جنون أميركي لحذف لبنان من معادلة الإقليم

سبتمبر 16, 2019

د. وفيق إبراهيم

يضغط الأميركيون منذ عشرة أيام تقريباً على لبنان بوسائل مختلفة اقتصادية وسياسية، وأخيراً عسكرية تتفرّع الى آليّتين: تهديدات إسرائيلية تقليدية والعودة الى دبلوماسية التهديد بالأساطيل على الطريقة البريطانيّة القديمة.

لماذا هذا الاستهداف؟ الأميركيون يسيطرون على جزء كبير جداً من السياسة اللبنانية منذ وراثتهم للنفوذ الفرنسي الكبير في لبنان، متصاعداً الى حدود الإمساك الكامل بالدولة اللبنانية وتوزيع آلياتها على قوى الإقليم المنصاعة لهم كالسعودية او المتمردة عليهم كسورية.

لكنهم ابتدأوا بالتراجع مع تصاعد دور حزب الله في مجابهات تحرير الجنوب اللبناني بين 1982 و2000 مروراً بضرب القوات الغربية المتعددة الجنسيات في ثمانينيات القرن الماضي وصولاً إلى وقف الاستباحة الإسرائيلية للبنان في 2006 واحتواء بعض التمرّد الداخلي بالقوة 2006 .

تؤرّخ هذه المراحل الاستثنائيّة لصعود سياسي كبير لحزب الله في السياسة اللبنانية، لم يستثمرها لبناء نفوذ سياسي له في مؤسسات الدولة، بقدر ما استعملها لمنع الاستسلام للنفوذ الأميركي ـ الإسرائيلي وتوفير بناء سياسي داخلي لمبدأ الدفاع عن لبنان في وجه «إسرائيل» والإرهاب. ونجح في مراميه بالتحالف العميق مع التيار الوطني الحر وحركة أمل والمردة والأحزاب القومية والوطنية وبعض الاتجاهات الداخلية التقليدية مؤمّناً غالبية نيابية ووزارية تدافع عن هذه الوجهة.

لم يستحسن الأميركيون هذا التحوّل، ساعين الى تفجيره بأساليب سياسية وأخرى بنشر الفوضى والضغط الاقتصادي، وتوتير صراعات الطوائف بنقلها الى مستوى احتراب فعلي، لكنها آلت الى فشل ذريع، ما أتاح لحزب الله الى جانب دوره الجهادي ضدّ «إسرائيل» في الالتحاق بمعركة حلف المقاومة ضدّ الإرهاب العالمي في سورية، لذا بذل الحزب جهوداً تاريخية في ميادين سورية لمجابهة أعنف محاولة أميركية لتفكيك سورية والعراق وبالتالي إعادة الإمساك بلبنان واليمن وتفجير إيران.

يكفي أنّ الرئيس المصري السيسي اعترف للمرة الأولى باستخدام دولي للإرهاب لتفجير سورية بهدف تفكيك المنطقة، مؤكداً أن لا دور لهذا المشرق من دون سورية، وكاشفاً بأنّ جهات دولية وإقليمية استجلبت هذا الإرهاب ودرّبته وموّلته في قواعد محيطة بسورية لتأمين أهدافها التفجيريّة. وهذا تصريح صاعق من حليف للأميركيين يتهم فيه السعودية وتركيا وقطر بأشكال مباشرة وغير مباشرة بمحاولة تفجير الإقليم، وهذا غير ممكن بالطبع من دون الإذن والرعاية الأميركيين.

هؤلاء لم يكونوا يتوقّعون سحق الإرهاب في ميادين سورية والدور الطليعي لحزب الله في هذه المهمة، بالإضافة الى نجاحه في دحر الإرهاب الداخلي في شرقي لبنان وبيئته الشماليّة والمخيمات ومناطق أخرى، ما أدّى الى تزايد نفوذ حزب الله السياسي بشكل مغاير لصعود القوى اللبنانية على طريقة الاستثمار الاقتصادي والطائفي.

كان الحزب مهتمّاً بتأمين نصاب راجح لفكرة الدفاع عن لبنان، متمكّناً عسكرياً وسياسياً في ما ذهب إليه، وهذا ما أصاب الأميركيين بجنون، فحلفاؤهم مترنّحون من الضعف والإعياء لسقوط ذرائعهم السياسية، والدليل انهم أميركيّو السياسة في مرحلة لم يعد لدى أميركا من مكان إلا «إسرائيل» فقط.

