Friends and Enemies: Israel and Pakistan

BY Glen Tschirgi
2 years ago

A fascinating interview by Fox News provides an infuriating look into all that is wrong with U.S. foreign policy and the so-called “war on terror.”

Fox News claims to have gained access to Dr. Shakil Afridi, the Pakistani doctor who cooperated with the CIA in verifying the location of Osama bin Laden in 2011.   The magnitude of Afridi’s statements have both the Pakistani government, the ISI and prison officials all denying that the interview took place.   Even Afridi’s lawyers deny that Afridi spoke to Fox News.  On the other hand, this BBC news account raises the possibility that the interview could have taken place using a cell phone secretly passed to Afridi by relatives.   The denials are, at any rate, less than categorical.   Speculation posits that Dr. Afridi may be making a desperate bid to generate news and sympathy in the U.S. for his plight in the hope that he will be released or the prison term reduced.

According to the Fox News story:

PESHAWAR, Pakistan –  Pakistan’s powerful spy agency regards America as its “worst enemy,” and the government’s claims that it is cooperating with the US are a sham to extract billions of dollars in American aid, according to the CIA informant jailed for his role in hunting down Usama bin Laden.

In an exclusive interview with Fox News, Shakil Afridi, the medical doctor who helped pinpoint bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound before last year’s raid by SEAL Team 6, described brutal torture at the hands of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, and said the agency is openly hostile to the U.S.

“They said ‘The Americans are our worst enemies, worse than the Indians,’” Afridi, who spoke from inside Peshawar Central Jail, said as he recalled the brutal interrogation and torture he suffered after he was initially detained.

***

The ISI, Afridi said, helps fund the Haqqani network, the North Waziristan-based militant group that was last week designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. The agency also works against the U.S. by preventing the CIA from interrogating militants captured by Pakistan, who are routinely released to return to Afghanistan to continue attacks on NATO forces there.

“It is now indisputable that militancy in Pakistan is supported by the ISI […] Pakistan’s fight against militancy is bogus. It’s just to extract money from America,” Afridi said, referring to the $23 billion Pakistan has received largely in military aid since 9/11.

TCJ readers will not find any of Afridi’s statements surprising.   Pakistan’s duplicity is well documented over the years since the 9/11 attacks.   Nonetheless, the Afridi interview serves to highlight the futility of fighting a counterinsurgency in Afghanistan while allowing both Iran and Pakistan to actively support the insurgents.    Moreover, the U.S. government goes out of its way to curry favor with Pakistan, providing billions of dollars in aid while they assist our enemies.   This is simply immoral and an insult to the families who have lost loved ones in the Afghanistan theater of operations.

Finally, compare the treatment of Pakistan and their barely concealed contempt for the U.S. with the treatment given to Israel.  Setting aside any considerations of cultural or religious ties to Israel, from a national interest perspective, Israel is an irreplaceable ally in the heart of the Middle East.   Israel provides the U.S. with intelligence of all kinds that is otherwise unavailable (given our severe lack of human resources).   Israel effectively ties down the military assets of Egypt, Syria and the quasi-states of Gaza and Hezbollah-stan in Lebanon.   The Obama Administration is simply throwing Israel under the bus when it comes to a nuclear Iran.  Israel has sensibly asked for some “red lines” to be set in an attempt to stop the Iranian rush to obtain nuclear weapons.    Obama refuses.   More than that, Obama undercuts efforts by Israel to act on its own to protect itself from an Iranian threat that is catastrophic.

This insanity cannot continue.  It is hard to imagine that President Obama could have brought the U.S. to the brink of irrelevance in the Middle East in just four, short years, but, as U.S. embassies and consulates are attacked with impunity throughout the region, we are witnessing the first bitter fruits of what promises to be a horrific harvest to come.

