Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
July 26, 2018

Pakistan's 'Populist' Wins The Election

Imran Khan won yesterday's elections in Pakistan. He is an unusual politician and his political program is laudable. The task he is taking on is difficult and fraught with danger:

Imran Khan has claimed victory for his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party (PTI) in an historic election for Pakistan. The PTI represents a populist swing away from the legacy mainstream parties PML-N and PPP that both fared poorly during the election. Additionally, religious extremist parties fared particularly poorly compared to the previous two elections and also when contrasted with the expectations that many theocratic parties set for themselves prior to polling day. Lastly, the deeply controversial MQM ended up losing both seats and electoral momentum in its Karachi heartland, surrendering its erstwhile momentum to PTI.

Likewise, the incumbent PML-N not only fared poorly in the national vote in their traditional Punjab stronghold but even in the Punjab assembly election, Imran Khan’s PTI has proved formidable. Finally in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which since 2013 has been governed by a PTI led provincial council, women were able to cast their votes for the first time. As was expected PTI heavily dominated throughout Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Imran Khan is an interesting character. He was born in 1952 into an affluent Pashtun family with an anti-colonial tradition. He was educated in Britain. After graduating from Oxford he excelled as a professional cricket player. In 1992 he won the Cricket World Cup for Pakistan as captain of the team. That made him a national hero but the high life also gave him a reputation as womanizer and playboy.


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His 2012 talk with Julian Assange (vid) demonstrates that he is way more than that. In 1996 he founded his political party and slowly moved it into a winning position. The PTI rule in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the poor and war-torn Pashtun state next to Afghanistan, was surprisingly successful.

Pakistan was long ruled by the military and several rich clans which used their political parties to enrich themselves. There is no evidence that Imran is of such a type.

The losing parties claim that the elections were rigged by the Pakistani military. During the campaign the military somewhat put its finger on the scale. It allegedly pushed some candidates into changing their party affiliation and interfered with some media. But the elections themselves went off mostly peaceful, the EU observer mission seems largely satisfied with the process and the result is consistent with earlier polls and predictions.

Imran campaigned on a social-democratic and anti-corruption platform. His victory speech (scroll down) emphasized his concern for the poor:

Pakistan should have that kind of humanitarian state, where we take responsibility for our weaker classes.

The weak are dying of hunger. I will try my best – all of my policies will be made to raise our weaker classes, for our labourers … for our poor farmers, who work all year and get no money … 45 percent of children have stunted growth, they don’t reach the right height, or their brains don’t develop.
...
No country can prosper when there is a small island of rich people, and a sea of poor.

Pakistan has long been a puppet state of the U.S. and its Saudi wallet. It was abused for the U.S. proxy war in Afghanistan against the Soviet Union and never recovered from that. The corruption and religious fanaticism that came with that war did not leave when it was over. Since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan the country's military used it as a racket. It demanded large payments for enabling the necessary U.S. transports through Pakistan while at the same time supporting the Taliban resistance against the U.S. occupation. In the end the U.S. lost the war. Imran Khan has led protests against the U.S. war of terror and its drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere. In his victory speech he touched on the unequal relation:

Then there is Afghanistan, a country that has suffered the most in the war on terror. Afghanistan’s people need peace. We want peace there. If there is peace in Afghanistan, there will be peace in Pakistan. We will make every effort to achieve peace there.

We want to have open borders with Afghanistan one day.

With the US, we want to have a mutually beneficial relationship … up until now, that has been one way, the US thinks it gives us aid to fight their war … we want both countries to benefit, we want a balanced relationship.

The Trump administration will probably be okay with Imran's position, after trying to sabotage him. Already U.S. media describe the election as 'disputed'. Trump demanded that Pakistan stops to "destabilize Afghanistan" and held back some money it was to receive. But Trump also wants to leave Afghanistan. Yesterday a State Department official met with Taliban representatives in Qatar to restart peace negotiations. The Trump administration, like others before it, will soon learn that no peace can be found in Afghanistan without Pakistan's acquiescence.

During the last few years Pakistan allied more and more with China. Large Chinese infrastructure investments are reshaping the country. Imran supports the relation:

China gives us a huge opportunity through CPEC, to use it and drive investment into Pakistan.

We want to learn from China how they brought 700 million people out of poverty … The other thing we can learn from China is … the measures they have taken against corruption, how they have arrested more than 400 ministers there.

Pakistan's most fragile relations are with its neighbor India, especial over the Muslim majority Kashmir valley over which India harshly rules and which is also the source and weak point of Pakistan's lifeline, the Indus river. The two nuclear states have fought each other several times. The always fraught relations with India are used by the Pakistani military to justify the perks of its officer corps and its oversized role in Pakistan's politics.

Imran Khan offered new negotiations with India: "If India’s leadership is ready, we are ready to improve ties with India. If you step forward one step, we will take two steps forward." But the question is if the military will let him do that. Indian analysts are skeptical:

Imran can contribute neither to the improvement nor the deterioration of Pakistan’s relations with India. Pakistan’s prime ministers have long lost influence, what little they had three decades ago in the immediate aftermath of Gen Zia-ul-Haque’s death, over the direction and shape of Islamabad’s foreign policy. Over these decades, Pakistan Army has gained absolute control over important national security issues relating to Afghanistan, United States, China, Jihadi forces and India.

Imran Khan can not take on the Pakistani military - at least not now. To clean up the endemic corruption and to solve the basic economic problems of his country are already huge tasks. If he proves to be successful with those he may get a chance to slowly wrestle back control over foreign policy form the military's oversized power.

The election of Imran Khan is a break with Pakistan's oligarchic past. As he wants to implement his anti-corruption and social programs he will have to fight an entrenched establishment that does not mind playing dirty. He may well win that fight but only if he continues to receive support from the military. For that he will have to follow the Generals' demands on foreign policy. Only a second term in office would give him the standing to tackle that relationship.

For now he is Pakistan's best chance. I wish him luck.

Posted by b on July 26, 2018 at 01:19 PM | Permalink

Comments

Small correction: 'Since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan' should be 2001.

Posted by: ZX | Jul 26, 2018 1:33:19 PM | 1

I hope you're right b. But I do think claims of massive vote rigging are credible. It's not just Western media saying so. All Pakistani political parties except for Khan's PTI are crying foul.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 26, 2018 1:34:42 PM | 2

maybe he can parlay his win and better relations with india and china into a spot in the BRICS coalition. since brazil is currently undergoing a right-wing/military coup they could be ejected. pakistan will replace them resulting in...PRICS? maybe not a great idea.

of course other parties (and military-industrial types in multiple countries) will whine about the vote. just as they do when putin wins or when hamas won or etc etc. compared to the election shenanigans in iraq it seems to have gone rather smoothly. and they haven't passed any laws making pakistan an "ethnically pashtun" country at the expense of their other citizens...so better than that "plucky democracy" israel.

i'd bet money i don't even have that eventually some mediatard will start a trend of "putin hacked pakistan's election #putinstan" or some such nonsense.

