Pakistan and the Taliban Revolution

Drone Attacks: Interviewing the Neighborhood

  The Pakistan government complains publicly that the U.S. has violated its sovereignty each time a drone attack strikes down another handful of terrorists. But by all accounts, Pakistan authorizes, and provides intelligence for, these strikes. The complaint is just for show.

Drone Attacks are extremely difficult to research, but Farhat Taj has done it. She’s a researcher with the Centre for Interdisciplinary Gender Research in Oslo, so you can be pretty sure she’s no right winger, and probably not too pro-U.S. So when she tells us the drone attacks are very popular with the tribes-people of Waziristan, I think you can believe her. It makes sense. If I lived under the Taliban and Al Qaeda, I’m sure I’d be more than a little pleased every time one of those bloody bombers of Mosques, volley ball games and girls schools got blown to pieces. So read her and see if she does not give you a new perspective.

The Pakistani Dictator Flees Pakistan

  Pervez Musharraf, now “the most hated person in the country” has just fled Pakistan. Unfortunately, the U.S. supported him throughout the Bush years earning the hatred of much of Pakistan’s population.

It was reported as early as Oct. 2001 that Musharraf has close links to al Qaeda xlnk.gif, yet in 2006 Bush was hosting him at the White Hose and saying xlnk.gif “He [Masharraf] understands that extremists can be defeated by freedom and democracy and prosperity and better education.” In fact Musharraf protected al Qaeda, strengthened the Taliban, and largely handed education over to religious fanatics.

A Hopeful Change in Pakistan

   The Pakistan population has been pro-Taliban for years, largely because of the ISI—Pakistan’s nefarious “intelligence” service. But in March, the Taliban over-played its hand so dramatically that the population largely turned against them. It looks like the ISI and the Army have also had a change of heart. This is hugely significant for the U.S.

But the change is still fragile, and the largest worry in Pakistan is that the Army will kill so many civilians, destroy so many houses, and take so long that the population will say, “enough, we’ll take a chance on the Taliban.” So far, there a few signs of this happening. But with 2.5 million displaces persons, and tens of thousands living in tent cities in 110 degree weather, things may change. The Taliban organized in such camps after the exodus from Afghanistan in 2001.

The U.S. can do little because its popularity is still low from backing the military dictator Musharraf. So our $200 million in aid for the displaced persons is hugely important, and so is Obama’s recent speech in Cairo.

Poverty and Class Warfare Could Lead to Revolution

  A CLASS revolt that exploits profound fissures between a small group of wealthy landlords and their landless tenants has been engineered by the Taliban to help them advance deep into Pakistan. The strategy cleared a path to power for the Taliban in the Swat Valley, where the government allowed Islamic law to be imposed earlier this month, and it carries broad dangers for the rest of Pakistan, …