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American Democracy on Trial: Trump vs. Biden by Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

The Times

Wednesday, January 6, 2021 6:56:05 PM

World

Tue Jan 5, 2021

American Democracy on Trial: Trump vs. Biden

  • Written by Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

President Trump’s Fault lines and Delusional Concept of Power

America is entrenched in deep political crises of multiple dimensions. The working of political institutions, politicians, human character, morals and responsibility signal rituals of evil eye paradigms and a future of miseries of innumerable multitudes. The snapshot of American democracy and a rethinking moment in time appears shrouded by unknown purpose of catastrophic political consequences. Aftermath of the presidential election and an opportunity for great transformation to a peaceful change looks unpredictable between the end of the old delusional concept of power and the beginning of the new. Tonight (January 3, 2021), the CNN is playing an hour long audio tape of President Trump’s conversation with Brad Farrensperger (Georgia Secretary of State) asking: “ I just want 11,780 votes …one more vote” to victory and “find” votes to “tilt the 2020 election” and you can “recalculate” the election. Carl Bernstein and other US media analysts demand immediate resignation of Trump and interpret it as a political conspiracy to invalidate the Joe Biden presidential election. Others call it a “bomb shell” and a crime against American democracy just as it was the “Watergate” planned by Nixon. President Trump claims victory in other states and again calls it a “stolen election” from his candidacy – a highly contentious image of political time left at the White House. It seems that love of power is at the heart of incomprehensible claims of dreadful mystery. This formidable evidence could prolong the systematic and peaceful transfer of power as a destabilization factor in American modern history. In an endless self-repeating false rhetoric, the refutation of Biden presidential confirmation at the Senate on January 6, could lead to widespread public outrage and unrest in time and space unheard of in contemporary American politics.

Brad Farrensperger sounds unwilling in audio to accord any substance to Trump and his illogical demand. He tries to clarify the election authentication process and its legitimate outcome in favor of Joe Biden- the President Elect. The 2020 American Presidential election should have been a springboard for planned peaceful transfer of power and political change for future-making. Despite legal authentication of the election outcomes and declaration of Joe-Biden, the President Elect, Mr. Trump continues to search for morally and intellectually forbidden vicious tactics to undermine the US systems of democratic norms. The road to egoistic political hell is paved with good intentions without any reality. Assumingly, no American court or tribunal could prosecute political wickedness and obsessed crimes against democracy. If all goes to favor the poisonous politics of the few and 140 coerced GOP Republicans by Donald Trump will challenge the public verdict to oppose the Biden -President Elect confirmation on January 6 at the US Senate confirmation. It could be interpreted as a hybrid political culture of cataclysmic end in modern history.

Global Community Watching the American Political Quagmire

The world will watch with alarmed curiosity – how America and its acclaimed liberal democracy are vulnerable to unthinkable change and unpredictability for the future generations. It would affirm that US textbooks on a working democracy are incomprehensible to the “Common Sense” and rational understanding. There appears to be “No Goodwill” active political bridge builders in current extreme American emotional and intellectual decadent upsurge. Those invested with public trust are far from any logical pursuit to speak out truthfully any bipartisan political language of the time. Joe Biden and the Democratic Party appear mature, resilient, intellectual and morally conscious and self-disciplined without erratic behavior to ensure that American systems of political governance should work for the good of WE, the People of America. It could be a political crime to dislodge Joe Biden from assuming the presidency on January 20th, 2021. The Republican leadership under Trump appears delusional and intellectually exhausted and making conflicting statements to assert their own verdict of “fraudulent election” when all the 50 states and territories have confirmed the winner – Joe Biden as President Elect. President Trump failure is more of a blindfolded person leading the blinds as there is always inconsistency in politically delusional adventures.

What is Next out of American Political Chaos?

America is in desperate need of moral and intellectual leadership. In situations of adversity and crises, leaders represent self-confidence and optimism for change, not egoistic agenda and belligerent outbursts as the nuisance of individualistic political indoctrination. President Trump is pursuing an unsurpassably intense political conspiracy to degenerate the present and future of American political governance. Trump is a warrior without any characteristics of true wisdom and political vision.

Comforting the major paradoxes of history as Arnold Toynbee (A Study of History) described warriors as dreamers devoid of moral and intellectual imagination when they come close to stagnation they jump to irrational outbursts and conclusions about the facts of life. Wrong people, glued to wrong thinking, do the wrong things without any rational sense of time, people’s interest and history. Trump failed to see the interests of the America people and global community to a peaceful approach to conflict management through dialogue and non-rhetoric belligerent statements. Naïve egoism and one-sided complacency to individualistic interest cannot further the cause of peace within America.

Biden and his team would urgently need rethinking and men of ideas and creative strategies to undo the harm and distrust that fractured the American political stability. The new administration, if installed on January 20th, should articulate a Plan enriched with wisdom, vision and forbearance to pursue political, moral and intellectual pursuits for change. Would Biden and his team give priorities to dogmatic concepts of power and exploitation of truth or the forgotten – We, the People? In a recent article: “America at Crossroads: Presidential Election and the Clash of Democracy” (Uncommon Thought Journal, USA: 12.14.2020), this author envisaged the following agenda for Biden and team to take urgent action: https://www.uncommonthought.com/mtblog/archives/2020/12/14/america-at-the-crossroads-the-presidential-election-and-the-clash-of-democracy.php

  1. Plan, organize and set your strategic priorities in writing – like the statement of top objectives and monitor and achieve success by doing the best. The WHO, Global Warming ( a time bomb in waiting) Climate Summit and Global mankind is waiting for you and so are the neglected people targeted victims of colors, ethnicity and creed- all leading to more man-made disasters.

  2. The COVID-19 Pandemic is a critical issue and a priority to be dealt with cautiously and scientifically for the good of the masses.

  3. Mankind looks for Hope, Unity, Peace and Co-existence amongst the divergent cultures and nations of the world. You take initiatives to bridge gaps between cultures and civilizations, including Russia, China, the Muslim world and others abhorred and hated by Trump presidency. If Immanuel Kant’s ‘Perpetual Peace’ was taken seriously, today’s America and Europe would have been at peace, not wars within themselves and with the global community.

  4. Trump lacked imagination and visionary foresight and neglected advice and reasoning in all official endeavors. He opted for transgressors, killers and morally corrupt dictators, kings and princesses across the globe. You Mr. President (elect) will have the opportunity and time to take corrective actions to enhance human equality, human rights – be it in America’s Black Life Matter, Kashmir, Palestine, Myanmar-Burma, China or elsewhere and take initiative to legislate changes to ensure participation of the indigenous, black and people of colors as equal citizens in American political systems.

