Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
November 29, 2008

Mumbai: What Follows?

by Debs is Dead
lifted from a comment

Going on from what Giap wrote about State actors in many large 'terrorist' operations, it seems from where I sit that the states most likely to benefit from the action in Mumbai are USuk/BJPIndia/Israel.

The prez elect of America has given a firm commitment to move troops from Iraq where he imagines they are no longer needed, to Afghanistan where they are required, he claims. The problem is that the people America has declared war on the Pashtu, are spread across two nation states so war in Afghanistan of itself cannot truly subjugate these people and turn them away from the ancient culture into dumbed down consumerists.

Therefore USuk must wage war against those Pashtu who live in Pakistan as well but the Pakistani government stands ready and willing to do that themselves, repeatedly advising USuk that their presence on Pakistan soil is not required, not wanted and certainly not gonna be tolerated.

That dichotomy of belligerence could have worked with the BushCo administration who had no interest in the Pashtu other than shooting or bombing any head which appeared over the parapet, but Obama appears to want more.

As I said the total subjugation of the Pashtu seems to be the primary aim of the new American administration. Obama and his crew of washed up dem party hacks (on sale now - two wars for the price of one - highest bid not necessarily accepted - must check with AIPAC) have spoken about the need to take the war into Pakistan.

As shanks pointed out above if India moves all it's forces up to the Pakistani border, Pakistan will have no choice other than to respond by moving the bulk of it's forces down to the India/Pakistan border. If they don't India will almost certainly launch so called 'punitive raids' into Pakistan killing Pakistani citizens.

So the Pakistani military war against the Pashtu will stop for the time being and that will create the perfect excuse for USuk to invade Pakistan from the north.

It will be presented to western eyes much as shanks is trying to present it comments here. That Pakistan would have some sort of a choice in whether or not they went eyeball to eyeball with the Indian forces on their Southern border. There could be no choice, if Pakistan fails to man their southern border sufficiently India who as one can see here is forever getting into boundary disputes with it's neighbours, will at the very least re-kindle one of the many border disputes between the two nations claiming back some territory that they have previously agreed was Pakistan.

More likely the new BJP controlled government will decide Pakistan needs to be 'punished' for Mumbai. Read some of the comments in the piece shanks linked to and you will see a thirst for blood on the part of the usual loons, rednecks and crazies that every country has and which the BJP panders to.

If India mans up it's border, Pakistan must do the same in which case Obama will have the perfect excuse (in his eyes and the eyes of the somnolent American people) to invade Pakistan.

If war is like chess and this particular conflict is playing out like a chess match, I would be interested to see what strategy Pakistan could construct where the Mumbai attacks were instigated by them and they benefited from the attacks.

I can't think of one maybe someone else can.

There may be several intermediate steps in the invasion of Pakistan which I outlined above. The Pakistan strategists aren't fools and they may be persuaded to try to spread their forces between the NW frontier and the Indian border. Or even attempt a counter strategy of not fronting down South.

If they don't go South or even split their forces to cover both fronts, you can be sure that India will be receiving 'advice' from it's new ally amerika, to initiate some conflict, perhaps to settle the Kashmir 'problem once and for all, by moving the border further into Pakistan thereby cutting off the 'terror supply line'.

If Pakistani forces do move South as conventional strategy suggests they will have to since the danger to the Pakistani state from an Indian invasion is far worse than anything the Pashtu who are basically just reacting to provocation, could cook up, then we can be sure that American special forces plus drones, will provoke the Pakistani Pashtu.

They will probably react, of course understanding the danger they may be disciplined enough not to do anything at first, but the provocations with be ramped up until the the Pashtu do hit back. Whereupon USuk have the 'excuse' to invade. Game over.

Posted by b on November 29, 2008 at 06:39 PM | Permalink


it seems from where I sit that the states most likely to benefit from the action in Mumbai are USuk/BJPIndia/Israel.

from my comment in the last thread..

the team: US/IS/UK/India vs pakistan

of course! plus the added bonus of getting israel out of the closet of behind the scenes and a full on outted member of the WOT.

i just got back from discussing the bombings w/my friend from india down at the corner market (we think alike!). he tells me they (press) tried to float the idea the weapons were russian made. they weren't! american made.

while the home court is slumbering over turkey the entire fiasco is wrapped up and solved over the holiday into one neat sound bite.

Posted by: annie | Nov 29, 2008 6:56:05 PM | 1

I truly cannot see anything the US has to gain from an Indian-Pakistani conflagration. But then again, you never know what motivates the actors in these cases. I base my view on the flawed premise that the US has intelligent people in it's halls of power. Or it could be any of a number of extra-state actors trying to force their hands...

Posted by: D. Mathews | Nov 29, 2008 7:25:05 PM | 2

If war is like chess and this particular conflict is playing out like a chess match, I would be interested to see what strategy Pakistan could construct where the Mumbai attacks were instigated by them and they benefited from the attacks.

If you considered a full scale invasion to be highly unlikely then there could be several possible benefits.
At the moment Pakistan is constantly embarrassed by the US violating its sovereignty and involved in an extremely unpopular conflict in the tribal areas. Combined with the increasingly dire straits the economy is in that is not a good place to be.
A threatening Indian army at the border could serve both as an expedient reason for ceasing combat operations in the tribal areas and as a face saving measure toward the own population. You can't very well worry about a few American drones and soldiers if the old archenemy is poised to strike.

Posted by: generic | Nov 29, 2008 8:28:32 PM | 3

voices of pakistan they will never succeed in demonising

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 29, 2008 8:35:46 PM | 4

the Mockingbirds have been prepping us for this for a while now: This should tell you all you need to know.

Posted by: Uncle $cam | Nov 29, 2008 9:28:12 PM | 5

Cripes! The New Central Front is Pakistan? I'm endlessly reminded of Ferlinghetti's poem about Nixon.

Nixon oh Nixon Joy begat joy and Love Begat
Love and Hate begat Hate and these are
the strophes and anti-strophes of ecstasy and
despair in this strange ecologue to you But I'll not
be your Virgil heralding you a modern Emperor Augustus
who recognized the Empire's natural limits and
forthwith withdrew all armies overseas pronto thus
bringing the Age of Iron to a clanging close Oh Daddy
you're a legionnaire on the wall of the farthest reaches
of Empire looking out at the Darkness and not recognizing
the limits One would think the wind still whispered Latin
phrases when whoever wrote our dollar bill took its
not-so-mystic motto from Virgil's Messianic Ecologue but
conveniently skipped the part of the prophesy about
the way the Age would end in Fire...

