toward smaller federating units and acted in the interest of the federation. He also ignored the magnanimity that the bigger provinces demonstrated during the process of issuing the 7th National Finance Commission Award for which the political leadership of Pakistan negotiated for over six months – and eventually achieved the consensus General Mafroor Musharraf could not; despite the power of the barrel. The ballots proved wiser than the bullets and that is precisely the lesson for my American friend who has observed Pakistan for as many years as my age.

I do not see this country as a failure. Pakistanis today stand maturely and have a better understanding of the paradigms of their nation and the region they exist in. The economic turmoil in Pakistan is not because this country cannot develop economically; this is because of the terrorism that Pakistan has suffered for the past seven years. This terrorism is because of the Coalition’s failure in Afghanistan that has terribly marred the state of affairs in Pakistan due to the spillover of what the forces across the border failed to contain. President Bush wanted to “smoke ‘em out” but ended up smoking Pakistan on the grill; that too thanks to the Tubla Player of London whom the US saw as the harbinger of modernity for years. So much for the love of democracy!

In the end, Dr. Cohen, please understand that States do not fail like banks. You yourself have said that just like hope, despair cannot be a policy also. Please adhere to it. Thank you.

Poor Raymond Davis is innocent (of course!) Too bad that not all of my American friends understand Punjabi otherwise, otherwise, I could have been honored as an authentic bhaand, famous for singing praises of the village leader. It is said that the world has become a global village and my American friends populate the only chaudhary of this ever shrinking village.

My friends, the good news for you all is that I am terribly scared of your country where your former President George W. Bush ordered the invasion of sovereign Iraq on the false alarms of Weapons of Mass Destruction and your media, including the credible New York Times, stood by him and created Weapons of Mass Deception – and succeeded. This resulted in over a million Iraqis killed and tens of millions displaced and there is certainly no count of the dead children who died during the embargo on Iraq after the first gulf war. In addition, the lovely fragrance of an “Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan” keeps me and my people totally enamored and we receive the gifts of suicide bombings, random terrorism and non-state actors that keep challenging the writ of my State here and there. With these two fine examples of humanity, respect for the sovereignty of independent States, I am totally obliged to say that your government indeed is the finest and most respected in the world.

All of you to me are like a beloved to his lover and no matter whatever she does; he is always madly in love with her and can go to any extent to gain her pleasure. Therefore, please do not misconstrue my words as mere flattery as I truly am in love with the policies of your successive governments which have ensured the respect of human rights, and promotion of democracy particularly in the Muslim world. As I am totally resigned in your love therefore, please ignore the ranting of those ignorant savages who wag their fingers at your government for violating the world peace. Those who say that are nothing more than wayward animals and their job is only to bark because of their jealousy against you. I fully agreed with President Bush that such people should be “smoked out” and annihilated from the planet earth. I do not know why your professional army stopped at bombing Al-Jazeera’s office only in Afghanistan and Iraq that killed just a couple of media personnel; your army should have used uranium-tipped hi-tech weaponry to take care of these reporters and dissenters so that no one could dare raise his head and wag a finger at what was happening on ground.

I am sure that by now, I would have already established myself as loyal servant to your empire; therefore, I would like to suggest one more thing. President Obama should order, and that is within his official jurisdiction, a Panama-style elite military operation to extract the Raymond “reverend” Davis where he might contract a bit of armpit itching. I am totally convinced that he is a poor chap and has only shot dead two terrorist Pakistanis who did not know what a great honor they were being given by his bullets. Lahories are also jungli who do not understand the importance of crushing a bystander underneath an armor vehicle because the local laws and rules are for the locals only and that was his fault. Illegal weapons, harsh driving are not crimes at all and Pakistanis should be ashamed for considering an innocent American as a criminal and vigilante because it was a total mistake of those who were shot and crushed.

Please note my friends that I am completely sick and tired of living in Pakistan because people here do not understand simple things of life. It is really so stupid and untowardly on their part to consider Raymond a killer. What the world has come to and where is the so-called legendary mehman-nawazi of the Pakistanis? Pakistanis should be truly ashamed for even trying to think that an American could ever be a criminal. Those who think, that he is, must be nuked like the people of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. These Pakistanis would never understand the sanctity of Americans who killed three Pakistanis; so why waste time, intellect and energy on these unreasonable people.

In the end let me reassure you all that I totally stand by the innocent Raymond and would try my level best to convince Pakistanis what an American publisher, William Feather, once said: “…injustice is not only cruel, but it is economic waste.” My nation must understand that it is unjust that an innocent American is behind bars and him being behind bars is straining Pakistan’s extremely weak economy. Pakistan should do justice by giving him and likes of him total freedom to do all that they wish to and when their tenures come to an end, they should be given a 21-gun salute and a guard of honor. I request you all, my American friends not to mistake me as I mean my words.