  5. Your Chief Justice will administer the official oath in the name of God –The Beneficent – The Merciful – the Creator of the World – Who created the human being from a living sperm and sustained life on Earth – and you will perform the art of leading mankind as being part of mankind on a living Universe and Earth as we are accountable for all of our commitments and pursuits.

  6. Be a peacemaker, not a warmonger as there is much evil and much good in the creed of human optimism. True leaders create new leaders and always listen and accept readily intelligent advice from people of knowledge and wisdom. Every beginning has its end as America is at the conclusion of an unpredictable age, not the end of world. Your vision and leadership initiatives will reframe the historic time for a progressive and changing America for the best of people and humanity.

 

Dr. Mahboob A. Khawaja specializes in international affairs-global security, peace and conflict resolution with keen interests in Islamic-Western comparative cultures and civilizations, and author of several publications including the latest: One Humanity and the Remaking of Global Peace, Security and Conflict Resolution. Lambert Academic Publications, Germany, 12/2020

 

 

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America at Crossroads: Presidential Election and the Clash of Democracy by Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

America at Crossroads: Presidential Election and the Clash of Democracy

by

Mahboob A. Khawaja, PhD.

 

 

 

We have let the government’s evil-doing, its abuses, power grabs, brutality, meanness, inhumanity, immorality, greed, corruption, debauchery and tyranny go on for too long. We are approaching a reckoning. This is the point, as the poet W. B. Yeats warned, when things fall apart and anarchy is loosed upon the world.” John W. Whitehead “Monsters with Human Faces: The Tyranny of the Police State Disguised as Law-and-Order.” Information Clearing House: 7/25/2019 (Quoted by Mahboob A. Khawaja, “Democracy of Inhumanity and We, the People of Global Consciousness”. Information Clearing House: 1/01/2020).

Trump’s Absolutism and the Clash of Democracy

President Trump embarked on deceitful triumphalism after a fair and free outcome of the 2020 Presidential election. While denying the facts and enlarging the scope of hype, false rhetoric and wickedness to claim a political win utterly divorced from the prevalent facts on America’s – We, the People landscape. Enticing questionable stance on the results of the election and constantly blaming the Democrat Party and Joe Bidden –President-Elect as the unlawful and fraudulent winner of the election. President Trump’s domestic spoilers are few and those 106 GOP House Republican supporting the Texas Lawsuit to nullify the results of four US states elections brought a slap to their expectations being rejected today by the Supreme Court. President Trump failed miserably to understand the vitality of an effective leader to console the masses in situations of unusual crises, to know his own strengths and weaknesses and to analyze the wisdom of people around him conducting the governing circle. Intelligent and conscientious leaders unite masses in crisis but Trump is focused on dividing and driving the American people to violence and unpredictable political chaos. The insane egoism that brought downfall of so many leaders in human history. This author recently observed (“American Presidential Election and Democracy Look for Change, Moral and Intellectual Leadership.” 11/2020: https://www.uncommonthought.com/mtblog/archives/2020/11/19/american-presidential-election-and-democracy-look-for-change-moral-and-intellectual-leadership.php

https://www.pravdareport.com/opinion/145315-presidential_election/

Wickedness and piety cannot be combined in one human character. Trump inflicted disharmony and racial discrimination amongst the black and indigenous and colored population…….There is always inconsistency in a delusional mind and so is Trump paranoid and vengeful who has incapacitated the in-born faculties of American lifelines to be a morally and intellectually crippled and more of a besieged nation in its conduct of basic tenets of the American liberty, justice and democracy. This was not accidental but a planned scheme of things although unknown in its short-long terms consequences over its ability to cope with the change phenomenon for a sustainable future. America under Trump became an insane – a victim of its own obsession with power and fearful of its future.

To glance ahead, America and its claim to a working democracy will haunt future generations with suspicion and extended discard. Trump and his coercive puppies could not think of America as part of global community except their own fantasies, phobias, prejudice, policies, practices and preferences to Israel and Netanyahu and nothing else for the pandemic entrenched people of America. History will tell a time that Trump plagued the body of politics with faulty misinterpretation of the election and outrageous futuristic hypotheses leading to nowhere in a civilized society. The sudden and inexplicable democratic plunge into self-geared wickedness must be catastrophic for the future generations. What happens in America, affects the global culture of human thoughts, freedom and justice. President Trump lacking the capacity of wisdom cannot control his feelings of being a misfit to hold that office. American masses are caught in a storm of ugly confrontational democracy as they appear unenlightened and unprepared to cope with its aftermath. Time is critical for American short- and long terms political culpability to sort out a sustainable political future. The logic of reason shall call for a smooth transfer of power to Joe Bidden-President Elect on January 20, 2021. But American self-geared pride and prejudice could change many events into defying assertions of working democracy.

In Search of Vaccine and Cure for the COVID-19 Pandemic

The US media highlights the COVID-19 Pandemic surge – more than 16 million cases of infection, and more that 300K deaths and 3K daily pandemic carnage which could have been averted or partly cured if there was a responsible federal administration thoughtful of – We, the People. Could there be a revulsion against the capitalist democracy in-waiting to take its shape and form once Trump and his supporters submit to the will of the people? Apparently, the vaccine against Covid-19 is ready to be distributed but one must be cautious not to imagine a magic cure in days or weeks or if the vaccine will do the job as it is claimed to be by the manufacturers both in American and Germany.

 

Covid-19 is a global pandemic and its remedial approach should have organized global sharing and pooling of knowledge-based scientific resources all across the world. We are One Humanity – natural disasters and fatalities know not any borders, flags and nationalities but surge like wildfire as being witnessed in the COVID-19 pandemic worldwide. Not so, American and the EU still buried in the past would not consider Russian Covid-19 vaccine already prepared and administered or Chinese vaccine because they are manufactured by the politically opposing entities. Again political absolutism heightens animosity and hatred rather than human understanding and cooperation for a precious cause of saving the lives on Earth. To save the life of one human being is to safeguard the whole of humanity. We are all born equal One Humanity:- the Divine Message of Al-Qur’an states it clearly:

“Proclaim in the name of thy Lord and Cherisher, Who created,

Created man (human being) out of a (mere) clot of congealed blood,

Proclaim! And thy Lord is Most Bountiful, He Who taught (the use of) the Pen,

Taught man (human being) that which he knew not.”