هذه النتائج اللبنانية ـ السورية ازدادت قوة من صمود إيران في وجه أعنف حصار تاريخي تتعرّض له دولة في بقاع العالم، فيما كان المعتقد أنّ هذا الحصار يؤدي الى تدميرها وبالتالي الإمساك بالإقليم بكامله.

هذا التدهور الأميركي المتفاقم دفع بالبيت الأبيض الى معاودة سياسات الاستحواذ على لبنان، لذلك أيّدت هجمات إسرائيلية على الضاحية، لكن ردّ الحزب بقصف أهداف عسكرية في «أفيفيم» الإسرائيلية صعقها ودفعها الى وقف التصعيد، فعاودت أساليب الضغوط الاقتصادية، وأرسلت معاون وزير خارجيتها شينكر الذي ربط أمام مسؤولين لبنانيين بين مفاوضات إسرائيلية لبنانية مباشرة وبين السماح باستثمار الغاز إلى جانب تقليص دور حزب الله في لبنان والإقليم، وتسوية الخلافات الحدودية.

لكنه لم يلقَ تجاوباً، فانكفأ ساخطاً معلناً أنّ حزب الله إرهابي ويجب على الدولة اللبنانية ان تحاربه بكلّ الطرق الممكنة.

أما مساعد وزير الخزانة لتمويل شؤون الإرهاب مارشال بيلينغسلي فقصف لبنان بأسوأ الأوصاف عندما قال انّ مصرف لبنان وحاكمه منزعجان من هيمنة حزب الله على النظام المصرفي، زاعماً انّ إدارته تدقّق في أوضاع كامل المصارف والمؤسسات المالية لكشف مدى توغل حزب الله واستفادته من تفاعلاتها في الأسواق، مهدّداً بأنّ أسماء كثيرة من سياسيين واقتصاديين لبنانيين من طوائف وأعراق مختلفة قد تشملها العقوبات.

بدوره معاون وزير الدفاع الأميركي اتهم إيران وحزب الله بتعطيل الديمقراطية في العالم العربي وهي تهمة مثيرة للضحك والاستهزاء من دول عربية ديكتاتورية تحظى بحماية أميركية لاستبدادها.

وفي إطار استكمال الضغوط، سعى الأميركيون لضخ عشرات اللبنانيين الذين كانوا يتعاملون مع «إسرائيل» في مراحل احتلالها بين 1982 و 2000، وذلك في إطار خطة لإنعاش التراجع السياسي للقوى المحسوبة عليها في السياسة والجيش، ومنهم بالطبع العميل الفاخوري والعشرات الذين دخلوا خلسة ويعملون على تشكيل خلايا في معظم المناطق اللبنانية.

إلا أنّ هذا التصعيد لم يكفِ الأميركيين فعادوا الى أساليب الإقناع بالبوارج الحربية، الطريقة القديمة التي كان يستعملها الأسطول البريطاني للسيطرة على الدول الضعيفة.

فالبارجة الأميركية من الأسطول الخامس التي استقبلت في مرفأ لبناني سياسيين لبنانيين على طريقة الانصياع التاريخية للمستعمر، حاولت أن تضخّ معنويات لحلفاء أميركا في لبنان، ألم يكن أوْلى لها لو ذهبت لنشر معنويات لدى السعوديين بعد قصف مصفاتهم في بقيق وضريح التابعة لشركة أرامكو؟

أما المثير أكثر للهراء فهو التعهّد الهاتفي الذي قال فيه الرئيس الأميركي ترامب لنتنياهو إنه عازم على عقد اتفاقية دفاع مشترك بين بلاده و»إسرائيل»! وذلك لضرب حزب الله مباشرة بواسطة الجيش الأميركي!

تكشف هذه الضغوط المستوى المتفاقم للتراجع الأميركي مقابل الصعود الكبير لحزب الله عسكرياً وسياسياً في الداخل والإقليم بما يكشف صعوبة أيّ استهداف له في أيّ مكان. وهذا مؤشر على استمرار المناعة اللبنانية في وجه مشاريع التفجير الأميركية والإسرائيلية وربما الخليجية أيضاً.

