‘Casualties of another war’

‘Casualties of another war’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, September 23, 2008

The Marriott bombing is terrible revenge for the Afghan campaign that has gone so badly wrong

The deadly blast in Islamabad was a revenge attack for what has been going on over the past few weeks in the badlands of the North-West Frontier. It highlighted the crisis confronting the new government in the wake of intensified US strikes in the tribal areas on the Afghan border.

Hellfire missiles, drones, special operation raids inside Pakistan and the resulting deaths of innocents have fuelled Pashtun nationalism. It is this spillage from the war in Afghanistan that is now destabilising Pakistan.

The de facto prime minister of the country, an unelected crony of President Zardari and now his chief adviser, Rehman Malik, said, “our enemies don’t want to see democracy flourishing in the country”. This was rich coming from him, but in reality it has little to do with all that. It is the consequence of a supposedly “good war” in Afghanistan that has now gone badly wrong. The director of US National Intelligence, Michael McConnell, admits as much, saying the Afghan leadership must deal with the “endemic corruption and pervasive poppy cultivation and drug trafficking” that is to blame for the rise of the neo-Taliban. read more

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