It is sheer ignorance and a human tragedy to highlight the political differences when mankind is in urgent need of a viable cure for the Covid-19 pandemic. Politicians are not the medical experts to authoritatively speak for scientific reasoning. Most often medical practitioners prescribe medication on experimental basis, often not certain about the ultimate impact. The masses across the globe are fearful and losing faith on political leaders leading medical propagation of various vaccines for human consumption. It seems illogical to expect sober, judicious and reasonable undertaking when politicians are indulged in abusing truth and honesty in their behavior. If human life can be deceived and cheapened in America and across the globe, one wonders how to evaluate the importance of human rights, freedom and justice in any viable context. Joe Bidden and some of his colleagues appear to be rational, enlightened and self-disciplined folks to assume the next governance of world’s powerful Government. He promised to vaccinate 100M Americans during the first 100 days of his presidency – a planned and rational optimism for change and to restore normalcy for the future. Destiny and future-making are always timeless and constantly moving phenomenon as we look beyond the obvious critical horizon of human anxiety and sufferings to come.

Could America under Joe Bidden Presidency Rejoin the Global Community as an Equal Partner for Peace and Harmony?

World affairs are a complex discipline and often require serious and impartial mindset to see the issues objectively, rationally and dispassionately. America is in desperate need of a navigational change. Past is not dead, but living to transform events and developments into new shape and form for the good of the people. Past is a living force to carve out a formidable and sustainable future. America needs a new message of democratic principles, racial equality and justice, and values which are observed and honored across the board. “We, the People” – the voice of Reason and People enshrined in the American Constitution suggest the following Agenda to Joe Bidden – President Elect for Action:

  1. Be the leader who is open to listening and learning and with a spirit to engage with the masses across America and the world as you claim to be and listen to voices of REASON, even to the dull and ignorant – they all have a story to tell.
  2. Plan, organize and set your strategic priorities in writing – like the statement of top objectives and monitor and achieve success by doing the best. The WHO, Global Warming ( a time bomb in waiting) Climate Summit and Global mankind is waiting for you and so are the neglected people targeted victims of colors, ethnicity and creed- all leading to more man-made disasters.
  3. The COVID-19 Pandemic is a critical issue and a priority to be dealt with cautiously and scientifically for the good of the masses.
  4. Mankind looks for Hope, Unity, Peace and co-existence amongst the divergent cultures and nations of the world. You take initiatives to bridge gaps between cultures and civilizations, including Russia, China, the Muslim world and others abhorred and hated by Trump presidency. If Immanuel Kant’s ‘Perpetual Peace’ was taken seriously, today’s America and Europe would have been at peace, not wars within themselves and with the global community.
  5. Trump lacked imagination and visionary foresight and neglected advice and reasoning in all official endeavors. He opted for transgressors, killers and morally corrupt dictators, kings and princesses across the globe. You Mr. President (elect) will have the opportunity and time to take corrective actions to enhance human equality, human rights – be it in America’s Black Life Matter, Kashmir, Palestine, Myanmar-Burma, China or elsewhere and take initiative to legislate changes to ensure participation of the indigenous, black and people of colors as equal citizens in American political systems.
  6. Your Chief Justice will administer your oath in the name of God –The Beneficent – The Merciful – the Creator of the World – Who created the human being from a living sperm and sustained life on Earth – and you will perform the art of leading mankind as being part of mankind on a living Universe and Earth as we are accountable for all of our commitments and pursuits.
  7. Be a peacemaker, not a warmonger as there is much evil and much good in the creed of human optimism. True leaders create new leaders and always listen and accept readily intelligent advice from people of knowledge and wisdom. Every beginning has its end as America is at the conclusion of an unpredictable age, not the end of world. Your vision and leadership initiatives will reframe the historic time for a progressive and changing America for the best of people and humanity.

 

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The 2020 Election Bamboozle: We Are All Victims of the Deep State’s Con Game

Question Everything!

The 2020 Election Bamboozle:
We Are All Victims of the Deep State’s Con Game

By John W. Whitehead

“We’re run by the Pentagon, we’re run by Madison Avenue, we’re run by television, and as long as we accept those things and don’t revolt we’ll have to go along with the stream to the eventual avalanche…. As long as we go out and buy stuff, we’re at their mercy… We all live in a little Village. Your Village may be different from other people’s Villages, but we are all prisoners.” –  Patrick McGoohan

October 13, 2020
This is not an election.
This is a con game, a scam, a grift, a hustle, a bunko, a swindle, a flimflam, a gaffle, and a bamboozle.

In this carefully choreographed scheme to strip the American citizenry of our power and our rights, “we the people” are nothing more than marks, suckers, stooges, mugs, rubes, or gulls.

We are victims of the Deep State’s confidence game.

Every confidence game has six essential stages: 1) the foundation to lay the groundwork for the illusion; 2) the approach whereby the victim is contacted; 3) the build-up to make the victim feel like they’ve got a vested interest in the outcome; 4) the corroboration (aided by third-party conspirators) to legitimize that the scammers are, in fact, on the up-and-up; 5) the pay-off, in which the victim gets to experience some small early “wins”; and 6) the “hurrah”— a sudden manufactured crisis or change of events that creates a sense of urgency.  

In this particular con game, every candidate dangled before us as some form of political savior—including Donald Trump and Joe Biden—is part of a long-running, elaborate scam intended to persuade us that, despite all appearances to the contrary, we live in a constitutional republic.

In this way, the voters are the dupes, the candidates are the shills, and as usual, it’s the Deep State rigging the outcome.

Terrorist attacks, pandemics, civil unrest: these are all manipulated crises that add to the sense of urgency and help us feel invested in the outcome of the various elections, but it doesn’t change much in the long term.

No matter who wins this election, we’ll all still be prisoners of the Deep State.

We just haven’t learned to recognize our prison walls as such.

It’s like that old British television series The Prisoner, which takes place in a mysterious, self-contained, cosmopolitan, seemingly idyllic retirement community known only as The Village.

Perhaps the best visual debate ever on individuality and freedom, The Prisoner (17 episodes in all) centers around a British secret agent who abruptly resigns only to find himself imprisoned, monitored by militarized drones, and interrogated in The Village, a beautiful resort with parks and green fields, recreational activities and even a butler.
While luxurious, the Village is a virtual prison disguised as a seaside paradise: its inhabitants have no true freedom, they cannot leave the Village, they are under constant surveillance, all of their movements tracked. Residents of the Village are stripped of their individuality and identified only by numbers.

First broadcast in Great Britain 50-some years ago, The Prisoner dystopian television series —described as “James Bond meets George Orwell filtered through Franz Kafka”—confronted societal themes that are still relevant today: the rise of a police state, the loss of freedom, round-the-clock surveillance, the corruption of government, totalitarianism, weaponization, group think, mass marketing, and the tendency of human beings to meekly accept their lot in life as prisoners in a prison of their own making.

The series’ protagonist, played by Patrick McGoohan is Number Six.