Posted by: the pair | Jul 26, 2018 2:04:00 PM | 3

Good luck to Imran Khan! (No irony intended.)

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 26, 2018 2:12:39 PM | 4

He can try to do it Erdogan's way. First, you improve the people's lot, then when you have a large popular support, you slowly begin to roll back the military's power, and you put your own guys there. Though that's tricky, difficult and takes time - which means you have to be reelected, possibly twice, to fully pull it off.

Posted by: Clueless Joe | Jul 26, 2018 2:15:39 PM | 5

Beautiful article! Thanks. One point is being overlooked though: The CIA, or their agents in the Pakistani intelligence service, will probably assassinate Khan. That of course is a common American tactic, as the pattern of assassinations in Pakistan and elsewhere clearly shows. For more details, see:
https://www.veteranstoday.com/2013/07/07/history-read-it-and-learn-part-v-of-a-birds-eye-view-of-contrived-terror-2/

Posted by: Fiona Jenkins | Jul 26, 2018 2:51:01 PM | 6

Let's hope, for the welfare of rank and file workers everywhere, this guy is really a progressive, and not some bought and paid for poser..

We'll see...

@ 2: Massive vote rigging huh? And what would you expect the elites to say? Usually, the vote rigging is done by the people who have the money to accomplish that mission.( see U$A for example)

Posted by: ben | Jul 26, 2018 2:58:27 PM | 7

Imran Khan could do worse than use president Putin as a role model. I'd love to hear of them forging ever closer links, trade ect ect the benifit obviously of weakening the globle monopoly that excites today to every ones detriment. And between them restablise Afganistan !

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 26, 2018 3:02:08 PM | 8

P.S.-Would be nice, if the latest election in Mexico, would take a progressive turn.
Time will tell about that election also.

Posted by: ben | Jul 26, 2018 3:02:52 PM | 9

Ben @9
A bit early to judge but being an optimist by nature,I'd ask is the world waking up to the nasty reality that is US. U.K. !
If I was Imran I'd be sorting out the dirty psycop cia mi6 and chuck them out as the first job.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 26, 2018 3:16:01 PM | 10

Don't for get the ever more important SCO. Now that India and Pakistan are both members they have new avenues for talks and cooperation. India is slowly coming to realize its mistake in aligning with the Neoliberals. Trump is helping thanks to tariffs on India along with the others. India is continuing with its port in Iran and will continue to buy Iranian oil and is buying Russian not US arms in spite of US sanctions. Trump is helping a lot but the multi-polar world is exerting itself with or without him. Clearly, the US has very little to offer India.

To be the global empire the US has intended to be sense August 6,1945 it must control the vast Eurasian land mass. Brzezinski viewed Central Asia as the key to it all, he claimed you could control the area with pipelines and that is in part behind the hostility against Iran (plus no regional powers are allowed its the US's world) and where is Russia located?

But we now live in a multi-polar world, B&R the new old Silk Road will go right through Central Asia just as it did thousands of years ago. So China and Russia do not see control of Central Asia as a way to empire but a way to trade and commerce.

Brzezinski was an Imperialist and imperialism is almost dead - this is something we can all begin to celebrate - the US is the last Empire - no other country of any size or power in the world seeks Imperial hegemony when the US falls it will be the end of empires (maybe).

Posted by: Babyl-on | Jul 26, 2018 3:19:38 PM | 11

Mark2 @ 10 asked:"A bit early to judge but being an optimist by nature,I'd ask is the world waking up to the nasty reality that is US. U.K. !"

I sure hope so Mark2...

Posted by: ben | Jul 26, 2018 3:27:02 PM | 12

I hope that this development will also indirectly have a positive effect on Syria's situation, diluting western powers attention and power ! Heaven knows they'v had to take the brunt of that! for to long ! Ditto the whole of the Middle East . Regarding Afganistan that wil be the place to watch like a hawk from now on. Will we see a sudden escalation US led, I fear yes. I hope and expect the relevant players will be ahead of that game.in summary let's give Syria a brake now donald !!!

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 26, 2018 3:41:48 PM | 13

Imran Khan has a year long track record of being honest and selfless - even before entering politics. I never in a million years thought I would actually like a Pakistani politician, yet here we are, and he is going to be PM. And in Pakistan of all places, which has repeatedly let itself be ruled by the Bhutto and Sharif robber barons. This is a most welcome turn of events.

Posted by: jz | Jul 26, 2018 3:57:35 PM | 14

His latest ex wife is not very flattering. Kind of Trumpish from what I can tell. Playboy celebrity and sexist from what she says

Most of these populists getting elected are faux populists. They say popular things to get elected and then do the opposite

Funny how so called populist guys like Trump and Khan claim vote rigging but still win.

Anyways I hope she is wrong and it works out for Pakistan, but I will wait a bit before jumping on the band wagon

Posted by: Pft | Jul 26, 2018 4:09:34 PM | 15

thanks b... i am glad you did an article on this, as i was following it beforehand.. i hope the best for pakistan under the leadership of imran khan....

of interest - they give his birthdate as 2 days before putins - same year too.. i was thinking how he has a few things in common with putin.. i sure hope he lasts as long! it is a difficult environment that he is stepping into.. i might be able to really help pakistan here..

Posted by: james | Jul 26, 2018 4:14:09 PM | 16

i - he..

Posted by: james | Jul 26, 2018 4:15:08 PM | 17

btw - i like this full quote from him which you've quoted part of.. "A country is not recognised by the lifestyle of the rich, but by the lifestyle of the poor. No country that has an island of rich people and a sea of poor people can prosper," he said."

Posted by: james | Jul 26, 2018 4:17:26 PM | 18

2008 Female Pakistani Presidential Candidate, Benazir Bhutto riding in an open car, was assassinated Dec 27, 2007. She had publicly stated that Osama Bin Laden was already deceased years before the infamous Seal Team 6 operation.

The 22 members of that particular seal team 6 were subsequently killed in a helicopter crash.

Posted by: fast freddy | Jul 26, 2018 4:36:22 PM | 19

#19

The members who died in that helicopter crash were never identified as being in the operation that killed OBL.