--"Tyrannus Nix?"

Posted by: Copeland | Nov 29, 2008 10:05:11 PM | 6

Hmmm... Speculating a bit. Imminent US sponsored invasion of Pakistan together with a world economic crisis. Who banks that venture? The Taliban allied poppy farmers? Its not like this hasn't been done before.

Posted by: D. Mathews | Nov 29, 2008 10:05:29 PM | 7

Merging replies from a couple of other threads;

The BJP was initially started off with a lot of ex-Congress men, so the exact term 'fascist right wing' wouldn't exactly be appropriate. Their main plank of 'hindutva' certainly is fascist.

And their rise is no surprise given the Congress 'appeasement' to minorities. Even today, the groundswell of dislike of the Congress is amazing. And the BJP is pretty good, nay, make it excellent, at going in for the jugular.

One example; "There is no person called Lord Rama, of the Ramayana", white paper on the objections to dredging the Adam's bridge(Ramar Sethu) coral bay in Tamil Nadu, India.
Issued by the Congress Gov. If you google Ramar Sethu,you'd see the whole sordid thing over this expensive eco disaster, just so shipping can have a deep water passage.

Let that sink in. In a country where they still drink cow piss(on certain occasions, though) and still worship rhesus monkeys. (No, I'm not racist, I hate your religion too)

EPIC FAIL. and the BJP is slowly winning it state by state over the perceived "stranger in his own homeland" theme.

So far, it's right out of 20s-30s Germany's playbook.

So far.

So, where are we now? We are in "we need a strongman to lead this country out of this mess" phase. The political framing is going on well for the BJP; Every state that has had violence whether internal or externally instigated, the BJP has made inroads in terms of seats.

Let me close out by an election example. After the Gujarat riots, that were silently goaded/encouraged by the Gujarat Gov., elections were held. Narendra Modi came back stronger, stunning the media blabbermouths and the Congress.
One muslim professor confessed that he did not know what to make of the electorate who elected this man.

I sense that his view of secular humanity had been snuffed out.

Posted by: shanks | Nov 29, 2008 10:08:56 PM | 8

A much greater case would have to be made to formally invade Pakistan. Look at the case they fomented for Iraq. Sure, to us it was rather crude and transparent, but to the unwitting majority, it was convincing enough. It's going to have to be another false flag like 911, or worse than 911, on our soil and somehow tied to Pakistan, or it's going to have to be Pakistan using a nuke. And, if we do engage heavily, as Obama said he will do, then we will surely follow the same fate as the Soviet Union 20 years prior.

Posted by: Obamageddon | Nov 29, 2008 10:09:16 PM | 9

Or the US could "India" Pakistan like it "Ethiopiaed" Somalia. And of course, the outcome would be worse.

Posted by: D. Mathews | Nov 29, 2008 10:22:36 PM | 10

Used yo appreciate this site but on this issue i totally disagree.

First, BJP are not in power. Sure they are going to exploit this for political advantage but so will Congress.

Second, it is doubtful if either the Congress or the BJP can win outright at the Federal level. Left's support is crucial in any future coalition past 2009. BJP will never garner that support.

Third, unlike the bulk of the Indian MSM, most Indians outside the west of the country do not want to see the BJP back.

Fourth, while it may indeed cause anger, from what I have come to know of the country, it is unlikely to lead to open confrontation with Pakistan although given the history of Pakistan's footdragging over ISI sponsored activities, surgical strikes cannot be ruled out. After the Bush doctrine's preemptive aggression, who is going to fault them?

What people at this site seem to be very pro-Pakistan, Indian Muslims are appalled and angry at the arrogance of these people on display. They are adamant they do not want to be saved by these thugs.

There is a reference to India's border disputes with its neighbours inferring this is all Indian belligerence. From my perspective I totally disagree and I am not stupid nor right wing and happen to know a a fair bit. BTW there is no border dispute with Bagladesh or Shri Lanka. The Tamil Tigers are not popular either since the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi. It would be helpful if these veiled insinuations were evidence based which they are not. As such this is just a rant of a fevered nutter.

Posted by: sona | Nov 29, 2008 10:55:16 PM | 11

I'll second the question concerning the bankrolling of yet another invasion. Pakistan and Afghanistan do not have their own oil wells or diamond mines. Poppies are lucrative, but addiction/recreational use just isn't widespread enough.

What they do have is nuclear technology and the remnants of a blackmarket procurement and sales pipeline.

Posted by: vachon | Nov 29, 2008 11:05:51 PM | 12

Geopolitically, the BJP doesn't seem to have much finesse like the Congress(if there was any at all); I see a couple of threads here;

-- Arms market (critical to Israel, useful to USA to wean India from Russian arms)

-- Terrorism ally (it's in Israel's best interest that India sides with it; every bomb attack moves India towards Israel over the common "muslim" enemy)

-- the China containment factor (critical to USA, means little to Israel)

All these are BJP's strong cards. at least they think so.

One other thing which MOA need to consider is, the Foreign service in India has decided to de-hypenate India-Pak and concentrate on India-china issues. The thinking is, the basket case Pakistan is too small a state for a country of India's size to worry about. So, there is a conscious effort to move up the big league and not do "details" with small rogue states.


Presumably that has to do with the economic muscle where India has 250B $ reserves and Pak none and is now begging IMF.


If you look at India's defence R&D and purchases, they're more to do with China (long range missles, nuke subs, underwater/silo/rail based launches, exospheric Air Defence systems, 2nd stike capability). And since that is big ticket expense and expertise, the race is to get help for that.

with 40B to spend, everybody and their uncle wants to play.

Posted by: shanks | Nov 29, 2008 11:23:06 PM | 13

@ 11,

Not now, but will soon. See the saffronisation map.

The map is slowly turning orange.

We do have water and border disputes with B'desh. Farakka dam, cattle rustling and B'desh immigration are some of them.

