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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A leak that wasn't? Yasmeen Ali

Why are the Americans so flabbergasted by the botch up of the Allied Forces performance in Afghanistan? Are they shocked because civilians, children, women were being killed? Or that CIA had expanded paramilitary operations inside Afghanistan?. Or that these units launch ambushes, order airstrikes and conduct night raids?. Or that from  2001 to 2008, the C.I.A. paid the budget of Afghanistan’s spy agency and ran it as a virtual subsidiary? I mean, excuse me. The botch up and misrepresentation was generally known, though of course not the specific incidents.
Nine years is a long time for a war . Any war. Spending $300 billion of US taxpayer’s money and having nothing to show for it must have gone off like a bomb for the unsuspecting Americans.
Much has been written and shall continue to be written on the WIKI LEAK. WikiLeaks, an online whistle-blower, has released the ‘Afghan War Diary’, a set of over 91,000 leaked US military reports from 2004-2009. Some 75,000 reports have been released online.  There has not been any ‘surprise’ in the official US circles. US National Security Advisor General James Jones said that the US “strongly condemns the disclosure of classified information...which could put the lives of Americans and our partners at risk” but the leaks “will not impact our ongoing commitment to deepen our partnerships with Afghanistan and Pakistan”. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Foreign Office said the leaked reports were not based on facts and “do not reflect the current on-ground realities”.
But I will turn to three basic questions here. One, the fact, that the US and NATO forces floundering in USA was well known. It was no secret. Killings of civilians in Afghanistan was pretty much known. Papers are full of stories of how . Just to quote a few examples here; NYT 12th April 2010 ,” American troops raked a large passenger bus with gunfire near Kandahar on Monday morning, killing and wounding civilians, and igniting angry anti-American demonstrations in a city where winning over Afghan support is pivotal to the war effort.” Derrick Crowe, on April 4th 2010, posted on his site: FDL: The Seminal : “A thorough joint investigation into the events that occurred in the Gardez district of Paktiya Province Feb. 12, has determined that international forces were responsible for the deaths of three women who were in the same compound where two men were killed by the joint Afghan-international patrol searching for a Taliban insurgent.
The two men, who were later determined not to be insurgents, were shot and killed by the joint patrol after they showed what appeared to be hostile intent by being armed. While investigators could not conclusively determine how or when the women died, due to lack of forensic evidence, they concluded that the women were accidentally killed as a result of the joint force firing at the men”.
I share the link of the video given by The Seminal:
The list is long & it can go on. The point, I hope, established  is that news of continuing ongoing criminal  incidents was repeatedly reported. Why was it not heeded by those who should have heeded it?
Two, Obama did not start this war. But someone, along the line has to be made responsible, in all honesty, and not as a scapegoat , for the official misrepresentation of the war.
Three, Pakistan has been an ally to USA in this war and has suffered greatly .It has everything to lose by continued instability in Afghanistan and everything to gain by stability in Afghanistan. Pakistan gains nothing by prolonging the war or running a counter policy of her own. Saeed Quraishi, a political commentator, states,” As matter of fact, ISI had deep and close connections with Taliban and others since the time when both were waging a war against the Soviet Union army in Afghanistan .That connection was blessed, approved, and utilized by the American spy agencies then.
However, the connections if these still exist should be a blessing in disguise for NATO and America because this might give them a way-out to bring about some understanding with the Taliban. That is the only hope for the occupation forces to exit honorably.

It is also intriguing that for six years the information was sitting there and after six years, it was released now.
Afghan war was a failure from the start. Historically speaking, no invader has won against Afghanistan  on her home ground.
Let us acknowledge a failed war. That’s what Afghanistan has been. Always.

(The writer is a lawyer based in Lahore).
NOTE: This article was also carried by Opinion Maker. It has been also published in Pakistan Observer Newspaper. Link:


  1. There is much more to than the eye can see. Things will unfold soon in coming days.

  2. Yasmeen, a good overview but i think your concluding remarks are the punch line.You recommend that USA/Nato to learn from their experience and evolve an strategy to negotiate with the Taleban instead of creating a negetive immage about their relationship with Pakistan.This must be understood well by the policy makers in USA.The sooner they understand, the better it would be for the Americans.

  3. The story goes much further than this, the leak is an attack on the US, as part of a campaign started when the Russians were turned on Iran, when Karzai melted down and his gangster friends have proven Afghanistan to be beyond hopeless, followed by attacks on Hamid Gul and then the phony leaks against Pakistan's ISI...
    All meant to push America under on the run up to the new election...
    A push that may include a new terror attack.
    False flag..all of it.

  4. Thank you Zafar for the comment. Raja Mujtaba, I understand what you say. Gordon, what you state is frightening, however, my concern is the maligning of Pakistan when Pakistan has done so much & suffered so much. You need to be on ground to appreciate it. I guess.

  5. Excellent research YAA.
    A gimmick to pressurize Pakistan. No conspiracy against US.I respectfully disagree with Gordon Duff.Is this the strong Indian lobby at work?