Posted by: Inkan1969 | Jul 26, 2018 4:48:52 PM | 20

Fiona @ 6: Why would the ISI assassinate Khan when Khan is their man? Khan is the military's candidate. This has been reported for years, not only in the mainstream press but the fringe socialist press as well. Just because Khan has been a vocal critic of U.S. unilateralism (he's calling for accommodation of Washington now) doesn't mean that he is on the side of the angels here. The Saudi royal family was a harsh critic of the U.S. under Obama. Does that mean they should have rose petals tossed at their feet?

Don't get me wrong. I hope Khan delivers a welfare state for Pakistan. But I'm skeptical.

Posted by: Mike Maloney | Jul 26, 2018 5:03:57 PM | 21

MM @ 21 said:" I hope Khan delivers a welfare state for Pakistan."

IMO, workers in Pakistan, just like workers around the globe don't expect a "welfare state". They expect equality in justice and to have a fair chance to share the bounty of their nation, that they helped to create through their labors. Not a nation that creates regulations bought and paid for by the wealthy, that suppress a fair return on their labors.

That's what real progressives fight for...

Posted by: ben | Jul 26, 2018 5:25:09 PM | 22

real progressives fight for a welfare state too because they recognize that welfare and other forms of social support are part of the mix that is needed.

Posted by: paul | Jul 26, 2018 5:43:27 PM | 23

I suppose as Mike Maloney says, the military supports Imran Khan and the general elections were rigged in his favour with all opposition parties in Pakistan crying foul.

Just as in Venezuela the military supported Hugo Chavez as President and supports Nicolas Maduro as President and all general elections that those two leaders won were all rigged in their favour with all opposition parties in Venezuela crying foul.

And in Syria where the SAA supports Bashar al Assad, the election that brought him back to power in 2014 was massively rigged and all opposition parties in Syria were crying foul - when they were not busy making their fake documentaries for Hollywood.

Meanwhile in Pakistan as in Venezuela and Syria, real politics and real life go on outside the window ...

Posted by: Jen | Jul 26, 2018 6:59:27 PM | 24

I have some limited insights into "Pakistani thinking" from a yearlong acquaintance with a Pakistani lawyer visiting the law school in my town. What not everybody knows:

(1) Muslim solidarity is VERY important for Pakistanis, but apart from extremists with small popularity, this includes "all Muslim", and definitely it includes mainstream Shia sects. "Should Pakistan help KSA in the war in Yemen? No! Pakistan should never help to attack other Muslim." Pakistan has substantial Shia minority, mostly Ismailis, and attacks on Shia and other minorities are not popular at all. Imran is aligned with some Islamic parties, but he could not be popular across the nation if his allies were anti-Shia extemists.

(2) Among the countries polled be Pew foundation, Iran has highest positive ratings in Pakistan. Following USA dictat not to develop common projects with Iran is not popular.

(3) The most spectacular thwarted project is a pipeline for natural gas from Iran. Pakistan signed the needed agreement, Iran build the pipe to the border and for the number of years the project is stalled for murky reason -- without any doubt, American pressure. In the same time, electricity is a serious development bottleneck, and the fastest and economic way is to build gas fueled power stations. Accidentally, this is the cleanest carbon based energy and most efficient way in terms energy/carbon emission that is carbon based (a lot of hydrogen is burned too). Importantly, gas powered electric generation has very low capital costs compared with all other ways, you buy turbines from Siemens of Mitsubishi, connect to the pipeline and to the grid, and it is fast.

(4) India has the same electricity bottleneck, Indian subcontinent can consume "any" amount of natural gas, Iran, Qatar, Central Asia. Needless to say, piped gas on "medium distance" like West Siberia to Europe or Gulf to Pakistan and India is quite a bit cheaper than liquifying, transporting highly explosive liquified gas and receiving it in de-liquifying facilities. Energy efficiency goes down and capital costs up. Mass industrial development and providing rural areas with adequate electricity requires cheap power.

(5) By going that route, Imran may show impressive results within one election cycle.

Then there is the question of corruption is is out of hand in Pakistan. Skimpy development funds vanish in real estate schemes of local elites or in a large number of other ways. This is the only Pakistan-specific corruption issue I know, but implicitly, there are many more -- like the pipeline scheme that could accelerate economy and prevent thousands of heat wave deaths that was thwarted in some corrupt manner. Converting Pakistan into a Denmark on Arabian Sea is not possible (or converting USA to truly uncorrupted government), but Imran may eliminate the most glaring and damaging kinds of corruption and again, boost the growth.

But corruption has many charms, so we must wait.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 26, 2018 7:22:06 PM | 25

President Khan has a historic opportunity to improve the Pakistani economy by fast tracking the Gwadar-Nawabshah (peace) pipeline in order to:
(1) reduce natural gas shortages in winter;
(2) acquire transit fees for natural gas supplies to India to improve the economy;
(3) reduce tensions with India and redirect capital from military expenditures;
(4) gain economic ties with Iran via energy infrastructure projects;
(5) further Pakistani integration into the BRI string of pearls;
(6) reduce US influence while bringing the conflict in Afghanistan to an end and reducing the influence of the Pakistani military and intelligence services;
(7) reduce future natural gas energy costs compared to the 2015 Pakistani contract import liquefied natural gas from Qatar for 15 years;
(8) reduce natural gas costs vs the proposed Saudi supported TAPI pipeline.

Iran has already extending the to the Pakistani border in late 2017 and awaits Pakistani completion of their portion.
https://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2017/09/21/iran-pakistan-gas-pipeline-critical-for-cpecs-energy-needs-envoy/

This Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline Project was previously stalled by political pressure, reportedly from an unnamed gulf country, and more importantly due to sanctions on Iran by the US and its UN allies. As a result Iran is asking for damages from Pakistan as part of a take-or-pay contract.
https://energy.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/oil-and-gas/pakistan-asks-iran-to-resume-natural-gas-pipeline-negotiations/64088020

It is well known that India has been running major energy deficits for many years. As of 2016 it is estimated that India imports a great deal of energy:
natural gas= 21.38 bcm (55% of consumption)
crude oil =4.88 million bbl/day (85% of consumption)
https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/in.html

In addition, Pakistan and Russia have finalized a memorandum of understanding for conducting a feasibility study for a planned undersea gas pipeline project, which could eventually involve Iran and India as well.
https://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/pakistan-russia-take-step-ahead-in-undersea-gas-pipeline-project-that-could-involve-india/story-U2Uw5jFgs98zIw05mAQyLJ.html

In addition, “Pakistan and Russia are strong partners in the field of energy. “The two countries have concluded various proposals in the energy sector including construction of North-South gas pipeline, import of LNG from Russia, installation of air mix plant, establishing of 600 MW combine cycle power plant etc,””
http://www.iran-daily.com/News/216289.html
https://financialtribune.com/articles/energy/81104/tapi-unlikely-to-challenge-iran-pak-pipeline-project

