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There is news that you will be dispatching your top diplomatic and military advisers to Pakistan in the coming weeks, in a bid to further turn up the heat on my country that you have already accused of harbouring terror groups in no uncertain terms. One hears that chief among your grouses is your lament against the ISI and the dire need for reform of this organization.
In plain English sir, you are looking for a scapegoat in Pakistan, an escape-goat in the ISI and escape-routes wherever feasible.
Time for a little pep talk then Mr Trump.
We understand that you are stung by your abject failure in Iraq and the looming near total disaster in Afghanistan, what with the empire now teetering at its outer most edges and your Imperial carpetbaggers out in a frenzied search for a scapegoat. It is perhaps on their urging that you now think in Pakistan you have a scapegoat and in ISI an escape-goat. Neither will prove to be a goat of any kind for you.
There are reasons that I say this.
There is a 3-million strong tribal population, with every Pakhtoon there loaded to the gills with weapons and armed with an honour code as primitive and rigid as the Hindu Kush. Now add to that a million strong nuclear-armed Pakistan army at their back and you would suddenly want to tread very softly in this region. The dispute with these Pakhtoons is an internal one and the Pakistanis know how to deal with each other. While between them this dispute may take years to resolve, resolve it will in the end.
However, your entering into the fray in any way other than you already are will instantly evaporate any ill will that the warring parties have for each other, uniting them in an unreserved hate for your country. Despite the well-established facts of your limitless ruthlessness, as witnessed against the Iraqis and your ability to lay waste to entire regions, they will go for your jugular with a ferocity that will make you forget what you have seen thus far. Please be careful in taking Pakistan for a scapegoat or the FATA for an escape route.
Next, your memory cannot be that short Mr Trump. Let me refresh it for you, however. It was some years back that the CIA was forced to release hundreds of documents, long known within the agency as ‘the family jewels’, after struggling to keep the dirty secrets under wraps for upward of three decades.
Those documents, Mr Trump, proved to be an elaborate record of some of the most outrageous intelligence abuses of the Cold War, including assassination plots against foreign leaders and illegal efforts to spy on Americans including student anti-war activists, Black Power group leaders, Castro sympathizers and Soviet dissidents. The documents revealed that CIA operatives worked closely with local police to gather intelligence against groups planning protests at the presidential conventions in 1972 and that anti-war activists were followed.
So embarrassing were those revelations that the CIA’s own serving director Michael Hayden is on record for having called them as “reminders of some things the CIA should not have done”. He was being mild, of course.
Many of the ventures detailed in those 693 pages, like the intricate attempts by the CIA to enlist Mafia operatives to poison a head of state, should make even you blush to a deeper shade of colour orange. Even decades before 9/11, that blank cheque watershed in whose name now everything is moral and legal, the documents described secret CIA holding cells, plans to eavesdrop on international phone calls of U.S. residents and crooked efforts to root out leaks of classified information to reporters.
Perhaps the most extraordinary operation detailed was a plot to enlist known organized-crime figures to assassinate Castro in the early 1960s. The CIA realized it was dealing with Giancana, an underworld Mafia Don, only after seeing his photo in a most-wanted listing in Parade magazine. Talk of ineptitude Mr Trump.
That much is now a widely known fact. What is not known to many is the fact that so hideous were some of the other secrets that the released records had dozens of pages blacked out by CIA censors. One memo that listed the most hurtful secrets contained in ‘the family jewels’ was missing the first paragraph. A separate memo that was supposed to sum up the ‘unusual activities’ of the CIA’s domestic branch included just three intact paragraphs followed by 17 blank pages. Talk of ‘the need for reform’ Mr Trump.
Trump is treating Pakistan like a scapegoat for America’s failures in Afghanistan.
We do understand that the ISI does need reform but not for the reasons you think Mr Trump. Perhaps it is more for the reason that the ISI should have raised a ‘Mamba alarm’ when Pakistan was going to bed with your country. The ISI miserably failed in predicting for Pakistan the deadly consequences of an alliance with your country during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. It failed to predict the rise of fundamentalism as a direct result of that policy. It failed to tell us that one day Pakistan would be caught between the hammer and the anvil of an unethical American military might from the skies and a bloody radical insurgency raging on the ground. What is more, by supplying the Taliban with nearly 65,000 tons of your weapons per year in those heady days, the ISI actually helped you create, nurture and sustain the very monsters that are now slaughtering Pakistanis at will and who everyone is now finding impossible to exterminate. For those reasons, yes, the ISI does need reform.
But what YOU need to understand, sir, is that it is for Pakistan to decide the when, how and how-much of this reform the ISI needs. And further, it is not the ISI that needs such an urgent reform, its shadowy activities more rumoured than factual, but the CIA whose dark past is an established and indisputable fact.
And now with the CIA’s torture trails firmly established across the globe, the techniques of killing and tormenting further refined, you don’t even suggest a confessional ‘forgive me, Father, for I have sinned,’ for the CIA and for the ISI you recommend ‘reform’? Where have you learned your standards of fairness Mr Trump?
Careful Mr Trump, careful!
About the Author:
Anwaar Hussain is an ex F-16 fighter pilot from Pakistan Air Force. A Masters in Defense and Strategic Studies from Quaid-e-Azam University of Islamabad. He now resides in Canada. He started writing as a hobby some years back and has, since then, published a series of articles in The Pakistan Tribune, The Baltimore Chronicle, Defense Journal and a host of other prestigious publications and web portals. Other than international affairs, Anwaar Hussain has written extensively on religious and political issues that plague Pakistan.The reason for taking up the pen, in his own words, is, “For years I had been watching lies being peddled as truths in the name of God, king or country. I always felt that truth needed no crutches for it has neither a religion nor a nationality. It owes its loyalty only to its own unadulterated self. May the truth be our companion.” He can be contacted at email@example.com