Pakistan: Center of the Grand Chessboard
(Saad Ali) An Unmanned Aerial Vehicle takes flight on a targeted mission from Shamsi Airfield, an airstrip subleased to the United States by the UAE from inside the southwest region of Pakistan. At the same time a farmer awakes, in northwest Pakistan, happy; a husband and father of four with his youngest daughter just married the day before. After reaching a service ceiling of 25,000 ft. and cruising speed of 103 mph the General Atomics MQ-1 Predator begins descending to its destination. Hamid Abdullah, a refugee I met during my travels to the northwest border region, was a hardworking man, kind, loving and very caring of his family, finds his pantry empty and leaves for the market to collect groceries. The Predator drone now in range locks on the target. Upon reaching the Bazaar, Abdullah, from behind him he hears a thundering explosion. After firing an AGM-114 Hellfire missile the drone begins to circumnavigate. As a concerned human, the Pakistani man, naturally inclined, runs to see what happened and to perhaps provide aid to anyone hurt. He approaches, and with crushing and crippling realization, his entire home in total destruction. The world of happiness, his family, lay dead in the rubble, wrenching vibrations send him to his knees. An hour later the UAV locks in the second Hellfire missile as the operator from Creech Air force Base in Nevada reaches to quench his thirst from a freshly refilled ice tea. In the tribal region of Pakistan first responders, neighbors, other civilians and business owners run with haste to pull out the dead and injured. As temporary funeral preparations are made a $68,000 guided weapons system developed by Lockheed Martin strikes the same location inciting terror on a new level, killing the entire procession of emergency services, tripling the original death toll of, not just innocent civilians, but honorable servicemen duty bound by the code of humanity.
The post-9/11 era has seen the likes of propaganda no society has seen in history. Granted the current dangers, the Anglo American society has branded Pakistan the most dangerous country in the world. The attack on national sovereignty, exploitation of installed political leadership, installation of private militaries, provocation of civil war, and torn earth to meet requirements of an energy corridor have humiliated and unsettled a region and its people. Government officials and media outlets now regard with doubt years of loyal support from the Pakistani people and their government. With any dictatorship, tactful communication to quell conflict remains shelved in favor of military force. In 2009 I traveled to the nation of Pakistan to seek answers. Government officials, journalists and the Pakistani people paint a totally different picture. The truth of the matter is the “President of Peace” has lead our nation into war once again, and with a conflict involving a nuclear power, the public opinion was subverted as clandestine engagement commenced.
In 1997 The Project for a New American Century was founded, as think-tank based in Washington with initiatives to project global hegemony under the guise of America’s unique role in preserving international order via “political and economic freedom.” After nine years of guiding the George W. Bush administration, PNAC has faded back and re-branded themselves as the “The Foreign Policy Initiative”, stating the completed task of introducing military policy and moral clarity (via PNAC) to an international base, now requiring leading action and implementation(via FPI). Mitt Romney takes the seat on the right side of political theater for the presidency and we can see the FPI resurfacing as advisors for his foreign policy team. This simply reinforces the continuity of world domination between Democrats and Republicans.
“Further, the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event––like a new Pearl Harbor.” This is one sentence included in a 90 page report assembled by PNAC architects in September 2000, one year before September 11th 2001, and it’s only the beginning. The Kerry-Lugar Act drafted by Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman John Kerry and ranking Republican Richard Lugar, authorizes a grant of $1.5 billion annually for 5 years. The bill explicitly and falsely states that “Pakistan has been a nuclear proliferator; and that parts of its territories are safe havens for terrorist networks.” The bill has given President Obama the power to “develop a comprehensive interagency regional security strategy to eliminate terrorist threats and close safe havens in Pakistan. Working with the government of Pakistan — to best implement effective counterinsurgency and counter-terrorism efforts in and near the border areas of Pakistan and Afghanistan, including the FATA, the NWFP, parts of Balochistan and parts of Punjab.” In other words, the power of the United States Presidency has now been extended to different provinces of Pakistan. He may now make decisions for not only the US, but also for the nation state of Pakistan. The Kerry-Lugar Act has successfully ended the country’s sovereignty. The people are very angered by it, and in fact it is known in Pakistan as the “document of surrender.” Kerry-Lugar makes support conditional on Pakistan’s military being subordinated to its elected government. These humiliating circumstances only weaken the civilian government and infuriate the power known in Pakistan to keep the political class in line. General Ashfaq Kayani has “reiterated that Pakistan is a sovereign state and has all the rights to analyze and respond to [national-security threats] in accordance with her own national interests.” As of March 2012, the “new PNAC” or The Foreign Policy Initiative has once again reiterated the strategy “To play a key role in shaping that future, the United States must continue to use foreign aid—strategically—to encourage positive changes in Pakistani policies.” Congressman Ron Paul states on Pakistan, “The way we treat our fellow countries around the world is we tell them what to do and if they do it we give them money, if they don’t do it we bomb them” The plan is drawn out and ongoing. To put it simple, Pakistan has become a serious road block for the modern day King. Pakistan’s nuclear capabilities make the strategy far more convoluted. The former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski highlights the importance of Central Asia to achieving world domination. He knew well the public’s view of US militarism around the world and implementation would require the “circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat”
The early 1990’s saw unmanned aircraft deployed out of the US arsenal in reconnaissance missions, recording images of terrain in the Balkans. After September 2001, President Bush signed a directive that authorized arming the drones. These new UAV were called Predators, equipped with signature Hellfire missiles with the sole purpose of targeting leaders of al Qaeda, first in Afghanistan and later in Yemen and Pakistan. The limitations loosened, widening the directive to allow strikes against anyone working inside terrorist groups, not just individual suspects.