LTTE enjoys popular support in Tamil Nadu. And you know, Tamil Nadu has always been sort of seditious, isn't it? :-)

Posted by: shanks | Nov 29, 2008 11:36:02 PM | 14


like sona, i have liked this site since billmon "retired", but this post's logic and knowledge of the various aspects of the situation is way off base, to be polite. could this have been a false flag operation? in theory. but not bloody likely IMHO.

amusing, though.

Posted by: vikas | Nov 30, 2008 12:13:21 AM | 15

I do not see what any of the states involved would gain. USuk would loose faster in Afghanistan if they can not move through Pakistan, invading the border regions just enlarges the size of the war they loose. From Indias perspective, pushing Pakistan into a shooting war could end with nuclear weapons being exchanged. And Pakistan only has loosing options.

That is looking at the states. Looking at actors within the states, groups in both India and Pakstan can gain from an escalated conflict. Military contracts, emergency powers, public support, its the usual list. Still the lsit of possible suspects is long enough.

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Nov 30, 2008 12:20:07 AM | 16

does not sound likely. a second front would suit just one party.
a polarizing Hindu government in India would suit two parties - US UK is not among them. Two destabilized nuclear powers? A nightmare for about anybody.

Posted by: outsider | Nov 30, 2008 1:38:08 AM | 17

As I wrote, if Pakistan moves it's troops down the meet the forces India will probably mass on it's border it is unlikely that the India/Pakistan conflict will escalate.

A congress dominated government already being taken to task in full page newspaper advertisements by the BJP for being weak on terror and 'letting this happen' may have little choice other than moving troops to the border and generally bristling at Pakistan. What else can Congress do/advocate?

It can't do what the BJP would do which is come down hard on urban muslim communities, thank goodness, because to do so would alienate muslim Congress supporters.

Being seen to be standing up to Pakistan is one of the few actions the current government can take.

I suppose they could free Hindu terrorist Sadhvi, than execute Muhammad Afzal despite truckloads of evidence that he was framed for the attack on Parliament. That might to take the wind outta the BJP's sails but probably only short term. Copycatting one's opposition is rarely successful, it usually just reinforces the belief that the other party was correct all along.

At this late stage that type of about face would only serve to lose old votes without picking up new ones.

For those that say "why would amerika want to invade pakistan?" I couldn't agree more but the sad fact is that elements of USuk have been agitating for the right to extend ground operations into Pakistani territory for some time.
Since at least October amerika has had special forces advisors in Pakistan 'training' Pakistani troops, if those troops or at least substantial numbers of them are drawn south to the Indian border I doubt the special forces assistance will pack up and go home.

They will continue their activities against the so called Taliban, the Pashtu nationalists, who are fighting for their homeland and to extract vengeance for friends and family already killed by the invaders.

Without substantial numbers of Pakistani military working as a buffer between the Pashtu and the USuk forces this conflict will certainly escalate.

amerika has been looking at alternatives to the Pakistan supply route but I believe they will do their usual bull in a china shop thing and try to seize control of the routes through Pakistan as soon as the opportunity presents.

Finally I find it interesting that so many prepared to come in here and lap up reality when amerikan aggression is called into question, cannot take the heat when their own country's pursuit of self interest at the expense of humanity is featured.

First we had those wondering why an organisation whose senior management and talent (journos, presenters and other talking heads) are almost entirely the product of two universities deep in the heart of southern england, would be considered english, now Indian citizens or Indian ex-pats are objecting to posts that question why Pakistan has been singled out by Indian authorities for blame over this slaughter in Mumbai, despite persistent reports that a number of the terrorists were Indian nationals as well as other eyewitness claims that the gunmen had been overheard talking with english accents.

All or none of which may be true, as I said yesterday, it is unlikely that anyone outside of the organisers themselves, even now, possess sufficient knowledge of who was involved to accuse nation or organisation, yet Indian officials have been persistently laying the blame on Pakistan since the attacks were reported.
To make matters worse these claims were motivated by selfish political needs, lust for power, yet those who write of this despicable behaviour are the bad guys.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 30, 2008 2:33:25 AM | 18

i've almost given up giving a shit about ferreting out the players behind the explosions, controlled demolitions, assassinations, and if you read fringe enough, earthquakes and weather, because it will never be definitive.

this particular terrorist attack seems almost meant to short circuit speculation by the variance of tactics and locations.

Posted by: Lizard | Nov 30, 2008 2:49:39 AM | 19

@sona, vikas - Debs' it is a bit speculative post.

There is no denying that the U.S. for some time is trying to set up India versus China and is supporting India as much as possible (see the nuclear pact). It is also supporting the Indian advances in Afghanistan that are THE reason for Pakistan to silently support the Taliban.

To speculate how this might develop is in my view helpful, that's why I front-paged the piece. I do not believe that a full invasion of Pakistan is likely - too much of a mess - but more constant bombing of relevant areas is definitely a possibility.

Pakistan is between a rock and a hard place. That is dangerous.

Posted by: b | Nov 30, 2008 2:52:46 AM | 20

"Pakistan is between a rock and a hard place. That is dangerous."

Thats about right, and consistent with the overall U.S. mideast policy. Pakistan is being set up as the new Iran. With the results eventually following the same counterproductive trajectory (as a strategy). And with Karzai already assuming the Maliki template. Unfortunately for the chess players in Washington the pawns in the field may have their own designs on who and why the pieces move.

Posted by: anna missed | Nov 30, 2008 5:27:16 AM | 21

Right, the NYT has some highlights of the mood in Bombay by Anand Giridhardas.

I beg to differ on the reasons why this is different. And it's not nice to think those thoughts.

Some timelines...

There has been about 7+ bombings so far this year.
No case has been solved except for the Malegoan one which was/is political dynamite
The Home minister Shivraj Patel did not resign on any of the previous occasions. Today, he has.

What's so different about this?

The rich and the powerful were targeted, that's why! Nothing else. The kind of media coverage, the business houses targeted, the pressure on the GOI was acute. For the first frigging time, they felt the insecurity of the common masses.

Right from the comedic, undertrained police constable who cares more for the bribes than YOUR protection to systematic lapses where the commandos were only based out of Delhi and no other important place.(Delhiites do think they're the important anywhere, don't you know?)

NOW, the ratfcukers get it. It's right up there, the shrapnel in their guts; the same random bomb explosion can get them too, on the planes,trains and hotels because you have a underpaid,malnourished guy as your "watchman".

