Wednesday, April 4, 2007

With friends like these...

Douglas Farah reports in The End of the Line in Pakistan? 04/02/07 at his blog on a presentation he attended by Alexis Debat of the Nixon Center and Seth Jones of Rand Corporation:

The conclusion was that the alliance of necessity and convenience between the United States and Pakistan has reached its useful end. Pakistan’s national interests diverge widely from U.S. and European interests in fighting Islamist militants and creating a stable, prosperous and democratic Afghanistan. Pakistan is no longer an ally, but takes a direct hand in fomenting the Taliban and al Qaeda, while happily taking the billions of dollars in US aid that continue to flow.

... Both [presenters] have recently spend time on different sides of the Pakistan/Afghan border. Jones has written an article on his finding ..., where he concludes that "there is significant evidence that the Taliban, Hezb-i-Islami Gulbuddin (HIC), al Qaeda and other insurgent groups use Pakistan as a sanctuary for recruitment and support. In addition, there is virtual unanimity that Pakistan’s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has continued to provide assistance to Afghan insurgent groups." ...

From the other side of the border, Debat found that there are now about 25 insurgent groups in Waziristan alone, and that the old Saudi/Gulf pipeline of funds, coupled with a significant flow of cash from Malaysia and protection from Pakistan, have allowed these groups to flourish. (my emphasis)
Say what? Our good friends the Saudis are funding Sunni jihadists in Afghanistan? In addition to the Sunni guerrillas they're funding in Iraq? But that latter one's okay because there our real enemies are the Iranians and their Shi'a allies in Iraq. No, wait, that's not quite it. Our enemies are the Iranians in Iran but their Iraqi Shi'a allies are our friends because we're helping them fight the Sunni insurgents. The ones our friends in Saudi Arabia are funding.

But Pakistan is helping us fight those bad Iranians by sending in Pakistani terrorists - no, they're on our side so they're "militants" - Pakistani militants to kill and capture Iranian soldiers, according to this report,
Pakistani militants staging raids inside Iran ABC News 04/04/07:

The U.S. has been secretly advising and encouraging a Pakistani militant group that has carried out a series of deadly guerrilla raids inside Iran, ABC News reported on Tuesday, citing U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources.

The raids have resulted in the deaths or capture of Iranian soldiers and officials, ABC reported.

The group, members of the Baluchi tribe, operates from Pakistan's gas-rich province of Baluchistan, just across the border from Iran, the report said. (my emphasis)
So that's good. Except when Pakistan helps the Al Qaida type groups that are killing NATO soldiers in Afghanistan and, you know, supposedly started this whole war on terror thing by the 9/11 attacks and are our main enemies. Well, our main enemies except maybe for the Iranians who helped us in our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq until we decided they were bad guys and are a bogeyman for us now.

Gee, you would think that the fools who came up with the Iran-Contra scheme were running Middle East and South Asia policies!
Oh, wait...

Fortunately for us, there's always soothing PR to ease our troubled minds:
60 dead in Pakistan border fighting by Ishtiaq Mahsud, AP 04/04/07; Tribesmen’s call to arms Dawn (Pakistan) 04/03/07.

See, Pakistan is helping is go after Uzbek foreign fighters. Because they are said to be agents of, well, the United States, Israel and Russia:

Meanwhile, the jirga authorised the tribal lashkar to capture dead or alive the Uzbek militants operating under the command of the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan leader, Tahir Yuldeshiv.

Sources said that volunteers of the lashkar would be dispatched to Zera Lota, Azam Warsak, Shin Warsak, Ghwakhwa, Jaghundai and other areas and would coordinate with the supporters of Maulvi Nazir. ...

Tahir is the agent of the CIA, KGB and MOSAD. His men have killed around 200 innocent in South Waziristan,” said a pamphlet. (my emphasis)
Okay, maybe not so soothing.

Still, it's nice to have friends in the world? Right? I mean, if they weren't our friends they might start helping the jihadists who are out to kill Americans.

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