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    Nice find Glen. One thing. We don’t have a “severe lack of human resources” (although I understand your point) so much as we have a lack of human intelligence assets around the globe because Clinton eviscerated the CIA (and Bush did nothing to save them). In other words, we chose this course, a fact that I know you know.

    Second, as for Pakistan, I have one comment: bombs in the Hindu Kush each and every time we get a shell or bullet fired at our troops until it stops happening.

  • http://www.bashy.dk Bashy Quraishy

    GLEN TSCHIRGI, although, I understand Israel’s concerns regarding Iran’s intentions to have a peaceful nuclear program but to say that ; The Obama Administration is simply throwing Israel under the bus when it comes to a nuclear Iran, is simply twisting the facts to suit your own political agenda.
    As far as I know from my friends – both Jewish and Palestinians, Israel receives billions of dollars in charity from USA, most sophisticated weapon systems, latest technology, Daisy bombs and batteries of Patriotic Missiles. On top of this Israel has the most powerful army in the region, laced with over 100 atom and hydrogen bombs. Is this throwing Israel under the bus?
    The fact is that Iran his no match to Israel’s power and the leasers of Iran are much more sophisticated and clever than the west and Israel give them credit for. Why would Iran make a small atom bomb and throw it on Israel and invite the wrath of Israel and USA plus NATO?
    Coming back to Pakistan, it has nothing to do with Israel. Yes, Pakistani loathe USA but not it’s people or nation but its arrogant policies and killing of thousands of innocent children and women in the tribal area. Israel go and kill hundreds of Palestinians because of few crude rocket attacks from Gaza and you are telling me that Pakistanis should love USA for its aggression against the country.
    Get real Glen.

  • http://www.captainsjournal.com/ Herschel Smith

    Oh Bashy, you play dumb so well.

    The Obama administration and how they’ve thrown Israel under the bus is very well documented here at TCJ. Go back and do your homework.

    As for Iran, they are like all Islamists. They couldn’t care less if they are a “match” for anyone. They see the world through apocalyptic and eschatological eyes. They are waiting on the Caliphate to be ushered in, and yet their waiting is their own fault, or so they see it. They must bring about the great conflagration, or great war, in order to catalyze its coming. Thus, their rhetoric about Israel has nothing to do with self preservation or any concept that the U.S. is their enemy. The U.S. is their enemy because we are not part of the Islamic Caliphate. They intend to make it so. The U.S. administration cannot see this because they see the world through unrelentingly secular eyes.

    No, bashy, Pakistan has nothing to do with Israel. Glen is setting two things – how we treat our alleged friends like enemies, and how we treat our alleged enemies like friends – in juxtaposition. It’s an english literary device. Do, please, learning some english before posting again.

    And following on from the last point, make it even longer before you post again.

    Bye bye, Bashy.

  • jean

    Bashy,

    Are you aware of what FATA stands for….Federal Administrated Tribal Areas? They are not even considered citizens by most Pakistanis, no property or voting rights. The Palestinians have better rights and opportunities. This area has been manipulated by the Pakistani government for years. But the system of administration has failed. AQ/TAB have waged a very effective campaign against the Maliks and hijacked the leadership. The frontier has turned into wartime industrial; building IED components, providing programmed suicide bombers and canon fodder. How many college graduates come from this area? They have robbed an entire generation of its future. No education, no jobs, just an endless war. The Pakistanis have squandered billions in aid to arm their country against people that would not be their enemies. What happens after the COF pulls out in 2014 and this radical element turn its attention to eastern Pakistani. ISI has a tiger by the tail. The intellectual elites of Pakistan will not find the radicals very accommodating or accepting. You have yet to see the ugly face aggression.
    Who provided earthquake relief supplies and assistance in 2006? The US flew HA from its bases in RC East and provided SAR teams to help find survivors. The same in 2011 for flood relief. They also called off the Indian Air Force in 2009. They were fueled and ready to go…..


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This article is filed under the category(s) Uncategorized and was published September 19th, 2012 by Glen Tschirgi.

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