29 December 2021

Gridlock Cure: Democrats Should Get Off the (Omni)Bus and Walk

In mid-December, US Senate Democrats cried “uncle,” at least temporarily, pulling President Biden’s $2 trillion “Build Back Better” agenda out from under the Christmas Tree. If the bill  makes it to the Senate floor for an up or down vote, it won’t be this year. I’m a big fan of gridlock, and not a fan … Continue reading Gridlock Cure: Democrats Should Get Off the (Omni)Bus and Walk → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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27 December 2021

On Foreign Policy, Biden Should Have Taken Golf Lessons

When Joe Biden took office as the 46th President of the United States, those of us who desired a more peaceful foreign policy had reasons for both hope and doubt. The  biggest issue for both was the 20-year US war in Afghanistan, for which Biden’s predecessor, Donald Trump, had negotiated a long-overdue US surrender. Would … Continue reading On Foreign Policy, Biden Should Have Taken Golf Lessons → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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24 December 2021

Growing Human Rights Abuses And Atrocities Against Muslims In India: Jinnah Stands Vindicated

Growing Human Rights Abuses And Atrocities Against Muslims In India: Jinnah Stands Vindicated By News Desk The only solution to the growing Indian extremism is the liberation of all nations from Indian clutches. The personality of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah... Read More › - Voice of East
https://voiceofeast.net/2021/12/24/growing-human-rights-abuses-and-atrocities-against-muslims-in-india-jinnah-stands-vindicated/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=blogger
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23 December 2021

DWP: the year in review – cuts, chaos and court battles

2021 saw the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) repeatedly hit the headlines. In this article, The Canary looks back at some of the … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
https://www.thecanary.co/feature/2021/12/23/dwp-the-year-in-review-cuts-chaos-and-court-battles/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=blogger
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22 December 2021

“Previously Unknown Massacres”: Why is Israel Allowed to Own Palestinian History?

Haaretz’s investigative report – ‘Classified Docs Reveal Massacres of Palestinians in ’48 – and What Israeli Leaders Knew’ – is a must-read. It should be particularly read by any person who considers himself a ‘Zionist’ and also by people who, for whatever reason, support Israel, anywhere in the world. “In the village of Al-Dawayima (…), troops […] The post “Previously Unknown Massacres”: Why is Israel Allowed to Own Palestinian History? first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Dissident Voice
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We Do Need a Great Reset — and a Different Burden of Proof

In 2020, the world’s political and economic elites gathered in Switzerland to discuss ways of restructuring society after the COVID-19 pandemic. The occasion: The 50th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, themed “The Great Reset.” That meeting and its theme give rise to a number of novel theories — we’re all going to be … Continue reading We Do Need a Great Reset — and a Different Burden of Proof → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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21 December 2021

The Year of the New Normal Fascist

Nazis on holiday And so, as 2021 goose-steps toward its fanatical finish, it is time for my traditional year-end wrap-up. It’s “The Year of the Ox” in the Chinese zodiac, but I’m christening it “The Year of the New Normal Fascist.” And what a phenomenally fascist year it has been! I’m not talking amateur fascism. […] The post The Year of the New Normal Fascist first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Dissident Voice
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20 December 2021

Gullibility and Poor Sportsmanship

Fool me once, shame on the trickster for resorting to trickery. Fool me twice, shame on me. When someone has earned the reputation of a trickster, one ought to be very skeptical of that trickster. Thus, to be fooled twice by the same trickster brings shame on the gullible person. The United States has been […] The post Gullibility and Poor Sportsmanship first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Kim Petersen
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Interview: The Iran Contra Affair

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Collins Emails Spotlight Bureaucracy’s Attempted Subjugation of Science and Scientists

On December 17, the US House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis released a series of emails between outgoing National Institute of Health Director Francis Collins and Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. In the emails, Collins refers to the authors of something called “The Great Barrington Declaration” as “fringe … Continue reading Collins Emails Spotlight Bureaucracy’s Attempted Subjugation of Science and Scientists → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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Pakistan’s OIC Summit On Afghanistan: A Step In The Right Direction