  6. I am sharing an input forwarded to me by Arif Khan in USA:
    Please post this comments from me... It seems the USA and Nato forces have made blunders in Afghanistan with no end in sight..Yasmeen is Correct to presume that there is no Military solution to a very complex problem...There are too many Pashtuns to Kill as most have sympathies with the Talibans and it is better to take them on board and reach a comsensus which will ultimately lead to PEACE in the region. Drone attacks and War is not a long term so;ution...I think Yasmen Ali has hit the nail on the head Rgds Arif Khan

  7. No doubt leak it was not but a well thought out and preplanned disclosure to overcome embarrassment suffered after nine years of self proclaimed war on terror which has brought total destruction and enormous number of casualties to combat troops and innocent/unarmed civilians including women and children.Scape goats off course are being prepared may it be Obama or Pakistan as pointed out by the writer. We should be prepared to read such like rubbish leaks in future also as dissensions in NATO allies increase with their daily casulities and mounting war crimes which can not be hidden from rest of the world.

  8. I actually think the war should push on ahead. Let the Americans and Taliban destroy each other. The world would be a better place if there were lesser for each side.
    I actually have second thoughts on peace in Afghanistan knowing the amount of troubles Afghan expatriates and governments have caused us especially when we sheltered millions of them.

    Their propaganda war against Pakistan and support for various separatist movements is enough for us to not want peace in their god forsaken drug producing country.

  9. Where are the conspiracy theories gone, why are we not being accused of being in a state of denial.Well the cat is out.Well written YAA.

  10. Thank you Ajmal, Pakistani & HQ
    It is my belief and I may be wrong, that this timely "leak" is to give face saving to the Allies to leave the shores. What no pakistani likes,and I have scores of mails pouring in, is the castigation of Pakistan for a botch up by someone else.No Sirs, we will not be the scapegoats!

  11. I will be sharing with you,as we go along, mails personally sent to me on this article.
    One is by Pervaiz. a friend. This is what he has to say:
    YAA, You are very right in your analysis.America is badly trapped and will find an exit with a face saving very difficult.The war had no moral justification .The US and allied forces can not explain the reasons for the deaths of their soldiers to their people and can not continue to let them die for a long time.Any meaningful talks with the Taliban groups who matter are not likely.Why would the real Taliban come to the table to talk.They know America can not stay for long and will be leaving any way.And than there will be no stopping them from taking over as the masses are with them.It will be some time before the people will turn against the Taliban and bring about a change.But that can only be an internal movement like the emergence of the Taliban phenomenon.

  12. The House on Tuesday approved spending an additional $37 billion on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, overcoming the opposition of some Democrats who have concluded that the Afghan conflict is unwinnable(Washington Post).
    The disclosure Sunday of more than 91,000 secret documents about the war had little impact on the debate; most of the 102 Democrats who voted against the funding had already expressed doubts about the war in Afghanistan and Obama's decision last December to add 30,000 troops there. They were joined by 12 Republicans.
    Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates had urged Congress to approve the legislation, saying the money will be needed soon to support troops in the field. Along with funding for operations by the Defense and State departments in Afghanistan and Iraq, the $58 billion measure includes $13.3 billion to provide payments to Vietnam War veterans exposed to Agent Orange and about $3 billion for relief efforts in Haiti.

    "I am confident General Petraeus and the troops will succeed in Afghanistan, if given the time, space and resources they need," said Rep. Howard P. "Buck" McKeon (Calif.), the top Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, who backed the war
    What's the whole point of this hype?Why the Drama????

  13. The manner in which everything has been disregarded to approve more funds for the foolishness is appalling!

  14. The reality: The Pakistani army and the ISI are now at war with their country's jihadists, especially the Pashtun Islamists who make up the Pakistani Taliban. Lots of military and intelligence officers have now died in this conflict. The impulse to backtrack is no doubt still there — an impulse made much more powerful by Americans who want to wash their hands of Afghanistan, and who somehow believe that Pakistan will be no worse off with an American withdrawal. But civil war north of the Durand Line would certainly follow a U.S. retreat, and Islamabad would have to support massively the "new" Afghan Taliban in this conflict. The militant forces in Pakistan, especially within the army and the civilian bureaucracy, who have argued all along that the Americans would leave defeated, would be supercharged.
    I suggest America to get real. Stop listening to their Indian friends and realize the muck they have put themselves & their "allies" in.
    GROW UP PLEASE! Stop thinking of us fools please.

  15. On balance all wars conducted by America, whether or not perceived by the world as " won",have been yielding rich dividends during as well as much after these ended.The bottom-line is what really matters.In their calculation of cost vs. benefits, all their wars are viable, profitable ventures. Be it $300 billion or $337 billion, the cost seems high but look at the perpetual benefits....counted in trillions, sole superpower status, huge war industry a constant source of economic harvest, corporate colonialism, political colonialism, unbeatable al. The winner takes it all. Fools die hard.

