What’s Pakistan’s Secret?

Today’s top headline is a big Pakistan attack on Taliban rebels; Thursday Obama signed a bill tripling US aid to Pakistan, to $7.5B over five years, on the condition of more such attacks.  Sounds promising for Obama’s Afgahn war, where he has doubled our troops, for a record number of troops at war, right?

But Tuesday’s Frontline, on “Obama’s War”, was pessimistic about the Afghan war, and said the  Taliban we fight there have long gotten most support from Pakistan!  Pakistan has also long supported al-Qaeda, and seems to be where the 911 attack money came from.  Pakistan has also been the main cause of nuclear proliferation over the last few decades, arming Iran and North Korea, who tried to arm Syria, and trying to arm Libya.

Most of the worst problems for the US over the last few decades seem to have come from Pakistan, yet the US treats them nice, not like Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, or North Korea – what is their secret?  Yes Pakistan has nukes, but so did Russia and China and we never treated them this nice.   And they don’t have the sort of home political support that let’s Israel get away with so much. What gives?

Here are some supporting quotes.  On Taliban support:

United States is essentially waging a proxy war against its own ally. The Taliban are a proxy of the government of Pakistan. We are an ally of the government of Pakistan. We are fighting the Taliban. … I don’t see any clear evidence that they’re willing to go after the Afghan Taliban

There [are] elements within the Pakistani national security establishment that have traditionally regarded extremists like the Taliban as a tool of international relations, a sort of unconventional counterweight to Indian regional influence.  … They can’t quite bring themselves to let go of using those guys as a tool of foreign policy. So there’s this real disconnect in Pakistani thinking about the Taliban, where they still persist in regarding some Taliban as good and other Taliban as bad, or regarding the Taliban as OK when they stay within the bounds of just attacking India, but not OK when they start attacking something internally to Pakistan.

On Pakistan intent:

The Obama administration must not slip back into letting Pakistan present itself as an aggrieved party whose delicate national sensibilities are unjustly offended by suggestions that its army and intelligence services might be ripping off U.S. aid and covertly encouraging terrorism.   They are doing just that. …. Pakistan spread nuclear technology to Iran and North Korea and continued its support for Taliban and al-Qaeda networks for its own perverted reasons of national security and/or greed — not out of hurt pride.

On nukes:

His efforts made Dr. Khan into a national hero. In 1981, as a tribute, the president of Pakistan, General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, renamed the enrichment plant the A. Q. Khan Research Laboratories. In 2003, IAEA unearthed a nuclear black market with close ties to Pakistan. It was widely believed to have direct involvement of the government of Pakistan. This claim could not be verified due to the refusal of the government of Pakistan to allow IAEA to interview the alleged head of the nuclear black market, who happened to be no other than Dr. Khan. Dr. Khan later confessed to his crimes on national television, bailing out the government by taking full responsibility. He confessed to nuclear proliferation from Pakistan to Iran and North Korea. He was immediately given presidential immunity. … In 2003, Libya admitted that the nuclear weapons-related material including these centrifuges were acquired from Pakistan.

On 911 funding:

CNN and other news outlets reported in September and October 2001 that $100,000 was wired from the United Arab Emirates to lead hijacker Mohammad Atta prior to the attacks, by Ahmed Omar Saeed (Syed) Sheikh, a long time Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence asset.[81] The report, which was later confirmed by CNN, stated that “Atta then distributed the funds to conspirators in Florida…

In addition, sources have said Atta sent thousands of dollars — believed to be excess funds from the operation — back to Syed in the United Arab Emirates in the days before September 11. Syed also is described as a key figure in the funding operation of al-Qaeda” The day after this report was published, the head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, was fired from his position. Indian news outlets reported the FBI was investigating the possibility that Gen. Mahmood Ahmed ordered Saeed Sheikh to send the $100,000 to Atta, while most Western media outlets only reported his connections to the Taliban as the reason for his departure. The Wall Street Journal was one of the few Western news organizations to follow up on the story, citing the Times of India: “US authorities sought [Gen. Mahmood Ahmed’s] removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 [was] wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the instance of General Mahmood.” The 9/11 Commission Report stated that “to date, the US government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks.

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