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Henry Kissinger rightly noted that it’s often more dangerous being an ally of the United States than its enemy. The latest victim of this sad truism is Pakistan, a loyal ally of the US since the dawn of our era.

President Donald Trump’s visceral hatred of Muslims (never mind what kind, or why, or where) erupted this week as he ordered some $900 million in US aid to Pakistan to be abruptly cut off. Trump accused Pakistan of lying and deceiving the US and providing a safe haven to Afghan resistance forces of Taliban (`terrorists’ in US speak) battling American occupation forces.

Frustrated and outwitted in Afghanistan, US imperial generals, Pentagon bureaucrats, and politicians have been trying to cast blame on anyone they can find, with Pakistan the primary whipping boy. Next in line is the notorious Haqqani network which is blamed for most US military failures in Afghanistan, though its active combat role is modest. I knew its founder, old man Haqqani. In the 1980’s, he was the golden boy of the CIA/Pakistani-led effort to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan.

Why has Washington given billions in aid to Pakistan? In 2001, Washington decided to invade Afghanistan to uproot or destroy the Pashtun resistance movement, Taliban, which was wrongly blamed for the 9/11 attacks on New York and Washington. The ethnic Pashtun warriors President Reagan had hailed as ‘Freedom Fighters’ became ‘terrorists’ once the west wanted to occupy Afghanistan.

But invading land-locked Afghanistan was an awesome undertaking. US troops there had to be supplied through Pakistan’s principal port, Karachi, then up twisting mountain roads and across the torturous Khyber Pass into Afghanistan. The huge amount of logistical supplies required by US troops could not be met by air supply. It cost $400 per barrel for one gallon of gasoline delivered to US troops in Afghanistan, and as much as $600,000 per sortie to keep a single US warplane over Afghanistan. Without 24/7 air cover, the US occupation force would have been quickly defeated.

Invading Afghanistan without Pakistani cooperation would have been impossible. Pakistan at first refused to let US armed forces cross its borders. But as Pakistan’s former military leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf told me, ‘the US put a gun to my head and said let US troops enter and use Pakistan or ‘we will bomb you back to the Stone Age.’

That was the big stick. The carrot was some $33 billion in US cash to secure ‘Ground Lines of Communication’ (the Karachi-Bagram route) and ‘Air Lines of Communication.’ In fact, Pakistan briefly closed them in 2011 after US warplanes killed two dozen Pakistani Army soldiers. Pakistan could do it again unless Washington stops treating it like an enemy state.

ORDER IT NOW

Trump and his men just don’t understand that Pakistan has paramount national security interests in next-door Afghanistan. Thirty million Pakistanis are ethnic Pashtuns. They dominate Pakistan’s armed forces. Another 1.4 million Pashtun are refugees in northern Pakistan. Narrow-waisted Pakistan sees Afghanistan as its strategic hinterland in a next war with old enemy India.

The US-installed regime in Kabul routinely blames Pakistan for its glaring failures. Its powerful Communist-dominated intelligence agency routinely spreads untruths about Pakistan, claiming it supports ‘terrorism.’

In fact, the warlike Pashtun tribes along the Durand Line, the artificial border between Pakistan and Afghanistan imposed by the British colonialists, have been on the warpath since the 19th Century. Winston Churchill even approved the use of poison gas on the ‘unruly tribesmen.’ The wonderfully named Faqir of Ipi kept threatening to ride down from the Hindu Kush Mountains and put to the sack the British garrison at Peshwar.

Today, one hears threats in Pentagon circles that the US may begin bombing ‘Taliban sanctuaries’ (actually villages where these Pashtun locals live) and then send in air mobile US troops to attack them. This would make the longest war in US history even longer. Washington just can’t seem to accept that its military machine was defeated in Afghanistan, well-known as the Graveyard of Empires.

It’s also clear that the US has not given up its ambition to neutralize or destroy Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. Attacking so-called terrorist enclaves in northern Pakistan would offer a perfect cover for a major us air and ground assault on Pakistan’s nuclear complexes and dispersed storage sites. India and Israel have long been pressing the US to attack Pakistan’s nuclear infrastructure.