Number Two, the Village administrator, acts as an agent for the unseen and all-powerful Number One, whose identity is not revealed until the final episode.

“I am not a number. I am a free man,” was the mantra chanted on each episode of The Prisoner, which was largely written and directed by Patrick McGoohan, who also played the title role.

In the opening episode (“The Arrival”), Number Six meets Number Two, who explains to him that he is in The Village because information stored “inside” his head has made him too valuable to be allowed to roam free “outside.”

Throughout the series, Number Six is subjected to interrogation tactics, torture, hallucinogenic drugs, identity theft, mind control, dream manipulation, and various forms of social indoctrination and physical coercion in order to “persuade” him to comply, give up, give in and subjugate himself to the will of the powers-that-be.

Number Six refuses to comply.

In every episode, Number Six resists the Village’s indoctrination methods, struggles to maintain his own identity, and attempts to escape his captors. “I will not make any deals with you,” he pointedly remarks to Number Two. “I’ve resigned. I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, debriefed or numbered. My life is my own.”

Yet no matter how far Number Six manages to get in his efforts to escape, it’s never far enough.

Watched by surveillance cameras and other devices, Number Six’s attempts to escape are continuously thwarted by ominous white balloon-like spheres known as “rovers.” Still, he refuses to give up. “Unlike me,” he says to his fellow prisoners, “many of you have accepted the situation of your imprisonment, and will die here like rotten cabbages.”

Number Six’s escapes become a surreal exercise in futility, each episode an unfunny, unsettling Groundhog’s Day that builds to the same frustrating denouement: there is no escape.

As journalist Scott Thill concludes for Wired, “Rebellion always comes at a price. During the acclaimed run of The Prisoner, Number Six is tortured, battered and even body-snatched: In the episode ‘Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling,’ his mind is transplanted to another man’s body. Number Six repeatedly escapes The Village only to be returned to it in the end, trapped like an animal, overcome by a restless energy he cannot expend, and betrayed by nearly everyone around him.”

The series is a chilling lesson about how difficult it is to gain one’s freedom in a society in which prison walls are disguised within the seemingly benevolent trappings of technological and scientific progress, national security and the need to guard against terrorists, pandemics, civil unrest, etc.

As Thill noted, “The Prisoner was an allegory of the individual, aiming to find peace and freedom in a dystopia masquerading as a utopia.”

The Prisoner’s Village is also an apt allegory for the American Police State: it gives the illusion of freedom while functioning all the while like a prison: controlled, watchful, inflexible, punitive, deadly and inescapable.

The American Police State, much like The Prisoner’s Village, is a metaphorical panopticon, a circular prison in which the inmates are monitored by a single watchman situated in a central tower. Because the inmates cannot see the watchman, they are unable to tell whether or not they are being watched at any given time and must proceed under the assumption that they are always being watched.

Eighteenth century social theorist Jeremy Bentham envisioned the panopticon prison to be a cheaper and more effective means of “obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example.”

Bentham’s panopticon, in which the prisoners are used as a source of cheap, menial labor, has become a model for the modern surveillance state in which the populace is constantly being watched, controlled and managed by the powers-that-be while funding its existence.

Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide: this is the new mantra of the architects of the Deep State and their corporate collaborators (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google, Instagram, etc.).

Government eyes are watching you.

They see your every move: what you read, how much you spend, where you go, with whom you interact, when you wake up in the morning, what you’re watching on television and reading on the internet.

Every move you make is being monitored, mined for data, crunched, and tabulated in order to amass a profile of who you are, what makes you tick, and how best to control you when and if it becomes necessary to bring you in line.

When the government sees all and knows all and has an abundance of laws to render even the most seemingly upstanding citizen a criminal and lawbreaker, then the old adage that you’ve got nothing to worry about if you’ve got nothing to hide no longer applies.

Apart from the obvious dangers posed by a government that feels justified and empowered to spy on its people and use its ever-expanding arsenal of weapons and technology to monitor and control them, we’re approaching a time in which we will be forced to choose between obeying the dictates of the government—i.e., the law, or whatever a government official deems the law to be—and maintaining our individuality, integrity and independence.

When people talk about privacy, they mistakenly assume it protects only that which is hidden behind a wall or under one’s clothing. The courts have fostered this misunderstanding with their constantly shifting delineation of what constitutes an “expectation of privacy.” And technology has furthered muddied the waters.

However, privacy is so much more than what you do or say behind locked doors. It is a way of living one’s life firm in the belief that you are the master of your life, and barring any immediate danger to another person (which is far different from the carefully crafted threats to national security the government uses to justify its actions), it’s no one’s business what you read, what you say, where you go, whom you spend your time with, and how you spend your money.

Unfortunately, George Orwell’s 1984—where “you had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized”—has now become our reality.

We now find ourselves in the unenviable position of being monitored, managed, corralled and controlled by technologies that answer to government and corporate rulers.

Consider that on any given day, the average American going about his daily business will be monitored, surveilled, spied on and tracked in more than 20 different ways, by both government and corporate eyes and ears.

A byproduct of this new age in which we live, whether you’re walking through a store, driving your car, checking email, or talking to friends and family on the phone, you can be sure that some government agency, whether the NSA or some other entity, is listening in and tracking your behavior.

This doesn’t even begin to touch on the corporate trackers that monitor your purchases, web browsing, Facebook posts and other activities taking place in the cyber sphere.

Stingray devices mounted on police cars to warrantlessly track cell phones, Doppler radar devices that can detect human breathing and movement within in a home, license plate readers that can record up to 1800 license plates per minutesidewalk and “public space” cameras coupled with facial recognition and behavior-sensing technology that lay the groundwork for police “pre-crime” programspolice body cameras that turn police officers into roving surveillance cameras, the internet of things: all of these technologies (and more) add up to a society in which there’s little room for indiscretions, imperfections, or acts of independence—especially not when the government can listen in on your phone calls, read your emails, monitor your driving habits, track your movements, scrutinize your purchases and peer through the walls of your home.

As French philosopher Michel Foucault concluded in his 1975 book Discipline and Punish, “Visibility is a trap.”

This is the electronic concentration camp—the panopticon prison—the Village—in which we are now caged.

It is a prison from which there will be no escape. Certainly not if the government and its corporate allies have anything to say about it.

As Glenn Greenwald notes:

“The way things are supposed to work is that we’re supposed to know virtually everything about what [government officials] do: that’s why they’re called public servants. They’re supposed to know virtually nothing about what we do: that’s why we’re called private individuals. This dynamic – the hallmark of a healthy and free society – has been radically reversed. Now, they know everything about what we do, and are constantly building systems to know more. Meanwhile, we know less and less about what they do, as they build walls of secrecy behind which they function. That’s the imbalance that needs to come to an end. No democracy can be healthy and functional if the most consequential acts of those who wield political power are completely unknown to those to whom they are supposed to be accountable.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

None of this will change, no matter who wins this upcoming presidential election.

