The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
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kashmir_region_2004
Daring Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, has killed a sacred cow, called Article 370 of the Constitution, enshrining the autonomy of Kashmir. The consequences could be dire, including the fourth India-Pakistan war, but not necessarily so. It could also be a successful scheme. Apparently, Narendra Modi had been encouraged by his success in... Read More
Two of the world’s most important powers, India and Pakistan, are locked into an extremely dangerous confrontation over the bitterly disputed Himalayan mountain state of Kashmir. Both are nuclear armed. Kashmir has been a flashpoint since Imperial Britain divided India in 1947. India and Pakistan have fought numerous wars and conflicts over majority Muslim Kashmir.... Read More
...Barely
It’s still the most dangerous border on Earth. Yet compared to the recent tweets of President Donald Trump, it remains a marginal news story. That doesn’t for a moment diminish the chance that the globe’s first (and possibly ultimate) nuclear conflagration could break out along that 480-mile border known as the Line of Control (and,... Read More
There are a few genuinely upbeat news stories when it comes to this planet and people trying to figure out how to save us from ourselves and our fossil-fuel addiction. This at a moment of ocean heating when, despite the Paris climate accord of 2015, carbon dioxide from those fossil fuels is once again entering... Read More
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The world slipped closer to nuclear war. Big false flags—actual, suspected, and anticipated—were a key factor. But hardly anybody noticed. Everyone was riveted by the story of actor Jussie Smollet, who supposedly paid a couple of Nigerian-American bodybuilders for a staged racist-homophobic near-lynching. The ostensible motive: Add a zero to Smollet’s pathetic little million-a-year salary.... Read More
  While Americans were obsessing over a third-rate actor’s fake claims of a racial assault, old foes India and Pakistan were rattling their nuclear weapons in a very dangerous crisis over Kashmir. But hardly anyone noticed that nuclear war could break out in South Asia. India and Pakistan, both nuclear-armed, have fought four wars over... Read More
The words ‘hope’ and ‘Pakistan’ do not often appear together. Pakistan, a sprawling nation of 205 million, is hard to govern, even harder to finance, and seething with tribal or religious violence and discord. But Pakistan, which for me is one of the most interesting and important nations on earth, is by far the leading... Read More
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)... Read More
 Lt Gen Niazi signing the 1971 Instrument of Surrender under the gaze of Lt Gen Aurora. Credit: Wikimedia Commons
My current piece at Asia Times,
The divided south Asian mountain state of Kashmir is like a volcano: forgotten when quiescent, but terrifying when it comes alive. After the first India-Pakistan War in 1947, in which the British Indian Raj was divided into Hindu and Muslim-dominated states, India ended up with two-thirds of the formerly independent mountain state of Kashmir, and... Read More
India-Pakistan relations look to be interesting in the next few years, especially if by “interesting” one means “potential for regional conflagration with toasty global elements”. If the PRC continues its rise at its current trajectory and under its current management, chances are that by 2050 the United States will be facing a China that is... Read More
That’s the theme of my most recent piece at Asia Times. Read it
george-bush-with-saudi
America's "allies" pursue their own agendas
The redacted 28 pages describing the Saudi Arabian role in 9/11 have become somewhat of
Once upon a time, if a war was going to destroy your world, it had to take place in your world. The soldiers had to land, the planes had to fly overhead, the ships had to be off the coast. No longer. Nuclear war changed that equation forever and not just because nuclear weapons could... Read More
A Nuclear Armageddon in the Making in South Asia
Undoubtedly, for nearly two decades, the most dangerous place on Earth has been the Indian-Pakistani border in Kashmir. It’s possible that a small spark from artillery and rocket exchanges across that border might -- given the known military doctrines of the two nuclear-armed neighbors -- lead inexorably to an all-out nuclear conflagration. In that case... Read More
The deaths in South Asia of three of the West’s ‘Great Satans’ were announced in recent weeks: Mullah Omar and Jalaluddin Haqqani in Afghanistan; and Pakistan’s Lt. Gen. Hamid Gul. I never met Mullah Omar though I was present at the birth and expansion of his movement, Taliban. Mullah Omar was a renowned combat veteran... Read More
It was an open secret Pakistan’s ISI fostered the Taliban but the US never confronted Islamabad
The controversy over the use of torture by the CIA obscures two important aspects of “the war on terror” which the agency was supposedly waging. The first is that this war has demonstrably failed since Isis, terrorists by any definition of the term, today rules a large part of the Middle East in northern Iraq... Read More