Any major US moves against Pakistan are very likely to push it closer to Beijing and expand Chinese influence in the region. China is unlikely to allow old ally Pakistan to be torn apart by US power. Unlike the US, China remembers its old friends.

(Republished from EricMargolis.com by permission of author or representative)
 
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  1. Isn’t Pakistan an obviously shithole country? I’m getting quite confused about this website.

    • Replies: @KA
  2. The first shot across the yankee bow was Pakistan’s threat to repatriate the million and a half Pashtun refugees in its northern provinces. What happens if they block the transport of supplies to the yankee forces? Because they possess nukes, it would seem unlikely the US would invade, and China’s link also is a complicating factor. Maybe Pakistan should also supply Iran with nukes making intervention by the yankee imperium there more problematical.

  3. Gringo says:

    The article begins with a statement about being an ally of the United States.

    Henry Kissinger rightly noted that it’s often more dangerous being an ally of the United States than its enemy. The latest victim of this sad truism is Pakistan, a loyal ally of the US since the dawn of our era.

    The following passage indicates that after 9/11, neither the US nor Pakistan viewed the other country as an ally.

    Invading Afghanistan without Pakistani cooperation would have been impossible. Pakistan at first refused to let US armed forces cross its borders. But as Pakistan’s former military leader Gen. Pervez Musharraf told me, ‘the US put a gun to my head and said let US troops enter and use Pakistan or ‘we will bomb you back to the Stone Age.’

    I am reminded of the 2008 attacks in Mumbai/Bombay. My first reaction was that it was the work of Pakistan’s ISI. My suspicion was essentially confirmed. Pakistan intelligence services ‘aided Mumbai terror attacks.’ That was not the work of a US ally.
    At least since 9/11, the Pakistan-US relationship hasn’t been an alliance, but a very uncomfortable marriage of convenience.

  4. KA says:
    @anony-mouse

    It is very difficult to like Pakistan . But this difficulty wouldn’t have arisen had Pakistan never came to embraceAmerican exceptionalism from 1980 . Despite experiencing impact of the shifting rationale and hydra like expanding and retracting explanation from 1990 ,Pakistan had stayed stuck with America like the neoNazi Eukrnaina have in recent years. It is time for Pakistan to choose side between evil and good.

  5. Beckow says:

    Managing far-flung micro-empires thousands of miles away, with hundreds of millions of locals, is not sustainable. The attempt by US to do it on the cheap with remote bombing, dispersed small bases everywhere (500-700 bases now globally), and an absolute aversion to casualties, is a recipe for an eventual collapse. And when it starts collapsing it will be an avalanche with a loss in one place triggering losses elsewhere.

    Why is this being done? I understand that selling arms, career jobs in security agencies, access to oil and other resources, even Israel, all those are given as reasons for this global overreach. But all of those objectives can be achieved with a lot less cost – and less risk – by staying home and spending the money at home (you can pay security guys to watch scary videos and write reports about it).

    There seems to be an abstract itch in the Washington elite circles to meddle in everything. Hopeless busy-bodies fearing an ennui of day-to-day life. People addicted to the news cycles and their own ‘virtue’. It is not working.

  6. DB Cooper says:

    Pakistan has to deal with India, a trouble maker in the region that is resented by all its smaller neighbors.

    http://beforeitsnews.com/opinion-conservative/2013/09/india-an-expansionist-empire-2708570.html?currentSplittedPage=0

    • Replies: @Singh
  7. I don’t understand the expression “US”. Are you referring to a country created by a constitution that used to exist somewhere in North America but has now been replaced by the Washingtonian Empire?

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  8. Becker and Gringo above have it right.

    Pakistan has now deployed over the last few days an army of OpEd writers to decry Trump’s decision. This reaction is predictable, given that the ruling elite in Pakistan have been pocketing our cash for years while doing nothing for us. Now they will have to devote their full attention to the drug trade.

    We should leave Afghanistan immediately in any case.