And that’s the hustle, you see: because despite all of the work being done to help us buy into the fantasy that things will change if we just elect the right candidate, the day after a new president is sworn in, we’ll still find ourselves prisoners of the Village.

This should come as no surprise to those who haven’t been taking the escapist blue pill, who haven’t fallen for the Deep State’s phony rhetoric, who haven’t been lured in by the promise of a political savior: we never stopped being prisoners.

So how do you escape? For starters, resist the urge to conform to a group mind and the tyranny of mob-think as controlled by the Deep State.

Think for yourself. Be an individual. As McGoohan commented in 1968, “At this moment individuals are being drained of their personalities and being brainwashed into slaves… As long as people feel something, that’s the great thing. It’s when they are walking around not thinking and not feeling, that’s tough. When you get a mob like that, you can turn them into the sort of gang that Hitler had.”

You want to be free? Remove the blindfold that blinds you to the Deep State’s con game, stop doping yourself with government propaganda, and break free of the political chokehold that has got you marching in lockstep with tyrants and dictators.

As I make clear in my book Battlefield America: The War on the American People, until you come to terms with the fact that the government is the problem (no matter which party dominates), you’ll never be free.

Constitutional attorney and author John W. Whitehead is founder and president of The Rutherford Institute. His new book Battlefield America: The War on the American People  is available at www.amazon.com. Whitehead can be contacted at johnw@rutherford.org.

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The War in Afghanistan Is a Fraud (and Now We Have Proof) Lee Camp

Editor’s Note-Some bad language is used in this article but it illustrates the authors’ depth of feelings.

The War in Afghanistan Is a Fraud (and Now We Have Proof)

Bombs have numbers. Humans have names. Our American military boasts skill and passion for using numbers to turn names into yet more numbers. But these numbers have grown so gargantuan and out of control that one struggles to comprehend them.

In just 10 months in 2018—the latest numbers made available—our military dropped 5,982 munitions on Afghanistan, turning many thinking, living and loving names into cold, lifeless numbers. Throughout the war, 43,000 Afghan civilians have been numbered. We, as Americans, essentially never even notice when it happens. Statistically speaking, it will happen again many times today, and no one in America will care. (At least not while the game is on.)

64,000 Afghan security forces have been numbered since 2001.

Our government has known for years that the war in Afghanistan is a jaw-dropping disaster on the level of “Cats”: the movie. How do we know they knew? The Washington Post just published some impressive reporting, taking a step back from its lust for pro-war propaganda. (The last time it achieved such a feat was during the O.J. Simpson trial. The first one. The one with the glove.) The Post unearthed a trove of thousands of internal government documents that expose the catastrophic war. And it turns out there are Tinder dates between a young neo-Nazi and an old Jewish lady that have gone better than this war.

[The document trove] reveals that senior US officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable,” the paper reported.

Let me translate The Washington Post’s fancy-pants language: U.S. officials didn’t “fail to tell the truth”; they fucking lied. The phrase “failed to tell the truth” oozes around the brain’s neural pathways, strategically dodging the anger receptors. “Failed to tell the truth” sounds like veracity is a slippery fish U.S. officials just couldn’t catch.

424 humanitarian aid workers have been numbered.

Let’s take a moment to consider the motivations and goals of the war in Afghanistan. The U.S. ostensibly invaded the country to stop al-Qaida from attacking us in any way, namely by flying large planes into our buildings. We achieved this goal within the first couple of months. With al-Qaida essentially decimated, it seems logical that we should have left the country, reserving the right to return if any other big passenger aeroplanes came after us.

But we didn’t leave. We never leave. Rule No. 1 of the American empire is “Never Truly Leave a Country After Invading.” To explain our continued presence, we had to move the goal post. To what? We weren’t sure. We’re still not sure. Nearly 20 years later, if you ask a U.S. general or president (any of them) what the goal is in Afghanistan, they’ll feed you a word salad so large it’ll keep you regular for months. We now know that even during some of the earliest years of the war, the Pentagon and the Bush administration didn’t know who the bad guys were. (Right now you’re thinking it’s rather juvenile and uninformed of me to refer to enemy forces as “bad guys,” but, as you’ll see in a moment, our government spoke about them in those terms. Side note: This is because murderous rampages by war criminals are always juvenile. Murder, by definition, is unevolved.)

According to the Post’s Afghanistan Papers, an unnamed former adviser to an Army Special Forces team said, “They thought I was going to come to them with a map to show them where the good guys and bad guys live. It took several conversations—[a]t first, they just kept asking: ‘But who are the bad guys, where are they?’ 

Yet we Americans were instructed in the early years that Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld had everything under control. To imply otherwise was to make a mockery of tens of millions of yellow ribbons. But in reality, Rumsfeld, too, had a sizable bad-guy problem.

I have no visibility into who the bad guys are,” he said behind closed, locked, soundproof doors. Meanwhile, Rumsfeld publicly and boldly led the nation in a well-defined and decisive victory in the land of the Afghans.

In 2003, he said, during a press conference alongside Afghan President Hamid Karzai, “General Franks and I … have concluded that we’re at a point where we have moved from major combat activity to a period of stability and stabilization and reconstruction and activities.”

Yep, no more major combat—just 17 years of reconstruction (and activities). Most U.S.-backed “reconstruction” is done from the air, via bombs. Let that be a lesson to you, the rest of the world: You better not screw with us or we’ll reconstruct you and your whole family!

67 journalists have been reconstructed during the war in Afghanistan.

Are two decades too long for an utter, unmitigated disaster? Maybe we can stretch it to three? We’ve been funding warlords and extremist jihadis and hoping they will play nice. Yet American presidents have continually told us we’re making progress. “Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who served as Afghanistan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations, told government interviewers in 2015, ‘What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.’ 

I imagine that quote particularly upsets many Americans because if there’s one thing we’re good at, it’s having a foggy idea of what we’re doing.

Vietnam: foggy idea.

Iraq: very strong foggy idea.

Libya: one hell of a foggy idea.

Unfettered capitalism: the foggiest idea.

To put it simply, we are the best at bad ideas. But these Afghanistan Papers unveil a pretty terrible picture. One we need to confront as a nation and not just sweep under the rug (and not just because the rug would have to be the size of the Pacific Rim).

Upon hearing these revelations, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer did his best impersonation of someone who gives a shit. He said:

A bombshell series of investigative reports from The Washington Post exposing heartbreaking truths about the U.S. war in Afghanistan, which has claimed some 2,400 U.S. lives and cost nearly a trillion dollars. The Post says … officials routinely lied to the American people about the war. … This is truly a bombshell.

