Saturday, April 25, 2009


I don't normally post pieces from the web, but after Hillary's tough rhetoric, this comes as a welcome admission. Something Pakistanis have desperately been trying to tell America, since forever. They sowed the Taliban. They invested in their training and development. The Taliban are America's love-child from the Soviet War. So Uncle Sam better stop messing with us. We've weathered threats and sanctions in the past, and we can continue doing that.

I bet Bill had a class with the Mrs. after her "patriotic" speech yesterday! ;-)


Anonymous said...

The headline is misleading at best. We certainly funded them but didn't create them. Their goals at that time were confined to expelling the Soviets. Their desire to subject the entire world to their interpretation of Islam didn't come until well after we pulled up stakes.

Id it is said...

Regardless of who had a hand in creating the Taliban, the more important question here is who or what is going to 'check' the Taliban's malignant growth into Pakistan? The US is not the affected party here and thus they have the time to have academic debates over the creation of the Taliban. Pakistan however is in the eye of the storm right now and has to be proactive and deal with the Taliban in a way it deems fit. What Pakistan does now will determine the course of Pakistani life and culture in the decades to come. Correct me if I am wrong but apparently the current leadership in Pakistan does not inspire confidence both within and outside of Pakistan, so something/someone else has to step up here and rile up public support against this external onslaught of extremism. The situation there is definitely worrisome and from what I read it appears to be fast becoming an explosive one; would you agree with this inference?

Saadia said...

Anonymous, America funded AND trained the Taliban. So yes, they are your creation.

Iditis, 'regardless'? It is not that easy to shove aside responsibilities. If America is responsible, it should deal with this menace with as much dedication as was put into making them. Drone attacks simply don't cut it. All they do is create more Taliban or Taliban-like sentiments by killing our people everyday. 9/11 was one unfortunate day. One unfortunate day that Pakistan had nothing to do with. Now, everyday is an unfortunate one for my country because of America and its horrible leadership in Bush Jr., the likes of which, no country has produced to-date. So its not that Pakistan has leadership ALONE; it is that it has this issue TOO.

Also, the Taliban are nowhere close to taking over this country or Islamabad. To my knowledge, the foreign media is hugely distorting the issue, in order for America to garner more support and agreement in destabilizing Pakistan further. I have no doubts in my mind that America only wants the best for itself, even if that means killing tens and hundreds everyday. The rest is all rhetoric.

Id it is said...

'regardless' because right now the 'who dunnit' game would cost Pakistan countless innocent lives, so the focus has to be Pakistan, and what it can do to. The fact that the US should be held accountable for what it did is a very legitimate claim, and I'm not discaiming it.

Jon said...


Your response to the comments is interesting and I agree with you on many bases with what you're saying about how the outside is interfering with the political situation in Pakistan. However I am unclear if what you are suggesting is that outside forces should engage in combat operations on Pakistani soil. This is a practical concern as it would infringe on the state's sovereignty and I cannot imagine that would be too popular among the population. Do you see where I'm going with this?

Saadia said...

IDitis, my point is that accepting responsibility is the first step towards doing something to counter the adverse consequences. Our youth is, thankfully, going out on the streets and letting itself be heard. One example:

Jon, got it. I'm suggesting that America should cease its drone attacks on our tribal areas (it is already engaged in military operations on Pakistani soil) - where they kill innocent people everyday, and generate hate-inspired extremism. But they should AID Pakistan (in kind), by giving our people, the necessary paraphernalia to deal with this menace, and pronto.

Kadri Luik said...

I'm worried that the "aid" will turn out to be more like an invasion if the US ever bother to do something. They will call it something else of course, they always do, but it won't be a friendly visit to help the locals clean up the mess that the US fist made.

Id it is said...

kadri luik,
that's exactly my point; you don't want a US or for that matter any other country in there. Pakistan has to address this problem in the way it knows best, and on its own lest it opens up doors to another 'occupation'.

Saadia said...

The problem is: Pakistan didn't have the resources to create this menace single-handedly; now, in its hour of need, how can it rid itself of the same, without any help. It seems like a Lose-Lose situation for us. Help from America (the perpetrator) can mean another 'occupation', as you guys have rightly pointed out; and going it alone means we might fall short, or get hit a lot, in the process. Is there one workable solution?

Id it is said...

Pick your poison as they say...
As for 'one workable solution' only faith is in the thinking electorate of Pakistan...if they want something hard enough they'll carve out a way even if it's ridden with shards!

As an outsider I feel ill equipped to suggest solutions, but any rational individual believes that a protest/change if direly wanted, has to emanate from within. Pardon me if I sound unrelenting on this one...

Saadia said...

Track II diplomacy. What do you all think?

A Resource for US Diplomacy

Chief said...

First, I thought Zia ul-Haq laid the groundwork for the Taliban. Also, I thought the US pulled out all funding in 1992.

Someone, please, point me to some documentation that explains the period from 1990 to present of the US and Pakistani support for the Taliban.

Saadia said...

US Bombing a Sovereign Country

Saadia said...

The government has called the army into Swat to give a decisive blow to militants.

Please pray for our country, as we try to re-establish the government's writ. Also, for the soldiers who will unconditionally lay down their lives, and the innocent and vulnerable families of Swat.

Swat, the mountains, the river, the beauty of it all. Will it be ours once again, peaceful and serene? Amen.

Saadia said...

Chief, thank you for writing in. When you say documentation, what do you exactly mean?