Pakistan’s OIC Summit On Afghanistan: A Step In The Right Direction By Andrew Korybko Pakistan hosted an extraordinary session of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) over the weekend aimed at averting Afghanistan’s impending humanitarian crisis. The war-torn country is presently... Read More › - Voice of East
https://voiceofeast.net/2021/12/20/pakistans-oic-summit-on-afghanistan-a-step-in-the-right-direction/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=blogger
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19 December 2021

“Niche Marketing” (or The Algorithm of Closed Minds)

A very popular error: having the courage of one’s convictions; rather, it is a question of having the courage for an attack on one’s convictions!!! — Friedrich Nietzsche,  Critique of Religion and Philosophy, Walter A. Kaufmann, 1958, page 34 Is it necessary to say that this article is not about critical thinking and intellectual integrity […] The post “Niche Marketing” (or The Algorithm of Closed Minds) first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Dissident Voice
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17 December 2021

What Does It Mean for the Dispossessor to “Compensate” the Dispossessed?

Settlers enjoyed a seeming free permission: to dispossess natives at will of all the best land, turn them out of traditional fishing locations, disrespect elders, women, children and religion, leave whole communities without political representation and punish men for breaking laws which they could have no means of knowing existed. It was inconceivable that all […] The post What Does It Mean for the Dispossessor to “Compensate” the Dispossessed? first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Kim Petersen
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16 December 2021

If you’re a disabled person the UN needs to hear from you

As reported by The Canary in October, the UN is getting ready to investigate how the UK government treats chronically ill, deaf and disabled … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2021/12/16/if-youre-a-disabled-person-the-un-needs-to-hear-from-you/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=blogger
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Russia-India Military And Economic Cooperation – Implications For Pakistan

Russia-India Military And Economic Cooperation – Implications For Pakistan Security analysts Khalid Muhammad and Shahid Raza analyse President Putin’s recent visit to India and comment on military and economic cooperation between Russia and India, and how it can affect Pakistan.... Read More › - Voice of East
https://voiceofeast.net/2021/12/16/russia-india-military-and-economic-cooperation-implications-for-pakistan/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=blogger
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15 December 2021

If You Want More of Something, Subsidize It (Population Edition)

“There’s scientific consensus, US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) said in a 2019 livestream on climate change, “that the lives of children are going to be very difficult. And it does lead young people to have a legitimate question: Is it OK to still have children?” Less than three years later, AOC’s mad at US Senator … Continue reading If You Want More of Something, Subsidize It (Population Edition) → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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NHS workers wrote a letter to Boris Johnson. It’s damning.

A group of NHS workers have written an open letter in response to Boris Johnson’s message to healthcare staff. And it makes for uncomfortable … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2021/12/15/nhs-workers-wrote-a-letter-to-boris-johnson-its-damning/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=blogger
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13 December 2021

No, President Biden, We’re Not Your “Customers”

“Today,” the White House announced on December 13,  “the President is taking decisive action to promote fiscal stewardship by improving the Government’s service delivery to its customers, the American people.” Joe Biden’s latest executive order “includes 36 customer experience (CX) improvement commitments across 17 Federal agencies.” Portraying government as a business and you as its … Continue reading No, President Biden, We’re Not Your “Customers” → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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12 December 2021

East Pakistan: Myths Surrounding 1971 War And A Conversation With A Bengali

East Pakistan: Myths Surrounding 1971 War And A Conversation With A Bengali By Ali Hassnain The year was 2016, the city was Kuala Lumpur. That morning from a deserted street, I took a cab to the airport. The Uber driver... Read More › - Voice of East
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DWP staff’s office antics are the worst of the lot

Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) staff have been exposed in the government’s Christmas parties scandal. And although the government claims they weren’t partying, … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2021/12/12/dwp-staffs-office-antics-are-the-worst-of-the-lot/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=blogger
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10 December 2021

73 Years On: Kashmir Crisis Remains A Living Hell

73 Years On: Kashmir Crisis Remains A Living Hell By Our Special Correspondent Washington, D.C.  December 10, 2021 –  Dr Ghulam Nabi Fai, Secretary General, Washington-based World Kashmir Awareness Forum today lamented the seeming conspiracy of silence over gross affronts... Read More › - Voice of East
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Cryptocurrency and the Shocking Revelation That White Supremacists Like Money

“White supremacists embraced cryptocurrency early in its development, ” Michael Edison Hayden and Megan Squire report at the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog, “and in some cases produced million-dollar profits through the technology, reshaping the racist right in radical ways.” I have no doubt the claim is true.  What’s also true is a note … Continue reading Cryptocurrency and the Shocking Revelation That White Supremacists Like Money → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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9 December 2021

Western intelligence agencies "using every trick in the book to destabilise Pakistan"

Western agents follow a policy encouraging the dismemberment of the Pakistani state. This was the observation of the Editor of Voice of East, a Pakistan-based media website, as part of a recent email Q and A in late November.