Yes, it’s a bombshell—although much of the information in the Afghanistan Papers has been known for a decade or more. Back in 2012, I was doing poorly written standup comedy bits about how our government-funded both sides of the war in Afghanistan. This goes to show that the mainstream media has two priorities—one is to spout the U.S. government’s talking points, and the other is to distract us all from the whitewashing of history.

 

 

 

 

 

They help Americans believe that we just found out about the failures in Afghanistan; that we just started McCarthyism, and it didn’t happen before in the 1950s to horrific consequences; that we just now discovered the breathtaking environmental consequences of factory farming. (I’m kidding—corporate media will never report on that. You could have a CNN anchor tied up in a sack in Gitmo, and he would still refuse to admit factory animal farming is killing the planet at an aggressive pace.)

But Blitzer wasn’t content pretending to be shocked that the Afghanistan War isn’t going well, so he put his acting chops to the test by further postulating that there also might be flaws with the war in Iraq. He said, “I can only imagine and brace for a similar report about the long U.S. war in Iraq as well. I suspect that could be some horrifying news as far as that is concerned also.”

That’s right: As of last month, Blitzer thinks there might be some problems with the war(s) in Iraq. (Blitzer strikes me as the type of guy who wouldn’t notice if you stole his pants off him in negative-10-degree weather.) Yes, Wolf, not only has there been similar mismanagement and mass war crimes committed in our invasion of Iraq, but you helped manufacture consent for that war as well. You are complicit in the deaths of millions of people who will never come back from the enumeration.

Throughout the past 20 years, the mainstream media reiterated the lies told by our various presidents. They beat those lies into our heads with impressive frequency. Lies like those told by President Obama, when, in 2012, he said on national television: “Over the last three years, the tide has turned. We broke the Taliban’s momentum. We’ve built strong Afghan security forces. … Our troops will be coming home. … As our coalition agreed, by the end of 2014 the Afghans will be fully responsible for the security of their country.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty thrilled for the war to be over in 2014—whenever 2014 may come.

3,800 contractors have died in Afghanistan for these lies.

The Afghanistan Papers show that not only has the 20-year war been wasteful of human life, it’s also been wasteful of money. Of course, this is the point when you think, “The military— wasteful?! Well, paint my nipples and call me Phyllis Diller; that’s the damnedest thing I ever did hear!”

Yes, this is hardly shocking, since $21 trillion has gone unaccounted for at the Pentagon over the past 20 years. That’s two-thirds of the amount of money wrapped up in the entire stock market. Money has been flowing into Afghanistan so fast that officials aren’t even able to waste it quick enough! (I wish that were a joke.)

From the Post’s report, again: “One executive at USAID guessed that 90 per cent of what they spent was overkill: ‘We lost objectivity. We were given money, told to spend it and we did, without reason.’ … One contractor said he was expected to dole out $3 million daily for projects in a single Afghan district roughly the size of a US county.”

The contractor said he couldn’t conceive of how to spend $3 million a day for people living in mud huts. Well, I guess USAID should start handing out furniture built out of blocks of shrink-wrapped hundred-dollar notes. Maybe fill bean bag chairs with small bills. (If you aren’t yet outraged enough, please keep in mind that, according to The New York Times, adjusting for today’s dollars, it would take less than eight days of the Pentagon’s stated budget to give the entire world clean water for a year, thereby saving millions of lives and turning the U.S. into the most beloved nation on earth.)

But rather than accept our corruption and war profiteering, our military placed the blame squarely on the Afghan people. Per The Washington Post, “The U.S. military also accused Afghan commanders of pocketing salaries—paid by U.S. taxpayers—for tens of thousands of ‘ghost soldiers.’ 

Although ghost soldiers sound like an incredible and tough-to-defeat resource, I think they meant the Afghan commanders claimed they had a certain number of soldiers, but most weren’t real. So America can’t fund the health care of our goddamn real soldiers who get home and wait in line for months to secure any semblance of care, but we can fund ghost soldiers half a world away?!

Donald Trump just cut food stamps to 700,000 people, impacting more than a million children, but we’re funding fucking ghosts? Maybe we could start a campaign asking the ghost soldiers to donate some of their suppers to the starving kids of America.

Ghosts seem to be an ongoing difficulty for the U.S. In the same issue of The Washington Post containing the Afghanistan Papers, there was an unrelated article titled, “The U.S. Wasted Millions on Charter Schools” that said, “A report found that [during the Obama Administration] 537 ‘ghost schools’ in America never opened but received more than $45.5 million in federal start-up funding.”

We’re funding ghost schools and ghost soldiers, and almost nobody in our government seems to give a shit! I guess you could say they give a ghost shit—it’s not there.

Yet the problems in our forever war don’t stop at the walking dead. The Post says, “The US has spent $9 billion to fight the problem [of opium] over the past 18 years, but Afghan farmers are cultivating more opium poppies than ever. Last year, Afghanistan was responsible for 82 per cent of global opium production.”

But what The Washington Post doesn’t tell you is that a lot of that opium was for use inside the U.S., to fuel our opioid epidemic.

An American becomes a number every 11 minutes from an opioid overdose.

So how does our government respond when revelations like the Afghanistan Papers come out? A few senators pause in the middle of their T-bone steaks and red wine to say, “This needs to be looked into, I daresay.” But then a few days pass and they just give the Pentagon more money to sink into a black hole.

The spending bill just passed by Congress sends $738 billion to the Pentagon. And, as RootsAction stated, it contains “almost nothing to constrain the Trump administration’s erratic and reckless foreign policy. It is a blank check for endless wars, fuel for the further militarization of U.S. foreign policy, and a gift to Donald Trump.”

To put it mildly, asking the Democrats to stand up against endless war is like asking Anne Hathaway to bench-press a Chevy Tahoe. It’s not going to happen, and she has no interest in even trying.

42,000 Taliban and insurgents have been numbered.

That may sound like a successful war to some, but keep in mind that the U.S. military likes to categorize anyone it kills “an insurgent.” The Pentagon goes by the theory that if it kills you, then you’re an insurgent—because if you weren’t an insurgent, then why did it kill you? A great many of the 42,000 were truly innocent civilians.

If there’s one thing we should learn from the Afghanistan Papers, which the mainstream corporate media have already ceased talking about, it’s that ending these immoral, illegal, repulsive wars cannot be left to our breathtakingly incompetent and corrupt ruling elite, who have probably been lying to us about them for decades. So it’s up to you and me to stop them.