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The End of Terror

May 01, 2019  /  Gilad Atzmon

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By Gilad Atzmon

Three hate crimes: a slaughter in a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, a massacre in Sri Lanka and a shooting in a synagogue in San Diego; what do they have in common? The three attacks fit neatly within the Neocon vision of our emerging dystopia. We are set to hate each other. Conflict, hostility, terror – rivers of blood- keep the immoral interventionist agenda afloat.

But there is a deeper meaning in these recent events and the many others that preceded them. Terror, as we should know by now, is a message. Terror has a lethal rationale which is delivered by means of fear and destruction. Perhaps if we start to be attentive to the message of terror we may find this to be the best strategy to dilute its venom.

Many are convinced that terror must be met with fierce retaliation, an ‘eye for an eye’ is what the Israelites called it in their Old Testament. Thousands of eyes for an eye is how their Israeli ‘offspring’ interpret their religious text. This brutal genocidal approach has now been adopted by Israel’s most subservient English speaking colonies (The USA and Britain). I assume that being vengeful and merciless on a mass scale must be a satisfying experience for some, and exciting for others, but it hardly offers a prospect of a better future let alone the possibility of harmony and reconciliation.

Vindictiveness reduces the victim into the perpetrator of another crime.  That which presents itself as defiance is, in practice, a total surrender to terror. If we really want to eliminate terror we had better learn to listen and even find forgiveness. We better invest our energy in understanding our enemies and attempting to decipher their plight. We must dig into the logus that drives hostility, intolerance, hatred, racism and even genocidal inclinations.  We must ask what is it that which brings about blood thirstiness towards Muslims (Christchurch), What is it that some Muslims hate about us the so called ‘West’ (Sri Lanka)?  The above  also apply to Jews. The people who claim to be subject to suffering, discrimination and hatred throughout their history should be able to wonder why. Unlike the so called progressives who attribute reactionary  ‘phobia’ (homophobia, Islamophobia, Judeophobia etc.) to that which they oppose, I contend that the path towards progress is to search for the rationale.

 To eliminate terror and defuse its poison, we have to reinstate our true Western philosophical ethos. We should seek truth and apply the rule of reason. In the hopeful world I grew up in, hostile debate and crude controversy were a source of inspiration. In the world in which we are living, intellectual polarity has been squashed by a tyranny of correctness. When people are silenced and suppressed  they revert to violence. When people realise they are losing their elementary freedoms they become dangerous to themselves and their surroundings.   If anyone out there is nostalgic about the hope for a better world, act to reinstate Athens in our midst.  Listen to your enemy, love your foe, almost as much as you hate yourself.

If the above sounds familiar or even spiritual it is only because the political is dead in the water. What used to be known as a battle between socialism and capitalism, Left and Right, has reemerged as clash between greed and grace…

My battle for truth and freedom involves some expensive legal services. I hope that you will consider committing to a monthly donation in whatever amount you can give. Regular contributions will enable me to avoid being pushed against a wall and to stay on top of the endless harassment by Zionist operators attempting to silence me.

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Pepe Escobar: Empire of Chaos in Hybrid War Overdrive

SourcePepe Escobar: Empire of Chaos in Hybrid War Overdrive

March 28, 2019

The Trump administration’s foreign policy may be easily deconstructed as a crossover between The Sopranos and late-night comedy, writes Pepe Escobar.

by Pepe Escobar (cross-posted with Consortium News ) by special agreement with the author)

Is this the Age of Anxiety? The Age of Stupidity? The Age of Hybrid War? Or all of the above?

As right populism learns to use algorithms, artificial intelligence (AI) and media convergence, the Empire of Chaos, in parallel, is unleashing all-out hybrid and semiotic war.

Dick Cheney’s Global War on Terror (GWOT) is back, metastasized as a hybrid mongrel.

But GWOT would not be GWOT without a Wild West scarecrow. Enter Hamza bin Laden, son of Osama. On the same day the State Department announced a $1 million bounty on his head, the so- called “UN Security Council IS and Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee” declared Hamza the next al-Qaeda leader.

