Pakistan resists U.S. push to expand terror fight … Foreign minister says nation with deal with key Taliban sanctuary on its own timeline … Pakistan's foreign minister said Sunday that his country will deal with a key Taliban sanctuary along the Afghan border on its own timeline despite increasing U.S. pressure to move swiftly to help turn around the war in Afghanistan. Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi (left) spoke after returning from Washington for the latest round of high-level strategic talks with the Obama administration. His comments indicated a new $2 billion military aid package offered by the U.S. did little change Pakistan's strategic calculus. "We have our own priorities. We have our own sense of timing," said Qureshi when asked by reporters about U.S. pressure to launch an offensive against Taliban militants in the North Waziristan tribal area who regularly attack foreign troops in Afghanistan. – AP
Dominant Social Theme: Pakistan will understand eventually that it is in its best interest to go along with US demands.
Free-Market Analysis: But not yet! We have noted that the relationship between US/NATO and Pakistan needs more than a little help. The US and NATO have been putting a good deal of pressure on Pashtun/Taliban enclaves inside of Pakistan, even to the point of pursuing the Taliban across the border and engaging in fire-fights inside of Pakistan. The last time this happened, three Pakistan soldiers died and Pakistan shut down supply routes for nearly two weeks. Oil tankers burned and the US fumed – and then promptly came up with US$2 billion and a slew of apologies. Sub dominant social theme: There are misunderstandings between friends, but we'll work them out.
Pakistan's continued refusal to help the Anglo-American axis is part of a trend we have noted often. Whereas before, the Anglo-American power elite seemed to rampage around the world with impunity, the various wars that have been fought recently are less conclusive and the West's leverage seems somewhat diluted. China does not seem inclined to put hard caps on its currency or various monetary maneuverings and we can see from this article, excerpted above, that Pakistan does not seem inclined to oust the Taliban from its Pashtun enclaves.
Of course, as we have pointed out before, this may be because of the peculiarities of Pashtun culture. There are at least 20 million Pashtuns in Pakistan and families there apparently hew to ancient customs. Among the most fiercesome, is the one that calls on individual families to avenge their dead with similar deaths. Families are said to be large among the Pashtuns and boys are a blessing because they will die for family honor. Within this context, we can see that the Pakistan bureaucracy and even its military might be hesitant to wage all-out war against the Taliban and their Pashtun communities.
There is also the matter of the Pakistani ISI – that country's version of America's CIA and FBI rolled up into one. The ISI has very obviously shielded the Taliban in Pakistan because the Taliban can provide pressure on Afghanistan to remain friendly, or at least neutral to Pakistan. While this may seem a somewhat paranoid policy, one need only look at Pakistan's geographical positioning. With China on one side and India on the other, the elite families who run Pakistan cannot be blamed perhaps for playing the "great game." Population-wise, Pakistan is no match for either India or China.
Pakistan will apparently continue to go its own way; the US and NATO do not seem to have either the will or wherewithal to pressure Pakistan further. This could be because Pakistan is a nuclear power or because opening up a second front (frankly) in Pakistan would so inflame war-weary Western populations that the initiative might prove unsupportable over the long term.
Of course, this assumes that pressuring Pakistan and wiping out Taliban strongholds in Pakistan-Pashtun regions is a main goal of the US and NATO. Many in the alternative news community do not believe that the US is in the war to win it. The "sophisticated" analysis provided especially by the Left in the US prefers to focus on a Long War concept in which the US military machine is simply intent on bleeding both American and its opponents in order to make the most money possible for the military industrial complex.