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The White House is pushing hard to keep a significant number of American soldiers in Afghanistan contrary to President Barack Obama’s earlier pledge to have then all out by the end of 2014. As the United States President has demonstrated himself to be a habitual liar that failure to connect promises made in 2008 with... Read More
By readers’ request, this is a reposting of a translation of a Pakistani National TV interview with an eyewitness to the alleged SEAL Team Six attack that allegedly killed Osama bin Laden. I made the translation available two years ago in an article prior to the creation of this website. Before you believe “your” government’s... Read More
Pakistan’s former military dictator, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, was indicted last week on charges of murdering former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and for treason. Benazir Bhutto was killed during a bomb attack on her convoy in Rawalpindi during an election rally in December, 2007. She had just returned from exile in Britain and Dubai and was... Read More
The United States, for the most part, regards Pakistan as little more than a sordid stage on which the West is forced to act out one of the central dramas of its epic War on Terror. However, Pakistan, a nation of 180 million people, is a lot more than that. It is a fragile aggregation... Read More
“History repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce,” wrote Karl Marx. Exhibit A: look at Pakistan this week where former dictator Pervez Musharraf’s monkeyshines made a laughing-stock of the nation created in 1947 to be a model of good government for the world’s Muslims. The former self-styled “president-general returned from exile last month to... Read More
ISTANBUL - Reports of fighting along Kashmir’s cease-fire line don’t normally receive much attention in the western media. Last week, for example, saw a series of clashes on 8 and 10 January that killed both Pakistani and Indian troops. One of the Indian soldiers was decapitated, provoking fury across India and calls from its extremist... Read More
By the time her season’s greeting card and a handwritten note arrived in my office, my old friend Benazir Bhutto was already dead. The card mailed in Pakistan days before her murder, remains on my desk to this today, a touching last link from this remarkable lady. So, too, the names of the men who... Read More
WASHINGTON – I was visiting Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States when the phone on his desk rang. “The hot line,” he said. “Sorry I have to take this call.” As he listened, his face grew darker and darker. Finally, he banged down the phone and exploded: “Another US drone attack that killed a score... Read More
Kelley has
Assassination Campaigns Do Not Win Wars, and They Create as Many Enemies as They Destroy
As the US and its allies ponder what to do about Syria, one suggestion advanced by the protagonists of armed intervention is to use unmanned drones to attack Syrian government targets. The proposal is a measure of the extraordinary success of the White House, CIA and Defense Department in selling the drone as a wonder... Read More
There has been remarkably little US media coverage of the situation in Pakistan, which could, at a stroke, cause Washington’s policy in central Asia to implode. The silence might be because the US media attention span runs to about thirty seconds while the situation in Pakistan is quite complicated. For those who haven’t been following... Read More
The US is now risking a military confrontation with old ally Pakistan that is both highly dangerous and unpredictable in the extreme. It’s awfully hard for the world’s greatest power to admit its high-tech military forces are being beaten in Afghanistan by a bunch of lightly-armed mountain tribesmen that we dismiss as "terrorists." But that’s... Read More
It’s awfully hard for the world’s greatest power to admit its high-tech military forces are being beaten in Afghanistan by a bunch of lightly-armed mountain tribesmen. But that’s what’s happening. Washington is blaming everyone else for the bloody fiasco in Afghanistan, the “Graveyard of Empires.” Right now, the chief whipping boy for US fury is... Read More
Does anyone remember Kashmir? Well, we certainly should. If nuclear war ever breaks out, the most likely place would be in Kashmir. The fabled state of Kashmir lies in majestic isolation amid the towering mountain ranges of the Himalayas and Karakoram that separate the torrid plains of north India from the steppes and deserts of... Read More
The US government just decided Islamic shariah law is not so bad after all – at least not in the case of jailed CIA agent Raymond Davis. The burly Davis, an ex-US Special Forces soldier, former Blackwater gunman, and now CIA “contractor” (jargon for mercenary) was jailed in Pakistan after shooting dead two Pakistanis, who... Read More
The Case Against Raymond Davis
When CIA-agent Raymond Davis gunned down two Pakistani civilians in broad daylight on a crowded street in Lahore, he probably never imagined that the entire Washington establishment would spring to his defense. But that's precisely what happened. Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Mike Mullen, John Kerry, Leon Panetta and a number of other US bigwigs have... Read More