Since January 2017, Hamza has been a Specially Designated Global Terrorist by the State Department – on par with his deceased Dad, back in the early 2000s. The Beltway intel community “believes” Hamza resides “in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.”

Remember these are the same people who “believed” former Taliban leader Mullah Omar resided in Quetta, Baluchistan, when in fact he was safely ensconced only a few miles away from a massive U.S. military base in Zabul, Afghanistan.

Considering that Jabhat al-Nusra, or al-Qaeda in Syria, for all practical purposes, was defined as no more than “moderate rebels” by the Beltway intel community, it’s safe to infer that new scarecrow Hamza is also a “moderate”. And yet he’s more dangerous than vanished fake Caliph Abu Baqr al-Baghdadi. Talk about a masterful example of culture jamming.

Show Me The Big Picture

A hefty case can be made that the Empire of Chaos currently has no allies; it’s essentially surrounded by an assortment of vassals, puppets and comprador 5thcolumnist elites professing varied degrees of – sometimes reluctant – obedience.

The Trump administration’s foreign policy may be easily deconstructed as a crossover between The Sopranos and late-night comedy – as in the whole episode of designating State Department/CIA regime change, lab experiment Random Dude as President of Venezuela. Legendary cultural critic Walter Benjamin would have called it “the aestheticization of politics,” (turning politics into art), as he did about the Nazis, but this time it’s the Looney Tunes version.

To add to the conceptual confusion, despite countless “an offer you can’t refuse” antics unleashed by psychopaths of the John Bolton and Mike Pompeo variety, there’s this startling nugget. Former Iranian diplomat Amir Moussavi has revealed that Trump himself demanded to visit Tehran, and was duly rebuffed. “Two European states, two Arab countries and one Southeast Asian state” were mediating a series of messages relayed by Trump and his son-in-law Jared “of Arabia” Kushner, according to Moussavi.

Is there a method to this madness? An attempt at a Grand Narrative would go something like this: ISIS/Daesh may have been sidelined – for now; they are not useful anymore, so the U.S. must fight the larger “evil”: Tehran. GWOT has been revived, and though Hamza bin Laden has been designated the new Caliph, GWOT has shifted to Iran.

When we mix this with the recent India-Pakistan scuffle, a wider message emerges. There was absolutely no interest by Prime Minister Imran Kahn, the Pakistani Army and the Pakistani intelligence, ISI, to launch an attack on India in Kashmir. Pakistan was about to run out of money and about to be bolstered by the U.S., via Saudi Arabia with $20 billion and an IMF loan.

At the same time, there were two almost simultaneous terrorist attacks launched from Pakistan – against Iran and against India in mid-February. There’s no smoking gun yet, but these attacks may have been manipulated by a foreign intelligence agency. The Cui Bono riddle is which state would profit immensely from a war between Pakistan and Iran and/or a war between Pakistan and India.

The bottom line: hiding in the shadow of plausible deniability – according to which what we understand as reality is nothing but pure perception – the Empire of Chaos will resort to the chaos of no-holds-barred hybrid war to avoid “losing” the Eurasian heartland.

Show Me How Many Hybrid Plans You Got

What applies to the heartland of course also applies to the backyard.

The case of Venezuela shows that the “all options on the table” scenario has been de facto aborted by Russia, outlined in an astonishing briefing by Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman of the Russian Foreign Ministry, and then subsequently detailed by Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.

Lavrov. (Wikimedia Commons)

Meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj at a crucial RIC (part of BRICS) summit in China,Lavrov said, “Russia keeps a close eye on brazen US attempts to create an artificial pretext for a military intervention in Venezuela… The actual implementation of these threats is pulling in military equipment and training [US] Special Forces.”

Lavrov explained how Washington was engaged in acquiring mortars and portable air defense systems “in an East European country, and mov(ing) them closer to Venezuela by an airline of a regime that is… rather absolutely obedient to Washington in the post-Soviet space.”

The U.S. attempt at regime change in Venezuela has been so far unsuccessful in several ways. Plan A – a classic color revolution -has miserably failed, in part because of a lack of decent local intelligence. Plan B was a soft version of humanitarian imperialism, with a resuscitation of the nefarious, Libya-tested responsibility to protect (R2P); it also failed, especially when the American tale that the Venezuelan government burnt humanitarian aid trucks at the border with Colombia was a lie, exposed by The New York Times, no less.