The approved 1,100 km long Russian backed North-South gas pipeline will “link liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals in the port of Karachi in the south of Pakistan with the city of Lahore in the north of the country.” Once again Putin has outmaneuvered the West in pipeline geopolitics with Russia by making Saudi backed TAPI pipeline unnecessary and impractical since US invasion of Afghanistan.
http://tass.com/economy/1002160

As a consequence of these agreements Pakistan will contract for the following natural gas supplies:
North-South gas pipeline = 12.4 bcm/yr
Iran-Pakistan Gas Pipeline = 8.7 bcm/yr to an ultimate of 40 bcm/yr
Qatar LNG = 3.3 bcm (2018-30)

“It is expected that gas delivered from Iran through the pipeline will cost US$11 per million British thermal unit (MMBTU) compared to $13 per MMBTU which is expected to be price of gas delivered through the proposed Trans-Afghanistan Pipeline (TAPI) and $18 per MMBTU of imported LNG.[46] (from Qatar)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iran%E2%80%93Pakistan_gas_pipeline

China may also get involved in the pipeline project as it is already heavily involved in the development of the Pakistan port of Gwadar.

Expect the US and its allies to sow chaos in Pakistan via terrorists cells and even attempt the assassination of President Khan as suggested by Fiona Jenkins@6

Posted by: Krollchem | Jul 26, 2018 7:28:55 PM | 26

His job sounds a lot like Trump's. Every power center in the country is likely to oppose him. I wish him luck.

Posted by: SteveK9 | Jul 26, 2018 7:36:44 PM | 27

Thanks Babyl-on @ 11, I think there is always an emergent empire and it is manipulating existing wouldd be empires with its extreme wealth. It is a virtual empire rather than a physical land mass empire. Thanks b for another inspiring research effort.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 26, 2018 7:48:58 PM | 28

Nice report, b, and right on the money.
It brought back memories of Investigative Reporting by Oz programs such as ABC.net.au 4Corners & Foreign Correspondent, and SBS.au Dateline - before they were Shoahed by 'Honest' John Dubya Howard and successive pro-Israel, pro-WOT fanatics on both sides of Oz politics.

Dateline had a strong focus on AfPak. They interviewed Musharraf and Kahn and reported on Benazir Bhutto's triumphalist return to Pakistan to reassert her 'legacy' and were in the parade, and filming, when she was bumped off. Now Dateline and Foreign Correspondent do innocuous and uncontroverial travelogues which involve avoiding tough questions, or asking the wrong people for answers to them.

Khan is the real deal and, hopefully, his knowledge of the unsporting aspects of sport will give him a head start in the game of Staying Alive.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 26, 2018 8:24:28 PM | 29

for anyone who missed it, the julian assange interview with imran khan that b posted above is worth the listen.. here it is again - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WacS98ATtIM

Posted by: james | Jul 26, 2018 8:57:39 PM | 30

The fact that the Canadian TV news appears kind of critical of the Cricket Hall of Famer's victory assures me in my instinctive view that it is a positive development.

Posted by: exiled off mainstreet | Jul 26, 2018 9:08:47 PM | 31

Posted by: james | Jul 26, 2018 8:57:39 PM | 30

I wish I could say that I enjoy your habit of coming to MoA with nothing to say, and saying it anyway. But I don't. It makes threads unnecessarily long.
This blog is called Moon Of Alabama, not James Of Alabama.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 26, 2018 9:21:24 PM | 32

Whether or not Imran will turn out to be a socialist. Or whether he will be able to translate his ambitions into practice, are two questions that remain to be answered.
But what is undeniable is that the people of Pakistan have broken with long established voting patterns and given his party a mandate for independence in foreign policy, (eschewing the corrupt relationship with Riyadh and the United States) and a domestic policy of taking on the feudal forces which have dominated Pakistan ever since the British, who coddled them during the Raj, handed over power to the Muslim League.
That is not just undeniable but extremely significant.
As to charges of election rigging: elections in Pakistan have always been corrupt. And they will continue to be so while Pakistani society is divided between rich elites convinced that they are entitled to rule in luxury while the masses live in squalor.
The people of Pakistan have set an inspiring example. They may not win this time but they have shown that they are unafraid to try in a country where people are regularly killed for refusing to conform.

Posted by: bevin | Jul 26, 2018 9:49:50 PM | 33

James @ 30:

Transcript of Julian Assange's interview of Imran Khan is even better:
https://worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org/episode-10.html?nocache

The interview was part of a series Assange made "The World Tomorrow" of people he deemed to be significant models of influence. In many respects the series was hit-n-miss. Noam Chomsky (huh?) sends a person to sleep, Slavoj Zizek (huh?) shouts too much and David Horowitz (yecch) is simply horrific. IMO the best interviews were with Rafael Correa and Hassan Nasrallah. I've seen them all on Youtube.

Posted by: Jen | Jul 26, 2018 9:53:02 PM | 34

james @ 30: Yes, I did miss the interview the first time, thanks for the repost..

Posted by: ben | Jul 26, 2018 10:22:07 PM | 35

I can attest to two things regarding Imran Khan.
1) He was a cricketer of rare talent, and I have a vivid recollection of a Test match at Sudney cricket ground that was, in essense, Australia vs Imran Khan and Javed Miandad. The other 9 Pakistanis were only there to make up the numbers
2) He did indeed fancy his luck with the ladies, as my then-girlfriend related an attempt by Imran to pick her up when they were seated at adjacent tables in a hotel restaurant.

Like b I wish him luck, but I suspect that isn't going to be enough.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 26, 2018 11:50:07 PM | 36

harshly rules ? nice way of describing the recreation of palestine in india

Posted by: occidentosis | Jul 27, 2018 12:36:05 AM | 37

"Educated in GB (Oxford)" = mole of the empire. Move on, nothing to see here.

Posted by: rea | Jul 27, 2018 2:17:24 AM | 38

May be Imran Khan can offer to give Julian Assange shelter at the Pakistan embassy in the UK ?

Posted by: Soyungato | Jul 27, 2018 3:21:12 AM | 39

@Jen | Jul 26, 2018 9:53:02 PM | 34

Transcript of Julian Assange's interview of Imran Khan is even better:
https://worldtomorrow.wikileaks.org/episode-10.html?nocache

(I'm including the link in the quote as it deserves repeating)

Seriously, folks, either watch the video or read the transcript. The interview is tremendous! Imran is way more than just a cricketer, he gives an insight into Pakistan that I have never seen before, and he may even be changing my opinion of Turkey's Erdogan (though I'll have to see more evidence before taking the latter seriously).