Now, could I get my visa? Five years multiple entries; may I please?

Anti-Americanism in Pakistan: an inescapable reality Anti-Americanism in the Pakistani context is nothing new. It is rooted in the history of the American role in this country. The US refrain from support during Pakistan’s stand-off with India in 1971, the opposition to the Pakistani nuclear programme, their alleged involvement in the political elimination of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, sanctions on Pakistan for its nuclear pursuits, President Bill Clinton’s controversial under-five hour stay in Islamabad in March 2000, the famous threat of “bombing Pakistan to the stone age”, and now the US outrage over detention of Raymond Davis on murder charges.

It is in fact a long litany of complaints that shape the public perception of the United States. The brazenly high-handed American approach – under the ruse of diplomatic immunity –to extricate Davis from murder charges has only reinforced the existing perceptions of the United States as a super power that cares less for principles, rule of law and democratic values when it comes to protecting its own interests or citizens. So must every state i.e. protect its interests and citizens in the best possible way.

But this obviously throws up the question as to at what cost does a country stand up for its citizens? Ostensibly, at the cost of very values that it claims to care for in the developing world i.e. rule of law, access to justice, strengthening and promotion of democracy!!

Unfortunately, the current American scramble for securing the release of Davis runs in the face of all these core values, and betray arrogance and total disregard for local law and sensitivities.

Two recent instances from personal experiences – one in Riyadh and the other in London merit mention here to illustrate how deep the anti-Americanism runs in most Muslim countries. These instances also expose the dislike, if not contempt, for the American way of thinking, even in allied European countries.

A number of American and European officials and experts gathered at an international conference titled “Use of Internet to Counter the Appeal of Extremist Violence, “held at the Naif Arab University for Security Sciences, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in partnership with the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Implementation Task Force and the German foreign ministry, took up the same issue this week (24-26 January 2011, held under the Chatham House Rules).

A senior American official dealing with counter-terrorism also made a presentation on the American perspective on counter-extremism. But, to the utter surprise of more than 150 delegates present, not a single person clapped after the American official wrapped up his presentation. Not even the British, German, or Dutch participants.

And again not a single applaud followed when the chairman thanked the American official shortly before concluding the session.

One could see a number of delegates exchanging curious looks as the American official left the hall in pin-drop silence. “Did u notice no body clapped for him?” said a Lebanese official seated next to me.

During the same conference, several Muslim and Arab scholars took exception to another participant from the United States, Mark Sageman, who likened to the Al Qaeda mission to “neo-jihad.” Most of the Muslims present on the occasion denounced al Qaeda and its affiliates as non-Muslims, “who are murdering innocent men and women and children in the name of Islam. Its not jihad at all,” they insisted.

Then on February 10th, the Kings’ College, London drew officials and experts from Afghanistan, Pakistan, the US and the U.K to discuss the Afghanistan endgame and possible regional approaches for peace and reconciliation in that country.

The only American official in attendance reiterated the US position on Afghanistan before responding to the phenomenon of “sense of humiliation” that the American military approaches have created in countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.

“America is a super-power and this status essentially determines its response to events such as the 9/11 attacks. When it feels humiliated, it would react the way it reacted in Afghanistan,” said the official, followed by some whispers among participants. The official (am not naming him because the discussion took place under the Chatham House Rules), then quickly moved to clarify “and by the way I made this statement in private capacity and not as a State Department Official.” This official in fact even ran down a former US ambassador to Afghanistan, and derided him as “a nut who should not be taken seriously.”

During such events one can easily discern the European discomfort with the strident American approaches as far as countering extremism or dealing with a smaller country is concerned. The “super power arrogance” simply doesn’t go down well with most of the European countries, where officials and MPs are indeed concerned about the spiraling extremism and appear to be sincerely thinking of non-militant ways to deal with the al-Qaeda inspired phenomenon. They seem to believe in and are pushing for dealing with religious extremism through soft approaches i.e engagement rather than projection of force.

Now, juxtapose these two instances, for instance, with the oscillating US position on President Hamid Karzai since early last year; as the Afghans were getting ready for the presidential election, the US media, apparently on leaks planted by various organs of the US administration, subjected Karzai and his brother to an unusual critical campaign.

The “electoral fraud” committed during the election added further spice to Karzai’s condemnation but then the US president went to felicitate Karzai once Abdullah Abdullah withdrew from the run-off.

The hidden point that this congratulatory message out of Washington entailed was telling and simple; the US turns and twists issues and even persons the way it pleases, regardless of what it means to the fundamental principles of democracy and the rule of law.