  16. Well stated Habib.Agreed.

  17. Generally speaking the vast majority of the American public does not care about foreign affairs or these foreign countries, one of the reason why the US government gets away with their foreign policy shenanigans . As far as the US government is concerned or the US Military obviously they have read this stuff several years ago and yet you see the non-stop visits of high ranking US officials to Pakistan and the much hugging and back-slapping. So there is nothing new here for either the US or Pakistan. I think it is just 5 minutes of fame for WikiLeaks. It'll all die down in a couple of weeks and the US will be discussing the BP oil spill and we the fake degrees.

    Shahid Husain

  18. Just think that the Korean conflict was never won and ended in a stalemate.

    Along came the Vietnam U.S. military intervention, and that too was not one but ended in a peace agreement with the Ho Chi Minh
    government and a pull out by U.S. forces in April 1975.

    Then the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan using the various tribal militias, and NATO forces. Here to is an example of a U.S. failure win the war. Now the Afghan war is turning out to be another U.S. stalemate. The only choice left for the U.S. and NATO forces is a speedy withdrawal like the Soviet forces did.

    So like all the other military actions, the only result has been the loss of innocent lives.

    What are the REAL resons for all these wars? Why of course money made by Munitions that are manufactured by U.S. corporations. When they are making billions, why should they care how many innocent lives are lost?

  19. I agree Shahid, your average American is more interested in his own life, not politics. The Americans I have found to be generally decent people, gullible to a degree.
    Kenneth,let me share an interesting piece of info with U & readers here, Hans Blix, who was the chief of UN’s Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission at the time of the invasion, had demolished the grounds for going to war in Iraq. In his testimony before the UK probe panel, Blix has reiterated his stand saying both the US and UK based their decision on totally unreliable and spurious intelligence sources.raq, according to Blix, had no weapons of mass destruction (WMD). In other words, the chief reason and justification offered for the invasion did not exist. The former UN inspector calims he had stressed this point repeatedly before the then British prime minister Tony Blair and US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice. As we can see in retrospect, his appeals for reason fell on deaf ears. It is now confirmed that the Bush administration had decided on the invasion despite lack of evidence.And so they did with the full collaboration of the British government under Blair. The loss of more than a million Iraqi lives incurred as a result of this twisted and deliberate plot is a poignant reminder of the decision taken by those who claimed to be the champions of human rights and democracy.
    Blix’s testimony is doubly important for his position and role before the invasion.
    A war based on epic deception and lies, it continues to cast its dark shadow on all countries involved with colossal loss of human lives and the enormous economic burden on the tax payer.

  20. Hamid Gul was commissioned in the Pakistan Army in 1958 in the Armored Corps (19 Lancers). He was a Tank Commander at the Chiwanda front during the 1965 war with India.

    During 1972-1976, Gul directly served under General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq as a battalion commander, when General Zia was GOC, 1st Armored Division and Commander, II Corps at Multan. Gul was promoted to Brigadier in 1978 and steadily rose to be the Commander of the 1st Armored Division, Multan in 1980. Gul was then sent to GHQ as the DG Military Intelligence (DGMI) under General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq who then nominated him to be the ISI chief succeeding General Akhtar Abdur Rahman in March 1987. He was later replaced as the ISI commander by PM Benazir Bhutto in May 1989 and Gul was transferred as the Commander, II Corps in Multan. In this capacity, General Gul conducted the Zarb-e-Momin military exercise in November-December 1989, the biggest Pakistani Armed Forces show of muscle since 1971 Indo-Pakistani War and till now.

    General Asif Nawaz upon taking the reins of Pakistan Army in August 1991, had Gul transferred as the DG Heavy Industries Taxila. Gul refused to take the assignment on the account that it wasn’t in line with his military training. He developed differences with the then Army Chief and was retired from the army in 1992.
    During his meritorious service with Pakistan Army between 1958 to 1992 he got three awards, Sitara-e-Imtiaz, Sitara-e-Basalat, Hilal-e-Imtiaz (Military).

    Gen Gul was DG ISI from 1987 to USA saying those two years caused USA to fail in Afghanistan after what.....20 years?

  21. Dear YAA
    I am in receipt of a mail by Sqn. Leader Varris that I share with friends here:
    Your assessment is absolutely correct. there is no way that 90000
    classified documents/ messages would be pilfered. the Yanks are upto
    their usual tricks and the nation will find out soon enough. i will
    not be surprised if most of these documents are doctored ones and
    deliberately leaked.


  22. Agree 100%with Varris the leak is no leak at all they are doctored documents to allow the yanks and their allies to get out of Afghanistan.I think yasmeen is doing an excellent job picking up threads analysing them and putting forward her point of view. What i have noticed that we are viewing the Afghan situation on the basis of event but what needs to be done is that the whole situation should be assessed in totality keepin in mind the goe-political and geo-strategic situation of the region. The most enthusiastic in this whole episode is India a country who is neither a neighbour nor has any political stakes directly with Afghanistan.....I THINK ITS TIME PAKISTAN SHOULD SERIOUSLY REVIEW ITS AFGHAN/US policy.