This interview can't be missed.

Posted by: Cyril | Jul 27, 2018 3:42:20 AM | 40

Going by your take b, I hope Imran Khan survives. I do not know the in and outs of Pakistan politics, but he was a good batsman.
Sounds like he will pull Pakistan closer in to the China Russia SCO orbit.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 27, 2018 4:01:40 AM | 41

@40 He was a very, very good batsman with a combative "crouching tiger" stance. Watching him bat was always entertaining.

But the mark of the man as far as his cricket went was this: as good a batsman as he was, his bowling was waaaaay better.

He was frighteningly fast, near-deadly, and only Dennis Lillee looked better while doing it.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 27, 2018 4:19:18 AM | 42

Yeah, Right 41
Used to follow the cricket at that time, though not an avid sports fan. Was at the MCG when Chapel bowled underarm.
Will have to look up Khan again. He was a big name at around that time.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 27, 2018 4:33:25 AM | 43

PTI will have to cobble a coalition. Because the results are close to complete, the majority seems impossible. Because two major formerly established parties hate each other, there seem to be no alternative to PTI lead government, but the resulting policies may be much less bold than the feisty rhetoric suggests.

Imran Khan seems to be a bet of the military and judiciary, perhaps, but not necessarily, for good reasons -- Bhutto and Sharif clans seem quite decadent, cutting their influence may be a just goal, but what are the true goals of "deep state" forces? Pakistan has a peculiar "division of powers" and in the past, judiciary and military were not in synch, but as I discussed on the pipeline issues, we just do not know what is going on.

Concerning Pakistan - China - Russia - India quadrangle and Iran, intractable India - Pakistan conflict is making it hard to unite Asian powers against American dictates, but we may see more of "distrust but cooperate" mode. To give an example, Turkey has a very "Sunni" government and Iran, "totally Shia", with strong divergence in Syria, but Turkey was most vocal in rejecting renewal of sanctions on Iran -- probably the cheapest and hard to replace energy supplier with assorted other commercial links. Alignment of ideology and trade that is promoted by Washington is really a nonsensical throwback to Cold War.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Jul 27, 2018 4:43:21 AM | 44

Piotr Berman
India seem to be rejecting the US attack on Iran. This may pull them closer into the SCO and negotiated agreement with Pakistan. Will be interesting to see how this goes. SCO is starting to look very much like the UN of the coming century.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 27, 2018 5:02:24 AM | 45

"Kashmir valley over which India harshly rules" Is this a joke?

Posted by: Av17 | Jul 27, 2018 5:22:59 AM | 46

Av17 45

From most of what I have read in the past, Hindu India is an occupation force in Muslim Kashmir

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 27, 2018 5:35:16 AM | 47

Could someone remind me of the population size of Pakistan ? I may have missed it. In the globle balence it would be good to know, thanks for all the brilliant links ! Am still catching up on the last threads 'homework' phew !

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 27, 2018 5:36:16 AM | 48

@42 I was at the Adelaide Oval when Greg Chappell passed Bradman's run total.

That was a day: the West Indies had Australia at 4-for-not-much before lunch, and then Greg Chappell joined Alan Border at the crease and.... the bowlers may as well have been throwing pies. Both saw out the day, and I think (memory may be hazy here) both scored centuries.

Man, it was hot - 40-plus in the shade - but we all had to stick it out until Chappell reached the milestone. Which was very late in the last session, by which time I was as close to heat-stroke as I'd ever want to be.

But as for Imran Khan, oh, yeah, he was all class.

A test-class batsman, and a world-class fast bowler, and he looked good doing either. Best allrounder I ever saw, no question. Only Botham was a better batsman, and he was nowhere near as good a bowler.

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 27, 2018 5:56:37 AM | 49

Thanks for asking Mark2 @47
around 201 million at tonights meter.
See: http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/pakistan-population/

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Jul 27, 2018 6:21:32 AM | 50

Thanks uncle ! @ 49
A timely reminder that,---- that part of the world had the longest hedge ever known to man ! Planted by the Brits so they could tax the salt trade (and other stuff I guess ) salt is a basic nessitiy to 'life' !!! Early capitalism !! Same monkeys watch out for similar or worse tricks!
Incidentally I now have indisputable proof Imran Khan is a 100% good thing !!! Simple the bbc are being negative about him !

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 27, 2018 7:14:40 AM | 51

Mark2 | Jul 27, 2018 7:14:40 AM | 50

Hyperbole aside; Imran Khan is anti-US; that's a good thing; for Pakistanis.
The deep state will try to rectify that asap...
Imran Khan, beware...

Posted by: V | Jul 27, 2018 9:38:09 AM | 52

The Khan family isn't oligarch rich, but they are hardly middle class...

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 27, 2018 10:03:11 AM | 53

Thanks V 51
Yes I guess areas of concern will be quite a list, most already mentioned. Fermenting political unrest (already present in msm) encouraging disputes with nabouring country's, creating a bad reputation globally ect.
As an optimist though. All the above have gone way past laughable. The list of county's they have tried that against is very long. And is becoming counter-productive !
This thread fits in very neatly with part of the last open thread, re the middle men /facilitaters connecting curuption / destablisation with the 'so called' respectable banks ! The Maginsky film. I'm no expert researcher, but will be digging ! Eny help would be much appreciated.

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 27, 2018 10:29:13 AM | 54

This went totally under my radar, which is strange because I follow Imran Khan on twitter since years. But thinking about it I can't remember the last tweet I saw from him. Yet here he is campaining:

https://twitter.com/ImranKhanPTI

Another "shadow ban"?

Anyway, great news for Pakistan and the region!

Posted by: CE | Jul 27, 2018 10:32:20 AM | 55

Have just googled ---- Pakistan Panama papers !!! Take a look, a mine of relevant info. And yes all curupt Roads lead back to London.
A reminder this is what Margert Thatcher meant when she said Britain does'nt need heavy industry we can make our money from banking ! What an f ing crook !
Also did'nt we buy slave /child labour coal from Pakistan ?

Posted by: Mark2 | Jul 27, 2018 11:00:30 AM | 56

@V 51
Incorrect. Imran Khan is *not* anti-US. He just isn't particularly pro-US especially with regards to US policy in Afghanistan and US drone activity in Pakistan.
The Khan family has not insignificant activity and presence in the US, but has their own goals for themselves and Pakistan too, unlike a large number of other Pakistani politicians/puppets.

