To the casual observer General Pervez Musharraf has played a deft diplomatic game since seizing power via a military coup in 1999. Whilst condemned at the time by the USA, albeit not with the same fervour that they have condemned many others, the Bush presidency has been more than happy to allow Musharraf to remain in power whilst he plays their tune and Musharraf has duly obliged, as a result no criticism has been levied as to Musharraf’s failure to step down as the country’s President in January 2005 as he had promised months earlier. For the US it really has been a better the devil you know, Musharraf is not from the usual Punjabi stock and whilst a muslim he is considerably more inclined to secular rule than any potential sucessor.

Musharraf has played a risky but personally effective strategy in preventing the US army from much operations within his territory whilst at the same time retaining the semblance of being a ‘vital ally’ in the US’s ‘war on terrorism.’ This is a neat trick and there are many who have sought to play this double agent strategy against the US and failed, just ask the Taliban, once great friends of the US. Indeed yes, the US is not so bothered about imposed Sharia law in countries through which the lucrative Caspian gas pipeline is being built, not bothered that is until the Taliban started having a problem with US T’s & C’s and then miraculously the Americans feign amazement at their being Al Queda training grounds in Afghanistan – you’d think they’d remember them since they helped build and fund them of course! When you are the US though you don’t let a messy little thing like the truth stop you. Quite the contrary, you go blazing into the country and replace the government with a ‘safe pair of hands’ in the case of Afghanistan it was former Unocal advisor* Hamid Karzai (*Le Monde 9/12/01) who was entrusted with the ball.

To ensure diversity in the fossil fuels department the US decided to pick on another former ally in the form of Saddam Hussein, the reasons for the Iraq attack were numerous: first, foremost and most obvious was the safeguarding of some cheap oil in the wake of potential difficulties in the attempted removal of Hugo Chavez from Venezuela, second was the continuation of a job, the ‘sins of the father’ if you like. Sources have shown that Bush Jnr was looking for whatever excuse to change the regime in Baghdad and having failed to pin any Al Queda link on the Iraqi leader and obviously being unable to accuse him of Islamic fundamentalism they decided a bit of Jackanory ought to sort the issue. So armed no doubt with the receipts of the chemical weapons agents from transactions at the time when Saddam was welcome to bomb and gas the shite out of the Iranians, the US decided that the evidence was unclear that he had used up his chemical arsenal on the Kurds and therefore took a gamble. The British, always happy to oblige in an obedient dog sort of way, made the mistake many dogs do of being a little too exuberant and completely fabricated a claim that the weapons, which didn’t exist, could be fired on British troops who weren’t there in 45 minutes. Even the US government decided not to use this one, which shows just how ludicrous a claim it was because the US themselves in their time have invented some fair old shit to suit their ends. Another reason it was important to go into Iraq was that the failure to find Osama Bin Laden was all well and good, after all one didn’t want to capture him because then the world would be bereft of a bad guy for the Keystone cops to track down, but it made the US look bad, so they wanted to have their cake and eat it. Perfect plan, they thought, let’s hunt down a geezer who isn’t even on the run, we can’t lose, and into the bargain there’s a country to destroy and then rebuild again, so the US defence industry is quids in, the military is occupied for a while, the country rallies round for a good war shortly before an election and then the contracting companies come in and rebuild everything and they’re quids in too. Oh, and there’s the oil reserves, that’ll enable us to keep the Gas station prices down as well as keep our supply going if that left-wing spic Chavez can’t be bumped off.

And it all pans out perfectly, exit strategy, what exit strategy? Ever feel you’ve been had?

Now the US has a problem, it hasn’t bombed anyone for a while and erstwhile target Iran may possibly have the capability to bite back a little harder than hitherto anticipated. North Korea is out of the question because they’d think nothing of nuking the shit out of the Eastern seaboard. So Bush decides if in doubt and the Generals are getting restless bomb a ~stan, after all it worked last time and if a country is a ~stan it must be full of darkies and ay-rabs not forgetting some of the black stuff. Ally, hell what does that matter, after all the US invaded British sovereign protectorate Grenada back in 1982 and they got away with that.

So Pakistan gets bombed because apparently there might have been a baddie there. Staggeringly there is no outcry in the West, The Independent has only just reported it today (Sunday) here, the Mirror devoted a mere 2 paragraphs to it, dwarfed by a large advertisement for gambling in the same column here whilst The Guardian remains entirely silent as unsurprisingly does The Sun. The BBC does run an article about it here but curiously it is listed in the South Asia section rather than the Middle East section.

Ayman al-Zawahiri, the man on the hit-list is profiled, but the actual dead all 18 of them are just more anonymous collateral damage. What is known of them or the families they leave behind, who is accountable for this? In spite of this the newspapers prefer to continue to talk about whether the Education Secretary has lost the plot or stirring up fervour in Bethnal Green amongst George Galloway’s constituents desperately attempting to interview someone who’ll say he isn’t doing his job on account of Celebrity Big Brother. One cannot blame George Galloway for his having relegated the Pakistan story to the inside pages though many will seek to try, were it not George it would unquestionably have been something and someone else. After all what constitutes news in this day and age is nothing more than the informational equivalent of a rusk designed to taste sweet and give your teeth something to do so as not to bite into anything dangerous!

What interests me is if US Intelligence is anything more than an oxymoron what good do they feel they have actually done. The CIA have failed to kill the person they were allegedly after, however they have undoubtedly added further fuel to the detractors of Musharraf’s decision to support US action of which there are many. Is it therefore US policy to galvanise popular opinion against any support for US military action? I thought that was our job on the left, I feel strangely redundant now as if the rug has been pulled from under me!

Song Of The Day ~ Garbage – The Trick Is To Keep Breathing

Original Comments:

Pimme made this comment,
Well, our government’s own stupidity brought on that cause-and-effect. The Liberals don’t have to try too hard anymore to convince the population that Bush screwed up bigtime!
comment added :: 15th January 2006, 03:12 GMT+01 ::
jamal made this comment,
A good interpretation of events. I think Musharraf could have avoided this if he had not bowed to USA initially.
comment added :: 15th January 2006, 21:36 GMT+01 ::
John made this comment,
I was amazed at the lack of press coverage on this story. Apparently a CIA ‘drone’ dropped the bomb. An unmanned aircraft ? One bomb ? Seems a bit restrained for the Americans. Unfortunately they got their usual result…dead civilians.
comment added :: 16th January 2006, 13:27 GMT+01 ::