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Sunday, August 1, 2010

Framing Pakistan: How the pro-Israel media enables India’s surrogate warfare

By Maidhc Ó Cathail                                                       

(This is a cross post)

In its bitter rivalry with India, Pakistan is at a fatal disadvantage. Unlike its South Asian neighbour, Islamabad lacks an ally with considerable influence over American mainstream media.

The latest example of US media complicity with the Indo-Israeli alliancecame in the aftermath of the much-hyped Times Square “car-bomb”incident. Typical of the media orgy of Pakistan-bashing that followed the discovery of an SUV packed with 250 pounds of non-explosive fertilizer was a piece written by Newsweek’s Indian-born editorFareed Zakaria, in which he brands Pakistan as “a terrorist hothouse.”
“For a wannabe terrorist shopping for help, Pakistan is a supermarket,” writes Zakaria. “There are dozens of jihadi organizations: Jaish-e-Muhammad, Lashkar-e-Taiba, Al Qaeda, Jalaluddin and Siraj Haqqani’s network, Tehrik-e-Taliban, and the list goes on. Some of the major ones, like the Kashmiri separatist group Lashkar-e-Taiba, operate openly via front groups throughout the country. But none seem to have any difficulty getting money and weapons.”
Zakaria is in no doubt about who’s to blame.
“From its founding, the Pakistani government has supported and encouraged jihadi groups, creating an atmosphere that has allowed them to flourish,” claims the CNN pundit.
To back up his assertions, Zakaria cites no less an authority that Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States. In Pakistan: Between Mosque and Military, which Zakaria considers a “brilliant history,” Husain Haqqani claims that support for jihad has been “a consistent policy of the state.”
Case closed for the prosecution? Perhaps not.
The Pakistani diplomat’s credibility as an objective critic of jihadism is undermined somewhat by his intimate ties to the Israel-centricneoconservative network. A former fellow at the Likudnik Hudson Institute, Haqqani co-chaired Hudson’s Project on Islam and Democracy. Its director, Hillel Fradkin, was a Project for a New American Century signatory to a 2002 letter to George W. Bush equating Yasser Arafat with Osama Bin Laden in an effort to convincethe White House that “Israel’s fight against terrorism is our fight.”
Haqqani also collaborated with another neocon, Stephen Schwartz, on the Institute for Islamic Progress and Peace. A project of the notoriousIslamophobe Daniel Pipes, it is widely suspected to be an attempt to “divide and conquer” the American Muslim community. In short, if Tel Aviv had handpicked Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, they could hardly have found a more suitable candidate than Haqqani.
Also advancing the Pakistan Connection” to the Times Square plot is Haqqani’s onetime collaborator Stephen Schwartz. Writing in Rupert Murdoch’s staunchly pro-Israel Weekly Standard, Schwartz pushes “the Pakistani Taliban did it” storyline. Faisal Shahzad’s arrest, he writes, “lends credibility to the claim by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), the branch of the Afghan terrorist movement operating there, that they planted the unsuccessful car-bomb.”
Like Zakaria, Schwartz holds Pakistani authorities responsible.
Pakistani reality cannot be evaded,” he writes. “The jihadist domination seen in the Pakistani army and intelligence services (ISI) is visible everywhere South Asian Muslims congregate. It explains the reluctance of the Pakistani government to fulfill its commitment to fighting the Taliban. And it equally accounts for conspiracies like that foiled in Times Square.”
The one evading “Pakistani reality,” however, is Schwartz. If any government is to be held responsible for terrorism carried out by Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), it is not in Islamabad but in Tel Aviv or New Delhi.
As Gordon Duff, senior editor of Veterans Today, revealed in a recentinterview: “We have very little doubt that the Indians and the Israelis, that are all over Afghanistan with German passports pretending to be military contractors, are operating 17 camps along the Taliban regions training and arming terrorists.”
According to Duff, “The Pakistani Taliban is in close cooperation with, supplied, financed, armed and trained by Israel and India to attack Pakistan.”
Duff’s claims are based on a February 2010 fact-finding tour of Pakistan, where he was briefed by the highest levels of the country’s military and intelligence establishment, including Lieutenant GeneralHamid Gul, former director general of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), Admiral Iftikhar Ahmed Sirohey, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and General Mirza Aslam Beg, former Chief of Army Staff.
Fearful of offending their Israel-conscious paymasters in Washington, the Pakistani military and intelligence services have been forced into the humiliating position of leaking their side of the story through the Veterans Today website.
According to the ISI leak, the Times Square terror plot was a “false flag operation to implicate the Pakistani Taliban and then threaten and force Pakistan to ‘do more’ in North Waziristan.” This was followed by “a massive media disinformation war” to induce the belief that “all global terrorism is emerging from the Pakistani tribal pocket of North Waziristan, and that the ISI/army is either hands and gloves with the Taliban or not willing to do more.”
Clearly, Israel and India share a common geostrategic interest in thedestabilization of the nuclear-armed Muslim nation. As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated, “Our ties with India don’t have any limitation….”
Israel, however, has proven itself a rather dubious allyas a growing number of Americans are beginning to realize. Perhaps one day policymakers in New Delhi will have a similar awakening. But for the time being, the media component of its alliance with Tel Aviv affords India a powerful weapon to wage surrogate warfare against Pakistan.