  9. Singh says:
    @DB Cooper

    India wants to politely genocide Pagans while Pakistan is honest about it।।

    • Replies: @anonymous
  10. Totally ignored in this Pakistan misadventure is that just hours before Trump’s announcement Pakistan had signed on with China to do business in Yuan and abandon the dollar. So the relationship with the US had been rendered moot before his Trump’s actions. Mostly what we get these days is half the facts and all the spin.

    https://robertmagill.wordpress.com/2015/01/11/mr-bernays-to-dr-goebbels-to-s-h-i-t-3/

  11. anon • Disclaimer says:

    Another highly biased article by Muslim sympathizer Eric Margolis. Trump’s “hatred of Muslims”? Because he wants to restrict their immigration to the USA? The USA can have any immigration policy it wants. That is America’s business and no other countries. As for Pakistan being a “loyal ally” that is a stretch. An ally of convenience at best.

  12. Pakistan is an enemy state. So is Saudi Arabia. They may be US allies, but they are also Hostis Humani Generis – enemies of all mankind. That will be the case for as long as they are dominated by Salafi Islam. Pakistan’s name – “Land of the Pure” – and its foundation in the slaughter of millions of Hindus, Christians, and moderate or secular Muslims, ought to be a clue. Their defeat in ‘east Pakistan’ & the liberation of Bangladesh with Indian aid was one of the very few victories for the good guys in the Muslim world, even moreso than the Assad regime’s victory in Syria or the US-client Iraqis defeat of ISIS Iraq.

    • Replies: @anonymous
  13. Renoman says:

    And not a word about the Heroine and the Lithium and the oil pipe line routing. The USA wouldn’t be within a Country mile of that “shit hole” if not for all that glorious CASH. Business as usual for the Big #1! terrorist State.

  14. Pashtuns hardly dominate the armed forces, they make up maybe 15%. Punjabis dominate the military, bureaucracy, industrial and other elites and constitute 65% of armed forces personnel. Pakistan long ago decided China was a far more reliable and useful ally than the US and Trump’s tweet was treated mostly with shrugged shoulders. Afghanistan’s inability to beat the Taliban is largely seen as being due to its corruption, in-fighting and incompetence. No one is in the mood for a major conflagration with Afghani terrorists after close to 30,000 civilian and military deaths in the past sixteen years.

    Pakistan is building a wall along its border with Afghanistan which has their government hopping mad as they have never accepted the current border. That along with expelling the 1,3 million Afghan refugees currently in the country is seen as insulating the country from chaos there. The only Afghani terrorists allowed in will be the ones the deep state wants to use.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @Talha
  15. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Singh

    What does that even mean? Given that India is majority pagan… it wishes to genocide its own people?

    You are not talking sense, pagan.

  16. anonymous • Disclaimer says:
    @Simon in London

    There are different kinds of victories. Some more important than the others. Some lasting for centuries and millennia, which another, singular in nature, will last an eternity.

    Your kind has been doing a lot of the former, while your ultimate battle of the latter will end in your disgrace.

    Enemies of mankind, look yourselves in the mirror, and introspect. If you wish to continue down this evil path, fine, then I have only one wish for the likes of you… may you meet your Maker as rejectors of True Monotheism. That is sufficient.

    • Replies: @Simon in London
  17. anonymous • Disclaimer says:

    To the fellow who mentioned enemies of mankind, I provide a quote… ironically by a Jew.

    “. . . It never happened. Nothing ever happened. Even while it was happening it wasn’t happening. It didn’t matter. It was of no interest. The crimes of the United States have been systematic, constant, vicious, remorseless, but very few people have actually talked about them. You have to hand it to America. It has exercised a quite clinical manipulation of power worldwide while masquerading as a force for universal good. It’s a brilliant, even witty, highly successful act of hypnosis. . . ”

    • Replies: @Simon in London
    , @republic
  18. @anonymous

    Maybe your lot will get me… Then I hope I die with my boots on. We have endured more than a thousand years of war from your kind. I suspect we can endure plenty more.

  19. @anonymous

    I definitely think the USA is currently the greatest threat to world peace. Is it a permanent enemy of mankind? I may have rose tinted glasses due to ethnic kinship as a fellow Anglo, but I hope they can turn away from the mad path they’re on.