It never hit these people that the 1993 bombay blasts was the difference of Rs 500 to constables who knowingly let a consignment of RDX through (among other long list of people bribed). 250+ people died.

Raj Thackeray (son of Bal thackeray of Shiv Sena), whose xenophobic "Maharastra for Marathis"....silent. wimped out. Dead soldiers were Sandeep Unnikrishnan, a South Indian, and Gajendra Singh a north Indian. But the dead tell no tales; the rabble rouser will be back.

Apparently Mukesh Ambani clobbered the GOI and gave them an earful. The Times of India, India's equivalent of Murdoch's papers, got one of their own killed. TOI is already corporate shill,now watch them dress their fear in patriotic bugle calling for "strong action".

Fear is sometimes a wonderful thing; it gives you wings to act at least out of your self interest.

Posted by: shanks | Nov 30, 2008 6:23:31 AM | 22

More news....

National Security Advisor resigns too. Current FM now the Home Minister. The PM takes over finance portfolio.

Pakistan is elevating alert levels. Troop movement requests seem to get louder.

Rabbi was tied and shot. as were some other girls is Nariman chabad house. Photos have been taken and pretty sure that is going to Israel for nice windup.

If Pak is going to get Israel involved, then the Middle East will unconditionally support Pakistan. No two ways about that.
In fact, I think that's a smart move by Pak.

The USA cannot broker with 1 country; with 3 countries, it'd shit its pants in the 3 way mental circus of N capable countries who are "rational" in their use.

IB is throwing out Dawood's name as the logistics supplier. Neat way to get the Israelis and Americans to extradite or take him out.

Nice. Let's see where this leads.

Posted by: shanks | Nov 30, 2008 7:28:01 AM | 23

@debs is dead: "Going on from what Giap wrote about State actors in many large 'terrorist' operations"

I'm assuming that Giap said that many large terrorist ops are state led black ops, but do you have a reference? Thanks

Posted by: jesus reyes | Nov 30, 2008 7:32:01 AM | 24

Interesting - and nihilistic - perspective from Chatham House via the BBC:

The Age of 'Celebrity Terrorism'

Posted by: Tantalus | Nov 30, 2008 9:36:57 AM | 25

Finally I find it interesting that so many prepared to come in here and lap up reality when amerikan aggression is called into question, cannot take the heat when their own country's pursuit of self interest at the expense of humanity is featured.

Exactly, Debs. I see reverse exceptionalism taking place here, which is a bit odd. American Exceptionalism has always been quite obvious, but now we see the reverse ocurring, as if these countries are somehow immune from the follies that befit the U.S.

I was called a racist in another thread for criticizing the decision to sell either of these countries nuclear weapons considering their bloody past and history. What that poster failed to realize about me is that I support the complete elimination of all nuclear weaponry, by all powers, large and small. I am fully aware of the U.S. use of nuclear weapons in Japan and I have frequently criticized it on numerous forums, and have been beat up over my criticism, because I am often in the minority due to...guess what..American Exceptionalism. What's ironic is that Obama has explicitly stated that he would use Nukes on Iran if all else failed in keeping them from developing nuclear weapon capability. That tells me that the nuclear option is available elsewhere for him, as well, and so long as he's not asked, he's not obliged to tell. I do believe that one possible explanation of Biden's dire warning about Obama being tested and him having to make an unpopular decision is the potential use of a nuke, or nukes by Obama. As Uncle Scam mentioned, the Mockingbird press is prepping us for this outcome, every bit as much as they prepped us for 911. Who could have known, my ass.

Notice the upper left hand corner. Planting the seed?,16641,20061023,00.html>Why Barack Obama Could Be The Next President

Why, indeed. Because only an Obama could sell the majprity of the American public on the urgent, but limited use of nuclear weapons.

Posted by: Obamageddon | Nov 30, 2008 9:56:10 AM | 26


Then I owe an apology to you over the nuke thing. Unreservedly.

My outburst was specifically at the thought somehow brown people are not capable of "responsible, rational madness" with respect to nukes.

That is all.

Posted by: shanks | Nov 30, 2008 10:06:25 AM | 27

Keeping the world in an uproar is the point. Fomenting hatred and fear and uncertainty is the point. Using the mass media to keep populations in tow is the point. Numbing young adults to violence through violent bloodlust videogames is the point. Repetition of images and imagery and awful lifestyle choices beating people over the head until they accept evil as good via "reality" television shows is the point.
I hold with those who favor fire...

Posted by: James Crow | Nov 30, 2008 10:49:36 AM | 28

Interesting link, Tantalus.

BBC NEWS | South Asia | The age of 'celebrity terrorism'

These individuals indulge in terrorism simply because they can, while their audience concocts a rationale on their behalf.

Welcome to the age of celebrity terrorism.

The invitation to the world's D-list malcontents reads as follows: No matter how corrupt your moral sense, how contorted your view of the world, how vapid and inarticulate your ideas, how talentless you are and how exaggerated your grievance, an obsessive audience will watch your every move and turn you into what you most want to be, just before your death.

It is possible, but not plausible if it is a large group. One suicidal person who goes on a killing-spree? Sure, happens all to often. A few? That happens, but much more rarely. Thirty? Unheard of, afaik.

Posted by: a swedish kind of death | Nov 30, 2008 10:49:46 AM | 29

wind up. wind up.

And Israel is mentioned in it again.

and so on, the ratcheting up....

Posted by: shanks | Nov 30, 2008 11:04:55 AM | 30

i know they wuldnt have much of a library at the bbc but i'd suggest they read a little guy debord. if that is too difficult - then perhaps they might take a glance at black september in munich

of course they are completely complicit in such a celebrity culture - indeed they feed from the same trough

cnn taking the cake in their new 'caring' got the people of the world. like barnum & bailey - they are truly repulsive - dependant totally on the suffering of the people, any people

Posted by: remembereringgiap | Nov 30, 2008 11:12:56 AM | 31

canberra times

PAKISTAN could divert tens of thousands of troops fighting terrorists on its border with Afghanistan to the Indian border if tensions between the nuclear-armed neighbours continue to escalate in the wake of the terrorist strike on Mumbai, a senior Pakistani security official has warned. ....