                                  (Maidhc Ó Cathail is widely published writer based in Japan. His work has appeared in, Khaleej Times, Pakistan Observer, Tehran Times, Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, and many more publications.)


  1. That media is a strong opinion maker & often can convert perceptions into realities, no matter what the realities may be, is a reality!
    Mr. Fareed is an Indian born American
    journalist, received a B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. in political science
    from Harvard. An active participant of Paul Wolfowitz's historical
    meeting to attack Iraq, staunch supporter to Barack Obama's
    presidential candidature and in the current times, playing his part to
    support attack so-called "terror camps" in Pakistan.The state
    of his personal agenda becomes audible, understandable and visible in
    the program "Fareed Zakaria GPS", in which he interviewed Gen(R) Hamid
    Gul. The objectivity of the questions asked by Mr. Fareed on his show
    can simply lead to a conclusion of proving a biased fact i.e. ISI is a
    in addition to that, establishing the evidence that the intelligence
    agencies of Pakistan are being run by villain-Generals in much like
    Bond-007 movies. In one of the questions, after diffusing Gen (R) Hamid.
    I will 100% support you that Zakaraiya is anti Pakistan. But why should we expect him NOT to be?He is an Indian is he not?

  2. Interesting. This is the second time I've come across Schwartz's name.The first time I read an article online, I quote from there:
    "At one point, Mr. Haqqani joined Shwartz in disparaging American Muslim organizations for their focus on the Palestinian issue. On Feb. 12, 2004, Haqqani was quoted as saying, “The Jewish lobby has to organize, write letters, and continue to contribute to politicians to counter the Saudi lobby, which has extraordinary influence in Washington.” Oops. I guess we won’t be seeing Saudi diplomats and American Muslim groups rolling out the red carpet for the new Pakistani ambassador in Washington."
    "SourceWatch, the Center’s online project, lists a very blunt title under Mr. Haqqani’s entry: “Neocon Nexus.” It turns out that Mr. Haqqani has been working very closely with Neocon projects targeting Muslim political action committees in America. He joined a Neocon pundit, Stephen Schwartz in co-chairing the nicely named Institute for Islamic Progress and Peace. Who launched this institute? America’s “notorious Islamophobe Daniel Pipes,” to quote the Web site."
    I give the link:
    If Mr Quraishi is reading this, he can comment more.

  3. What Pakistan needs is a strong media watch in USA, a strong lobby in favor of Pakistan in USA. We cannot blame India for the fact that we are on a weak wicket & THEY exploit our weakness.
    As for Haqqani's book, Maidhc ask Yasmeen Ali for the critique of the same.Or google.
    It will blow your mind.
    Zakaraiya falls in the category of illiterate if he thinks THAT is a brilliant piece!

  4. what someone like zakaria or schwartz fail to realize in their Islamophobia or Pakistanophobia states of minds is, that when you say Faisal Shahzad is the culprit and TTP is behind the "non-explosive" material found in the van, you also fail to see how all the training in the waziristan area by people who pride themselves on suicide bombs and other merc attacks can be so dumb.

    ask any "jihadi" or ask any trained terrorist, or if not, ask the people at CIA, was it possible for the "non-explosives" to devastate the area surrounding the van??

    how come the people who are so good at one thing be so dumb???

