CIA-ISI Jihadi "Frankenstein"
Sows Chaos, Reaps Death
[in Pakistan's Swat Valley]
January 25, 2009
With 180 girls' schools torched since
2008 in Pakistan's Swat Valley and some 900 indefinitely closed,
the future for education for some 125,000 young women is under
dire threat by the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).
The latest bombings took place Monday
in the district capital, Mingora, "once considered the safest
place in Swat," according to The Guardian. Five girls' schools
were leveled by TTP militants who last week decreed a permanent
ban on education for girls.
In recent weeks, residents who have crossed
the TTP have been strung-up from trees, beaten, or had their shops
destroyed while markets have been ruled "no go" areas
First mobilized during the 1980s by the
CIA and Pakistan's Inter Services Intelligence agency (ISI) as
"plausibly deniable" assets to wage "holy war"
against Afghanistan's socialist government, organized crime and
drug-linked jihadi groups now threaten Pakistan itself. Call it
"blowback" on steroids.
As the Obama administration prepares to
the double the size of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, attacks in
Pakistan by the American-led NATO coalition will only accelerate
the splintering of the nuclear-armed South Asian nation and fuel
new attacks by international terrorist outfits such as "former"
allies, the Afghan-Arab database of disposable intelligence assets
known as al-Qaeda.
Amply warned by South Asian and Middle
Eastern experts in the 1970s who predicted a slow-moving but inevitable
catastrophe for the region, short-term Cold War "gains"
against the Soviet adversary trumped long-term strategic planning
which, if America were a sane country, would have worked to strengthen,
rather than undermine, progressive regional forces.
Despite the inescapable conclusion that
the CIA's Islamist Frankenstein monster is running amok, one can
only surmise that America's corporatist masters continue to view
religiously-inspired neofascists as a reliable auxiliary force
to advance geopolitical goals against their capitalist rivals.
As I documented in "Unconventional
Warfare in the 21st Century: U.S. Surrogates, Terrorists and Narcotraffickers,"
(Antifascist Calling, December 19, 2008) despite the catastrophes
wrought by American global gamesmanship, for United States Special
Operations Command (USSOC) and the CIA, this disastrous paradigm
is still fully operational.
Indeed a September 2008 USSOC planning
document, first disclosed by Wikileaks, avers that unconventional
warfare "must be conducted by, with, or through surrogates;
and such surrogates must be irregular forces." For the people
of Pakistan, the "irregular forces" ranged against them
are driving the country headlong over the edge of a precipice.
Unfortunately however, this is not by accident.
As Swiss investigative journalist Richard
Labévière wrote, describing Pakistan's descent into
chaos, "The Pakistani morass and its profound strategic implications
for all of Central Asia have become one of the most alarming and
chaotic scenes on the planet. As one of the most strategic areas
of the next millennium slips into a criminal state, Uncle Sam
looks on with cynicism (if not benevolence)."
Citing the confluence of interests amongst
American corporate grifters and far-right Islamist terror networks,
Labévière pointedly cites a top U.S. intelligence
officials' approval of the reactionary forces set in motion by
America's anti-Soviet Afghan gambit as a signpost for future destabilization
"The policy of guiding the evolution
of Islam and of helping them against our adversaries worked marvelously
well in Afghanistan against the Red Army," explains a former
CIA analyst. "The same doctrines can still be used to destabilize
what remains of Russian power, and especially to counter Chinese
influence in Central Asia." In a certain sense, the Cold
War is still going on. For years Graham Fuller, former Deputy
Director of the National Council on Intelligence at the CIA, has
been talking up the "modernizing virtues" of the Islamists,
insisting on their anti-Statist concept of the economy. Listening
to him, you would almost take the Taleban and their Wahhabi allies
for liberals. "Islam, in theory at least, is firmly anchored
in the traditions of free trade and private enterprise,"
wrote Fuller. "The prophet was a trader, as was his first
wife. Islam does not glorify the State's role in the economy."
(Richard Labévière, Dollars for Terror: The United
States and Islam, New York: Algora Publishing, 2000, p. 6)
But inevitably, facts on the ground put
paid the mad schemes of imperialist architects such as Graham
Fuller and his acolytes. Fast forward a decade and it becomes
all-too-painfully clear it is the Afghan and Pakistani people
who are paying the price in blood for America's bankrupt policies.