Posted by: c1ue | Jul 27, 2018 11:35:56 AM | 57

Of course the Neos don't want Khan as he further consolidates the Outlaw US Empire's loss of the Heartland. His election's very much in Pakistan's, Afghanistan's, Iran's, and India's interests. Which foreign leader he meets with first will certainly be of interest--Modi, Xi, Rouhani, Putin? That his party carried a majority of Parliament's very important, but it will be tested early and often, so it must perform well, which means Khan must provide a combination of visionary and exhortative leadership.

Posted by: karlof1 | Jul 27, 2018 11:46:38 AM | 58

"As for Imran Khan, oh, yeah, he was all class."

Posted by: Yeah, Right | Jul 27, 2018 5:56:37 AM | @48

A test-class batsman, and a world-class fast bowler, and he looked good doing either.
Best allrounder I ever saw, no question. Only Botham was a better batsman,
and he was nowhere near as good a bowler.

Posted by: Guerrero | Jul 27, 2018 11:46:58 AM | 59

Trump's first tweet this year was hostile to Pakistan over its alleged harbouring of terror groups whilst receiving 'billions' of dollars in aid. I doubt if he will change his modus operandi any time soon just because there is a new face in charge.
BBC Newsnight has had to apologize for showing a clip that purported to be Imran Khan playing cricket, but was actually Wasim Akram. The former was a fast right-arm bowler, the latter a fast left-arm bowler. I suspect all brown cricketers look alike to the self-obsessed denizens of BBC Newsnight.

Posted by: Shakesvshav | Jul 27, 2018 12:15:02 PM | 60

@32 hoarsewhisperer... alright! just skip my posts.. it's easy enough to do.. thanks

@34 jen - thanks!.. i much prefer transcripts to videos... i will have to check out some of the other ones.

@35 ben.. thanks ben!

@39 cyril.. i agree! on the basis of that interview with assange i decided to buy a book written by imran khan.. he came off as articulate, thoughtful and insightful.. i hope he is able to help transition pakistan into a better future.. i see him as capable of this, but there will be powerful forces trying to undermine him - the usa in particular..

Posted by: james | Jul 27, 2018 1:51:04 PM | 61

nice image
these chaps love the 1 finger gesture.
that hand is signal reverse of the spock handy thing
pure ashkanazi kaballa


normal folk do not marry goldsmith normal folk do not get to masinic handy with the queen of engerlund.
khans are never of the people they are like the cohens in these regardings

Posted by: adam gadahn | Jul 27, 2018 3:21:57 PM | 62


I ran across this 20 yr old EIR article.

http://www.larouchepub.com/eiw/public/1999/eirv26n36-19990910/eirv26n36-19990910_041-russias_north_caucasus_republics.pdf

I thought it interesting although I cant read too much into it. At the time Khan was married to the late Sir James Goldsmith daughter, a billionare descended from the Rothschild's.

"Russian investigative report, published by Shamsuddin Mamyev and Pyotr Ivanov in Kommer- sant-Vlast, on Feb. 10, 1998. We do not vouch for the accuracy of details contained therein, but the report indicates how London was perceived in Moscow as fanning the flames in the North Caucasus.

The Vlast report said that a British delegation, arriving in Grozny on Oct. 13, 1997, represented “the financial group of [the late] Jimmy Goldsmith,” together with “his son-in-law, Pakistani playboy Imran Khan,” and Lord Alistair McAlpine, “Goldsmith’s political ally for many years.” They were deal- ing with the Chechens for the right to rent the Chechnya segment of the Baku-Novorossiysk oil pipeline, in exchange for investment in reconstructing the Chechen economy.......


“In late November, the investment fund, promised by the British, was presented in London. On the eve of this event, Goldsmith’s heir Lord McAlpine introduced Nukhayev to Margaret Thatcher. . . . Goldsmith’s group was not going to limit its activity to Chechnya. The game was spreading to Dagestan, where a new political forces, the Wahhabites, were activizing.

“On December 10, a tender for the development of Rus- sia’s (including Dagestan’s) oil deposits was held in Moscow. Twelve days later, the Wahhabites, trained by a citizen of Jordan along with Chechens, attacked the Russian garrison in Buinaksk. The terrorist group that destroyed a regular tank unit, questioned the guarantees of oil transit, previously given by Russia.

“To make sure the oil company representatives under- stood who was behind this armed attack, Goldsmith’s group dropped several hints. On Nov. 14, Lord McAlpine declared his intention to send a squad of former British commandos to Chechnya under the pretext of an operation to save two ethnic British [hostages], but also with a plan to ‘train the (Chechen) government’s troops.’ Nukhayev promised to earmark $400,000 for these purposes. In December, Imran Khan was going to visit Chechnya. In mid-January, Jachimczyk and Nukhayev initiated sending a group of Polish commandos to Chechnya.”

The Vlast authors suggested that Goldsmith’s group was not only “outflanking Russia,” but, by establishing itself in the North Caucasus, had “challenged the United States"

I also ran across a you tube video from 3 years ago where Khan called Russia butchers over Chechnya

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JC1Xd2x59bc

I'd like to know more on Khans British connections (if any post divorce) , but the internet has nothing more. Pakistan has pretty good relations with Russia but one wonders if this could change?


Posted by: Pft | Jul 27, 2018 7:20:48 PM | 63

karlof1 | Jul 27, 2018 11:46:38 AM | 58

Spot on, I agree 100%.

Posted by: V | Jul 28, 2018 12:16:42 AM | 64

James, congratulations! You must have been doing something right to get targeted by the Hoarsey one.

And thanks for the links, James, Krollchem, Jen and Pft.

I don't know if I posted this, but
this is an interview with Kahn from April.

The interviewer is Sophie Shevardnadze, who is another one of RT's wonderful, female bulldogs.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 28, 2018 2:35:03 AM | 65

#63 pft... thanks for your post and the link to the imran khan youtube from 2015.. i wonder if that was some kind of political campaigning thing going on? it seems to me the issue of chechnya is in large part over!! if he had said that back in 2000, it would be different.. but on the topic of chechnya and pakistan, i found an article from what looks like around 2000 - 2001.. it is very interesting.. http://www.idsa-india.org/an-jun-700.html

in this context, i do believe the creation and funding of the madrassas in pakistan bear significant consideration in all this... if folks are unfamiliar with the history on this, i encourage them to read this basic overview from wikipedia..https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Madrassas_in_Pakistan

to understand the concept of jihadi as taught in these madrassas - funded by saudi arabia and with support from the usa - one will come to the conclusion that this whole movement towards teaching a crazed fundamentalist type of wahabbism in pakistan was an intentional decision to divide and conquer pakistan...

of course, i do believe the usa's siding up to india - as @65 daniels youtube link to the rt interview with imran khan - is more proof of this! side with india and negate pakistan... i don't see it working out for the usa or saudi arabia in the long term.. pakistan would really benefit from monitoring or closing these madrassas, but that would mean not accepting saudi arabia money as well, which combined with usa financial support being in jeopardy - is a problem!!