The senior security official was quoted in the Pakistan media as saying that if cross-border tensions continue to rise, "the war on terrorism won't be our priority. We'll take out everything from the western border. We won't leave anything here. [The] next two days will prove crucial to relations."

does this senior security official have a name?

Posted by: annie | Nov 30, 2008 11:39:35 AM | 32

Pakistan has nuclear weapons. How can we "invade" a country that has nuclear weapons? Who has ultimate control of these weapons? ISI, the army? Seems like the logical US strategy would be to strike a deal with whoever that sector is. I've heard that a likely outcome (and probable goal of current US strategy) is the break up of Pakistan into three parts, on the Iraq model, with the nukes in the hands of the part we think we can control.

Who is most threatened by Pakistan's nukes (after India)? Israel.

Posted by: seneca | Nov 30, 2008 11:53:39 AM | 33

shanks, from your #30 link

"Of all the bodies, the Israeli victims bore the maximum torture marks.....On the other hand, there is enough to suggest that the terrorists also did not meet a clean, death.....The doctors who conducted the post mortem said the bodies of the terrorists were beyond recognition. "Their faces were beyond recognition."


Posted by: annie | Nov 30, 2008 11:57:40 AM | 34

Who is most threatened by Pakistan's nukes (after India)? Israel.

my god, can you listen to yourself? pakistan is not threatening israel! you can't plop yourself down in some region of the world and justify invading all your neighbors on the pretense they are a threat to you for heavens sakes.

Who has ultimate control of these weapons? ISI, the army?

most likely some private contractors we are affiliated with.

(and probable goal of current US strategy)

don't you mean the goal of the IS/US strategy?

who might have you heard that from? checked out the map recently?

Posted by: annie | Nov 30, 2008 12:06:33 PM | 35

#26 What's ironic is that Obama has explicitly stated that he would use Nukes on Iran if all else failed in keeping them from developing nuclear weapon capability.

could you please supply the supporting quotes of this explict statement.

A much greater case would have to be made to formally invade Pakistan.

do we even do formal engagement anymore? why get formal about it? the less the US public knows the better. this is one reason the foreign press is so valuable, because they like to print the meme outside the country first. we don't actually 'invade the country' we just, y'know attack the bad guys in the country.

this is a great piece as an example from the UK telegraph

Already a disturbing theme is emerging: that two of the world's most bitter and intractable conflicts, in Afghanistan and Kashmir, could be merging into one.

not clear enough?


>Pakistan, in turn, is suspicious of India's growing influence in Afghanistan, accusing its old foe of supplying arms and money to the Taliban, and to separatists within Pakistan itself.

There is a vicious irony here. It was Pakistan that first sponsored the Taliban, along with other terrorist groups, operating in Indian-held Kashmir. Yet now it finds itself endangered by the very groups it once supported.

helloooo. what about the 'vicious irony' of the US sponsoring the taliban and now 'finding itself' endangered by the very groups it once supported.

more money quotes

America, in particular, is fighting what is essentially an undeclared war here, one which will only increase in intensity as its attention shifts from Iraq under incoming president Barack Obama

why should the US put troops on the ground in pakistan when it can inspire india to do it? furthermore, the US msm has yet to address the issue that we support the jhiadist in the region who are supported by india, and why should we? to confusing for the little minds. better to have an event like this that completes the circle in a formal way, to better explain india's (and israel's)presence in the WOT. do we formally invade? no, we just stack the decks w/our allies and have everyone battling away in pakistan. murdering civilains as we go.

The resulting chaos is not just a problem for Pakistan. "The tribal areas are an ungoverned space that make Pakistan a threat to global security," says a senior Western military intelligence official in Islamabad...As a result, America is taking matters into its own hands.

On a recent visit to Pakistan, the US central command chief, Gen David Petraeus, explained away the missile strikes, claiming that America is doing Pakistan a favour.

His words were backed by General James Conway, the head of the Marine Corps, who told the Wall Street Journal this week; "Iraq is now a rearguard action on the part of al-Qaeda. They have changed their strategic focus not to Afghanistan but to Pakistan, because Pakistan is the closest place where you have the nexus of terrorism and nuclear weapons."


A map published by a Right-wing American journal recently, which depicted the region broken down into smaller ethnic states, led to widespread claims that the US wants to break Pakistan apart.


When General Kiyani was head of the ISI a year ago, he briefed foreign ambassadors on his attempts to clamp down on the rogue agents who had supported terrorists and jihadis in the past.

But, according to American and British officials, the massacre in Bombay (Mumbai) represents a devastating setback, both to Pakistani/Indian relations and to the wider war on terror.

Barack Obama had hoped to persuaded Pakistan to concentrate its gaze to the west, on Afghanistan, rather than east, on Kashmir. Instead, he may find that he – and his allies – are waging a war on two fronts.

the narrative is perfect for war. uncle #5, you're right, that link says it all. full steam ahead.

Posted by: annie | Nov 30, 2008 1:16:17 PM | 36

uncle @5, yep, thanks for the link. Amazing how we are, with such alacrity, invited to dehumanize the Other. Might be interesting to contrast that photo - expressions, furious intent - with one of the shoppers trampling that poor bloke to death at Wal-Mart.

r'giap @31, I haven't read Debord but I have a passing familiarity with his ideas and a respect for Situationalism. Of course at the time of Munich the global culture hadn't been saturated with casual violence as entertainment to the extent it has today - I was struck by how much the photo of the terrorist walking outside at night looked like an image from a video game. I don't want to mangle Debord but I've also noticed a certain fetishism at work in some responses I've read here and elsewhere: the equipment of the terrorists ('Zodiac' boat, AK47 or M16) vs that of the security forces (WW2 era British rifles, old helmets), photos of discarded fast food packages - all these highly mediated details. This attack is more than a product of our culture, I'm thinking: it IS our culture in a far more integral way than I'd previously dared to imagine it.

Posted by: Tantalus | Nov 30, 2008 2:02:00 PM | 37

@ b

Whereupon USuk have the 'excuse' to invade. Game over.
Umn, it should perhaps be "this level of game over", otherwise no dissent from my soapbox

Posted by: Chuck Cliff | Nov 30, 2008 2:20:24 PM | 38

Obama’s position, e.g.