    • Replies: @neutral
  20. Talha says:
    @Ali Choudhury

    Salaam Ali,

    I was surprised that Mr. Margolis messed up the stat with Punjabis. The Pakistani military is definitely top-heavy with them – and should remain so, even if they were a minority. They just seem the most capable out of the various groups for that job.

    Thanks for those other updates.

    Wa salaam.

  21. neutral says:
    @Simon in London

    I may have rose tinted glasses due to ethnic kinship as a fellow Anglo, but I hope they can turn away from the mad path they’re on.

    It is not the fault of the Anglos, the jews run America and it is they that caused the mad path America is on.

    • Replies: @Simon in London
  22. Talha says:
    @Ali Choudhury

    The cooperation was useful when both were trying to counter a communism, but it seems that there was not much more beyond that. Now that Pakistan is aligned with a more local power like China, its relationship with the US (and vice versa) seems more a liability than anything else.

    • Replies: @KA
  23. I believe the comment attributed to Kissinger was actually said by Sen Daniel Moynihan. “It is dangerous to be an enemy of the United State; it is more dangerous to be friend.”

  24. Weaver1 says:

    Does it matter if Pakistan “turns to China”? That sounds like welcome news to me. I pray Afghanistan also “turns to China”. It’s too expensive to maintain this senseless world empire.

    America is drowning in debt with a massive trade deficit. The current fiscal path is unsustainable.

    Forget the “white man’s burden”. China needs to pick up the Chinese burden.

  25. @neutral

    Jack Straw (Jewish former UK Foreign Secretary) says it’s not “the Jews”, it’s just some Jews, specifically AIPAC – https://www.timesofisrael.com/ex-uk-fm-unlimited-jewish-funds-control-us-policy-block-mideast-peace/ – I’m inclined to agree.

  26. KA says:
    @Talha

    Mainstream Englsh media in most countries portray a very pro – American attitude and correspondingly anti Chinese, anti Russian, anti Iranian ,anti Syrian, and anti Venejuelan attitudes .

    Reading Dawn ( Pakistan ) gives an impression that the editorolial board support continued Pakistani servility and tolerance to American hegemony and insults . ( CIA in known to have bought many journalists abroad ) , may be one seeing the result .

    Dawn also downplays Chinese Road and Belt initiative ,and dismisses Yuan – Pakistani currency swap . In Dawn, one doesn’t see any reference to ongoing American passive aggressive behavior to Syria and more destructive behavior in Yemen or Bahrain .

    Pakistani elite is bursting at the seams with the paid and bought enthusiasm for American greatness .

    Indian news media is no different .

    • Replies: @Ali Choudhury
  27. Talha says:

    Pakistani elite is bursting at the seams with the paid and bought enthusiasm for American greatness

    100% agree – it is fairly sickening.

    Peace.

  28. Eric is too obvious about projecting his own visceral hatred for Trump.

    It’s one thing to hear it from the retards in Antifa. But in allegedly serious commentary?

    • Replies: @Twodees Partain
  29. @KA

    I don’t recognise that and I have been reading Dawn for years. They express a fair amount of skepticism over how much benefit will actually accrue to Pakistan given the experience of other countries who have received Chinese investment like Sri Lanka. There is no particular pro-American bent, they know America taking an interest in Pakistan usually means the various military dictators get their shelf life extended.

  30. TG says:

    One is reminded that, contrary to big lie propaganda, Malthus was right. When everyone in a country has more children than they can afford to support, the result is grinding misery. That’s not a prediction, it’s not a prophecy, it’s a fact.

    Check out wikipedia’s section on the demographics of Pakistan. There were 60 million people there in 1960. It’s now about 210 million and still climbing, and Pakistan does not have vast resources or a surplus of arable land. I think I’ve heard that half the people are growing up chronically malnourished and ‘stunted.’ The bottom line is that you simply cannot have a stable state under such conditions, there are too many angry and desperate young men. The best the central government can hope is to somehow keep a lid on it, but it’s not going to be easy. And Pakistan will need ever more foreign aid to feed all those mouths… And if they don’t get that aid, they have nukes…

    I don’t so much blame the Pakistanis, as those corrupt Western economists and journalists who demand that people breeding like rodents is the sure way to prosperity. With all these fake Nobel-prizewinners in economics (there actually is no such prize, it’s a fake, again, check out wikipedia) telling the Pakistanis that what they are doing is wonderful, well, can we really blame them?