@65 daniel... lol.. thanks! and thanks for the interview that i am almost finished listening to..

it is difficult to compare someone like imran khan - who comes across as very articulate, intelligent and knowledgeable with trump who generally comes across as a loose cannon/ignoramus... the world is not all that straight forward!!

Posted by: james | Jul 28, 2018 1:19:45 PM | 66

from 2016 - Saudi Arabia funding 24,000 madrassas in Pakistan
Washington: About 24,000 madrassas in Pakistan are funded by Saudi Arabia which has unleashed a "tsunami of money" to "export intolerance", a top American senator has said....
https://www.indiatvnews.com/news/world/saudi-arabia-funding-24-000-madrassas-in-pakistan-28269.html

Posted by: james | Jul 28, 2018 1:34:58 PM | 67

James@66

Thanks for the link.

I agree Chechnya is a non issue, but his history there may point to to something.

IK seems rather hostile to both US and Russia. Cant help but think he is backed by the British financial and intelligence forces. For what purpose I am not sure.

Looking at Pakistans economic situation his aim of turning Pakistan into a welfare state with the US witholding aid should turn Pakistan into IMF dependency and Western control. China wont loan money for social welfare, only infrastructure/resource projects. His perceived support or weakness terrorism could jeapordize participation in BRICs. Improvement in relations with India seem unlikely. Saudis dont seem to be a fan of IK

He does not have a majority government so there will be some chaos ahead, perhaps enough to lead to another military coup. Here is what Khan said would happen if there was a military coup a few years ago

"Sweets would be shared! People would be made happy! People would celebrate!"


Posted by: Pft | Jul 28, 2018 3:08:40 PM | 68

thanks pft... i am not familiar with IK's connections to the UK, other then the relationship he had with his UK wife and her family - which i suppose is significant.. they were married 9 years - 1995 to 2004..

i think whoever leads pakistan is between a rock and a hard place.. he might be politically savvy enough to do it though.. i believe the success of a politician hinges in part of keeping all options open and never fully committing to only one path... it is hard to know how he will fair as leader of pakistan, but the lck of a majority gov't will also handicap him.. i wish him success.

i do believe the religious indoctrination that pakistani people have been given - thanks the generous donation of the wahabbi death cult of saudi arabia - hasn't helped any... i was watching a video peter shared on another link - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HDytlHGHpY&feature=youtu.be&t=370 ... one can see how clearly this religious indoctrination has been successfully transplanted in uzbekistan, and some of the other stans, including pakistan... it is ironic the usa claims iran is the country sponsoring terrorists, when in fact saudi arabia has been involved in this non stop with their madrassas's and the tacit approval of the usa/uk in all of it... i do believe the divide and conquer strategy thru use of wahabbism is a strategy doomed to failure... if you watch that video, you recognize how crazed these whack jobs are..

Posted by: james | Jul 28, 2018 10:02:10 PM | 69

James, congratulations! You must have been doing something right to get targeted by the Hoarsey one.
...
Posted by: Daniel | Jul 28, 2018 2:35:03 AM | 65

Then again...
one of the factors which endear me to Pat Lang's SST is that james, after several warnings, was banned from contributing inanities masquerading as comments. Thus one may read the comments safe in the knowledge that the thread will be uncluttered by vacuous dross.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 29, 2018 10:43:04 PM | 70

hoarsesass - no.. pat lang can't stand anyone telling him his country is a piece of shit for backing every regime change, murderous agenda that has been put up on the people of the planet 24/7 since ww2... for that he can kiss my ass, as i am not gonna say anything different.. i hope you enjoy hanging out at sst!

Posted by: james | Jul 29, 2018 10:58:55 PM | 71

Hoarsewhisperer
What username do you go by at that site

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 29, 2018 11:06:15 PM | 72

Hello fellow barflies. I took a much need holiday and am catching up.

I would posit about Pakistan politics that they have been provided the same "choice" that Americans have had for at least the past 70 years.

Of course I hope that Pakistan will join the China/Russia axis but Imran Khan could just be the next Obama like puppet for Pakistan.

Posted by: psychohistorian | Jul 30, 2018 1:18:35 AM | 73

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 29, 2018 11:06:15 PM | 72

I don't comment there. I decided when I discovered 'turcopolier' about 10+ years ago, that I'd embrace it as a self-control barometer. It was and still is easy to be tempted by the topics debated there. But whilst I was lurking, waiting for an opportunity to make a memorable inaugural comment, I noticed that people were routinely expressing "my" opinion - and I like short threads.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 30, 2018 1:28:08 AM | 74

Hoarsewhisperer
I respected Pat Lang somewhat for the range of guest authors there. It is only when commenting there that that the nature of the beast can be understood.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 30, 2018 1:36:24 AM | 75

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer @70

"one of the factors which endear me to Pat Lang's SST is that james, after several warnings, was banned from contributing inanities masquerading as comments. "

Well bless your heart. I trust your little snowflake eyes have been restored now that they've been liberated from seeing comments that offend them? At least you didn't have to "pluck them out."

Or wait....

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 30, 2018 1:52:02 AM | 76

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer @74

"and I like short threads."

Is that why you have frequently failed to respond to my questions, or admit when I've posted evidence that you were completely mistaken?

I await your snarky non-answer.

Posted by: Daniel | Jul 30, 2018 1:55:33 AM | 77

Hoarsewhisperer
Pat Lang himself is only a military tactician. A tool to be used by strategists.
He is loyal to his country, something to be respected anywhere, no matter if you have have to shoot the fucker - but a tool nonetheless.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 30, 2018 2:00:41 AM | 78

...
for that he can kiss my ass, as i am not gonna say anything different.. i hope you enjoy hanging out at sst!
Posted by: james | Jul 29, 2018 10:58:55 PM | 71

Have you looked at the archives - starting with the oldest?
It illustrates that success in the US Military involves keeping Obedience and belief in separate compartments.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 30, 2018 2:13:37 AM | 79

Hoarsewhisperer
Why do you comment here if you consider yourself too much of a low life to comment at Lang's US centric hangout

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 30, 2018 3:15:49 AM | 80

Hoarsewhisperer
Pat lang would challenge me to prove what I was saying, so of would put up video of of influential Americans saying it. That did not fit the narrative. Zbig lecturing US uni students on Russia did not go down well. Inbred specimen posted my comment but not the link. Comment was meaningless on its own.