Accompanying these messages are the news on the penetration of Afghanistan and Iraq the private defense and development contractors – nearly 225,000 contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan alone. According to reports, these are involved in tasks ranging from providing security, intelligence to base support.

No consolidated figures are available on how many of them are operational in Pakistan but ex Blackwater (now Xe Services), Dyne corps and several others are present in the country.

As a whole the presence of these private development contractors, detectives, security outfits, raises the issue of sovereignty of these countries and provides ammunition for to most political parties to stoke anti-Americanism.

The controversy surrounding Davis offers the perfect case for multiplying the anti-US sentiment. The US administration will likely secure him under the ruse of diplomatic immunity, but that will only add fuel to the anti-US sentiment across Pakistan. Such an approach will also puncture the lofty talk on rule of law and respect for the sovereignty of Pakistan. By refusing to allow the judicial process takes its course, the US has neither served its image nor helped the movement for establishing the rule of law in Pakistan.

(Courtsy The Friday Times, February 18-24, 2011. Written by Imtiaz Gul)

Is Pakistan next in line? THE REVOLUTIONS in the Arab streets, whatever their individual outcomes, have already overturned the dominant assumption of global geopolitics — that hundreds of millions of impoverished people will uncomplainingly accept their assignment to the antechamber of hell. The United States, meanwhile, has been faced with the radical obsolescence of its Cold War-rooted preference of strong-man “stability’’ over basic principles of justice. In 1979, with Iran’s popular overthrow of the shah, America was given a chance to re-examine its regional assumptions, but the Carter Doctrine militarized them by threatening war for the sake of oil. In 1989, when people power dismantled the Soviet empire, Washington declared its own empire, and replaced the Communist devil with an Islamic one. But what if the devil has a point?

The Obama administration’s initial ambivalence toward the popular Arab uprisings resulted less from uncertain political instincts than from the iron grip of a half-century old paradigm, the core principle of which, in the Mideast, is that oil matters more than human life. That paradigm is broken now, and Washington is chastened by the clear manifestation that its policies have been self-serving, callous, and even immoral. It is impossible to behold such developments without asking: What next? And to ask that question is to follow an automatic shift of the gaze toward Pakistan.

The United States has been preoccupied, as ever, more with the power elite of Pakistan than with the plight of its people, which makes it as wrong in its strategy toward that pivotal nation as toward the others. For the usual reasons of realpolitik, Washington has cozied up to one Pakistani dictator after another; ignored their corruptions; downplayed their mortal complicity in the most dangerous nuclear proliferation on the planet; turned a half-blind eye to the Pakistani military’s double game in Afghanistan. All the while, the same pressures that have blown the tops off half a dozen Arab states have been building there, too.

Pakistan is a country of 170 million people, 60 percent of whom live on less than $2 a day. Nearly that many are illiterate. In the last three years, unemployment has almost tripled to 14 percent, with the same increases in the cost of basic necessities that sparked unrest elsewhere. But Pakistan has also been staggered by last summer’s floods, which directly affected more than 20 million, and so devastated the nation’s agricultural infrastructure that by autumn the World Food Program was warning that 70 percent of the population lacked adequate access to nutrition. As if these “normal’’ pressures of natural disaster and economic inequity are not destabilizing enough, a massive Islamist insurgency, building on the primacy of tribal loyalties, increasingly threatens the Islamabad government. Early this month, as protests mounted to his west, the Pakistani prime minister made the by-then mandatory show of reform by dissolving his cabinet.

But the context for all of this in Pakistan is unique, for the more insecure Islamabad has felt, the more it has embraced the American-spawned fantasy of nuclear weapons as a source of all-trumping transcendent power. Since President Obama gave his historic speech in Prague two years ago, declaring a world purpose of nuclear elimination, Pakistan has been adding to its nuclear arsenal at a feverish clip, growing it from about 70 weapons to perhaps more than 100. The stated rationale for this is the threat from India, which is engaged in its own escalations, with highly touted military support from the United States — including a recent offer of dozens of prized F-35 stealth fighters. Nothing better demonstrates the stuck-in-amber obsolescence of US policy than this self-defeating — and profit-driven — fueling of the South Asia arms race. A balance of terror is no balance. So last week, Pakistan test-fired its nuclear-capable Babur cruise missile — a bow shot as much at Washington as at New Delhi.

And speaking of last week, what were those frenzied crowds in Pakistani streets calling for if not the lynching of Raymond Davis, the CIA operative who faces a murder trial in Lahore for his January killing of two Pakistanis? That Davis is tied to havoc-wreaking CIA drone strikes is enough to enrage a population, shackling his nation, once again, to the wrong side of history.

(Courtesy: Boston Gobe)