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Imran Khan’s visit to the USA by Brig.Gen(Retd) Asif Haroon Raja

Imran Khan’s visit to the USA

Asif Haroon Raja

Trump’s Double faced policy against Pakistan

 

 

 

 

 

Double Faced Trump

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Donald Trump has been maintaining a highly belligerent posture against Pakistan as was evident from his policy on Afghanistan and on South Asia and his random statements accusing Pakistan of harbouring Haqqani network and Afghan Taliban and holding it responsible for the instability in Afghanistan.

On the one hand, Pakistan is accused of sheltering and supporting Afghan militant groups, and on the other hand, USA is in parleys with them since last year and beseeching them to a ceasefire and end the war. Pakistan is pressed to bring them to the negotiating table.

Trump administration has been openly siding with the Narendra Modi regime as was evident in Pulwama incident and the events that took place in the aftermath. Besides suspending the Close Support Fund (CSF) and military cooperation, the US has hung the swords of FATF and IMF to add to the economic woes of Pakistan, which is caught in a deadly debt trap. 

Stick and Carrot Policy

In the ongoing war on terror, the US civil and military leaders have been using the stick against Pakistan viciously and dangling few carrots to entice Pakistan to keep doing more. This policy is evident from the series of harsh statements made by US military commanders operating in Afghanistan, CENTCOM Commander and Pentagon, and in the same breath eulogizing role of Pakistan Army in the war.

In line with this wicked policy, Pentagon recently expressed its desire to maintain strong military-to-military ties with Pakistan due to shared interests. This policy statement has been made in the wake of the visit of PM Imran Khan (IK) to Washington this month.

History of Pak-US Military Ties

Peeping into past, Pentagon and GHQ have maintained cordial ties right from the days of Ayub Khan’s rule despite hiccups in a government-to-government relationship which suffered from ups and downs.

Military ties nose-dived in 2011 on account of Raymond Davis incident in January, followed by stealth helicopter attack in Abbottabad in May, Memogate scandal in October and finally the Apache gunship helicopters attack military posts in Mohmand agency in November.  The last act forced GHQ to sever all military and intelligence cooperation with the USA as well as stoppage of NATO supplies. This non-cooperation remained enforced till Washington apologized in July 2012 and supply routes were re-opened. But the level of distrust didn’t decrease. India and puppet regime in Kabul kept widening the mistrust.

Distrust was a result of an accumulation of a series of prejudicial acts of USA in the war on terror. While it bestowed favours and rewards to India and Afghanistan generously, it remained tight-fisted towards Pakistan and whatever it doled out in the form of grants and loans were tied to the condition of doing more.  While the wrong acts of India and Afghanistan were looked the other way, or defended or condoned, in case of Pakistan, it was blamed for every trouble in the two countries as well as in Occupied Kashmir. It could never furnish a shred of evidence to corroborate its accusations.

The reason behind the USA’s Biased Approach

The reason for this biased approach is that the US military, as well as the US governments whether of Republicans or Democrats, have always been closer to India than Pakistan even when India was a camp follower of former USSR and Pakistan was the most allied ally of USA.

Pakistan was initially taken on board in 1954 when India and Afghanistan refused to become part of the defensive arc meant to contain communism in South Asia and the Middle East. Pakistan suffered after joining western pacts since it earned the animosity of many countries. Above all, the pacts couldn’t save Pakistan from getting bifurcated in 1971.

Next time, Pakistan’s need was felt by the USA in the 1980s to support the Afghan Mujahideen in the war against the Soviet forces. Once all its objectives were achieved without deploying a single soldier, Pakistan was discarded and put under sanctions and its arch-rival India befriended.

Pakistan was once more taken on board after 9/11 to fight the US war on terror after giving repeated assurances that wrongs of the past will be atoned by building a relationship on the basis of mutual respect and understanding. Those were false promises; Pakistan was again duped and snared.

USA, India and puppet regime in Kabul supported by NATO and Israel became strategic partners and made plans to denuclearize Pakistan and make it a compliant state using indirect strategy.   

Under the garb of friendship and puny monetary benefits, Pakistan was systematically bled through paid proxies and drones, and discredited through false accusations, false flag operations and media war.

Throughout the 18-year war, Pakistan has been given a raw deal. The reason is that Pakistan besides being a Muslim State, it is a nuclear power with strong armed forces, it is closely aligned with the US main rival China, and in collaboration with China is building CPEC. Full operationalization of CPEC will change the whole complexion of geo-economics in the region, beneficial to China and Pakistan, and detrimental to USA and India. Pakistan refuses to accept Indian hegemony in South Asia and to become an influential player in Afghanistan.

Conversely, India is a strategic partner of the USA since 1990. The US has desired that India should fill the vacuum in Afghanistan after its departure, act as a bulwark against China, and become a policeman of the Indo-Pacific region.

With these aims and objectives, India is promoted and glorified, while Pakistan which doesn’t fit into the US calculus is undermined and discredited. Successive administrations of George Bush, Obama and Trump adopted an inimical policy.

Pentagon and CIA play a main role in colouring the perceptions of White House, State Department and the Congress. Jewish and Indian lobbies in the USA also have a big hand in keeping Pakistan in bad books of USA.        

In the backdrop of too many divergences and too few convergences in Pak-US relations, there is little room for shared interests as stated recently.

The only pin which is keeping the US attached to Pakistan is Afghanistan, where the US has got badly stuck and finds itself cornered and bereft of strategy how to fight and win or to exit safely.

Pakistan becomes relevant since it is the only country which is placed at an advantageous position at this critical juncture. It is relatively better poised to exert influence over the Taliban and to arrange safe and honourable passage of the occupying forces.

Since the US is desperate to pull out at the earliest, and also hope for a friendly regime in Kabul, it has still not abandoned Pakistan. The day Pakistan loses its relevance and becomes a redundant player in Afghan imbroglio, Washington will ditch Pakistan as it had done in 1990.

Changed Realities

The US is well aware of the changed ground realities.

It is no more as powerful as it was in 2001.

Russia has resurged and China is at the verge of becoming the leading economic power.

Taliban are closer to the victory stand and are no more isolated and shunned.

Taliban have gained superiority of orientation on the battlefield due to which they are happily placed to negotiate from a position of strength.

Taliban have garnered military support from Russia and Iran, and diplomatic support of China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey and Germany.

Afghan Unity Government and 350,000 ANSF have become liabilities for the USA.

In all probability, US troops will be pulled out by end of 2020.

Syria is another theatre where the USA is most likely to suffer humiliation after it pulls out its forces.

India has failed to disable Pakistan’s nuclear program or overawe it.

Pakistan’s missile and nuclear capabilities have vastly improved and can keep India deterred.