President Barack Obama has authorized 311 drone strikes in Pakistan since he took office in 2009, far exceeding the number of attacks that President George W. Bush authorized during his two terms.
The first drone strike was order 3 days after Obama’s inauguration January 20, 2009, with an outcome of 19 innocent civilians killed including 4 children. Despite statements made by public policy and research organizations of UAVs as an unreliable and inefficient tools against terrorists, drones are still hailed as impressively accurate. Obama’s “weapon of choice” is now responsible for the deaths of 3000 people, 200 of them children. The purpose of the drone campaign is to eradicate “militants.” How do we know who’s a militant when they’re defined as “any human being whose life is extinguished when an American missile or bomb detonates,” unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent. The use of terms such as “accuracy”, “efficiency” and “intended target” are meaningless, when anyone killed under the definition is a “terrorist” conveniently in a “war on terror.”
The Nobel Peace Prize winning Barack H. Obama, “for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples“, has destroyed the homes of innocent civilians, targeted schools, funerals, marriage ceremonies, homes of worship and countless other places of simple life.
I’ve been following the events unfold in Pakistan as journalists across the world record the death. When I read the headlines, an image of President Obama sitting around a table in a place called the “Situation Room” among other grown men and women casually scanning through documents and pictures with a “yearbook like layout” of suspected terrorists, many of which are children. I clench at the thought of Obama looking over to his advisors and approving the death of every person on the “kill list” presented, vetting none of the intelligence, and discarding common sense. Akin to a God on Earth the power to kill is executed with a nod from one man to another. Unfortunately, my imagination is a reality, the “kill list” is real and like a true villain the desire and overindulgence of power and control sits in the office of the United States Presidency.
I can only wonder how one exactly gets on the list. Amos Guiora, a law professor at University of Utah served in the Israel Defense Forces in the Judge Advocate General’s Corps (Lt. Col. Ret.) as well as legal adviser in the Gaza Strip, someone who understands the weight of life-and-death decisions, stated that the method in which the US is targeting and killing suspects is, “Loosey goosey” and “largely devoid of external review.” His ““Whac-A-Mole” approach to counter-terrorism will give rise to new and more sinister techniques to scourge and eradicate what he so carelessly calls the enemy.
The FBI warned “terrorists may use secondary explosive devices to kill and injure emergency personnel responding to an initial attack” and DHS coined the term “double tap” to refer to this tactic. An act brutish to say the least, the United States Government finds itself increasingly adopting this technique. In 2010, Wikileaks released a video involving an American Apache helicopter on its second round, firing multiple shots on the dead, wounded, rescuers, children, civilians and two Reuters journalists. The Laws of War clearly stipulate to allow “collection and care for the wounded, whether friend or foe” and to “not attack medical or religious personnel, facilities or equipment.” Double tap methods have been used to attack funerals, mosques, hospital corridors, “suspected compounds,” and rescuing “militants,” yet no one has been identified and are neither on official terrorists lists as indicated by the use of “signature strikes.” Not only does this instill fear into first responders, but to journalists recording events as well.
Blackwater, more recently known as Acedemi, is a private military contractor, one of the largest working directly with the United States State Department. Characterized as a nefarious mercenary army, Blackwater has undergone perpetual rebranding, from Blackwater Worldwide to Blackwater USA and Xe Services LLC all in response to unlawful, immoral, degenerate activities and operations which has landed them every now and then under the scope legal complexities. They’ve been enrolled by the US government in the war with Iraq, Afghanistan and now Pakistan. That makes Blackwater so attractive to government operations is the ability to bypass set limitations of war and congressional oversight that political and military institutions may not evade so easily. Earning millions in secured contracts with the US doesn’t stop them from pursuing large contracts with Arab monarchies such as the delivery of an “800-member battalion of foreign troops for the United Arab Emirates.” Deploying uniform soldiers in a declared war can pose intricate legal and political ramifications. Blackwater founder, Eric Prince states “…the private sector can operate there (in war) with a very, very small, very light footprint”. According a military intelligence source, Blackwater personnel work undercover as aid workers and “nobody even gives them a second thought.”