"Ground realities and the geopolitics of the region" indicate Western countries encourage seditious activity in the country, the online magazine's Editor claimed. The offending countries regard Pakistan as "an influential strategic partner of China", with that nation in turn perceived to be "a threat to US/NATO hegemony".

Western regimes turn away from friendship with Pakistan in favour of India. Also from the insightful Q and A:

I strongly believe that the US is committing a strategic blunder by giving preference to India over Pakistan. It would have been pragmatic to engage with both South Asian countries. Pakistan’s role is crucial in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. Far from acknowledging the importance of Pakistan, the Biden admin is side-lining the state of Pakistan in a very provocative manner. 

Significant destabilization efforts in Pakistan followed the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, although the US has no sway over the Taliban's restored Islamic Emirate:

Pakistan's security situation was affected immediately after the Afghan Taliban took over in Afghanistan. Pakistan witnessed resurgence of terrorist attacks in the provinces bordering Afghanistan, KPK and Balochistan after many years. Previously the TTP (Tehrik Taliban Pakistan) had been carrying out terrorist activities in Pakistan through safe havens in Afghanistan. Ghani govt. under the patronage of the US was protecting these terrorists, and also it was pro-India. It’s an open secret that the Indian intelligence agencies were working hand in glove with the Afghan intelligence agency NDS and also funding the TTP.

Recommended: Voice of East website

The Editor gave further clarity on Pakistan's foreign policy situation:

The beginning of Afghan Taliban’s rule was a big blow to Indian designs against Pakistan which were being enacted on Afghanistan’s soil. The TTP too were displaced after Afghan Taliban’s takeover and their sleeper cells in Pakistan were activated.

Citing Pakistan's history of survival against severe threats and the continued power of the Pakistani military (more than sufficient to stand up to its much larger opponent, India) the Voice of East Editor expressed confidence that extremists will fail to seize power in the country. This rubbishes the views of such individuals as former Trump administration diplomat John Bolton, who even expressed a harsh view that "preventive action" was needed to prevent this scenario.

From this, it appears that the fall of the Afghan government had more of a chaos-spreading effect rather than presenting a coherent or strong threat to Pakistan. The organized threat to Pakistan, in fact, could be diminished, since it was a state-led effort with the involvement in the former Afghan government and India, both of whom are now expelled from Kabul.

- ClubOfInfo

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The Summit For Democracy Portends Hybrid War Escalations In The New Cold War

The Summit For Democracy Portends Hybrid War Escalations In The New Cold War By Andrew Korybko By explicitly making the West’s conception of “democracy” the ideological fault line in the New Cold War, the US distracts from the economic and strategic... Read More › - Voice of East
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8 December 2021

Successful Taliban "will not act as proxies" for America

The idea that the Afghan Taliban could act as agents of the United States and the West to spread chaos to regional countries is contradicted by ground realities.

Such a claim exists among some in the pro-Iran and possibly pro-Russia media, with an article at Press TV being available as an example.

Contrary to such claims, the Taliban "want to have diplomatic relations with all countries" and on "an equal level", as observed by the Editor of the Pakistan-based Voice of East website in a recent Q and A. As such, the Taliban's new Islamic Emirate "will not act as proxies of any power".

Responding to a different question, the Editor drew a distinction between the Afghan Taliban and the TTP (Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan), also called "Pakistani Taliban". The latter are a "motley crew of brainwashed mercenaries who have nothing to do with religion". The TTP can be considered Takfiris (they do Takfir, or declare other Muslims to be infidels), whereas the Afghan Taliban are not.