Plan C was a classic Hybrid War technique: a cyberattack, replete with a revival of Nitro Zeus, which shut down 80 percent of Venezuela’s electricity.

That plan had already been exposed by WikiLeaks, via a 2010 memo by a U.S.-funded, Belgrade-based color revolution scam that helped train self-proclaimed “President” Random Dude, when he was just known as Juan Guaidó. The leaked memo said that attacking the Venezuelan power grid would be a “watershed event” that “would likely have the impact of galvanizing public unrest in a way that no opposition group could ever hope to generate.”

But even that was not enough.

That leaves Plan D – which is essentially to try to starve the Venezuelan population to death via viciously lethal additional sanctions. Sanctioned Syria and sanctioned Iran didn’t collapse. Even boasting myriad comprador elites aggregated in the Lima group, exceptionalists may have to come to grips with the fact that deploying the Monroe doctrine essentially to contain China’s influence in the young 21stcentury is no “cakewalk.”

Plan E—for extreme—would be U.S. military action, which Bolton won’t take off the table.

Show Me the Way to the Next War Game

So where do all these myriad weaponizations of chaos theory leave us? Nowhere, if they don’t follow the money. Local comprador elites must be lavishly rewarded, otherwise you’re stuck in hybrid swamp territory. That was the case in Brazil – and that’s why the most sophisticated hybrid war case history so far has been a success.

In 2013, Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks revealed how the NSA was spying on Brazilian energy giant Petrobras and the Dilma Rousseff government beginning in 2010. Afterwards, a complex, rolling judicial-business-political-financial-media coup ended up reaching its two main objectives; in 2016, with the impeachment of Rousseff, and in 2018, with Lula thrown in jail.

Now comes arguably the juiciest piece of the puzzle. Petrobras was supposed to pay $853 million to the U.S. Department of Justice for not going to trial for crimes it was being accused of in America. But then a dodgy deal was struck according to which the fine will be transferred to a Brazilian fund as long as Petrobras commits to relay confidential information about its businesses to the United States government.

Mattis: Wrote on hybrid war in 2005.

Hybrid war against BRICS member Brazil worked like a charm, but trying it against nuclear superpower Russia is a completely different ball game. U.S. analysts, in another case of culture jamming, even accuse Russia itself of deploying hybrid war – a concept actually invented in the U.S. within a counter-terrorism context; applied during the occupation of Iraq and later metastasized across the color revolution spectrum; and featuring, among others, in an article co-authored by former Pentagon head James “Mad Dog” Mattis in 2005 when he was a mere lieutenant general.

At a recent conference about Russia’s military strategy, Chief of General Staff Gen. Valery Gerasimov stressed that the Russian armed forces must increase both their “classic” and “asymmetrical” potential. In the U.S. this is interpreted as subversion/propaganda hybrid war techniques as applied in Ukraine and in the largely debunked Russia-gate. Instead, Russian strategists refer to these techniques as “complex approach” and “new generation war”.

Santa Monica’s RAND Corporation still sticks to good ol’ hot war scenarios. They have been holding “Red on Blue” war games simulations since 1952 – modeling how the proverbial “existential threats” could use asymmetric strategies. The latest Red on Blue was not exactly swell. RAND analyst David Ochmanek famously said that with Blue representing the current U.S. military potential and Red representing Russia-China in a conventional war, “Blue gets its ass handed to it.”

None of this will convince Empire of Chaos functionary Gen. Joseph Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who recently told a Senate Armed Services Committee that the Pentagon will continue to refuse a “no first use” nuclear strategy. Aspiring Dr. Strangeloves actually believe the U.S. can start a nuclear war and get away with it.

Talk about the Age of Hybrid Stupidity going out with a bang.

Pepe Escobar, a veteran Brazilian journalist, is the correspondent-at-large for Hong Kong-based Asia Times. His latest book is “2030.” Follow him on Facebook.

How The Western Anti-War Movement Became Poisoned Against Pakistan

By Adam Garrie
Source

As has been the case many times in the past, the events of the last two days have demonstrated India’s willingness to risk the consequences of committing acts of aggression against Pakistan, mainly because India remains convinced that Pakistan’s side of the story will never get a fair hearing internationally. As such, whilst Pakistan has produced photos of a downed Indian jet, complete with video confirming the lawful capture of the pilot, in addition to further footage of the pilot drinking tea with a well mannered Pakistani interrogator – there are still some who believe the totally un-evidenced and downright bizarre claims made by India in relation to the events of the past two days.