We have argued against this scenario in numerous articles – and also against the perception that these serial wars are "all about oil" and other natural resources. These perspectives are generally aligned with Marxist thought that holds greedy capitalist countries start wars to exploit workers and steal their raw materials. Recently we came across an eloquent statement by a longtime observer of the US military industrial complex – William Blum – who has written along similar lines, as follows:
In the post-World War Two period, in Latin America alone, the US has had a similar hostile policy toward progressive governments and movements in Guatemala, Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras, Grenada, Dominican Republic, Chile, Brazil, Argentina, Cuba, and Bolivia. What these governments and movements all had in common was that they were/are leftist; nothing to do with oil. For more than half a century Washington has been trying to block the rise of any government in Latin America that threatens to offer a viable alternative to the capitalist model. Venezuela of course fits perfectly into that scenario; oil or no oil.
This ideology was the essence of the Cold War all over the world. … The secret to understanding US foreign policy is that there is no secret. Principally, one must come to the realization that the United States strives to dominate the world. Once one understands that, much of the apparent confusion, contradiction, and ambiguity surrounding Washington's policies fades away. To express this striving for dominance numerically, one can consider that since the end of World War Two the United States has: Endeavored to overthrow more than 50 foreign governments, most of which were democratically-elected … and attempted to assassinate more than 50 foreign leaders.
William Blum seems something of a Leftist himself (and author of the Anti-Empire report); he is also a former intelligence operative, so we are not fully sure of his affiliations. But we agree with his analysis; the Anglo-American axis wages war to win, not to lose; though there are occasions such as Korea and Viet Nam where the objectives were clearly limited. But not so, in our view in Iraq or Afghanistan. Here the axis wanted to dominate. In Iraq, it has now built an American embassy that is the largest such in the world. In Afghanistan it has poured in troops and treasure to try vainly to reverse the tide, which is running against NATO forces.
It is most important from our point of view to realize with clarity what is occurring when it comes to Western power elite promotions and military campaigns. If one tends to believe that everything is a feint and that even the most devastating defeats are merely cleverly disguised ruses, then one will have a good deal of difficulty determining how Western money power is progressing – or whether it is actually diminishing.
Western money power – the bailiwick of the West's great banking families – is indeed waning in our view. We see it globally, where the axis is running into problems enforcing its point of view on a variety of economic issues. The Doha trade treaty mechanism has been stalled for years. The EU itself is grappling fairly ineffectively with the impending bankruptcies of its southern PIGS and even when it comes to currency issues, the axis cannot enforce its will. The BRIC countries will go their own way.
When it comes to military activities, the Western power elite is similarly frustrated. The Iraq war has degenerated into the predictable Shia versus Sunni stalemate and such a situation is giving increased clout to (of all countries) Iran, which is using the Shia majority in Iraq to its own advantage. Eventually (as we have predicted), Iraq will become something of a puppet state of Iran's, for the Shias far outnumber the Sunnis in that cobbled-together nation that has been run asunder by war.
Afghanistan, as we can see from Pakistan intransigence, is no better off. If the allied forces cannot pursue the Taliban into Pakistan, then the Taliban can fight on with impunity. They have safe havens to return to and places to go to treat their wounded and to resupply. American generals can make all the statements they wish about the "progress" of the war, but unless a second front is opened in Pakistan and the war is brought directly to the 20 million Pashtuns there, the chances of the US and NATO succeeding in dominating Afghanistan and imposing on it a Western-style regulatory democracy continue to dwindle.
The Western banking elites have had as their goal a kind of one-world government, complete with a single currency and central bank. To achieve these goals, in our view, the axis has launched a war against Islam – because Islam and its idiosyncratic financial practices stand in the way of the financial domination that the West has in mind.
But in the 21st century, things are not going so well. Even the successes that the elites have had in ruining their own middle classes have started to boomerang, with various forms of widespread protest now taking root in both Europe and America. The wars of domination are not going well either and global economic domination seems to be running into difficulties generally. These trends are important to note from both an investment and familial standpoint. If the elite cannot impose its will in the 21st century as it did in the 20th, the ramifications will be significant, in our humble view.
Generally, the truth-telling of the Internet has undermined many of the fear-based promotions that the elite counted on to continually manipulate the world's population toward global governance. The task continues to grow more difficulty – or seems to. Pakistan, a relatively small country, provides us with yet another example of this trend.