The TTP is infiltrated by Western intelligence agents as well as those of India and Israel with the aim to harm Pakistan's security. The same is true of al-Qaeda and Daesh cells, the Editor commented.

Recommended link: Voice of East website

Responding to another question, the Voice of East Editor confirmed that there was widespread surprise in Pakistan at the Taliban's "lightning fast" success in Afghanistan. Most observers expected the Afghan National Army (ANA), even devoid of "moral and popular support" and dependent on US help, to hold out longer.

The Taliban's victory has left many concerned, including in Pakistan, about possibly extremist revival and the terrorist fallout that may follow. However, it appears that the new authorities based in Kabul are currently interested in building a secure homeland rather than exporting terror to other nations.

- ClubOfInfo

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Censorship as an Investment: Turn Two Cents Into $311,562!

Writing at Antiwar.com, Natylie Baldwin reports on letters sent in October by the US Treasury Department to American writers Daniel Lazare and Michael Averko, threatening fines of up to “$311,562 or twice the value of the underlying transaction.” The “underlying transaction” in question? Getting paid to write for a publication the US government disapproves of: … Continue reading Censorship as an Investment: Turn Two Cents Into $311,562! → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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Will the WTA Cancel Tennis Tournaments in the USA?

Currently, the West and its monopoly media are inordinately fixated on an allegation of a crime against an individual in another country, a country that is denigrated as a threat. The alleged crime serves as a pretext to punish that individual’s country, as if the country were the perpetrator or an accomplice in the alleged […] The post Will the WTA Cancel Tennis Tournaments in the USA? first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Kim Petersen
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7 December 2021

US intentionally breaking Europe: Kristian NF Interview

 

Europe is split along more lines than just a conflict with Russia. As Eastern European countries are protective of their national sovereignty and hold conservative views of culture, they are on a collision course with the economic powerhouses of the liberal West.

"While liberal ideologues dream of the United States of Europe, a different trend is emerging in Eastern Europe", emailed Kristian NF, a German dissident blogger also using the name Mars von Padua, in response to a question on whether divisions are forming between eastern and western member states.

Despite the division with the overbearing Brussels, countries like Poland are unlikely to find themselves back in any kind of favorable relationship with Russia. It is more likely that these nationalistic states will be stuck between Russia and the EU and supported by the Americans against both. They will fight a two-front Cold War in which they denounce liberal adversaries to the west and the speculative Russian military threat to the east.

In Kristian's words:

...one must not forget the transatlantic influence of NATO on the question of the EU. The USA in particular has a special interest in preventing Germany and Russia from getting closer. An alliance between Moscow, Berlin or even Paris would be a nightmare. That is why the Intermarium project was refocused, a geopolitical draft that was developed after the Second World War. An alliance of the Eastern European countries from the Baltic to the Black Sea under Polish leadership. The Polish Marshal Josef Pilsudski called this project Międzymorze. And this project has been under discussion again since 2016, with the Viségrad states being the first cornerstones. The USA is promoting this project, in which Hungary, Croatia and Romania, both NATO countries, are also involved. Just like the Baltic states. If this project is realized, there will be no rapprochement with Russia, but only a strong division with Western Europe. 

Poland's tensions with the EU elites, based on Kristian's assessment, arise from its aggressive foreign policy goals to establish itself as a great power. The US encourages these goals, despite the risk of Poland clashing with all its neighbors in Warsaw's attempts to establish itself as master of Eastern Europe.

These comments were received as part of an email-based Q and A series that replaced what would normally be an annual discussion among Mont Order members. The full series is available as a printout at Academia.edu, titled Mont Order November 2021 Conference Text.

- ClubOfInfo

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A Labour council is trying to force a family out of their home on Boxing Day

A Labour council is trying to force a family to permanently leave their home on Boxing Day. But the two brothers in question have … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
https://www.thecanary.co/uk/analysis/2021/12/07/a-labour-council-is-trying-to-force-a-family-out-of-their-home-on-boxing-day/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=blogger
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6 December 2021

Trump foreign policy continues: Hugo Turner

US aggressive foreign policy has not abated, only realigning itself increasingly against China, argues Hugo Turner, author of the Anti-Imperialist U blog.