Jeremy Scahill, from The Nation reports a defense official, on background, specifically denied that Blackwater performs work on drone strikes or intelligence for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) in Pakistan, quoted as saying “We don’t have any contracts to do that work for us. We don’t contract that kind of work out, period.” Pentagon spokesperson Geoff Morrell calls Blackwater operations in Pakistan “conspiratorial.”Ambassador Richard Holbrooke also denied activities stating “People think that the US has troops in Pakistan, well, we don’t.” Blackwater spokesperson Mark Corallo said in a statement to The Nation, adding that the company has “no other operations of any kind in Pakistan,” aside from construction oversight for the U.S. Government.
Though Government and military officials defy inquiries about military and private contractors operating within the scope of war, multiple sources have proven otherwise, most notably a classified cable in 2009 by US ambassador to Pakistan, Anne Patterson stating “with the personal consent of” Chief of Army Staff General Kayani the “deployment of U.S. special operation elements” specifically mentioning the “SOC(FWD)-PAK” integrated within Pakistani military. Another cable from August 2008 describes a meeting with Anne Paterson and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani. Gillani states with sheer negligence, “I don’t care if they do it as long as they get the right people. We’ll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it.” The October 2009 cable also discusses potential repercussions, affirming, “These deployments are highly politically sensitive because of widely-held concerns among the public about Pakistani sovereignty and opposition to allowing foreign military forces to operate in any fashion on Pakistani soil. Should these developments and/or related matters receive any coverage in the Pakistani or US media, the Pakistani military will likely stop making requests for such assistance.”
A military source spoke to The Nation on conditions of anonymity due to the sensitivity of the classified operations. The source confirmed Blackwaters facility in Karachi, Pakistan and stated “It’s Blackwater running the program for both CIA and JSOC.” This was also confirmed by a former senior executive at Blackwater. Erik Prince himself acknowledged his company’s presence in Pakistan in a private speech, blocked to all media, in Michigan, to a friendly crowd in his hometown.
Ever since September 2001, Pakistan’s death toll from suicide bombings, has reached34,000 and the economy has lost well over $68 billion, a large number considering aid on a yearly bases from the U.S. is $28 billion. The notion that Blackwater is responsible for most of these suicide bombings occurring across the country resonates among reports documented by journalists in the state.
Chief of Pakistani- Pashtun Movement in Pakistan Hakimullah Mehsud blames Blackwaterfor a bomb blast in Peshawar which killed over 100 [Pakistani] people. He also told the BBC these attacks are “to malign the name of the Pakistani-Pakhtoons” by blaming them for the orchestrated attacks. Haftroza Al-Qalam, from the Urdu Daily reports “Evidence of the private U.S. security firm Blackwater’s involvement in the targeted killings of high-ranking Pakistani military officials.” Aamir Latif of IslamOnline states “The notorious US security firm Blackwater has reportedly established a presence in the restive tribal belt on the Afghan borders to help the FBI and CIA track down Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants allegedly hiding there and protect USAID projects.” Azam Tariq spokesman for Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), a parent organization of distinct military groups based in the northwestern Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) bordering Afghan told the Daily Times, “All these killings by the infamous Blackwater are aimed at maligning the Taliban,” and that “The TTP does not believe in killing of innocent citizens, and we will hold those who are doing this accountable.”
Blackwater is clearly operating in the region overt and covertly. Even Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan doesn’t “yet know how many of these blasts are by Taliban and how many are carried out by them (Blackwater/Xe/Acedmie).”
Kurt Nimmo of Infowars.com makes a clear connection with Blackwater and statements from former national security advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski who affirms in his book, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives. “To put it in a terminology that harkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together.” CIA operations hexed with Blackwaters unrestricted presence will promulgate the aspiration of keeping “barbarians from coming together” further destroying the idea of a nation state and establishing the continuity of imperialistic campaigns giving rise to a new order the world is now coming to see.
Between 2000 and 2010 the volume of bilateral trade between China and Pakistan grew sevenfold, with Chinese companies currently working on 250 projects within Pakistan. Wen Jiabao, the Chinese Premier was accompanied by 250 Chinese businessmen on a visit to Pakistan. At the end of this trip $35 billion were contracted between sides covering energy, trade, natural resources, agriculture, livestock, finance and banking. Joint ventures within Pakistan include the Thae coal project, widening of Karakoram Highway, the Basha Dam, Saindak gold and copper project and most importantly the Gawadar deep sea port.