"No Sign until the Burst of Fire: Understanding the Pakistan-Afghanistan Frontier"

The Pakistan-Afghanistan border area has become the most dangerous frontier on earth, and the most challenging for the United States’ national security interests. Critically, the portion of the border region that is home to extremist groups such the Taliban and al-Qaida coincides almost exactly with the area overwhelmingly dominated by the Pashtun tribes. The implications of this salient fact—that most of Pakistan’s and Afghanistan’s violent religious extremism, and with it much of the United States’ counterterrorism challenge, are contained within a single ethnolinguistic group>Belfer center

Belfer, Harvard, about whom I know nothing, has several articles in this direction, such as here>link: summary not enough to get the gist

(my interest is not in the content but who publishes and why.)

At a very low level reading, it looks like the Pashtun are next on the list for decimation, after the Iraqis. That is outside of the usual geo-pol considerations, but we should ask, what are the right glasses to adopt?

Obama has many links to Pakistan, Pakistani friends, and his mother lived there for what? - many years. His relationships must have been (I presume) with the ruling elite or their hangers on. Who knows what should be made of that, possibly nothing, I have no point here, except that who US leaders decide to decimate is is very much an individual decision (based on many parameters, etc.)

(see also Oba and anna missed above)

Posted by: Tangerine | Nov 30, 2008 2:26:25 PM | 39

annie @ post 36 --

Have I read you correctly? You doubted someone's statement @ 26 regarding Obama and use of nukes in Iran? and you demanded citation? Honestly, I wonder how closely you have been paying attention. Several months ago, during the campaign, Obama said all options remained on the table regarding Iran. It was before the Dem Convention because Miss Rodham said likewise and there was some Obamabot justification of Saint Barack's statement as a "necessary counter" to Miss Rodham's hawkish rhetoric on the subject.

But the crucial language from Obama's statement was that "all options" remained on the table re Iraqn. Not "all options BUT nukes." All options. Now of course you may choose to hear that differently, annie. That's surely your right and privilege. And I don't think any fairminded person would deny you that right and privilege. But I don't think you can consider yourself well-informed if you doubt the truth of someone referencing Obama declaring all options were on the table re Iran. It's well documented and you can find it with the most cursory searches. Because I think that people learn more when they're curious on their own, I'd suggest you research it yourself if your doubt is so strong.

If by some chance I misread you and you were being sarcastic, then I apologize.

Posted by: micah pyre | Nov 30, 2008 2:29:54 PM | 40

Shanks, apology accepted. We're on the same side and I appreciate your insight.

Posted by: Obamageddon | Nov 30, 2008 2:41:46 PM | 41

If by some chance I misread you and you were being sarcastic, then I apologize.

if you misread me? shall we try that again?

could you please supply the supporting quotes of this explict statement.

this is a simple request for christ's sake. of course i heard him say something about all options. however saying all options obviously IMPLIES he would be willing to use nukes or torture or anything else, but it does NOT 'explicitly state that he would use Nukes on Iran'..

so..i thought maybe i missed some choice piece of blathering he may have spouted at an AIPAC conference or some such. so i ask, hoping to get the link or quote. i mean, he either explicitly said he would nuke iran, or he didn't. which is it. unless i have some altered version of what explicitly means, it doesn't include 'by implication'

instead i get lectured. f you too. and btw, you can apologize for your attitude and provide the quote..

Posted by: annie | Nov 30, 2008 2:55:36 PM | 42

did anyone already link to the report last week The Return of Samantha Power? obama had rehired power to work as an advisor @ state w/hilary after her resigning during the election after calling her a monster. lest we forget who power is israel today reminds us

In the interview with Harry Kreisler of the Institute for International Studies at Berkeley, Power suggests that the "Israel Lobby" controls US foreign policy, accuses Israel of widespread human rights violations and recommends invading Israel with a "mammoth protection force" to impose a peace agreement

sorry to get to OT re iran, but powers, who is allegedly close to obama and left her teaching job to work out of his senate office. as much as i am distressed wrt any idea of escalation in afgh/pak can we at least acknowledge he isn't even president yet and we don't know what he's going to do.

time magazine jan 08 samantha power article
Rethinking Iran

nothing in there about nuking iran.

Posted by: annie | Nov 30, 2008 6:15:17 PM | 43

@Tantalus, you make a great point about the now seen by 'everyone' pic of the fighter stepping out for air. The first photo in this unashamedly racist Daily Mail front page is the one I am talking about.
He does look like a character, protagonist rather than NPC (non player character) from a video game. Squad based shooter such as Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six series.

When art intersects with reality ( and yes calling a mass produced vid game art is a stretch - similarly how much 'truth' is really encapsulated in that photo? - very little I suspect) still despite reservations we should consider the pix as an intersection of art and reality - Can't help but wonder how contrived the image was. Not just the photographer, or lab which enhanced and cropped the image, but the character himself.
A machine gun and a back-pack are SOP for vid game shooters - wonder if the gunman had plenty of medkits in his back-pack - use three when really badly injured to restore you back to 100% health. Maybe that's why they hit the hospitals - to replenish their med-kits.
The business of the GPS devices perhaps hooked into a pager or cellphone, reeks of the 'heads up displays' (HUDs) so many vid games use.

Now I'm not trying to make light of these killers at all, but I am wondering how deeply their delusions were implanted.
Whoever put them up to it and I believe this is one of those less common than many believe occasions where the planners weren't active in the operation, so someone/thing planned this and spent considerable effort training and indoctrinating the gunmen. As I was saying whoever put them up to it may well have referenced the imagery of popular culture, imagery which is almost universal in it's accessibility and uptake by young males.

In doing so they would have deflected any questions by the gunmen about 'getting out alive', since that is never an issue in a vid game, the protagonist always lives to fight another day.

Of course the other advantage of making the 'operation' seem like a vid game is the space it gives the killers to disassociate from their victims. In a video game no one really gets injured or dies, that is just an illusion so there is less chance of guilt, regret or simple humanity stopping a gunman from pulling the trigger.
This may also explain the reports that after carrying out their 'mission' the gunmen had been instructed to invade luxury hotels where they were to 'hole up' until the cavalry in the form of 'the escape plan' arrived. Presumably they were told that giving out details of the escape prior to the action would endanger the plan as one of them might get caught.