What we see is a consistent pattern that, even if associated by many with Donald Trump, already existed and continues in the present day. Turner sums this up:

there is a realignment of priorities going on behind the scenes China is increasingly becoming the main imperial target. The Cold war with Russia continues. The war on left wing governments in latin America has continued fairly consistently from Bush II to Obama to Trump to Biden. Currently the US seems focused on meddling in Africa fermenting coups and civil wars. 

There is a "consistent imperial strategy that continues regardless of who is President although some presidents may aggressively escalate attacks on certain countries".

This evident reality makes a mockery of the views of those who saw Donald Trump as everything wrong with America. Much of what he represents pre-dated him and is now embodied by current president, Joe Biden.

Another topic addressed was the softer treatment Biden received by US news media. It may be that this is the only reason why so many impressionable American liberals believed Trump was really so exceptionally bad, despite policy being almost exactly the same as the new administration they adore.

The blogger gave these comments as part of a short email-based Q and A. The email-based Q and A forms part of a series replacing what would normally be an audio discussion of the online Mont Order group for the year 2021. The full series is available in a printout at Academia.edu, titled Mont Order November 2021 Conference Text.

- ClubOfInfo

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Elections: Is There Light at the End of the “Big Lie” Tunnel?

“Technically, the next attempt to overthrow a national election may not qualify as a coup,” Barton Gellman writes at The Atlantic. “It will rely on subversion more than violence …. If the plot succeeds, the ballots cast by American voters will not decide the presidency in 2024.” There’s nothing new about claims that an election was … Continue reading Elections: Is There Light at the End of the “Big Lie” Tunnel? → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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Boris Johnson rinsed for this ludicrous interview

People on social media have rinsed Boris Johnson for an interview with Sky News. It was over the government’s new drugs policy. The reforms … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
https://www.thecanary.co/trending/2021/12/06/boris-johnson-rinsed-for-this-ludicrous-interview/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=blogger
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Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and US policy: Q and A on Asia 

Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and US policy: Q and A on Asia  This is an interview with the Editor of Voice of East published on Club of Info. Voice of East is an independent, non-profit media organisation with core focus on issues related to... Read More › - Voice of East
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5 December 2021

Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and US policy: Q and A on Asia with Voice of East Editor

This is a full email interview with the Editor of Voice of East. Voice of East is an independent, non-profit media organisation with core focus on issues related to Pakistan and the Muslim World.

Q: On Afghanistan: I have heard claims that the US and Britain will use the Taliban as allies or proxies against the regional countries, due to some informal agreement that may have been reached by them with the Taliban. I do not personally see how this is possible, because NATO has exited the country and all its clients fell from power. What do you think of this claim about the Taliban becoming agents of the West?

A: I absolutely do not see this happening. Ground realities are contrary to this claim. The Taliban want to have diplomatic relations with all countries including Western countries, even the US and to deal with them on an equal level. They see themselves as legitimate rulers of Afghanistan and will not act as proxies of any power. 

Q: On Afghanistan: I expected the Afghan government to survive for several months at least. Even the resistance groups against the Taliban collapsed, meaning the situation is even better for the Taliban than ever, including before 2001. Are you surprised by how quickly the Afghan government collapsed? 

A: Yes and no. 

Yes, because even we (Pakistanis) were surprised by how quickly the Afghan Taliban took over. We always knew that they would come to power once the US left the region but had no idea it was going to be so quick. Their lightning fast takeover of Afghanistan even took us by surprise.

No, because everyone in the region knew that Ghani’s government was installed by the Americans and that the Afghan National Army was piggybacking on the US Army; they did not have any real sway in Afghanistan. It was obvious their government would collapse once the American forces left. Despite the logistical support provided by the US Army, the ANA had no moral authority and popular support inside Afghanistan to stand on their own feet. 

Q: On Pakistan: I have heard the claim that Western intelligence agencies encourage separatism in Pakistan and are siding with India on that front, because they believe this will disrupt China's Belt and Road Initiative. How do you see this idea?

A: The ground realities and the geopolitics of the region support this claim. The Western intelligence agencies are not only encouraging separatism in Pakistan, they are using every trick in the book to destabilise Pakistan. The West has increasingly started to see Pakistan as an influential strategic partner of China and as it fallaciously believes China to be a threat to US/NATO hegemony, Pakistan also becomes a country they believe needs to be dealt with. On top of that, Russia’s balancing act in the Eurasian region where it is extending military and economic cooperation with Pakistan while keeping traditional relations with India intact, is also worrisome for the US.