Having armed, financed and provided an ample array of targets
for "free trade liberals" such as the Taliban and al-Qaeda--subsisting
on the illicit profits of the international narcotics trade and
other dubious ventures--Yankee hubris, as historian Chalmers Johnson
reminds us, has called forth the goddess of divine retribution,
Nemesis, on all our heads.
Medievalism in Swat Valley: Pakistan,
and America's, Future?
While moves to impose sharia law on the
Pakistani people through violence is the alleged intent of the
Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan and their al-Qaeda "brothers,"
more mundane, though far-more worldly concerns motivate the jihadists:
state power and the loot such a position would afford enterprising
What better means than control--through
fear--of a terrorized population forced to look the other way
as a gang of "holy warriors" steal their resources and
process heroin on an industrial scale while turning a quick profit
in the bargain!
Investigative journalist Amir Mir, writing
in the Lahore-based newspaper The News International reports that
Around 10,000 TTP militants have been
pitted against 15,000 Army troops since Oct 22, 2007, when the
[Swat Valley military] operation was officially launched. Leading
the charge against the Pakistan Army is Maulana Fazlullah, also
known as Mullah Radio for the illegal FM radio channel he operates.
Through his FM broadcasts, still operational despite being banned
by the NWFP [North West Frontier Province] government, the firebrand
keeps inspiring his followers to implement Shariah, fight the
Army and establish his authority in the area.
Military authorities have repeatedly alleged
that Fazlullah, who has thousands of armed supporters ready to
challenge the security forces on his command, has close links
with the Taliban and al-Qaeda operatives. The cleric has already
become a household name in Swat, as his Shaheen Commando Force
is destroying and occupying government buildings, blowing up police
stations, bridges, basic health units and hotels and burning girls'
schools. ("Amid Rising TTP Gains, Army Adopts New Strategy,"
The News International, January 21, 2009)
Since the military launched an offensive
against the clericalist thugs, indiscriminate Army attacks against
the civilian population have wrecked havoc. In addition to burning
down nearly 200 girls' schools, the TTP have torched 80 video
shops, 22 barber shops and have destroyed some 20 bridges in the
mountainous region. Mir reports the TTP have carried out some
165 bomb attacks against security forces, including 17 suicide
bombings and increasingly sophisticated remote-controlled IED
So serious has the situation grown in
the Swat Valley, that 800 provincial police, half the stated total
according to The News International, have either deserted or left
the area under pretext of going on "extended leave."
Other observers contend that the TTP and the Army are collaborating
Local politicians who have fled the valley
claim that "elements of the military and the militants appear
to be acting together." Bushra Gohara, the Vice-President
of the Awami National Party told The Independent on Sunday, "Even
if they are not, there needs to be a complete review of the military's
"The suspicion of collusion, said
a local government official in the largest town, Mingora,"
according to the IoS, "is based on the proximity of army
and Taliban checkposts, each 'a mile away from the other'."
Reports indicate that Fazlullah's militia
now effectively controls the Swat Valley. "Under these circumstances,"
Mir writes, "the state writ has shrunk from Swat's 5,337
square kilometres to the limits of its regional Mingora headquarters,
which is a city of just 36 square kilometres."
In Mingora itself, once a prosperous urban
hub that thrived on the tourist trade, the nature of the crisis
can be gauged by the number of bodies that appear each morning
after a night of terror. According to Mir, shopkeepers are now
finding "four or five dead bodies hung over the poles or
Unsurprisingly, it is the civilian population
who have suffered the worst depredations of the TTP and the Pakistani
Army. Hemmed-in on all sides, a military spokesperson conceded
that a third of the population has fled the area since the Army
launched its offensive.
Creating a dual-power situation as the
state's hold in the area shrinks, some "70 Taliban courts
are now ruling on hundreds of cases of 'immoral activity' every
week," The Sunday Times reported.
Fueled by the repressive Saudi-inspired
Wahhabi doctrine that fired the Afghan mujahedin during America's
anti-Soviet Cold War "jihad," the TTP have embarked
on a rule-by-fear strategy that seeks to impose "Sharia law"
on an unwilling--and unarmed--population, as part of its long-term
strategy to seize state power.