Clearly, much of the world is starting to see the truth about India’s deceptive military and even more deceptive hybrid military-political campaigns that many in Pakistan have cautioned the world against believing for decades. And yet there is one segment of western political activism that continues to turn a blind eye to the injustices facing Pakistan, whilst automatically sympathising with India. This is the self-proclaimed anti-war movement, whose name is betrayed by the fact that many otherwise consistently anti-war Europeans and North Americans, become unhinged when faced with the prospect of having to condemn India in the context of its hostility against Pakistan.

The root of this problem has comparatively little to do with India and Pakistan’s role in the Cold War rivalries between China and the Soviet Union, but instead has much to do with the events which transpired in Afghanistan between 1978 and 2001.

In 1978, the pro-Soviet People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan overthrow the Republic of Afghanistan ruled by Mohammed Daoud Khan during the Saur Revolution. This triggered an internal backlash against the new communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The indigenous backlash then triggered Kabul calling for the USSR to aid the central government against the uprising, whilst the United States firmly backed the Mujahideen rebels by supplying them with weapons, other material goods and high level combat training.

Ironically, many members of the anti-war movement in the west during the 1980s actually remained neutral or opposed the USSR’s entry into Afghanistan. This is due to the fact that while technically, the USSR was acting on the request of a UN recognised government, the American war in Vietnam was likewise technically at the “request” of the government of South Vietnam – a nation that had strong associations with the UN, without ever attaining full membership (incidentally, no Vietnamese state held a UN seat until 1977, by which time the country was unified).

In spite of these legal nuances, the American war in Vietnam was an unmitigated disaster and the Soviet war in Afghanistan likewise proved to be disastrous. It has only been in the 21st century that the next generation of western anti-war activists have gradually come to wrap themselves in the flag of The Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. This is the case for several crucial reasons.

After the 9/11 attacks in the US, the anti-war movement was struggling to have its voice heard in an America that became hellbent for military revenge against anyone thought to be behind the attacks. Americans wanted revenge as was understandable, but worryingly, they were willing to get their revenge even against those who had nothing to do with 9/11 (if this sounds like India in 2019, it is because the same logic applies).

Desperate to stay relevant in a country that was overwhelmingly pro-war after 9/11, members of the US anti-war movement began to rehabilitate the People’s Republic of Afghanistan because on paper (key term), it stood for everything those accused of committing the 9/11 atrocity opposed. The People’s Republic of Afghanistan had a secular government that was far-left, anti-religious and opposed to the US backed Mujaheddin. As Osama bin Laden was once a leading figure in the Mujahideen, the US anti-war movement finally had an argument that in theory they could use in order to revive the general relevance of the anti-war movement in a pro-war age.  Their argument went as follows: “America helped the Mujahideen in which Osama bin Laden was a leading figure. By contrast, the USSR and the People’s Republic of Afghanistan opposed the Mujahideen and stood for an ideology hated by the Mujahideen. Ergo: America’s support of the Mujahideen led to 9/11 and if the USSR and their communist Afghan allies won the war, there would be no 9/11”.

Although the “logic” employed by such members of the western anti-war movement is simplistic to the point of being a straw man argument, this is actually what many anti-war westerners, as well as many knee-jerk pro-Russian international commentators have said and continue to say when trying to find an ideological/pseudo-strategic link between the events of the 1980s and the post-9/11 anti-war movement. Ironically, modern Russia has welcomed peace talks with the Taliban, whilst perhaps not surprisingly, few in Russia now think that their war in Afghanistan was a good idea and almost no one in modern Russia thinks that the war was properly executed. In this sense, the western anti-war movement sounds a lot more like the old USSR than many scholars and even many policy makers in modern Russia.

Be that as it may, due to the fact that Pakistan was an opponent of People’s Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, many of these same anti-war westerners continue to blame Pakistan for the failure of the supposedly “good” communist Afghan government to beat the Mujahideen. What such people fail to realise is that Pakistan’s support for those opposing the communist regime in Afghanistan had nothing to do with ideology and everything to do with Pakistan’s national survival.