Q: On Pakistan: Some people have warned that Afghanistan will be very chaotic now and that this will affect Pakistan's own security situation, specifically believing extremists will try to take power in Pakistan. How do you respond to this?

A: This warning holds true to some extent. Pakistan's security situation was affected immediately after the Afghan Taliban took over in Afghanistan. Pakistan witnessed resurgence of terrorist attacks in the provinces bordering Afghanistan, KPK and Balochistan after many years. Previously the TTP (Tehrik Taliban Pakistan) had been carrying out terrorist activities in Pakistan through safe havens in Afghanistan. Ghani govt. under the patronage of the US was protecting these terrorists, and also it was pro-India. It’s an open secret that the Indian intelligence agencies were working hand in glove with the Afghan intelligence agency NDS and also funding the TTP.

The beginning of Afghan Taliban’s rule was a big blow to Indian designs against Pakistan which were being enacted on Afghanistan’s soil. The TTP too were displaced after Afghan Taliban’s takeover and their sleeper cells in Pakistan were activated. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Pakistan, the govt. of Pakistan demanded from the Afghan Taliban to deal with the TTP: either control them and stop them from crossing into Pakistan or eliminate them. That option was not viable for the Afghan Taliban. Now they are mediating between the TTP and the State of Pakistan so that TTP would stop being a security threat to Pakistan. I personally do not see any fruitful results of Pakistan-TTP talks. 

There is a fine line separating the Afghan Taliban from the TTP (Tehrik Taliban Pakistan). Some differentiate between them by simply calling the Afghan Taliban, ‘Good Taliban’ and TTP the ‘Bad Taliban’. The truth is more complex. We know that both of them are extremists in their interpretation of religion, but Afghan Taliban cannot be categorised as terrorists. They are not Kharijites and do not do Takfir (declaring other Muslims infidels) like the TTP do. Even when Afghan Taliban were fighting other Muslim groups like Tajiks, Hazaras or Ahmad Massoud group, they did not declare them non-Muslims. The TTP consider the State of Pakistan legitimate target as they declare the civil and military leadership of Pakistan to be in collusion with the ‘infidels’. It is a documented fact that the TTP has been infiltrated, even led by intelligence agents of different Western, Israeli and Indian intelligence agencies who pose as Muslim Imams/Mullahs and encourage suicide bombing and other terrorist activities. This has been happening even more frequently in terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and Daesh. The sad truth is that TTP is a motley crew of brainwashed mercenaries who have nothing to do with religion. It’s a very lengthy topic and cannot be comprehensively covered in this brief space.

“Believing extremists will try to take power in Pakistan?” Looking at our country’s history and the powerful role of our military, I do not see that happening, ever. 

Q: On India: Do you see the Biden administration as being more on the side of India than Pakistan? How does this compare with Trump? I am aware that American strategists wanted partnership with India, neglecting to mention Pakistan.

A: The Biden administration’s bias for India is very apparent. President Trump had good chemistry with Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan and if he had stayed in power, US-Pakistan relations would have improved (as much as the US’ deep state would have allowed). The US admin (mistakenly) believes that their interests lie in fully supporting India as they see it as an antidote to China. This is fallacious thinking. India can never compete or defeat China in any field. The truth is that India is imploding from within. There are multiple separatist movements going on in different Indian provinces, not to mention the freedom struggle in Kashmir, which is like a gigantic volcano waiting to erupt and destabilise the whole region. Secondly, the RSS’ political wing BJP has pushed the country’s economy into a downward spiral ever since coming into power.

I strongly believe that the US is committing a strategic blunder by giving preference to India over Pakistan. It would have been pragmatic to engage with both South Asian countries. Pakistan’s role is crucial in bringing peace and stability in Afghanistan and the region. Far from acknowledging the importance of Pakistan, the Biden admin is side-lining the state of Pakistan in a very provocative manner. 

