[Here we have part II of Asia Times dispensation of latest dangerous CIA myth, that "Al-CIAda" has established a "watershed" in the area around Chaman. As with all CIA "Public Diplomacy" psyops such as this, the well-placed agency writer/patsies, like Syed Saleem Shahzad, follow the traditional tactic of citing his last installment as established fact and self-reinforcing proof of his latest claims. His words gain credibility when unnamed "security officials" give unsubstantiated leaks that are echoed by current news reports--"al-Qaeda" captured in Chaman, coinciding with British press claims of Iran releasing "al-Qaeda" leaders.... This tactic echoes the mind-bending techniques perfected in Oliver North, William Casey and Otto Reich's Central American "Contra" deception operations.... They have been working on these techniques for a long time-- I guess that is why it takes old researchers with long memories like Robert Parry to tie today's CIA deceptions with yesterday's CIA deceptions....
The following line gives away his entire deception, expressing truthfully what he and the spooks would like us to believe.]
“An indication of a strong pro-al-Qaeda LJ presence in the region shows a complete anti-thesis of the grand American designs for an endgame,”
[Keep in mind that the covert government has entrapped us in a Hegelian trap, intending to trick the American people and everyone else into embracing contradictory solutions. Seen in this light, the CIA mouthpiece's words make it a little easier for us to understand what is going on. If they want us to believe that "al-Qaeda" has established a beachhead near Quetta, then the opposite of that is the real truth--THERE IS NO ISLAMIST PRESENCE IN QUETTA, except for a few token "Islamists" imported into the area for publicity purposes, such as the alleged IMU terrorists also supposedly captured near Chaman, on the same day as Bugti's 12-16 vehicle convoy was busted allegedly importing heavy weapons.
The US Army/CIA must be getting desperate to attempt such a lame gambit, even though it probably will give them their objective, allowing military actions to flow from Kandahar into Baluchistan. The flurry of Iran/al-Qaeda/IMU reports will increase and become blurred with those about Shahzain Bugti.]
[For those of you who know the work of Asia Times reporter, Mr. Syed Saleem Shahzad (or his Agency counterpart, Mr. Michael Scheuer SEE: CIA Sees Dead People), you already know that he is used to introduce false narratives, the “official version” of planned events. He previously outlined the “Taliban split” psyop that introduced the official story on the TTP to the world.
Now, Syed is setting us up for the next psyop, by introducing the concept of the “strategic corridor” into the media (SEE: ‘Final Solution’ Frenzy – Part Four: Final Solution for Pakistan), only he is doing his usual job of flipping the truth, making claims that it is “al Qaida” who has plans to occupy the western corner of Baluchistan, setting us up by introducing the false plot line, in order to justify pursuit by the American/international coalition.
A sudden surge in attacks on Afghanistan-bound (through the Chaman-Kandahar border crossing) North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) supplies, a hallmark of al-Qaeda and its allied groups, especially in the ethnically Baloch regions of Baluchistan, forced decision-makers for the first time to rethink the serious penetration of al-Qaeda in the region that had been the domain and ownership of the indigenous Pashtun Taliban.
“This is evidence that the situation is clearly slipping out of control,” a senior security official told Asia Times Online. “There was a hope in the past that Pakistan could intervene and talk through the Taliban who run southwestern Afghanistan without any al-Qaeda influence, but if they have opened a theater in Baluchistan, that means the situation is taking a new turn and the war theater will flare up.”
“An indication of a strong pro-al-Qaeda LJ presence in the region shows a complete anti-thesis of the grand American designs for an endgame.....,” the Pakistani security official said.
[We are a long way from the point where our Afghan follies are admittedly described as mistakes. Even though most of us already understand that we have failed, very few are willing to admit that the entire terror war has been a huge mistake. Just like our failure in Vietnam, there is a time lag of years between the point where we realize that we have lost and the point where we understand why we have lost--because we were wrong all along. Between that future time where we understand our massive error and now, how many more people will die and how many more uncounted billions will be poured down the bottomless pit?
If America really had a peace movement, then we would now be witnesses to and participants in a massive effort to save our sinking country by hastening the day of our understanding. Unlike the ending of the previous war, the resolution of the this war will affect our own survival as a functioning Nation. The longer it takes to reach its inevitable conclusion, the worse our chances become to survive the impending economic/military collapse. As long as we keep dedicating trillions to a lost war and trillions more to the corrupt financial centers who have financed that corrupt war (fueled on pure debt), we will have nothing left but austerity to deal with our real problems. If we resolve it more quickly, devoting less resources to futile schemes at "winning," then the more resources will be available to fix the collateral damage.