Posted by: Peter AU 1 | Jul 30, 2018 3:35:14 AM | 81

"and I like short threads."
Is that why you have frequently failed to respond to my questions, or admit when I've posted evidence that you were completely mistaken?
I await your snarky non-answer.
Posted by: Daniel | Jul 30, 2018 1:55:33 AM | 77

I see each thread as a broad mix of differing points of view. In such an environment one can often be enlightened. But in any case it's not essential to refute an opinion with which one disagrees. It's sufficient to polite-ishly express one's own opinion (with or without supporting arguments/ evidence) where it may then be assessed on its merits, or lack thereof, by the reader.

b doesn't seem to mind people expressing an opinion which differs from his, rarely responds to provocations, and NEVER in a combative manner. Of course if one sees an issue as so black & white that it must be fought until a Winner and Loser is produced then that outcome is still subject to assessment in the Eye of the Beholder.

So if you feel repudiated by someone's failure to respond to a carefully crafted refutation, don't. Just chalk it up as a Resounding Daniel Victory and assume that sundry observers agree with you:-)

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 30, 2018 4:54:54 AM | 82

79 hoarsewhisperer.. quote "Have you looked at the archives - starting with the oldest?
It illustrates that success in the US Military involves keeping Obedience and belief in separate compartments."

i can't say i've looked at the archives starting with the oldest.. i've looked in the archives some and pl would periodically dredge up an old topic and repost it.. no doubt obedience - following orders - and not questioning them - is how the military works.. it's how the exceptional nation gave us abu graib https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Ghraib_torture_and_prisoner_abuse - the fallujah slaughtering in 2003 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallujah_killings_of_April_2003 and etc. etc. etc... unfortunately - and all as i see it - we need people like bradley manning ( chelsea ) julian assange, edward snowden and etc. etc. to blow the whistle on this obedient group of navel gazers... anyone challenging pat lang, as opposed to bowing at him for his past experience has my admiration... sst is mostly an inward looking group of yes people agreeing with pl... there are exceptions to this, but it seems to be what pls ego requires..

Posted by: james | Jul 30, 2018 11:59:37 AM | 83

ot - another fine example of obedience..
"The people doing these things were not ordinarily bad people; they were just trying to keep their jobs, comforting themselves with the thought that they were only civil servants obeying orders."

from craig murrays latest article today - The Ubiquity of Evil

Posted by: james | Jul 30, 2018 1:42:20 PM | 84

keeping obedience and belief separate is intentional and mind numbing...

Posted by: james | Jul 30, 2018 1:43:42 PM | 85

Posted by: james | Jul 30, 2018 11:59:37 AM | 83

One can speculate on why a retired US Army Colonel chose to invest a regular chunk of his Golden Years creating and maintaining a blog critical of USG's dubious and opaque policies.
Atonement? Who can say?
You have to understand ambition to get a handle on human behavior. Ambitious people are typically thinking two steps ahead in their plans for personal success. No-one becomes a Colonel by accident or the Grace of God. It's the result of a plan to stand out from the crowd in a way that will impress one's superiors without unnecessarily alienating fellow competitors. Self-justification is part of the game.

If you go to the SST Archives and open the 2005 record, the July 2005 article at the top of the page is called...
"Iraq Faces Deadlock On Charter" Washpost

It's an interesting read because PL (now purely an observer) can see the flaws in a US Policy which he assesses to be a SNAFU waiting to happen. And Time proved him right.
So from my (oversimplified) POV he's disappointed that his time in the service of the USG didn't produce the outcome he'd hoped for.
But he's still alive. And it's not too late...

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Jul 30, 2018 8:43:41 PM | 86

@86 hoarsewhisperer... thanks for that.. i hear what you are saying.. redemption is always possible.. i tried to remain positive with pat, but something about him and i don't work...ultimately it is his little fiefdom - sst - and he can do what he wants there, including cutting off, misunderstanding, or characterizing others in less then friendly ways, while maintaining his holier then thou american attitude.. if he is having a problem with what his country represents to the world in 2018 - i think that is a good thing.. if he knew that back in 2005, even better..

Posted by: james | Jul 31, 2018 1:08:38 PM | 87

Posted by: james | Jul 31, 2018 1:08:38 PM | 87

Well, don't despair. There is definitely something about Trump's persona which renders even normally sharp folks susceptible to one of several variations of Trump Derangement Syndrome. PL seems to have fallen victim to the Samantha Bee variation the crux of which boils down to "See what he just did?!! That PROVES he's an idiot!!!"

Here's the conclusion of PL's take on the Jerusalem SNAFU...
...
The Israelis and other Zionists, like Kushner and Ivanka, have long held the Palestinians in contempt as inferior beings fit only to be cheap labor in the Israeli economy. That they could have sold that idea to Trump is the measure of the man. pl"

However, PL would know that it's wise to defer judgement of someone's apparent mistake until the cascade of ensuing events has concluded.
What if Trump had an insight into the way the "Israelis" would react in response to his Jerusalem gambit? Whether he had or not, it didn't take them very long to decide it would be OK to resume maiming and slaughtering unarmed Palestinians in Gaza, in full view of the world Media. It's going to be hard to paint a smiley-face on this latest episode of unnecessarily self-indulgent supremacist violence and it will haunt the "New Israel" for the foreseeable future.

Posted by: Hoarsewhisperer | Aug 2, 2018 2:19:23 AM | 88

Hope he will do best for Pakistan people and reduce the terrorism. Good luck to Imran Khan

Posted by: Hacker Combat | Aug 2, 2018 10:13:04 AM | 89

He already has cred with the people. He established a free cancer hospital and an accredited college where most of the students are low income.

His party was only one praised by departing UNDP country director.
http://www.brecorder.com/company-news/235:pakistan/78764:pakistani-elite-needs-to-decide-whether-or-not-they-want-a-country-outgoing-country-director-undp-pakistan/

Pakistani elite needs to decide whether or not they want a country: outgoing country director UNDP Pakistan

Meanwhile the other major parties:
https://www.thethirdpole.net/en/2017/06/06/in-sindh-water-is-only-for-rich-and-powerful/
In Sindh water is only for rich and powerful
Despite having the best water infrastructure in the country, Sindh has shockingly high poverty and malnutrition levels; one reason is the manipulation of water outlets for the benefit of the rich and powerful
Former President Obama had very negative things to say about his visit to the home of a friend from a feudal background in his autobiography.

Nawaz Sharif’s party has many flaws. Did you know his govt was providing a monthly stipend for a terrorist?
https://tribune.com.pk/story/210827/lejs-malik-received-monthly-stipend-from-punjab-govt/
LeJ’s Malik received monthly stipend from Punjab govt

Posted by: Winstom | Aug 2, 2018 5:22:21 PM | 90

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