Q: On India: Russia wants good relations with India, Pakistan and China all at the same time. This may be difficult because India is strongly opposed to China, and the US is using this to get closer to India. Some people in India believe Russia is their ally against China, although Russia and China are now strategically closer together than ever in their history. Would you agree that India is more under American influence than the influence of other countries?

A: I completely agree that presently India is more under American influence than the influence of other powerful countries. We are witnessing a clear recalibration of alliances taking place in the region. Slowly but surely India is moving away from the ‘Russian camp’ and strategically aligning with the US, as it too sees China as a threat just like the US does. Talking about Russia, we see that it continues cooperation with India, apparently ignoring the Indian overtures to the US. But there are subtle signs that Russia is not happy about India preferring the US over it. Russia is now even warming up ties with former Soviet era rival Pakistan, and increasing military and economic cooperation with it. Russia and Pakistan have been holding joint military exercises named ‘Druzhba’ since 2016. 

In July this year Russia and Pakistan signed a deal for the construction of ‘PakStream Gas Pipeline' in Pakistan. One only has to look at Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s diplomatic visit to both India and Pakistan in April this year to see in which direction the wind is blowing. Where it was cold and stony in India, the diplomatic meeting between foreign ministers of Pakistan and Russia was oozing warmth and familiarity. Secondly, relations between Russia and China have never been better in history than they are at the moment. Russia seems to be thinking about the whole Eurasian region and it seems highly unlikely that it will give preference to just one country (India) over other regional powers.

This Q and A is part of a series replacing a Mont Order November 2021 discussion. It was handled via email on 21-26 November. The full text of the series can be read on Academia.edu as the Mont Order November 2021 Conference.

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Boris Johnson’s drug reforms are straight out of the 80s

Boris Johnson’s reforms to drugs policy will mean nothing “without radical overhaul”. That’s the warning from one campaign group – as the government looks … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
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4 December 2021

Is Twitter losing a fight with the state?

 

Social networks are fighting a lost battle against states, the new online column Lordre has argued.

A detailed post at the new blog sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin's assessment that social networking websites sought to usurp some state responsibilities and that their attempts were "fleeting".

Going into more detail than Putin, the Lordre blog identified safety and access to information as key areas of responsibility that social networks seek to replace government in managing.

States are aware of the threat of monopolization of information and culture and are pushing back. To quote the blog, "The European Union currently has the Digital Markets Act (DMA) on the cards, which apparently will prevent a tech company from trapping users in an operating system or bundle of apps that solely favours its own services (and by extension news feeds) over any other firm's."

More severe confrontation exists with states in Africa. The blog argued, "Social media companies are uniquely confrontational towards governments, lately seeing themselves as authorities on par with some governments."

The deletion of government communications deemed to be violent (even if the government is at war) represent "an ineffective and failed usurpation of the state's responsibilities, since a state can still commit or allow violence whether Twitter deletes posts about it or not."

Despite their rebellious appearance, social networks are just "weak outfits", vulnerable to being "forcibly broken up due to laws, taken offline or bankrupted by fines at any moment the state truly loses patience with them."

The new Lordre blog has taken over the website lordre.net, formerly an unofficial Mont Order website.

- ClubOfInfo

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2 December 2021

All Should Be Free in America

Six decades later, America’s headlines could remain in “America.” Memorials to Stephen Sondheim didn’t have to search far to find parallels between the musical West Side Story and a United States disunited by class and ethnic strife in 2021.  Sondheim’s lyrics “Everywhere Grime in America, Terrible Time in America” became Jacobin‘s headline for an anniversary … Continue reading All Should Be Free in America → - by Thomas L. Knapp
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Have British Politicians No Shame?

Members of the Devon Regiment round up local people in a search for Mau Mau fighters in Kenya in 1954. Photograph: Popperfoto/Popperfoto/Getty Images The UK government is considering boycotting China’s winter Olympic Games to be held in Beijing. The British foreign office cites “international efforts to hold China to account for its human rights violations […] The post Have British Politicians No Shame? first appeared on Dissident Voice. - Kim Petersen
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1 December 2021

Twitter locked a political party’s account for sharing the truth about vaccines

Twitter has locked a registered political party’s account. It’s over a tweet the party posted on coronavirus (Covid-19) vaccines. And clearly for Twitter, the … Read more By Steve Topple - Steve Topple
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