    • Replies: @Ali Choudhury
  31. @Backwoods Bob

    I often wonder just how accurate Eric’s info is. He’s obviously a leftard and his conclusions are usually the exact opposite of what mine would be by looking at the info he presents. Some otherwise sensible sites give his articles exposure and that strikes me as odd.

  32. MEexpert says:

    Cutting off the American aid is the best thing that can happen to Pakistan. This aid only goes in the pockets of the politicians and the army. the people do not benefit from it. Pakistan has ample natural resources that should be developed. People of Pakistan are talented enough to compete with anyone in the world. It is time they threw off the yoke of slavery from their shoulders and learned to stand on their own feet. Kick out the Saudi money and influence for good measure, as well.

    Pakistan should be like North Korea. They have the nuclear weapons. She should remind Donald Trump of that. Trump has no idea about the geography or the history of that region and Afghanistan in particular. He should get a quick lesson from the British or perhaps from his “friends,” the Russians about what happened to the two empires or perhaps he should take a tour of Khyber Pass and see the signs of ruins of British empire. Pakistan and Afghanistan can squeeze the US forces out of Afghanistan very quickly, if they joined forces.

    I really wish that the Pakistani politicians have the back bone to stand up to the US. For once, they should think about Pakistan and not about themselves.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  33. Svelte, Narrow waisted, thick bottomed Pakistan yearns to ENGULF Broad Chested India, keeps getting rejected by those narcissistic darkie Hindus. Oh noes!

    • Replies: @anon
  34. @The Cleaner

    Prior to 1865, the term united States was a plural term, referring to any number (at any given time) of sovereign States united under a common government created by the States for their protection and mutual benefit. Following Lincoln’s successful war to destroy what the Founding Fathers created, sovereign States ceased to existed, resulting in the term United States becoming a singular noun.

    • Replies: @neutral
    , @The Cleaner
  35. neutral says:
    @Carroll Price

    Just in case somebody misunderstands me, Lincoln was a monster, the fact that this mass murderer is worshiped by the establishment is more than enough to know what an awful man he was. Having said that one cannot blame Lincoln, you can go right back to the founding fathers to see that their idea of sovereignty for the states was not really a thing, look at the Whiskey rebellion for example. Even if such things did not happen, not being able to conduct your own foreign policy or have your own army means you are not sovereign by an reasonable definition of sovereignty. The USA was an empire from the very start.

  36. anon • Disclaimer says:
    @frayedthread

    SRINAGAR: Former BJP MP and lawyer Ram Jethmalani on Saturday said here that former Pakistan ruler Pervez Musharraf’s four-point formula on Kashmir should be the basis for a permanent solution to the issue. He added that Musharraf’s efforts were foiled by India. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Musharrafs-peace-plan-on-Kashmir-foiled-by-India-Ram-Jethmalani/articleshow/45084732.cms

    Recently Pakistan did same. The deep-state embedded in structures of both countries will not allow a peaceful rearrangement of relationship

  37. @MEexpert

    I really wish that the Pakistani politicians have the back bone to stand up to the US. For once, they should think about Pakistan and not about themselves.

    Maybe now that the US sugar tit has been partially withdrawn, they will do that very thing.

  38. republic says:
    @anonymous

    Harold Pinter: Nobel Lecture: Art, Truth & Politics

    2005

  39. @TG

    That is not the fault of the West, decades of political upheaval and the lack of a settled government mean lots of necessary initiatives have fallen by the wayside. Family planning programs were strongest in the 80s when Pakistan was firmly in the Western orbit.

  40. @Carroll Price

    Actually, The United States ended as a union of sovereign states with the substitution of the Constitution for the Articles of Confederation. Patrick Henry’s objections to the Constitution are on the money.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  41. Herzog says:

    Pakistan moving into the Chinese orbit: It’s gonna be fun to see it play out, given that legendary Chinese tolerance for the customary Muslim antics — think Sinkiang, Uyghurs, but also how he dealt with Erdogan when he got uppity, and all that.