As in Afghanistan under the Taliban however,
it is women who face the harshest sanctions by the jihadi thugs.
The refusal to wear a veil or dancing in public are "offenses"
punishable by death. The Sunday Times averred,
The emergence of a parallel Taliban legal
system has a sinister objective. "This is our first step
towards the implementation of sharia in Swat," said Muslim
Khan, a Taliban spokesman. In the next phase, Khan said, the courts
would begin to carry out harsher punishments, such as execution
or chopping off hands.
Villagers said the Taliban were already
killing people who defied their orders. "They didn't even
spare barbers and women coming out of markets without wearing
their veils," said a Mingora resident.
There have been 51 Taliban executions
since the start of the year, he added. The victims include politicians,
security men, dancers, prostitutes and shopkeepers selling alcohol.
(Daud Khattak, "Taliban's deadly 'justice' cows Pakistan,"
The Sunday Times, January 18, 2009)
Ominously, Fazlullah's state within a
state is not staffed primarily by madrassa-educated cannon-fodder,
but draw on a surplus of former Army and intelligence officers
to fill the ranks, raising suspicions that the TTP enjoys powerful
backing from ruling elites.
According to Mir, the Tehrik-i-Nifaz-i-Shariat-i-Mohammadi
(TNSM) and TTP are composed of two Shuras, or councils. One is
the Ulema Shura that advises the group on "religious polices,"
while the Executive Shura, "is the highest policy-making
organ of the TNSM, which has a large number of ex-servicemen,
including retired commissioned officers, as its members."
Since 9/11, under intense pressure by
their American "allies" in the "war on terror,"
the Army and ISI have been partially purged by military and political
elites who rule the roost. However, disaffected ISI cadre who
never endorsed former President-General Pervez Musharraf's half-hearted--some
would say, deceitful--"break" with the Army's own creation,
the Taliban, continue to sponsor retrograde jihadist outfits.
Still allied with the Taliban, al-Qaeda
and home-grown terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Toiba (LET) and
Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM), elements burrowed deep within the state,
including prominent former generals closely associated with former
dictator, General Zia ul-Haq and the CIA, are actively conspiring
to destabilize the civilian government.
Indeed, last November's terrorist assault
on Mumbai, a joint venture amongst disaffected elements of the
security/intelligence apparatus, LET and organized crime-linked
assets such as Dawood Ibrahim's D-Company, was a shot across the
bow of President Asif Ali Zadari's administration meant to further
polarize the country and sow doubt amongst ruling class elites
as to the efficacy of civilian rule.
Staggering from crisis to crisis, under
heavy pressure from imperialism to "show results" for
the billions of dollars in "aid" showered on the military
by Washington, time is running out as the jihadi Frankenstein
flexes its muscles.
From the Lal Masjid Siege to the Bhutto
Fazlullah's rise, and the TTP's assault
on the people of the Swat Valley, can be directly linked to the
fall-out from the July 2007 Red Mosque siege.
When the Red Mosque (Lal Masjid) controversy
exploded, the state was forced, though some would say dragged
kicking and screaming, to act against brothers Abdul Aziz and
Abdul Rashid Ghazi, the al-Qaeda-linked leaders of the Mosque.
It wasn't always that way. Since its founding
in 1965 in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad, the Red Mosque enjoyed
patronage from influential members of the government, primes ministers,
army chiefs and presidents, according to BBC News.
During the anti-Soviet Afghan jihad, the
Red Mosque played a prominent role in the recruitment and training
of fighters and was supported handsomely by the ISI when the Taliban
was launched in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s. During the 2001
invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, many Red Mosque fighters
were captured or killed by U.S. forces and Northern Alliance militia
In other words, high state officials,
including intelligence chieftains such as Hamid Gul and Mahmoud
Ahmad were staunch backers of the Ghazi brothers, hard-line advocates
of dictator General Zia ul-Haq's program to "Islamize"
Pakistani society come hell or high water. In this bankrupt project
to destroy what little remained of Pakistani democracy and civil
society, Zia and his retinue of Islamist generals were generously
supported by the United States.