The ability of the United States to dictate the actions of foreign governments appears to be unravelling worldwide. The increasingly strange case of US embassy officer Raymond Davis in Pakistan is reportedly about to lead to a virtual suspension of relations between Washington and Islamabad. Davis, an employee of the Consulate in Lahore, shot and... Read More
The Demon in Pakistan's Soul
To say that Punjab Governor Salman Taseer was equally controversial and courageous when he expressed his views is an understatement. The story of his assassination reads truly like a chronicle of a death foretold, and brings to the fore the demon that’s been eating away at the soul of Pakistani society: religious intolerance. It was... Read More
The story about the departure of the CIA Station Chief from Pakistan is interesting because it reveals that Washington has few friends there, only fair weather accomplices. It is being reported that the Pakistani intelligence service ISI might have leaked the man's name to get even for a court case in New York involving the... Read More
Where Stories Acquire a Life of Their Own
Is Pakistan disintegrating? Are the state and society coming apart under the impact of successive political and natural disasters? The country swirls with rumors about the fall of the civilian government or even a military coup. The great Indus flood has disappeared from the headlines at home and abroad, though millions of farmers are squatting... Read More
This writer has been warning for years that US and NATO efforts to defeat resistance to Western occupation by Afghanistan's fierce Pashtun tribes would eventually lead to spreading the conflict into neighboring Pakistan, a nation of 175 million. We've seen it all before in Vietnam. It was then called, "mission creep." The focus of the... Read More
Bob Woodward, the investigative reporter of Watergate fame, has a new book,
After the Flood
Rajanpur Ali Sher Khan stands precariously on a piece of broken road that once led to the land where he lived before it was torn apart by the flood. The road has been replaced by a deep lake. Mr Khan, a clan leader in Rajanpur District in south Punjab, points grimly to the other side... Read More
Most Americans still have not figured out the difference between Shia and Sunni or Kurds. Or, for that matter, Bosnians and Kosovars. But the insatiable demands of our imperium keep plunging us into new, mysterious places and murky conflicts. Welcome to Kashmir, the divided Himalayan state that is world's longest-running and certainly most dangerous international... Read More
Returning to Nothing
Charsadda. Wali Khan shifts his eyes nervously from side to side as he points to the tumbled walls which are all that remain of his mud-brick house. The 45-year-old laborer is frightened that his neighbors in the battered town of Charsadda will suspect he is receiving help denied to other flood victims. He says: "I... Read More
According to the UN, the vast floodwaters have affected 20 million Pakistanis. Over 1,500 people have died, 800,000 homes have been destroyed. Pakistan's government reports that 10% of this nation of 180 million is now destitute and 20% of Pakistan's land is submerged by the filthy, contaminated floodwaters. Two more waves of monsoon flooding are... Read More
The bombing of the Data Darbar shrine--tomb of the Sufi master Datta Ganj Bahksh--in Lahore, the capital of Pakistan's Punjab province, is a big deal. It's like setting off a bomb in St. Patrick's Cathedral. Data Durban is at the core of Punjabi cultural identity. When Nawaz Sharif returned to Pakistan from exile in Saudi... Read More
Doomed Missions of Revenge
It has been a hidden war ignored by the outside world. Up to last week nobody paid much attention to the fighting in north-west Pakistan, though more soldiers and civilians have probably been dying there over the last year than in Iraq or Afghanistan. In reality this corner of Pakistan along the Afghan border is... Read More
Reprisal and Revenge
Staying alive is not a simple business for people in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province. The local Taliban and the army compete mercilessly to establish their authority along the border with Afghanistan. "If we support the army, the Taliban is unhappy and if we support the Taliban then the army is unhappy," lamented one local... Read More
I have an article up at Asia Times on Iran’s natural gas diplomacy entitled
Washington is finally getting some of the democracy it has long been calling for in Pakistan. The result is a disaster for US "Afpak" policy. The Obama administration is fast discovering that its man in Islamabad, President Asif Ali Zardari, may be an even bigger ethical and managerial liability than its overseer in Kabul, President... Read More
…and a Catastrophe for Pakistan and China
Well, I guess President Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize is going to go into the record books with a big, fat asterisk next to it. I have an article up at Asia Times Online
In Pakistan, the intersection of religion, ethnicity, and politics is often marked by murder. The tense interaction between the Deoband adherents of the Pashtun North West Frontier Province and the Barelvi confession of the Punjab heartland has already been marred by violence. The Awami National Party’s mishandling of an Islamic calendrical controversy provides an unsettling... Read More