The Unz Review: An Alternative Media Selection
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Pakistan

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There was a time when New Delhi was proudly selling the notion of establishing its own New Silk Road – from the Gulf of Oman to the intersection of Central and South Asia - to compete with China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). Now it looks like the Indians have stabbed themselves in the back.... Read More
Is this the Age of Anxiety? The Age of Stupidity? The Age of Hybrid War? Or all of the above? As right populism learns to use algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI) and media convergence, the Empire of Chaos, in parallel, is unleashing all-out hybrid and semiotic war. Dick Cheney’s Global War on Terror (GWOT) is back,... Read More
So Taliban supremo Mullah Mansour’s white Toyota Corolla was rattling across the Baluchestan desert just after it had crossed the Iranian border when a Hellfire missile fired from a US drone incinerated it into a charred / twisted wreck. That’s the official narrative. The Pentagon said Mansour was on Obama’s kill list because he had... Read More
Now how do you top this as a geopolitical entrance? Eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets escorting Chinese President Xi Jinping on board an Air China Boeing as he enters Pakistani air space. And these JF-17s are built as a China-Pakistan joint project. Silk Road? Better yet; silk skyway. Just to drive the point home –... Read More
Now how do you top this as a geopolitical entrance? Eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets escorting Chinese President Xi Jinping on board an Air China Boeing as he enters Pakistani air space. And these JF-17s are built as a China-Pakistan joint project. Silk Road? Better yet; silk skyway. Just to drive the point home –... Read More
Construction is nearing completion on a natural gas pipeline linking Iran and Pakistan, a project that portends a huge geopolitical shift. As regional powers strengthen ties in this key energy market, they’re looking to China, and away from the West. Since the early 2000s, analysts and diplomats across Asia have been dreaming of a future... Read More
Bets are off on which is the great story of 2011. Is it the Arab Spring(s)? Is it the Arab counter-revolution, unleashed by the House of Saud? Is it the "birth pangs" of the Greater Middle East remixed as serial regime changes? Is it R2P ("responsibility to protect") legitimizing "humanitarian" bombing? Is it the freeze... Read More
Syria will have to wait. The next stop in the Pentagon-coined "long war" is bound to be Pakistan. True, a war is already on in what the Barack Obama administration named AfPak. But crunch time in Pak itself looms closer and closer. Call it the "no bomb left behind" campaign. Al-Qaeda is a thing of... Read More
Before the end of 2011, Pakistan will start working on its stretch of the IP (Iran-Pakistan) gas pipeline - according to Asim Hussain, Pakistan's federal minister for petroleum and natural resources. The 1,092 kilometers of pipeline on the Iranian side are already in place. IP, also known as "the peace pipeline", was originally IPI (Iran-Pakistan-India).... Read More
Forget the iPad; the ultimate icon of fetishized commodity is the drone. Israelis do it - and sell them like hot cakes. Mexicans do it - to patrol their side of the border. Brazilians wanna do it - to patrol the Rio favelas. Saudis wanna do it. Uzbeks wanna do it. Everybody's singing: Let's do... Read More
As clinically on target as a pat-down in a major United States airport, the Pentagon got a fabulous box of chocolates - and then some - from its 27 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies at last weekend's Lisbon summit. The chocolates come in a full spectrum of flavors. One: NATO's new "Strategic Concept", complete... Read More
One may be tempted to evaluate American foreign policy as concocted by some deviant disciple of cinema exploitation genius Russ Meyer - of Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill! fame - minus the profusion of breasts, of course. And so as that self-appointed court stenographer Bob Woodward reveals in his latest court opus Obama's Wars - conveniently... Read More
Nine years ago - one day before Northern Alliance commander Ahmad Shah Massoud, Lion of the Panjshir, was killed by two al-Qaeda jihadis disguised as journalists; and three days before 9/11 - who would have thought that Afghanistan would still be mired in a war of 150,000 United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)... Read More
Ten years ago, Taliban Afghanistan - Talibanistan - was under a social, cultural, political and economic nightmare. Ten years ago, New York-based photographer Jason Florio and myself slowly crossed Talibanistan overland from east to west, from the Pakistani border at Landi Kotal to the Iranian border at Islam qillah. Those were the days. Bill Clinton... Read More
Dear reader: let's sit back, relax, and take a trip down memory lane to prehistoric times - the pre-9/11, pre-YouTube, pre-Facebook world. Ten years ago, Taliban Afghanistan - Talibanistan - was under a social, cultural, political and economic nightmare. Arguably, not much has changed. Or has it? Ten years ago, New York-based photographer Jason Florio... Read More
Confirmed and reconfirmed by United States President Barack Obama, the US Senate and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), and duly hailed as the new armored Messiah by US mainstream media, "tightly disciplined" political fox and former US Central Command chief General David Petraeus is about to land in Kabul. He will either hit the... Read More
Mistah Kurtz - he dead. Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness When it comes to American wars, history has a kinky habit of repeating itself as farce over and over again. So now the Pentagon has been plunged into turmoil because General Stanley McChrystal, former United States and North Atlantic Treaty Organization commander in Afghanistan, was... Read More
PART 1: Welcome to Pashtunistan PARIS - "The horror ... the horror." General Stanley McChrystal, the Pentagon supremo in Afghanistan, is being massively sold in the US as a Zen warrior - a 21st-century stalwart incarnation of the "best and the brightest". But he may be a warrior intellectual more like Colonel Kurz than Captain... Read More