Former ISI General Hamid Gul told Asia
Times, "It is a pity that our army was preparing youths to
seize Lal Qala [the Red Fort of Delhi] and they ended up seizing
the Lal Masjid." According to a recent report in The News
International, Gul is now wanted by the U.S. "charged ...
with providing financial assistance to Kabul-based criminal groups
and involvement in spotting, assessing, recruiting and training
young men from seminaries," as well as accusations that the
ex-general has been "assisting the Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters
in developing high-tech weapons."
Gun battles erupted in 2007 after gangs
of burqa-clad seminary students occupied a children's library,
kidnapped a group of Chinese women accused of being "prostitutes,"
and after repeated forays into surrounding commercial districts
trashed CD shops accused of selling "pornography." But
when the "students" demanded strict enforcement of sharia
law, the state's hand was forced.
When police failed to stamp-out the mini-rebellion
in the nation's capital, the Army was brought in. By the time
the smoke cleared, Abdul Ghazi had been killed and his brother
Abdul Aziz was arrested after attempting to flee the scene dressed
in a woman's burqa, sparking outrage amongst the fundamentalists
and former high-ranking intelligence officials. Conflicting reports
claim that anywhere between 200 and 1,000 people lost their lives
during the siege. In the aftermath, according to multiple press
reports, a huge arms' cache was recovered, including stocks of
AK-47 rifles and grenade launchers.
After the raid, Fazlullah joined forces
with TTP and Pakistani al-Qaeda "emir" Baitullah Mehsud,
"in a bid to provide an umbrella to all insurgent movements
operating in several tribal agencies and settled areas of the
NWFP," according to journalist Amir Mir.
Scant months after the Lal Masjid affair
and in the midst of tumultuous nation-wide demonstrations by tens
of thousands of democracy activists, including lawyers and left-wing
labor militants demanding the restoration of Supreme Court Chief
Justice Iftikhar Chaudry, sacked by the Musharraf regime after
ordering the government to account for Pakistan's "disappeared,"
Benazir Bhutto was murdered in Rawalpindi.
In the aftermath of Bhutto's December
27, 2007 assassination, state officials alleged that Mehsud claimed
responsibility for her murder, a claim he denied. The "targeted
killing" of Pakistan's most popular political figure followed
on the heels of the October 2007 Karachi bombing that killed 150
of Bhutto's supporters when she returned home from exile.
The official story has undergone several
contradictory metamorphoses. Shortly after Bhutto's murder it
was alleged that Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LEJ), another banned terror
group linked to al-Qaeda, were the reputed authors. The story
then changed and al-Qaeda commander Mustafa Abu al-Yazid claimed
responsibility, telling Asia Times, "We terminated the most
precious American asset which vowed to defeat the mujahideen."
Many analysts believe these serial fabrications by the government
were meant to muddy the waters and conceal the true architects
of the attacks.
In a letter to Musharraf before her murder,
published by the Karachi-based newspaper Dawn, Bhutto named four
persons involved in an alleged plot to kill her: Intelligence
Bureau (IB) Chief Ijaz Shah, former chief minister of Punjab Chaudhry
Pervaiz Elahi, former chief minister of Sindh Arbab Ghulam Rahim,
and the former ISI chief, Hamid Gul. All are prominent pro-Islamist
figures within the intelligence and security establishment who
favored a continuation of Pakistan's policy of fielding terrorist
While first claiming that Bhutto was killed
when she struck her head on the latch of her SUV sunroof fracturing
her skull as the result of a suicide bomb blast, video footage
surfaced showing a gunman firing several shots at the popular
politician prior to the bomb's detonation. This would increase
the likelihood that the suicide bomber's actual target was the
gunman and therefore, part of a clean-up operation meant to conceal
the identities of those who ghostwrote the Bhutto assassination
However, conflicting claims of responsibility,
the hasty manner in which the security services removed all traces
of forensic evidence from the crime scene and threats by police
and intelligence officials against physicians who examined Bhutto's
body, fueled speculation that Islamist elements within ISI and
the Army--or the state itself--either manipulated the militants
or carried out the terrorist outrages in a move to bolster Musharraf's
waning grip on power.
Though allegedly on the outs with the
clericalists, Musharraf was a staunch supporter of the Army's
policy of fielding "irregular forces" comprised of far-right
thugs such as Lashkar or the virulently anti-Shia communalist
group Sipah-e-Sahaba (SSP) to carry out "plausibly deniable"
strikes against India or internal left-wing political opponents.