There is nothing as costly to a Nation as an entire government of failed leaders who are intent upon hiding their mistakes. A single admission of error is seen as the final fatal mistake.....]
By Pepe Escobar
Forget the iPad; the ultimate icon of fetishized commodity is the drone. Israelis do it - and sell them like hot cakes.... Mexicans do it - to patrol their side of the border. Brazilians wanna do it - to patrol the Rio favelas. Saudis wanna do it..... Uzbeks wanna do it..... Everybody's singing: Let's do it. Let's fall in love (with the drone).....
Furthermore, abandon all hope those who enter (the doors of misperception): Afghanistan is now officially just a lowly, troop-infested sideshow to the AfPak war. The real thing is an illegal drone war against Pakistan. Viva Richard Nixon. As much as Tricky Dick annexed Cambodia to the Vietnam War, the Barack Obama administration pulled a Nixon regarding Pakistan. And the great thing is that no one needs another CIA/WikiLeaks "dump" to know this. It's out there in the open.
Tricky Dick's tricks paved the way to Year Zero for the Khmer Rouge. Obama's throw of the dice may be paving the way to a Year Zero for the Pashtun brotherhood. The 16-agency US intelligence establishment says the Afghan adventure is doomed. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) is somewhat gloomy. But the surge-addicted White House - in a stark reminder of those George W Bush-era reports about Iraq - says it's all swell (Taliban "momentum has been arrested in much of the country"). Pentagon supremo Robert Gates says Washington now controls more Afghan territory than a year ago; maybe in terms of Kabul shopping malls - and that's already a stretch.
Taliban momentum, anyway, is just an afterthought. What matters for the White House is to smash ("significant progress") al-CIAda, allegedly holed up not in Afghanistan but in Pakistan's tribal areas. Take them Pakistani Talibs out from the air, with the CIA playing Ride of the Valkyries, just like in an orgiastic Facebook-friendly remix of Francis Ford Coppola's Apocalypse Now, with all those US Marine tanks rolling along in Helmand province offering a cute counterpart. I love the smell of a burning Talib in the morning. Makes me think of ... re-election.
But what about collateral damage? Tough guys of the "real men go to Tehran" type say this is for sissies (the New America Foundation says around a third of drone deaths are civilians, but that's hugely underestimated, according to Pakistani sources.) Blowback, anyway, is guaranteed to last until the 22nd century.
Faster CIA, kill, kill
So it's not the Pentagon but the CIA that is showering Death from Above over dirt-poor mud-hut villages in a country against which the US is not at war. Things may change - witness the frenzy to legally nail "terrorist" Julian Assange - but US law does not exactly condone mass assassination campaigns.
The CIA drone war is obviously secret and illegal. That can be fixed with the incoming chairman of the US House Armed Services Committee updating the congressional authorization for this extended war on al-Qaeda. As for Pashtuns collaborating with the CIA, they are technically Afghans, not Pakistanis, from different tribes; that will foster centuries of subsequent tribal trouble once the families of the dead ascertain who the snitches are.
Whatever the rhetoric emanating from Washington in 2011, the game will keep being duly played according to only one plot-advancing script; American Pentagonists visit Islamabad/Rawalpindi to warn the Pakistanis of Washington's perennial "strategic impatience" with what they're doing, while their military/intelligence establishment go live to spin they're doing all they can, but also need to be watchful of Pakistan's own interests.
In a nutshell: expect for 2011 an endless parade of Predators and Reapers firing barrages of missiles at the usual "suspected militants" in North Waziristan, Khyber or anywhere else in the tribal areas; and forget about Islamabad/Rawalpindi sending their army into North Waziristan to fight "al-Qaeda" or even the local tribes.
What this essentially means is that the nebula/myth conveniently branded "al-Qaeda" remains in the clear. There's no way its few dozen invisible jihadis can be crushed by the CIA's illegal air war, not to mention troops from Islamabad/Rawalpindi. And even supposing they were, the "franchises" would still be in business - as in AQAP, al-CIAda in the Arabian Peninsula/Yemen.....
Drone Eye for the Straight Guy
Who cares about Don't Ask, Don't Tell? The new hit in all things AfPak is Drone Eye for the Straight Guy. The next chief of the CIA's National Clandestine Service - that is, the CIA's new top spy - is John D Bennett, none other than the former head of a drone-infested CIA paramilitary wing. An Associated Press story even claimed that he directed the drones in Pakistan during the Bush era.