There must be some way out of here Said the joker to the thief There's too much confusion I can't get no relief - Bob Dylan, All Along the Watchtower PARIS - Something's happening in AfPak, but you don't know what it is, do you Mr Beltway think-tanker? As Washington mashes up the "Taliban" -... Read More
The New Great Game is not only focused on the face-off between the United States and strategic competitors Russia and China - with Pipelineistan as a defining element. The full spectrum dominance doctrine requires the control of the Pentagon-coined "arc of instability" from the Horn of Africa to western China. The cover story is the... Read More
PARIS - America's convoluted, Alice-in-Wonderland interpretation of this summer's top political show - the "free expression of the people" in the Afghanistan election - reads like an opium dream. In fact, it is actually a pipe dream - as in Pipelineistan. With the added twist that no one's saying a word about the pipe that's... Read More
Arif Jamal is arguably the leading Pakistani expert on the jihad in Kashmir. He is the author of Shadow War: The Untold Story of Jihad in Kashmir [1], a groundbreaking, gripping account of the interminable, key conflict between India and Pakistan, based on interviews with hundreds of militants over the years. The book is essential... Read More
Just when Iran and Pakistan had reached a key Pipelineistan breakthrough, regional violence exploded involving, once again, "the greatest prize" Balochistan (Please see Balochistan is the greatest prize, May 9, 2009, Asia Times Online.) The key question to ask is, as usual, cui bono?, or "Who profits?" What's behind this new, bloody intersection of Pipelineistan... Read More
The earth has been shaking for a few days now all across Pipelineistan - with massive repercussions for all the big players in the New Great Game in Eurasia. United States President Barack Obama's AfPak strategists didn't even see it coming. A silent, reptilian war had been going on for years between the US-favored Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India... Read More
Happy Days are here again. It’s as if the George W Bush years in Afghanistan had never left, with Washington still wallowing in an intelligence-free environment. A surge is coming to town – just like the one General David Petraeus engineered in Iraq. A Bush proconsul (Zalmay Khalilzad) wants to run the show – again.... Read More
Pipelineistan in Conflict
Back in March, Pepe Escobar, that itchy, edgy global reporter for one of my favorite on-line publications, Asia Times, began laying out the great, ongoing energy struggle across Eurasia, or what he likes to call Pipelinestan for its web of oil and natural gas pipelines. In his first report, he dealt with the embattled energy... Read More
On one side, the most powerful man on Earth, who happens to carry a Muslim middle name. On the other, the largest tribal nation in the world, which happens to be Muslim. Welcome to the mother of all cockfights. As it was leaked by government sources to the Pakistani daily The News, the success rate... Read More
Is United States President Barack Obama telling it like it is as far as his new strategy for the Afghanistan and Pakistan war theater - AfPak, in Pentagonspeak - is concerned? There are reasons to believe otherwise. Obama's relentless media blitzkrieg stressed the new strategy is refocusing on al-Qaeda. Washington, we got a problem. Why... Read More
WASHINGTON - Al-Qaeda is back - with a vengeance of sorts. Listen to Mustafa Abu al-Yazeed - a senior al-Qaeda commander in Afghanistan, in a very rare interview with Pakistan's Geo TV, shot in Khost, in eastern Afghanistan. "At this stage this is our understanding - that there is no difference between the American people... Read More
"[Musharraf] truly is somebody who believes in democracy." - President George W Bush Future historians will review the Pakistan of November 2007 as a classic of soap opera geopolitics. The main plot screams "revenge". Rattled by a know-all exiled elitist (Benazir Bhutto) imposed on him by a scheming Washington, the hapless "Mush" - as President... Read More
MUMBAI - "Full power" is the new Indian mantra. Delivered not in Hindi, Pali, Gujarati or Malayalam, but in English, with a smile, by the Mumbai taxi driver, the Goan marguerita specialist, the Brahmin in Calicut, the information technology developer in Cochin. This is the sound of India stepping on the gas to 21st century... Read More
"And again, I don't know where he is. I - I'll repeat what I said. I truly am not that concerned about him." - President George W Bush, March 13, 2002 "Gosh, I don't think I ever said I'm not worried about Osama bin Laden. That's kind of one of those exaggerations." - President Bush,... Read More
It featured all the trappings of a glorified video game. Thousands of Pakistani army and paramilitary troops played the hammer. Hundreds of US troops and Special Forces, plus the elite commando 121, were ready to play the anvil across the border in Afghanistan. What was supposed to be smashed in between was "high-value target" Ayman... Read More
PARIS - Khawar Mehdi Rizvi is a Pakistani journalist. For almost a month he has been languishing - and most probably being tortured - in a Pakistani jail or safehouse somewhere in Pakistan. Nobody knows where he is. The co-director of the Federal Investigation Agency - which deals with white-collar crimes and passport and visa... Read More
Qui a tue Daniel Pearl?, by Bernard-Henri Levy The subject was not breached when "courageous leader" Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf was received by George W Bush at Camp David this week. They talked of the Hizb-i-Islami leading the anti-American jihad in Afghanistan, they talked of jihadis not crossing the Line of Control in Kashmir,... Read More
PastClassics
Becker update V1.3.2
The “war hero” candidate buried information about POWs left behind in Vietnam.
Are elite university admissions based on meritocracy and diversity as claimed?
Our Reigning Political Puppets, Dancing to Invisible Strings
The sources of America’s immigration problems—and a possible solution