By Dr. Haider Mehdi for Opinion Maker
On that side there is much mistrust, on this side such weakness!
Neither can she ask, nor am I able to speak. Let me pull myself together, O despair! What calamity is this? I am beginning to lose even the thread of thought about my love. (Narrate/translate here “love” as the “love” of my country – this thought added.)
Ghalib – Translated by Aijaz Ahmad
Today, Pakistan is at the crossroads of its destiny: Either the deprived masses of this country, through a strongly demonstrated expression of their political will, will transform it into a sovereign, independent and dignified nation – or the incumbent ruling regime in Islamabad will turn this country into a permanent US-Nato subservient state fighting a war against its own people to infinity and auctioning out its armed forces to fight proxy wars for their “masters” in Washington, London, Bonn, Paris and elsewhere. It is a desperate situation, a calamity, the beginning of losing even “the thread” of one’s “love,” as Ghalib would have described it.
Zalmay Khalilzad, true to the literal meaning of the phonetic sound of his name (in the Urdu language the word “Zulam,” sounding like Zalmay, means the embodiment of cruelty), was one of the most vocal and staunch advocates of the war and a formidable and influential political actor in the invasion and destruction of his native land, Afghanistan. Now, in a New York Times article entitled “Get Tough on Pakistan,” Zalmay Khalilzad is advocating a similar US foreign policy/military approach towards Pakistan: namely the unilateral invasion of Northern Waziristan by American troops and to carry the war into Pakistan’s territory using massive air-power and the incursion of troops by land routes.
The Zalmay approach is a recipe for the destruction of Pakistan. In addition, he also calls for a larger presence of CIA
operatives in the country and, in a nutshell, advocates a blue-print of turning Pakistan into a paid military-political satellite for serving the global financial interests of the US neo-conservative elite and multi-national corporations. Obviously, Zalmay is the front-line salesman of future American expansionist global policies. It is quite evident in the aforementioned article that Zalmay Khalilzad is projecting the mainstream American thinking on Pakistan and Afghanistan in terms of the future directions of US foreign policy in the South Asian region and in the Central Asian Islamic states.
Expounding on future American resolve in regards to Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia, Zalmay states, “More fundamentally, the United States needs to demonstrate that, even after our troops depart Afghanistan, we are resolved to stay engaged in the region.” This is the crux of thinking in the elitist military-corporate oligarchies within the American political establishment. Pakistan is to be transformed into a precise American political-military tool, an instrument of US policy affirmation; in this context Zalmay states that “… among the options being discussed by American and Pakistani officials this week is a security pact that would mean billions of dollars more. But such efforts have led to only the most incremental shifts in Pakistan’s policy… to induce quicker and more significant changes, Washington must offer Islamabad a stark choice between positive incentives and negative consequences.”
In the context of Pakistan’s on-going contemporary political-military engagement with the US, it is vitally important to fully understand the mindset and political conduct of important American political actors, such as Zalmay Khalilzad, as they reflect the mainstream ideological and strategic thinking of the inner-most ruling elite in Washington. Zalmay, like the majority of the powerful inner circle of foreign policy decision-makers in the US, suffers from a historically macho but pathological psychosis related to insecurity. In psychological terms, it is called the “megalomania” syndrome: the desire to feel superior and the deeply imbedded compulsion to have “power” over others – with a self-induced perception of grandeur and majestic command. The psychological impetus in this kind of behavior, though not genetic, comes from deep-seated feelings of inferiority, reasserted as brutal, unscrupulous pursuit of power, prestige and domination. These are the driving forces in the American psychic.
It is true that America has been an innovative leader in science, technology, medical science, information technology and above all in weapons engineering, but advancement in science and technology, in itself, does not produce a
humanitarian ideology of compassion for human life. It is precisely this element which has been the missing link in the sociological paradigm of American political conduct when it comes to dealing with non-white, non-Judeo-Christian people and nations with diverse economic-political ideologies different from the US belief system. America has carried out massive killing and destruction all over the world on account of these factors. And now, American political heavyweight neo-conservatives, among them Zalmay Khalilzad, are advocating more destruction and killings in Pakistan, Iran and possibly in the entire region in the near future. This is 21st century and the US-Nato are still wholly devoted to the 19th and 20th century colonial mindset. However, they cannot fool the world any longer.
Pakistan’s national tragedy in its deadlock of alliance with the US-Nato is that the incumbent political clan in Islamabad is not very different in its “megalomaniac” affliction than its counterparts in Washington and West European capitals. The incumbent regime in Pakistan is power hungry – it will do anything to stay in power – even marginalize the nation to an onerous, oppressive and burdensome existence of a total subservient state serving US-Nato global interests and hegemonic objectives at the expense of its people. It will surrender Pakistan’s sovereignty, its dignity, its territorial integrity and even push the nation into an endless war – to please its “masters” in Washington and the Nato capitals. Megalomaniac leaderships have no limits and no boundaries in their irrational political conduct. But the question is: how long will the Zardari-Gilani clan defy growing public discontent with the intrusive American-Nato political behavior in this country?
What Pakistan needs is a surgical strike at the US-Nato military adventurism inside Pakistan’s territory. Should it shoot down the next drone that violates Pakistan’s air space and kills Pakistani citizens?
Indeed, the choice rests with Washington and Nato headquarters. If Zalmay and neo-cons can advocate the extension of a full-scale American war inside Pakistan, then why can’t Pakistan respond in kind to defend itself against a blatant “act of war”?
Zalmay, in his article “Get Tough on Pakistan,” wrote, “… The United States should…carry out operations… with or without Pakistani consent. Arguments that such pressures would cause Pakistan to disintegrate are overstated. Pakistan’s institutions, particularly the country’s security organs, are sufficiently strong to preclude such an outcome.”
Indeed, Zalmay is right in assessing the power of Pakistan’s armed forces. Hence, I advocate the shooting of the next drone that flies Pakistan’s skies – a sufficiently powerful communicative political act for pre-damage control against an evolving US-Nato policy and possible emerging military adventurism inside Pakistan.
Indeed, Obama would not want to put his presidency and re-election at stake by dragging his feet into yet another war. Would he? He knows better than that.
Oh despair! What calamity is this?
Let me pull myself together… As Ghalib would have said!
First and foremost, the entire nation should speak out and let the “megalomaniac” ruling elite in the power corridors of Islamabad know that they will not take any more “torments” of their “love”… the destruction of their country.
The Zardari-Gilani regime cannot be a part of the solution to Pakistan’s problematic…!
They are a part of the problem!
The writer: professor, political analyst, published author and conflict-resolution expert. He is a regular contributor toOpinion Maker; a website with a marvelous global readership.