“Was your brain out grazing?”

Musharraf’s finger always points outside

Speaking to the EU parliament’s foreign affairs committee, Gen Musharraf blamed the West for turning Pakistan into the centre of the jihadi universe.

Whatever extremism or terrorism is in Pakistan is a direct fallout of the 26 years of warfare and militancy around us. It gets back to 1979 when the West, the United States and Pakistan waged a war against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan,” Musharraf told EU lawmakers.

“We launched a jihad, brought in mujahideen from all over the Muslim world, the US and the West…We armed the Taliban and sent them in; we did it together. In 1989 everyone left Pakistan with 30,000 armed mujahideen who were there, and the Taliban who were there,” he said, adding that Pakistan had “paid a big price for being part of the coalition that fought the Soviet Union.” [DT]

This narrative should play well to European ears—where there are plenty of takers for the “it’s all America’s fault” line.

9 thoughts on ““Was your brain out grazing?””

  1. The pakis are exploiting the western guilt to the hilt. But for how long? There is already evidence of diminishing returns. Western patience is wearing thin already at pakistan’s double-timing.

  2. Apollo,

    Musharraf is talking to Europeans who were never too keen to send troops (under NATO) to Afghanistan. Telling them that it was all America’s fault is not likely to make them more keen to change their mind. With the Americans tiring of Iraq and Afghanistan, the advantage will shift, perhaps decisively, to Taliban 2.0. That’s what Pakistan wants.

  3. After Uncle Sam gets tired of Afghanistan, will he give us permission to sort out Pakistan? I mean some target practice at POK/Pak terror camps.

  4. Nitin, there is no evidence that the Americans are tiring out. Opinion is sharply divided in the US. The conservatives want to fight harder/smarter and the liberals want to just cut and run. The elections in november might turn out to be very crucial in the future approach to the war.

    Even in Europe there is a backlash against liberal appeasement policies. Musharraf’s message might appeal to the leftist crowd but not to the European Right who are seeing thru his and the other radical islamists game and are calling their bluff.

    Musharraf along with CAIR, MCB etc… might have overplayed their hand already.

  5. In his complaints, Musharraf made two falsehoods:

    1. It is true that the United States provided money and arms to the Afghan mujahiden, but it was Pakistan, on General Zia-ul-Haq’s insistence, who directed which group got what; and Pakistan supported only those groups that it could control, many of whom were Islamic extremists.

    2. The Taliban was not the creation of the US, as Musharraf contends, but of Pakistan. The Taliban grew out of the refugee camps in Pakistan that border Afghanistan, and only achieved power, with ISI help, by ousting the various warlords who has filled the vacuum after the US left Afghanistan.

    Musharraf underscores, or buries, Pakistan’s long-standing interference in Afghanistan’s affairs, which pre-dates the rise of the mujahiden and Taliban, when Pakistan was smothering Pashtun nationalism.

  6. Niraj,

    Excellent points – the Taliban did not appear until the mid-90’s, well after America left. Steve Coll’s excellent “Ghost Wars” chronicles how everytime America expressed an interest in picking which groups to support against the Russians, the Pakistanis would say “No, no – we know the area best, and we know which groups to support.” But I guess it would be rude to point out Musharaff’s lies – cause pointing out the truth might destabilize him, and then the Islamsists take over. But that’s just another scare tactic, albeit an effective one.

  7. well the whole mujaheedin thing was started by the americans during the carter regime using the Brzezinski doctrine against the red army and breznevs kgb which killed amin to setup the admin in afghanistan to prevent cia interferance in central asia.
    there was an unwritten agreement with general zia and the saudis who funded the plan.
    it is speculated that the first so called mujaheedin action was a covert opp by the paki sas or black storks trained by cia and american special opps.

    The taleeban was born of a one eyed accident called mulla omar who bcame famous for alledged rescue of 2 girls.
    the taleban as also stated by neeraj came about in 90s after the soviet and american withdrawal from the theatre due to multiple factors
    1.need to manage thousands of unemployed jihadis in pak cities/refugee camps with nothing to do except join sectarian violence preached by mma.

    2.pakistani isi growing into a self funded monstrosity since the times of hamid gul.

    3. leadership vaccum in afghanistan

    4. strategic depth strategy of the pakistani war room to counter india.

    Nothing could happen without the isis and paki establishments overt and covert help Paki weapons tanks and apvs were used when they swept over half of afghanistan
    Neeraj not all warlords were defeated most were bought over using the Mujaheedin funds and drug running money made by the isi.
    The switching of allegances is commonpractice since time immorial in those arid deserts.

  8. Apollo, one can probably count Euro-right on one’s fingers. The right most European would be left of even Congress I (if that is possible). In any case, they don’t have political power or media influence.

    Niraj/netsuffering, you are surely right. But that’s not the point of general’s finger pointing, I guess. It’s the guilt factor, not facts, which matter.

    “The switching of allegances is commonpractice since time immorial in those arid deserts.”

    And so on this side of the border too 🙂

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