The fact: US Aircraft from Afghanistan attacked Pakistan and killed 18 people.
The initial reaction: Lieutenant-Colonel Jerry O’Hara, a US military spokesman in Afghanistan, said there were no reports of US forces operating in the Damadola area. Major-General Shaukat Sultan, the military spokesman, said he did not know the cause of the blasts, but said: "People heard explosions and as a result there were a number of casualties. My information is that 11 to 14 people have been killed."
The spin: CNN quoted sources saying the CIA ordered Friday’s strike after receiving intelligence information that al-Zawahiri was in a village near the border with Afghanistan. ABC News quoted Pakistani military sources as saying that five of those killed were "high-level" al-Qaida figures.
The analysis: The above mentioned fact, the initial reactions and the spin on the events put within 24 hours give rise to a number of questions and confirm many earlier conclusions.
The first question is: Where was Lieutenant-Colonel Jerry O’Hara and company sleeping when the attack was being carried out? Capturing Osama, Zawahiri and Mullah Umar “dead or alive” was the primary justification for this war of aggression on Afghanistan. How was the January 13 mission carried out in such a secrecy that high ranking officials of neither of the allies–”Pakistan and the United States–”were in picture? Yet CNN and ABC News confirmed within hours that the mission was for eliminating “high value” figures.
The age of falsehood seems to be coming to an end because any more lies simply expose the earlier lies and confirm the malicious intentions of the religiously motivated totalitarians in the United States, running the show on political, media, academic and military fronts.
If we quickly go back to March 2004, Colin Powell unveiled the plan to classify Pakistan as a “major non-NATO ally” and refrained from publicly criticizing Musharraf’s handling of the controversy over Abdul Qadeer Khan. In a reciprocal move, Pakistan’s military dictator had to send tens of thousands of troops to occupy South Waziristan, and claim the surrounding of a “high-value target” from Al-Qaeda. Many lives have been lost since then but the “high-value-target” still remains one of the post September 11, 2001 mysteries.
The impossibility of the US forces missing the “high value targets” since 9/11 is evident from the London Times November 18, 2001 story in which it describes effectiveness of Predator spy planes, capable of staying aloft for 24 hours on station, and JSTARS surveillance planes, equipped with radar that can monitor ground movements across a vast area. It is absolutely impossible that Osama, Zawahiri and others would escape the the Predators, providing live television pictures to control rooms at the US Central Command in Tampa, Florida for the past four years.
This brings us to the conclusion that the high value target is actually Pakistan. Osama and company will be paraded on the television screens until nuclear Pakistan is fully neutralized. It is the same game that is being played to neutralize Iran. The modus operandi is different because of some key factors, such as a) Pakistan’s usefulness in the US aggression and occupation of Afghanistan; b) Pakistan having nuclear arms and Pakistan under the indirect occupation of its armed forces, doing everything for Washington in the most obedient manner possible.
The purpose for lying about a “high value target” in tribal areas is just like the US claims about Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. The objective is to gradually gain control over Pakistani air space on the pattern of the illegal no-fly-zones over Iraq and to use Pakistani forces for a war on Pakistan–”for invasion, occupation, massacres, home demolitions and human right abuses–”like any other occupation army. The occupation of South Waziristan was almost like invading another nation. This is the physical aspect of the grand project aimed at promoting the American version of Islam and eliminating all possible sources of future resistance.
In 2004, well before Musharraf’s declaration of a “high value target,” the US had forced Pakistan to take all the necessary steps for a successful operation in areas which might produce a future Pakistani Taliban that could potentially launch a resistance against a direct US occupation of Pakistan. Stephen Cohen, writing in Washington Quarterly, warned that Islam “may now be the vehicle for Pashtun nationalism.” He reflected the fear that dwells in the heart of many Islamophobes that Pashtun nationalism might align with “Islamic radicalism.” In that eventuality he fears the puppet “regime in Kabul and the integrity of Pakistan could be threatened.”
Pakistan’s ideological demise is by now a universally accepted reality. But that is not sufficient to pacify the anti-Islam ideologues. Besides its ideological demise, all factors and structures that keep a state intact from within have either given up altogether or are quickly collapsing. Pakistan is presently at the mercy of foreign forces. These factors coupled with its nuclear bombs have made it a high value target. The strategic approach demands that Pakistan should not be treated like Afghanistan and Iraq.
The forces that keep Pakistan alive are the very forces planning its gradual downfall. They are sustaining it only to achieve specific objectives. The most strategic of these objectives is converting 162 million people to the American version of “moderate Islam.” The more the US pounds its supine leadership politically and its people militarily, the easy it is for it to make them submit to every demand from Washington: from changing school curriculum, to eliminating religious institutions, to engaging it in the aggressive designs against Iran.
Scanning reports of the embedded media and think thanks in the US clearly shows how Pakistan is presented as a threat, larger than the inflated threat of the Taliban’s government at its peak. Pounding this target in different ways is a must. Musharraf once said, Pakistan is next after Iraq.
Addressing a meeting of businessmen and industrialists in Lahore on January 18, 2003, Musharraf said it was being speculated that Pakistan would become the target of “western forces” after Iraq crisis and there were chances of such an eventuality. Musharraf was quoted as saying by The News daily (January 19, 2003): “We will have to work on our own to stave off the danger. Nobody will come to our rescue.” The more he tries to avoid the US aggression in a disgraceful manner, the more disgrace is becoming a destiny for Pakistan.
Notes:. Al-Jazeera.Net report, “18 killed in Pakistan air strike,” Friday 13 January 2006, 13:11 Makka Time, 10:11 GMT URL: http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/4F745CF1-DDEB-4707-B7AE-567F6B7EDA54.htm . Ibid. Al-Jazeera Report. January 13, 2006 . Al-Jazeera.Net Report, “US targets al-Zawahiri in Pakistan,” Saturday 14 January 2006, 12:25 Makka Time, 9:25 GMT URL: http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/3BB59B7D-28A6-4B96-B220-63B5C4005B9D.htm . Stephen Grey, “Death of Bin Laden’s deputy: How the US killed Al-Qaeda leaders by remote control,” The London Times, November 18, 2001 URL: http://www.sweetliberty.org/issues/war/remote.htm . Cohen, Stephen Philip. “The Jihadist Threat to Pakistan,” The Washington Quarterly, Summer 2003 page 14. . Ibid., Stephen Cohen, page 22
The author’s latest book, “The Musharraf Factor: Leading Pakistan to Inevitable Demise,” explains in detail the factors that have made Pakistan the high value target.