Originally founded in 1985 at the behest
of dictator General Zia ul-Haq to liquidate secular and leftist
forces opposed to his moves to "Islamize" Pakistani
society with the blessings of the CIA, the SSP was "banned"
in 2002 but quickly regrouped under the banner of Millat-e-Islamia.
Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the first World Trade Center bombing
in 1993 was an SSP member as was his uncle, the al-Qaeda operative
and alleged architect of the 9/11 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
Echoes of the Lal Masjid affair continue
to reverberate. On September 21, 2008 a massive truck bomb was
detonated outside the Marriot Hotel in downtown Islamabad, killing
60 and wounding some 260 people, virtually obliterating the five-star
hotel. Some 700 Pakistanis had gathered to break the daily Ramadan
fast. If the bomber had managed to drive the truck into the lobby,
the toll would have been far higher.
The conclusion drawn was bleak: if the
Marriot could be hit in one of the most secure and upscale neighborhoods
in the heart of Pakistan's capital, then no one was safe. It was
feared that the bombers' intent was to destabilize and possibly
spark an Army coup against the first civilian government in nine
With little to hope for from the Army
and ISI, President Asif Ali Zadari has expanded the civilian-led
Special Investigations Group (SIG), a distinct antiterrorist branch
of the Federal Investigations Agency (FIA), The Guardian reported
earlier this month. The SIG had languished under Musharraf. According
to investigative journalists Adrian Levy and Catherine Scott Clark,
On December 14, the British PM flew to
Islamabad to announce a £6m "pact against terror",
saying he wanted to "remove the chain" that led from
the mountains of Pakistan to the streets of Britain. A significant
part of the funding was intended for the SIG currently a tight-knit
cell of 37 full-time specialists that was to be expanded into
a 300-strong force with an investigation division, an armed wing,
an intelligence department and a research section. In return,
Britain asked for access to the SIG's raw data and captured extremists
who might illuminate British plots. ("On the Trail of Pakistan's
Taliban," The Guardian, 10 January 2009)
The need for security would indeed be
high. On March 11, 2008, the anniversary of the Madrid transport
attacks, a suicide bomber struck the SIG's provincial office in
Lahore, killing 25 people, including 13 officers. Tariq Pervez,
the SIG's head told The Guardian that since the end of 2007, "suicide
strikes from this region had killed 597 security force personnel
and 1,523 civilians, including Benazir Bhutto on December 27."
Despite attempts to recruit--or co-opt--poverty-stricken,
often unwilling young members of TNSM/TTP head-honcho Baitullah
Mehsud's extended clan in Waziristan for use as cannon-fodder,
Pervez told The Guardian its a hard sell given Mehsud's brutal
methods of dealing with those who oppose him.
Indeed, according to Pakistani journalist
Ahmed Rashid, when 600 tribal elders spoke out against the TNSM/TTP
in 2005, Mehsud had each of them sent a needle, black thread and
1,000 rupees with which to buy some cloth to stitch their own
funeral shrouds: all of them were subsequently murdered.
The situation has deteriorated to such
a degree for U.S./NATO "coalition" forces that America's
main supply route into Afghanistan from western Pakistan's tribal
belt, that the military "has obtained permission to move
troop supplies through Russia and Central Asia, Gen. David H.
Petraeus, the top American commander in the Middle East, said
on Tuesday," according to The New York Times.
In December, hundreds of NATO supply trucks
were torched in Peshawar by Taliban, TTP and al-Qaeda fighters
and Pakistani truck drivers are now refusing to drive along the
Frankenstein Turns on its Master: "Round
Up the Usual Suspects!"
The alliance forged in the wake of the
Lal Masjid siege and the Bhutto assassination amongst forces loyal
to Maulana Fazlullah and Baitullah Mehsud's TTP, Mullah Mohammed
Omar's Afghan Taliban and Osama bin Laden's Afghan-Arab database,
al-Qaeda, are chickens that have come home to roost for U.S. imperialism.