  5. as regards as our being weak in the media campaign in the US or for that matter West, we have to keep in mind that most of the media there follows the policy of their governments, whether we believe it or not. especially in the matters of foreign affairs.

    most of the media in the US has jewish heads or groups at the back.

    besides, who would listen to the voice of reason when the same people of media have already made up their minds that pakistan is indeed a rogue state.

  6. "Rogue Groups" and "False Flag Operations" are an integral part of this game. Next time when we cry for a universal crackdown agianst the miltants/ terrorists/ Taliben, we might like to recall the lessons of this article.

  7. Dear Gen. Asad Durrani
    True indeed. Do I detect a wry cynicism there? And yes Faisal, you are very correct.

  8. I am posting here a response by Sqn Leader Mirza, when I forwarded the link to some friends:

    Fareed Zakaria is a " Zionist " and as such will not miss any opportunity to discredit Pakistan. The biggest and the most effective "ZIONIST" organization in the World is " Council on Foreign Relations" and Mr. Fareed Zakaria is a Director of that organization. Check this out :

  9. An extremely clear headed analysis by the writer, excellent grasp of the under currents & geo political wave lengths . Bravo!
    Everyone understands about Shahzad, what you are expressing here Faisal.
    It is America that is passing through an identity crisis.In an issue of Economist, it said by 2040,the immigrants will far out number Americans.
    America stands at a crossroads. It will have to choose either to embrace the Founding Fathers’ pluralist vision or the America that compromises the Constitution and the values of the Founding Fathers.In one way or another, people everywhere have a stake in America resolving its identity because America’s unique, universal vision of society formulated by its Founding Fathers attracts the world. A new chapter in the history of the United States has opened after 9/11 and America’s future will be decided on how it resolves its ongoing engagement and entanglement with Islam.

  10. Fareed Zakaria is a " Zionist " and as such will not miss any opportunity to discredit Pakistan. The biggest and the most effective "ZIONIST" organization in the World is " Council on Foreign Relations". This Organization has close to 3000 members who are at the highest Pinnacle of power in the USA and other Western Powers( former US President Bill Clinton and VP Al Gore are members, as well as major Cabinet members of Obama Administration). It has nearly 40 members on its Board and Mr. Fareed Zakaria is one of the Director of the Board of that organization.

    Please check this out :

  11. The present day US Media is totally controlled by the ZIONIST. If you are a journalist in the US and support the Zionist state of Israel and /or are critical of Muslim countries like Pakistan, Iran , Syria, Yemen , Saudi Arabia, Sudan etc, You will get promoted to key positions in the Media.

    On the other hand if you are critical of Israel and /or supportive of countries or organizations Israel considers its enemies, you will be fired from your jobs.

    In the last few months, two Icons of US media were fired from their jobs because of their Anti-Israel comments. Both of these world renowned American journalist were of Christian/Lebanese background and served for Decades till they were fired recently.

    Helen Thomas was recently fired by UPI for making Anti-Israel comments. Ms. Thomas had been a permanent fixture of White House Briefings since John F Kennedy and had served for 57 years.

    Octavia Nasr was senior Analyst for CNN and was fired for supporting the late Founder of Hizbullah Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah whom she referred to as " a Giant of Lebanon ". This did not sit too well with the Zionist and she was fired by the CNN.

    Mr. Fareed Zakaria has achieved his status at CNN by offering highly biased commentaries against Muslims countries to appease his Zionist Masters.

  12. Thank you for your comments.

    Regarding Zakaria's Zionist connections, a longer version of this article had the following:

    It’s also worth noting that Fareed Zakaria is a Harvard protégé of Stanley Hoffman, a Jewish Zionist professor of international relations, and Samuel Huntington, who popularized the Clash of Civilizations thesis originated by Bernard Lewis, a Jewish Zionist professor emeritus at Princeton. Like Hoffman and Lewis, Zakaria supported the Israeli–induced 2003 invasion of Iraq.

  13. Thank you for the additional Information, Maidhc.
    Another Zionist used by CNN in the 80's and 90's was a fellow named Fouad Ajami.

    It is interesting to note that both Zakaria and Ajami end up on the Board of Directors of "Council on Foreign Relations".

  14. Question is, shall my being one of board members to any organization in ANY way stop me from being a professional???? i think not.

    so not only are Mr. Zakaria and the likes biased, they are also not working as a professional should.

    shame on him really. if you are in a profession you are suppposed to do your job like a pro.