Even the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General "Hoss" Cartwright, has totally gone Drone Eye for the Straight Guy. As he sees it, COIN is now history; the hip thing to do is "counter-terrorism", as in drone-saturated air war. Consider the drone war as Washington's premier stimulus package to Central Asia.
Progress in over-stimulated Afghanistan, according to the Obama administration's year-end report, is "frail and reversible". This means in practice that for all the spin, missile-saturated Kandahar is not becoming Orange county anytime soon.
The Afghanistan plot won't thicken; it will dilute in the usual diarrhea. Afghans will keep saying over and over again they are not exactly Taliban fans - but they hate the corrupt Hamid Karzai gang and Washington even more, for allowing their occupied country to be controlled by gangsters and warlords.
Washington will keep tweaking its losing "strategy" of smashing the Taliban with extreme firepower. The Taliban for their part have already fine-tuned their own strategy of "flee the south-go north". All the roads in Afghanistan lead to Kabul; not by accident, all are intercepted or under Taliban attack. Karzai rule stops abruptly at the last rickety police station south of Kabul, on the road to Kandahar. It's as if Kabul was enveloped by an eerie Titanic feeling - that pampered, gated-condo isolated neo-colonial coterie of generals, diplomats, non-governmental organizations and security contractors partying hard as in before the fall of Saigon.
But soon anyway a "new" narrative will be taking over - the snail-pace North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) "drawdown" from 2011 to 2014. But does that mean the beginning of the endgame - no more war? Rather it's back to the beginning, as in "abandon all hope those who enter (the doors of misperception)". To (literally) thunderous applause by a coterie of neophyte neo-jihadi bombers, the Obama White House has explicitly emphasized "NATO's enduring commitment beyond 2014".
A key feature of this "enduring commitment" is that the Afghan army soldiers and cops NATO is training (supplemented by US private contractors of the Dyncorp/Blackwater mould) will need no less than US$6 billion a year, every year, till probably eternity, from the usually euphemistic "international donors", key among them US taxpayers.
It's a gas, gas, gas
And here's where The Year of the Drone merges with what the late, great deconstructionist Jacques Lacan would qualify as "the unsayable": the invisible, dangerous liaisons between the "war on terror" and the energy war, as in the topography of the war on terror matching all the key 21st-century sources of energy from the Middle East to Central Asia.
This implies a key Pipelineistan chapter - the never-ending saga of the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) pipeline, which has been at the very core of the troubled Washington-Kabul marriage since the mid-1990s.
The TAPI inter-government agreement was finally signed in mid-December. Make no mistake; this is Washington in overdrive. The Washington-backed Asian Development Bank is to come up with the bulk of the $7.6 billion (and counting) financial package. The 2,000 kilometer-long TAPI - to be built by an international consortium - should snake through a very dodgy 735 kilometers of Afghanistan and 800 kilometers of Pakistan.
Hype apart, there's no hard evidence that TAPI will "stabilize" Afghanistan or contribute to India and Pakistan trading kisses instead of insults. AfPak in this case are both transit countries. Most of the Afghan stretch will be underground - much as the US-supported BTC from Baku in Azerbaijan to Ceyhan, Turkey. In theory, local villages will be paid to guard the pipeline. But that still does not guarantee security to a steel serpent crossing western Afghanistan and then going east through Kandahar.
Once again in theory, TAPI is indeed a steel Silk Road between Central and South Asia. If TAPI is ever built - and that's still a big "if" - certainly it will mark a monster crossover of Pipelineistan with the US Empire of Bases. Because none other than the Pentagon and NATO will provide the overall security. And that means the Atlanticist West forever embedded in AfPak. One can imagine what the Taliban on both sides - not to mention disgruntled Pashtuns in general - will make of that.
And even if TAPI is built, this still does not mean that its key competitor, the $7.3 billion Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) pipeline, also known as the "peace pipeline", has lost the battle - much to Washington's horror. The Indians have said that much - they are now chasing insurance giants of the Lloyds variety. And Pakistan definitely wants both TAPI and IPI.
TAPI theoretically should be finished by 2014. Surprise! That's exactly the deadline year (for now ...) for American troops to exit Afghanistan. No one will be exiting anything. Finally, the whole AfPak imbroglio will be revealed for what it is; a Pipelineistan gambit.
Meanwhile, enjoy the Year of the Drone. And while we're at it, here's some breaking news. The 2011 Pentagon/NATO strategy for AfPak is already established: wait for the Taliban spring/summer offensive to see where they're at. And then drone them to death. Call it Drone Eye for the Bad Guy....