Just on that capture bizzo the daily smell article is a couple of days old now and as far as I have heard the alleged Pakistani who surrendered is the only gunman captured alive. There are many questions about that too for anyone with an enquiring mind. The surrender which isn't unheard of but taking him to a public hospital to get a non fatal bullet wound in his hand attended to has a couple question marks. He spoke to medical staff about being captured, being Pakistani and being tortured. All of these were snippets that the GOI would have liked get out publicly without seeming to be planting them.

"Kill me now" the bloke is alleged to have said. A good message to get out to any wannabe gunmen about what happens to you if you get caught.

Once again we don't have any definitive proof one way or the other about the authenticity of the prisoner but we (as a culture) do need to try and get a handle on the methodology and ideology of indoctrination used on these killers to get them to kill if we are to be able to combat this stuff.

Young men need to have the cynical way that their buttons are pushed explained, in that way many will learn to beware of such tricks. Never completely, there will always be some who have sufficient disaffection for what they see around them to leap at the chance to wreak some havoc, but the smaller the pool of available 'talent' the more likely the gunmen will be incompetent, eh.

Posted by: Debs is dead | Nov 30, 2008 6:17:40 PM | 44

In re "What's Hillbillary Thinking!?", this biometric ode to R'giap:

Skew Selection: Nature Favors a Trickle-Down
Distribution of Resources in Ants
Department of Environmental Science and Policy—Biology, University of South Florida, St. Petersburg, Florida 33701, USA (

Synopsis: According to skew selection, ant queens are neither ruthlessly selfish nor blindly altruistic; they are shrewd investors. The goal of shrewd investors is not to win the game, but to continue play over evolutionary time. Skew selection describes a set of investment strategies employed by players such as ant queens to keep the game going. First, ant queens acquire excess resources—more than they need for immediate survival and reproduction. Second, queens invest a portion of their excess resources in personal capital to maintain dominant status. Third, queens also invest a portion of excess resources in low-quality offspring to gain group capital. Fourth, when investing in group capital, resources are distributed in a trickledown fashion to maintain the largest number of diminishing-quality offspring possible. The trickle-down redistribution allows the shrewd queen to increase group size (safety in numbers) and, at the same time, maintain individual status (safety in position). According to skew selection, queens invest in low-quality offspring (sterile workers) to buffer herself and her high-quality offspring from agents of death such as war, predation or disease.


IOW, look for massive growth mid-level bureaucracy termite mound Power curve.

Posted by: Yellow Tiber | Dec 1, 2008 2:05:35 AM | 45

Re the all options remain on the table with regards to Iran.

I think that you're all missing the actual message contained in this formulation - it means "we don't have a fucking Iran policy, we don't have a fucking Iran policy process, we still can't even agree what we want from a fucking Iran policy, so we'll carry on with our default postures, and if we wish really, really hard and tap our heels together 3 times maybe Iran will just disappear, and we won't have to do any hard work."

By definition, when/if the US develops an Iran policy, it'll start taking options OFF the table.

Posted by: dan | Dec 1, 2008 7:26:56 AM | 46

Gee, annie. I think I'm starting to remember why I left MoA a few years ago. I think it was you, and your false pedantry. I know people like you in meatspace. Always correct, even when wrong. And when shown wrong, always caustic like glacial acetic acid. One's nostril hairs begin singing in its presence. One's lungs reject the air laden with the acetic acid mist.

I didn't give you a lecture, annie. Obviously one as stupid as myself couldn't possibly lecture a world-class genius and scholar such as yourself. You're so well-read that you doubt the existence of a well-known statement. I mean, what else is there to know in annie's world, eh? Not much. It's all well in hand. Well, at least everything that seals the perspective tight against incursions by external facts and views, that is. Good day to you, annie. Enjoy being the queen bee of MoB. I'm sure it's noble.

Posted by: micah pyre | Dec 1, 2008 10:58:18 AM | 47

PS to annie -- If a nuclear weapon is an option, and all options are on the table, does Saint Barack need to say explicitly, "I will nuke Iran"? Or is the modern (read: annie's) calculus of politics such that Saint Barack is to be judged through his words as interpreted ONLY by annie?

Posted by: micah pyre | Dec 1, 2008 11:03:42 AM | 48

oh c'mon, micah. a bit conceited, are we? (or were you being sarcastic?) "explicit" has a very specific meaning. what's wrong w/ annie's request for supporting evidence for that claim? nothing that merits a personal attack. anyway, i think dan's got the more accurate reading @ #46.

Posted by: b real | Dec 1, 2008 11:31:26 AM | 49

Or is the modern (read: annie's) calculus of politics such that Saint Barack is to be judged through his words as interpreted ONLY by annie?

and what interpretation might that be? according to me according to you? (copy/paste?)

micah micah micah, my goodness, you're on full throttle offense. just admit it. armageddon in #26, while trying to make his/her point, supported it by stepping over the line from conjecture, to fact w/the 'explicit' assertion. no biggie.

all this hallyballo and so far no one has offered any supporting quotes.

Always correct, even when wrong.

by all means prove me wrong.

btw, it would have been one thing had i dove in w/some explanation trying to interpret his words, but i didn't. i simply ask for the reference. (i even ask w/a 'please' which you falsely accuse as a 'demand')

If a nuclear weapon is an option, and all options are on the table, does Saint Barack need to say explicitly, "I will nuke Iran"?

in order for armegedon's assertion wrt 'explicit' to be correct, yes, he would. saint barack? stealing sound bites from the fundies? how glacially acetic of you.