The US' role in creating the Taliban to oust the Soviets from Afghanistan, is as established a fact as Hitler's massacre of Jews.

Saadia said...

This is the America we like and want. A Letter from Pakistan/Princeton to President Obama.

Saadia said...

Here is one journal article, Chief:

Afghanistan, the CIA, bin Laden,
and the Taliban

Chief said...


Thanks for the response. First, I have glanced at the link you provided. There are no footnotes for this graf "In 1994, a new group, the Taliban (Pashtun for "students"), emerged on the scene. Its members came from madrassas set up by the Pakistani government along the border and funded by the U.S., Britain, and the Saudis, where they had received theological indoctrination and military training. Thousands of young men–refugees and orphans from the war in Afghanistan–became the foot soldiers of this movement:"

I am aware the Saudis and Pakistan plus bin Laden funded the Taliban. The U.S. and Britian is new info.

Second: I just started reading Ahmed Rashid's "Descent Into Chaos." Perhaps I need to read his "Taliban" also. In the last few months I have read the following about Afghanistan and the U.S.

James Bamford - The Shadow Factory

Benazir Bhutto - Reconciliation

Phillipe Sands - Torture Team

Ron Suskind - The Way of the World

Robert Baer - See No Evil

Valerie Plame-Wilson - Fair Game

Steve Coll - Ghost Wars

Drumheller & Monaghan - On the Brink

Jane Mayer - The Dark Side

T. J. Waters - Class 11: Inside the CIA's First Post-9/11 Spy Class

Lawrence Wright - The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 973.931 W

Dalton Fury - Kill Bin Laden

Gary Schroen - First In 958.104 S

Seymour Hersh - Chain of Command: The Road From 9/11 to Abu Ghraib 973.931 H

Robert Baer - The Devil We Know

Saadia said...

That's one long list. While I can't top that, I must also comment that to read that "I am aware the Saudis and Pakistan plus bin Laden funded the Taliban. The U.S. and Britian is new info," is - well - new info for me.

Also, to the best of my understanding, it was not bin Laden who funded the Taliban. The U.S. funded bin Laden, a Talib.

How come you assume that the U.S. had no concern for the Soviets in Afghanistan? Was the U.S. not bothered by the Soviets' presence in that country? Did the U.S. not try and do something about it? Didn't it not train and fund these guerilla fighters to tackle the Soviets?

Did the U.S. not enter Iraq afterwards, for its oil reserves? Sure as hell, Iraq had nothing to do with 9/11. Can anybody dare to question the ISI's activities and involvement while assuming the CIA innocent in these cases?

What do these books say about all such issues? And who are they written by? In other words, whose history are they (or most of them)?

Chief said...

This is going to take some time to get all the info to answer your questions as best I can. I did not take any notes on my readings so I know that I cannot pinpoint which book any info came from with out getting the book and finding the info.

I have included all the authors. Only the name Dalton Fury is a pseudonym, to the best of my knowledge. Most of them, perhaps all, are written from a western perspective.

Chief said...


I did not have this book on my list
Afghanistan's Endless War: State Failure, Regional Politics, and the Rise of the Taliban by Larry P. Goodson. It reads like a doctoral dissertation. It is the most recent book I've read, finishing it earlier this month.

Chief said...


Not necessarily to answer any of your recent questions, but to go back to the beginning of this talk, I will quote from Descent Into Chaos by Ahmed Rashid.

Beginning on the bottom of p. 38 and continuing onto p.39 in the soft-cover edition, "Zia bargained hard for U.S. support. In January 1980 he dismissed President Jimmy Carter's offer of a $400 million aid package as "peanuts." A year later, he accepted an alliance with Reagan, agreeing ro a five-year (1981-1986) military and economic aid package worth 3.2 billion, which included the sale of forty F-16 fighter aircraft to Pakistan. This was followed by a six-year (1987-1993) $4.02 billion aid package that was never completed. Between 1982 and 1990 the CIA, working with the ISI and Saudi Arabia's intelligence service, funded the training, arrival and arming of some thirty-five thousand Islamic militants from forty-three Muslim countries in Pakistani madrassas to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. This global jihad launched by Zia and Reagan was to sow the seeds of al Qaeda and turn Pakistan into the world center of jihadism for the next two decades."

The footnote at the end of the above quote references Ahmed Rahid's book Taliban: Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia, Chapter 10.

So, I have learned. thank you.

And, also, while I have long felt that the United States was being "played" by both Pakistan and saudi Arabia, Descent Into Chaos cites exactly where and how this playing occured.

Saadia said...

Chief, your last comment makes it sound as if the US is a powerful but innocent baby that can be 'played'. The world, on the contrary, looks at it like a bully. It doesn't get played unless there's something big in the game for its own benefit. Iraq, the most recent case-in-point. No playing there.

Chief said...


Sorry if I projected "innocent." Bush = ignorant, as in a simpleton. The US did not and still does not have nearly enough experts on South Asia to be able to understand when the US is being hoodwinked. Pervez Musharraf is lying to Bush about one thing, The ISI is lying to the CIA in Islamabad and the US State Dept is clueless.

It seems as if the US officials cannot believe that the people that are supposed to be on "our" side are lying to us.

The reality is that in 1992 the US left South Asia and Pakistan needs to look out for Pakistan's interests.

The Bush administration has been the biggest bully but all US administrations are a bully to some extent.

Saadia said...

That idiot ought to be tested for war crimes AND stupidity!