Pakistan is the only country which has produced spectacular results against terrorism despite heavy odds while all others failed.

The US is also aware of Pakistan’s sense of disillusionment and its inclination to get closer to Russia.  

The USA is in a Dilemma

On one hand, it is stuck in Afghanistan and is entreating the Taliban to ceasefire and help in ending the 18-year war. On the other hand, it is confronted by defiant Iran in the Persian Gulf where no Arab country is prepared to send its ground forces or to provide a land route to US-NATO forces for fear of Iran’s retaliation.

The US needs Pakistan’s help on both fronts since more recently, Pak-Iran relations have taken a dramatic turn for the better, which is much to the discomfort of US, KSA and India.

Pakistan’s Significance

The prospect of losing influence in Afghanistan and Central Asia completely is giving nightmares to policymakers in Washington. They have belatedly realized that Pakistan is the only country which besides helping in finalizing a political settlement with the Taliban and in arranging safe exit, it can act as the bridge for the USA to gain access to Afghanistan and Central Asia.  

It is in context with these hard realities that the US has once again been forced to lean on Pakistan and of late has been giving friendly signals. However, the USA’s overall negative mindset and habit of betrayal must not be ignored. There will be more ‘takes’ and very little ‘gives’.  

Trump Administration’s Doubts and Punitive Acts

Poisoned by Kabul and New Delhi, Washington strongly feels that Pakistan is playing a double game and is the main source of strength for the Taliban.

In order to force Pakistan to play the US game, it has embroiled Pakistan in a hybrid war in addition to covert war and is now taking steps to haemorrhage Pakistan’s economy which is already in dire strait.

For that purpose, it is using the swords of FATF and IMF in unison.

First tranche of the IMF bailout package of $6 billion spread over three years was released only after Pakistan fulfilled the demands of IMF which included changing the whole economic team, heavy devaluation of Pak Rupee, keeping the currency floating, more taxes, increase in prices of electricity, gas, petrol, foodstuff and reduction in subsidies.     

While Pakistan is making desperate efforts to get itself shifted from grey to white list by FATF by fulfilling genuine and false demands, India and anti-Pakistan lobbies in the USA have been making efforts to blacklist Pakistan, which will be a step closer to getting Pakistan declared a terror abetting state.   

IK Visiting USA under Unsavory Conditions

IK is embarking upon his maiden visit to Washington on July 21 at a time when Pak-US relations are unsavoury. With restive home front owing to political instability, an economy in doldrums, accountability not making any headway, traders’ strikes, the release of a scandalous video by PML-N, and explosive external front, IK might not be at ease to indulge in hard talk with Trump.

PM Imran Khan should be deriving a measure of solace that Trump himself is stuck in a bigger mess!

The Pakistani nation is looking forward to the 45 minute face-to-face talk between IK-Trump on July 22. Will IK get swayed by the magic spell of the USA like his predecessors, or negotiate like Quaid-e-Azam?  

Gestures Shown by Both Sides

Both sides have taken some preliminary steps to ease tensions and to create a conducive environment for the visit which has assumed great importance. The two sides are hoping that this meeting will help in altering distrust into trust and restoring friendly ties.

Pakistan has helped in making some headway in the 7th round of peace talks between the Taliban and USA at Doha. Intra-Afghan meeting at Bhurban last month and participation of all Afghan factions in a 2-day summit at Doha are positive developments.

As a favour to Ashraf Ghani, Pakistan is pressing the Taliban to hold direct talks with the Afghan regime and is also wanting them to a ceasefire and stop the violence.

It is also meeting several demands of FATF to avoid getting blacklisted.

Despite India’s negativity and hostility, Pakistan has made several futile efforts to melt the ice.

As a goodwill gesture, proscribed outfit BLA has finally been declared a terrorist outfit by the USA.

Trump’s Hopes

  • The US is hopeful of winning over the hard-pressed new regime of Pakistan back into its fold and to make it agree to pick up arms against the Taliban or browbeat them if they refuse to include the wishes of the USA in the peace agreement.
  • Trump would press IK to convince the Taliban to allow the USA to retain 2-3 military bases in Afghanistan for the sake of regional stability.
  • Trump is hoping that Pakistan will persuade the Taliban to maintain friendly ties with Washington once they regain power and will not swing towards Russia-China.
  • Imran Khan will be told to desist from buying arms from Russia.
  • Another possible request could be freedom of Dr. Shakil Afridi.
  • On the request of India, Trump might ask IK to do away with capital punishment of death by hanging as is being demanded by the EU and thus save Kulbushan’s neck.
  • Granting land access to India via Wagah to Afghanistan/Central Asia could be another favour sought for India.   

Suggested Imran Khan’s (IK) Talking Points

  • IK’s foremost request should be to stop the blame game, stop using Pakistan as a convenient scapegoat. Instead, evolve mutually sustaining a relationship based on trust and respect.
  • He must put in a word for Pakistani Americans and Pak settlers in the USA for better security against racism and Islamophobia.
  • He should ask Trump to compensate Pakistan for $ 125 billion financial loss it incurred in the long drawn war, restore CSF and reschedule foreign debt repayments.
  • He should seek compensation for the colossal wear and tear of arms, equipment, tanks, helicopters extensively used in the US imposed war, by handing over part of the US war munitions in Afghanistan before exiting.
  • What he should forcefully insist upon is to close down the infrastructure of cross border terrorism in Afghanistan run by RAW-NDS, put an end to the proxy war, and to make RAW-NDS accountable for their support to BLA and other anti-Pakistan proxies.
  • Fencing of the western border is in the overall interest of both countries trading accusations. The USA must provide funds to expedite completion of western and southwestern fencing.
  • Maintenance of regional military balance between two nuclear neighbours and the adoption of a balanced relationship with India and Pakistan must be emphasized.
  • He must remind Trump to respect Pakistan’s core security interests.  
  • Trump should be told not to blackmail Pakistan through IMF and FATF, or hybrid war.
  • He should invite the USA to join CPEC after highlighting a long list of merits.
  • He should ask Trump to restrain India from committing human rights abuses in Occupied Kashmir and to mediate in resolving Kashmir dispute.
  • Provision of land access to India to be made conditional to the resolution of Kashmir dispute.  
  • With an eye on its backyard, IK should ask Trump to review his policy of confrontation with Iran.

EndNote. Rapprochement with the USA must not be at the cost of straining relations with Russia.       

The writer is a retired Brig, war veteran, defence analyst, columnist, author of five books, Vice Chairman Thinkers Forum Pakistan, Director Measac Research Centre, member CWC and Think Tank Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Society, and member Council Tehreek Jawanan Pakistan. asifharoonraja@gmail.com     

 

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