Monday, August 4, 2008

U.S. vilifies faithful old ally

Bush administration vents against Pakistan's military intelligence for doing its duty -- defending Pakistan

By Eric Margolis
Edmonton Sun

"It's blame Pakistan week. As resistance to western occupation of Afghanistan intensifies, the increasingly frustrated Bush administration is venting its anger against Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), Pakistan's military intelligence agency.

The White House leaked claims ISI was in cahoots with pro-Taliban groups in Pakistan's tribal area along the Afghan border.

Pakistan's Defence Minister Ahmed Mukhtar said the White House accuses ISI of warning Pashtun tribes of impending U.S. air attacks. President George W. Bush angrily asked Pakistan's visiting Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani, "Who's in charge of ISI?"

In Ottawa, the Harper government dutifully echoed Bush's accusation against Pakistan, including the so far unsubstantiated claim that ISI agents had bombed India's embassy in Kabul.

I was one of the first western journalists invited into ISI headquarters in 1986. ISI's then director, the fierce Lt.- Gen. Akhtar Rahman, personally briefed me on Pakistan's secret role in fighting Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. ISI's "boys" provided communications, logistics, heavy weapons, and direction in the Afghan War. ISI played the key role in the victory over the Soviets......

Washington's bull-in-a-china-shop behaviour pays no heeds to such realities.

Instead, Washington demonizes faithful old allies, ISI and Pakistan, while supporting Afghanistan's communists and drug dealers, and allowing India to stir the Afghan pot -- all for the sake of new energy pipelines.

As Henry Kissinger cynically noted, being America's ally is more dangerous than being its enemy. "

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