  15. Extremely enlightening input from Atique Mirza. Overall an eye opener as to how media is used to spread mis truths & half cooked, one sided stories. I am glad to see unbiased writers like Maidhc here. It will be nice to read more of his work on this Forum.
    Well done Yasmeen for putting together a platform for PAKISTAN.

  16. Maidhc your article raises a question in my mind, it may be a silly question but I would appreciate a reply nonetheless:
    Does US have any prominent writer/TV person who strongly supports Pakistan?May or may not be a Pakistani. I am talking specific here.

  17. i'd like to add another point to summaya's question.
    Will a single prominent write/tv personality that is pro-pakistan be sufficient enough??

    remaining on the point, how many is enough to level the targeted attacks through media on Pakistan????

  18. If there is any pro-Pakistan voice in the mainstream U.S. media, I don't know of him or her. And even if there were, it wouldn't make much difference.

    More importantly, how many major media owners, CEOs, producers, editors etc. in the U.S. are not biased towards Israel and against its perceived enemies?

    Connie Bruck's recent profile of Haim Saban in the New Yorker titled "The Influencer" provides a remarkable insight into how one avowed Zionist media mogul influences American media and government.

    How many Haim Sabans does Pakistan have?

    What Pakistan and other Islamic countries targeted for destabilization badly need is
    to develop alternative media to counter the
    pro-Israeli bias of the American media.

  19. interntaionally i think there's only al-jazeera, or maybe others that i fail to mention here.

    pakistan's own media has grown very strong over the years. i think some people who are the owners of these networks need to build a more of an international base to generate (or try to )the atmosphere that is more to the liking of people of pakistan and at the same time addresses the people in other countries. especially the west.

    i also think so far the lobbyists whoever they are hired by the present government in the US need to be fired. i heard they were some friends of the president of pakistan. it was mark siegel i think previously, but not sure about now.

  20. what do you think is the answer to this dilemma of constant media bashing????

    we all know how important it is in today's world to build public opinion using the media, not just on the national level.

  21. You make a strong point Maidhc.This is my take:
    1- Pakistan media is basically "groups" in lobbies ie The News, Jang(english & urdu newspapers & Jang has highest readership in the country), is owned by the same who own GEO TV. Likewise, Daily Times Newspaper, Aaj Kal(urdu paper) and Business News TV channel are owned by Salman Taseer(Sitting Governor of Punjab),same is true of other "groups". Likewise those who form opinions ie Ayesha Siddiqa, Ahmed Rashid etc etc serve vested lobbies.
    Where is Pakistan in this scenario?
    There are a few odd names here or there, who ARE red blooded patriots, Yasmeen Ali for one, she's published,asked often by Express News 24/7(The popular ONLY English channel) as an expert on issues, there is Naveed Tajammal, his writings are awesome. Needless to say the so called writers are daggers drawn with those who are not part of a "lobby", there are a few others,I will have to think & share names.

  22. Excellent input by Maidhc on an absorbing subject.. Great job Maidhc.
    Readers are welcome to ask questio but related to the subject only.

  23. You have a very strong point Maidhc. Indeed , in West, we do not have a Haim.
    Oh by the way, here's something for you:-

  24. to read further on the firings of Helen Thomas and Octavia Nasr , please refer to these two wikipedia sites:

  25. @Laila, very well made point regarding the lobbies in pak media. and very right about it too.

    @Atique, thanks for sharing the links. i read about helen's firing. that poor old lady! and so close to her retirement i think???

    hadn't read about octavia. and now after your sharing the link, i read about it. so thanks.

  26. Great discourse.
    Maidhc salute to you.Look forward to more articles by you on this forum.

  27. Maidhc Excuse my ignorance here, but how would Israel see Pakistan as an enemy or an obstruction to their goals? Kind of confusing to me.

  28. This blog was recommended by a friend. And this is my first comment here. I have chosen to give it on this article because, I find it just so amazing that a foreigner should have such a tremendous grasp over the local politics in media & media projection.
    However, will not a destabilized Pakistan destabilize the region, India included? I understand Israel's disenchantment towards a muslim nation that is nuclear but does that fact itself not make it dangerous if the country is destabilized?Would not policy makers in Israel appreciate this?
    Curious to hear what Maidhc will say.