Posted by: annie | Dec 1, 2008 2:52:10 PM | 50

nice article by Paul Rogers

But the pattern of which the latest is part is also international and very widespread, as just six of many examples illustrate:

▪ in November 2002, the Paradise Hotel at Kikambala in Kenya was attacked at the same time as an attempt was made to shoot down an Israeli charter-jet taking off from nearby Mombasa airport
▪ in November 2005, fifty-seven people were killed in the bombing of three hotels in Amman (see "Jordan catches Iraq's fire", 10 November 2005).
During the five and a half years of fighting in Iraq since the war of March-April 2003, the different insurgent groups involved learned from experience - sometimes adapting faster than the United States forces. The same thing has happened in the longer war in Afghanistan, with the added element that Iraqi tactics and weapons have been transferred across. In the same way, other groups will study and learn from the Mumbai experience and adjust their plans and targets accordingly.
This is one more example of the evolution of asymmetric warfare - the ability of the weak to take up arms against the strong. In the coming months there will be intense efforts to uncover the extent of the Mumbai operation and the organisation behind it. More generally, measures will be taken to increase security at hotels, railway stations and other locations across south Asia and beyond...

this same article links to this one, Cities and new wars: after Mumbai, by Saskia Sassen
Cities seem to be losing the capacity they have long had to triage conflict - through commerce, through civic activity. The national state, confronted with a similar conflict, has historically chosen to go to war.
Further, the new asymmetric wars have the effect of urbanising war. This brings with it a nasty twist: when national states go to war in the name of national security, nowadays major cities are likely to become a key frontline space.
A major mock experiment by Nasa found that by the fifth day of a breakdown in the computerised systems that manage the electric grid, a city like New York would be in extremis. In Mumbai's tragedy can be glimpsed the image of a global future.

Posted by: rudolf | Dec 1, 2008 6:34:31 PM | 51

Herbiyar Marri and Faiz Baluch are campaigning for a free and independent Baluchistan. Their homeland was a former British Protectorate. It secured independence in 1947. Less than a year later, Pakistan invaded and annexed the newly-independent nation. The Baluch people have, however, never given up their struggle to reassert their freedom.

In court this morning, the prosecution claimed that Marri and Baluch had incited acts of terrorism but the prosecutor provided no evidence of who had been incited and how they were incited. None of the documents read out in court constituted an incitement to terrorism. Most were website press reports and news releases, many of which are available on dozens of media websites.

The allegation that Mr Marri possessed a weapon that could be used for terrorist purposes has been questioned by a relative, who claims it was a self-defence spray device that Mr Marri had acquired because he feared violent attack by Pakistani government agents. His fears are real and credible, given the kidnapping and assassination of Baluch nationalists by the Pakistan authorities.

The two defendants were arrested on 4 December in London on suspicion of the commission, preparation or instigation of acts of terrorism,’ relating to alleged terror plots abroad, and were yesterday charged with inciting terrorist acts.

I urge the British government to not give in to pressure from the Pakistani dictator, President Musharraf. The extradition of these men would result in their arrest, torture, imprisonment and probable execution.

The Pakistan authorities have repeatedly arrested peaceful Baluch nationalists and human rights campaigners on trumped up charges.

Earlier this year, there was an attempt by Pakistan to secure the extradition from Britain of Mehran Baluch, the Baluch representative to the UN Human Rights Council. The charges against him were false.

See this Guardian newspaper report on the case, 28 March 2007:,,2044324,00.html

“Mehran’s brother, Balach Marri, was recently murdered by the Pakistan army.

These arrests look like another stitch-up orchestrated by the Musharraf regime, which wants to crush those who speak out against Pakistan’s murderous oppression of the Baluch people,“ said Mr Tatchell.

For further information:

Current news on the Baluch freedom struggle: and These are the websites that allegedly incite terrorism.

Background briefing

Read this Guardian article about Pakistan’s occupation of Baluchistan:

Watch this internet TV interview with Mehran Baluch, the Baluch representative at the UN Human Rights Council:

Baluchistan freedom struggle - Pakistan colludes with Taliban

By Peter Tatchell

Baluchistan was a former British Protectorate. It secured its independence in 1947. But less than a year later Pakistan invaded and annexed the newly-independent state of Baluchistan. The Baluch people have, however, never given up their struggle to reassert their freedom.

After six decades of occupation and bloody repression, Pakistan is once again escalating its war against the people of Baluchistan, detaining without trial thousands of Baluchs and executing hundreds more. Because Britain and the United States want Pakistan as an ally in the “war on terror” they are arming Pakistan and acquiescing with its suppression of the Baluch people.

Pakistan’s war against non-fundamentalist Baluchistan and its moderate nationalist forces is strengthening the position of the Taliban who have exploited the situation to establish bases in the region. From these bases they seek to enforce the Talibanisation of Baluchistan. The Pakistani government colludes with the Taliban’s murderous campaign, on the grounds that it helps to crush the Baluch people and their movement for independence.

Some Taliban leaders and fighters have hidden out in Baluchistan, from where they plan and launch their military operations to overthrow the democratically elected government of Afghanistan. Their campaign to usurp power in Kabul is taking place with the tacit collusion of key figures in the Pakistani government, military and intelligence services. The Pakistan authorities seem to be allowing the Taliban to use Baluchistan as a base for their war against democracy and human rights.

The international community is looking the other way, allowing the Baluch people to be suppressed and ignoring their right to self-determination.

Posted by: S Brennan | Dec 1, 2008 9:33:18 PM | 52

Off topic apology...

saint barack? stealing sound bites from the fundies? how glacially acetic of you.

Now, now, people, let’s be nice here. Please no hurtful sarcasm!

Well maybe just a little…hey, here’s my favorite soundbite from one of the “the fundies”:

"The sky will open, the light will come down, celestial choirs will be singing, and everyone will know we should do the right thing, and the world will be perfect."

And from what I hear from some other hardcore fundies, st barack of obama walks on air and is one hundred feet tall!

PS. Don’t forget to read some of the comments on these links…maybe good for a laugh or two.

Posted by: Rick | Dec 1, 2008 10:02:40 PM | 53

brennan, have you read free baluchistan?

Posted by: annie | Dec 2, 2008 11:45:48 AM | 54

rick, lol..ok you got me! here's more from john stewart

Posted by: annie | Dec 2, 2008 12:50:56 PM | 55

Ok, this is absurd: 'India uses 'truth serum' on Mumbai gunman' (,25197,24749300-601,00.html)

"The method was widely used by Western intelligence agencies during the Cold War, before it emerged that the drugs used – typically the barbiturate sodium pentothal – may induce hallucinations, delusions and psychotic manifestations"

Google 'MKULTRA' to learn where these types of techniques originated from.

This is lunacy. Drugging captives into psychotic hallucinations in order to get from them the answers that the interrogators want is not a credible or dependable form of evidence gathering.

Posted by: Al | Dec 3, 2008 6:41:11 PM | 56

The comments to this entry are closed.