Between 1947 and the present day, literally every Afghan government whether monarchical, republican, communist or theocratic, has refused to recognise Pakistan’s otherwise internationally recognised western border along the Durand Line. As such, Pakistan feared that the revolutionary communist regime next door would act even more vociferously in pursuing Afghanistan’s notorious expansionist tendencies than even previous Afghan regimes. There were several logical reasons which led Pakistan’s leadership to this deduction. First of all, as a country with good relations with the USSR’s main rivals of the time (China and the United States), Pakistan feared that a Soviet victory in Afghanistan would lead an exuberant, emboldened and war hardened Kabul regime to expand its territory at the expense of legally defined Pakistani territory. Secondly, the communist ideology of the Afghanistan after 1978 sought to disguise traditional anti-Pakistan Pashtun ultra-nationalism (aka separatism) in order to create an old fashioned “Greater Pashtunistan” under the guise of “proletarian expansionism”. In this sense, from Pakistan’s perspective, it was better to ally with rebels who supported an Islamic political ideology which in theory would minimise notorious Afghan expansionism aimed at Pakistan, than it would have been to go soft on a secular Kabul regime that was willing to use ethno-nationalism as a means of spreading communism to a Pakistan which had no appetite for becoming a communist state against its will.

As such, Pakistan opposed the communist regime in Afghanistan not only for these practical rather than ideological reasons, but also because domestic terrorists seeking to destroy the Pakistani state were sheltered by communist Kabul, therefore making it clear that Afghanistan was prepared to harbour individuals and groups whose stated goal was the overthrow of state institutions in Pakistan. In this sense, Pakistan was not “in love” with the Mujahideen, but was instead looking to strategically protect itself against a clear threat on what was then, a widely exposed north-western border.

As a Cold War ally of the USSR, India had multiple vested interests in supporting the People’s Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. First of all, India’s relations with Afghanistan have always been centred on New Delhi’s desire to gain leverage against Pakistan through the use of hybrid threats originating from or being sheltered on Afghan soil. Secondly, as in the 1980s Afghanistan shared a border with the USSR, a grand Soviet, India, Afghanistan alliance could have helped to economically isolate Pakistan in an age before Pakistan’s all-weather friend China became the economic superpower that it is today. As such, the idea of a northern CPEC lifeline for Pakistan in the 1980s, would have been virtually unimaginable.

And yet, these deeply important details seem to be lost on a western anti-war movement that especially since 9/11, has partly internalised the western far-right and Israel’s Islamophobia. In doing so, many in the western anti-war movement have reached the simplistic conclusion that “secular terrorists and murderous secular regimes are automatically good, whilst anything Islamic is automatically a reactionary and pro-terrorism”.

Whilst this shift in the western anti-war movement towards secular supremacy aimed at Islamic movements or governments with Islamic (particularly Sunni Islamic) characteristics was a phenomenon based on the west’s own post-9/11 mass hysteria, it had the effect of helping India to revive its own seemingly dead Cold War narrative which claims that “secular leftists of the world and Hindus of the world must unite against CIA back Sunni Muslim extremists”. Forgetting the fact that as the 21st century moved on, India grew closer to the US, further from Russia and continues to maintain hostility against China – this narrative continues to poison many otherwise dutiful anti-war westerners against Pakistan.

This is the case because based on their total misreading of events in Afghanistan in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s, far too many western anti-war activists think that there is in fact an unbroken alliance of Mujahideen style groups, modern Pakistan and the CIA and that this alliance can only be counterbalanced by a mythical alliance that includes “sometimes Hindu/sometimes secular India”, a Russia that the western left imagines to still be the old USSR and any country in western Eurasia (Syria and Iran in particular) that has dispute with actual Sunni extremists (mainly Daesh) who happen to have nothing to do with Pakistan.

The fact of the matter is that a mixture of the USSR’s rehabilitation among the western far-left, a gross misunderstanding of Pakistan’s position in the 1980s and Indian propaganda that is aimed at both the western far-right and simultaneously at the ultra-secular western far-left, has poisoned the anti-war movement against Pakistan. This is all the more reason why Pakistan needs a 24/7 news channel to help dispel these canards.

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