    China is gonna sigh (and do what needs to be done), Pak is gonna groan — and kowtow.

    • Replies: @DB Cooper
    , @Ali Choudhury
  42. DB Cooper says:
    @Herzog

    “given that legendary Chinese tolerance for the customary Muslim antics — think Sinkiang”

    Tolerance/intolerance is not the right word. Chinese simply don’t give a hood on what the Muslims are praying to. Westerners take religion too seriously. Chinese don’t. Hence all the religious problems in the West. Take Muslim out of the equation and the West still have religious problems. The hostilites between Protestants and Catholics is a good example. Not so more nowadays only because the people in the West are more civilized and thank God many of the earlier settlers to the US were religiously oppressed so religious tolerance has been drilled in to the national psyche of the Americans from day one.

  43. @The Cleaner

    Apparently none of the States thought the Constitution ended their sovereignty, or else it would never have come up for a vote, let alone being ratified.

    • Replies: @The Cleaner
  44. @Herzog

    The Pakistani military would be happy to bomb the Uighurs if the Chinese asked them to. The countries have been allies since Mao and persists o matter who is in charge. They want their investments to be protected and for their to be no instances of their citizens being kidnapped when in-country. Otherwise they are pretty hands-off. For now.

  45. @Carroll Price

    Oh they did, especially Virginia. There were many anti-Federalists. Patrick Henry was prominent among them. But Hamilton had convinced them that Spain, France, and England all might declare war, to say nothing of Shay’s Rebellion that the Federal Government would suppress. There was plenty of arm twisting going on. And the Constitution would be ratified with three quarters of the states, leaving the others on the outside. It wasn’t a smooth process by any means, and loss of sovereignty was the big question. Look up Patrick Henry’s speeches. They are online.

    • Replies: @Carroll Price
  46. @The Cleaner

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m no friend of defender or the Constitution which in effect reversed much of what had been accomplished by the Revolution. That is to say, replacing the Articles of Confederation (which was far superior to the Constitution) with the Constitution put the money power back in control of the government where it’s been ever since. Once the central government gained the power to levy taxes on the people, the game was over

  47. neutral says:

    Here is a recent video of Zeman vs Femen:

    What is interesting is that the woman is non white and speaking English, I have no doubt that if one traces the finances of Femen one will eventually come across the Soros money.

  48. “US troops there had to be supplied through Pakistan’s principal port, Karachi, then up twisting mountain roads and across the torturous Khyber Pass into Afghanistan.” Why weren’t they carried from Karachi to Sukkur to Quetta and on to Kandahar? That’s the (reletively) flat route and rail tracks all the way from Karachi’s port to Quetta.

  49. anon • Disclaimer says:

    James Jeffrey,In recent testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, said

    “Anything we do to contain Iran, to push back, will bring with it great risks to us and to people in the region,” Jeffrey said. These were the lessons of history, he explained, citing “the chaos we deliberately created” to confront past challengers in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Iran.

    https://original.antiwar.com/Edward_Hunt/2018/01/21/rare-glimpse-inner-workings-american-empire-middle-east/

    http://fpif.org/rare-glimpse-inner-workings-american-empire-middle-east/

    Pakistan is paying price to this US policy of confronting other actors in Afghanistan even when Afghanustan has and had every right to seek help it feels And it felt it had to have.

  50. Margolis believes that being a willing accomplice to the US’s crimes permits any others.
    What a moral Leper.

  51. Pardons any other.
    Phk kindle autocorrect

  52. Pakistan’s ISI supported the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan, and the Taliban refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden after 9/11. After the US invaded Afghanistan, Bin Laden was given sanctuary in a Pakistani garrison town.

    The Pakistanis are guilty as charged. Whether it was wise to declare them guilty, and reduce US aid, is another matter. The recent terrorist attacks in Kabul may be payback for this decision.

  53. Timmy says:

    Excellent article, thank you.

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