But it is the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan who are paying
Despite the grave threats to the people
of Central, South Asia and the Middle East posed by a resurgence
of far-right fundamentalism sponsored by the United States, Washington
still continues to view Islamist terror and organized crime-linked
networks such as al-Qaeda and their related complex of jihadi
groups as "off-the-shelf," plausibly deniable intelligence
Notwithstanding the severe global capitalist
economic meltdown, geopolitical expansion into regions of strategic
and economic interest to the United States is a top priority of
the Obama administration. A central pillar of the American policy
despite "regime change" in Washington, is the destabilization
of Iran. As Seymour Hersh reported, the U.S. via their ISI and
Saudi "allies" are arming and financing Pakistani-based
jihadi groups such as Jundullah to target Iran.
The Administration may have been willing
to rely on dissident organizations in Iran even when there was
reason to believe that the groups had operated against American
interests in the past. The use of Baluchi elements, for example,
is problematic, Robert Baer, a former C.I.A. clandestine officer
who worked for nearly two decades in South Asia and the Middle
East, told me. "The Baluchis are Sunni fundamentalists who
hate the regime in Tehran, but you can also describe them as Al
Qaeda," Baer told me. "These are guys who cut off the
heads of nonbelievers--in this case, it's Shiite Iranians. The
irony is that we're once again working with Sunni fundamentalists,
just as we did in Afghanistan in the nineteen-eighties."
Ramzi Yousef, who was convicted for his role in the 1993 bombing
of the World Trade Center, and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is
considered one of the leading planners of the September 11th attacks,
are Baluchi Sunni fundamentalists.
One of the most active and violent anti-regime
groups in Iran today is the Jundallah, also known as the Iranian
People's Resistance Movement, which describes itself as a resistance
force fighting for the rights of Sunnis in Iran. "This is
a vicious Salafi organization whose followers attended the same
madrassas as the Taliban and Pakistani extremists," [Vali]
Nasr told me. "They are suspected of having links to Al Qaeda
and they are also thought to be tied to the drug culture."
The Jundallah took responsibility for the bombing of a busload
of Revolutionary Guard soldiers in February, 2007. At least eleven
Guard members were killed. According to Baer and to press reports,
the Jundallah is among the groups in Iran that are benefitting
from U.S. support. ("Preparing the Battlefield," The
New Yorker, July 7, 2008)
While North American and European Muslim
communities remain a target of repressive "counterterrorist"
policies that demonize Muslims and Arabs as dangerous "others,"
internal "enemies" and "usual suspects" to
be preyed upon by police and intelligence agencies, real, not
fictional, terrorist networks continue to operate, indeed thrive,
with impunity. Here, as elsewhere, short-term tactical advantage
over capitalist rivals trump democratic processes and economic
well-being based on social justice.
As security analyst and historian, Nafeez
Mosaddeq Ahmed documented in a Briefing Paper prepared for the
British Parliament in the wake of al-Qaeda's 2005 London transport
The government appears unable to fully
extract itself from these strategic interests, continuing to tolerate
Islamist extremist networks in the UK, including successor organizations
to al-Muhajiroun, and showing an inexplicable unwillingness to
investigate them; displaying ongoing reluctance to arrest and
prosecute leading extremists despite abundant evidence of their
incitement to terrorism, murder, violence and racial hatred (with
serious action delayed until public pressure is brought to bear);
and refusing to investigate key al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist
suspects based or formerly based in the UK connected to 7/7 and
other terrorist attacks. In this dire situation, proposing the
extension of state power through yet further anti-terror legislation,
as the Brown government is now doing, can never hope to contribute
to real security. For in this context, such legislation not only
fails to rectify the multiple failures of domestic and international
security policy behind the paralysis of the British national security
system; it simply lends unprecedented powers of social control
to a paralysed system operating according to a defunct and dangerous
intelligence paradigm. (Inside the Crevice: Islamist terror networks
and the 7/7 intelligence failure, London: Institute for Policy
Research and Development, August 2007)
Much the same can be said for the United
States and its myopic "counterterrorist" policies that
rely on the demonization of entire communities, driftnet surveillance
of the population, the infiltration of provocateurs into antiwar,
socialist and left-wing organizations with no demonstrable ties
to international terrorism, and the induced climate of suspicion
and fear that breed social paralysis in the face of grave, contemporaneous
ruling class threats to democracy.
As a tsunami of Predator drones rain remote-controlled
death on the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan, and as the Obama
administration prepares a major military escalation in Central-
and South Asia, girls' schools continue to burn in the Swat Valley
with matchbooks labeled "Made in the USA."
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