About 40% of the world’s oil passes through the Persian Gulf, and at the mouth lies Gawadar. With 80% of the $300 million covered by the Chinese, this project would allow China direct access to the West enabling secure supply of oil and gas. Transportation would run right through Pakistan via a network of rail, putting the country in the middle of an energy and trade corridor. Currently 70% of the oil China consumes is purchased from the Middle East and the Persian Gulf. By the year 2025, it’s expected China will double its consumption, so it has become vital for China to obtain and maintain access to this western front, hence China’s ambitious presence and protective efforts in the region. Not only does this strategic partnership benefit Pakistan with potential earnings of 60 billion per year, it places the country on route to becoming a critical global energy player.
“Any attack on Pakistan would be construed as an attack on China,” a response coming from Beijing after the U.S. violates Pakistan’s national sovereignty while “capturing” the phantom Osamah Bin Laden. Following the ultimatum came the delivery of 50 JF-17 aircraft from China, at no charge, enhancing the capabilities of the Pakistani Air Force. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu affirms “sovereignty and territorial integrity of Pakistan must be respected.” With 66 ICBMs behind them, China isn’t shy about protecting their important alliances.
China has replaced the United States as Pakistan’s principle source for arms and weapons. They have made agreements on 34 short-range ballistic missiles, F-22P frigates with helicopters, K-8 jet trainers, T-85 tanks, F-7 aircraft, small arms and ammunition, 36 J-10 aircraft, which would make Pakistan the first recipient of one of the most advanced weapon systems in China’s arsenal. China-Pakistan joint defense production facility is called the Pakistan Aeronautical Complex in Kamra, and a turnkey ballistic missile manufacturing facility near Rawalpindi. Pakistan and China have also signed an agreement under which China will construct four submarines for Pakistan with Chinese help.
According to a 2009 Fox News report, “The United States has a detailed plan for infiltrating Pakistan and securing its mobile arsenal of nuclear warheads if it appears the country is about to fall under the control of the Taliban, Al Qaeda or other Islamic extremists.” This plan was developed by General Stanley McChrystal when he headed the US Joint Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. This report also coincides with the October 2009 cable and military source stating joint operations alongside Blackwater within the borders of Pakistan, a report officials, at the time, categorically denied.
Hamid Abdullah managed to miraculously be at the right place at the right time as the second missile hit its intended target. He survived to tell a truth which on the other side of the earth is exploited as a means to fuel the war machine that took his family’s life.Friends and neighbors told me the happiness was stripped from him like flesh torn from his face, he doesn’t look the same, even to himself. The tragedy sank deep. The once soft spoken man now speaks with hesitation looking on before speaking. He breaths the air of vengeance and has thought to join militant forces with the resources and logistics to put him at in front lines to fulfill the vindictive desire inside him. It has been his faith in God that has given him the peace of mind to remain steadfast and survive this life and invest in the hereafter. Many in the war torn region don’t have the patience, faith, or will as Abdullah did to sit after their families were taken from them for no reason. Many join Al-Qaeda and variant organizations to take revenge form those that put their life in total despair. It’s a foreign concept to the western world. Imagine a foreign invader with technology you’ve never seen, attack your suburban development. A missile hits your home on your way back from work. You pull up to your wife and children mangled, dead, burning on the lawn. Your immediate response is anguish and pain. Soon after you compose yourself you consult family and retrieve you fireproof safe containing a collection of firearms and ammunition. Your Government betrayed you by authorizing the attack within its borders. You locate and join the local militia, already mobilizing, you accept the conditions, resources and logistics to take you out to the front lines. A couple hours a month at the range, and revenge for your loss of innocence is all that’s behind your belt, your fate rest in your ability to survive the battle ground. Your life is taken by the very same drone and missile that took your families. Your cycle ended, though with every innocent civilian killed it starts over. As time passes a generation of war torn men, women and children assemble to create an army. The majority of these people, the common foot soldier, don’t defend a nation or religion they fight for revenge.
As stated in “The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives,” Brzezinski frames his strategy around controlling Eurasian landmass as a “key to world power” and that “Central Asia with its vast oil reserves as the key to domination of Eurasia”. The global controllers have drawn the doctrine, assembled the policy advisors, installed controlled presidencies, developed advance weapons systems for delivery, and contracted the mercenary to pursue a region, a country at the apex of what is considered world power. The ascendency of China as a primal force militarily and financially has the Anglo American imperialists charging into Pakistan, the center of the grand chess board, the position of central control, the life line of the opposing in the next world war.