Pakistan’s Promises and Problems

Imran Khan is set to become the next Prime Minister of Pakistan, following the elections that placed his party in dominance over the Majlis-e-Shura. Although the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (The Pakistan Movement for Justice) will have to form a coalition, it is likely to maneuver into place fairly quickly. Khan is hoping to build the “Naya Pakistan” (“New Pakistan”) that has become the slogan of his campaign.

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Already, the propaganda machines in the West are lamenting his victory. With wonderful headlines, such as: “Pakistan’s likely next leader is a Taliban sympathizer” and “Imran Khan near victory in Pakistan but some ask if he is playing fair“, it is clear that Amerikkka is dissatisfied.

Liberal analysts at places like the Diplomat have followed suit with pieces like: “Why the Pakistan Army is Vying to Influence the General Elections” (like that doesn’t happen anywhere else) and “Imran Khan’s Victory in Pakistan: An Outcome Foretold” (because elections are always supposed to be surprises!)

Imran Khan, for better or for worse, is the only major politician who has stood up repeatedly against Amerikkkan domination over the country. He has been a stalwart critic of the CIA/ISI funding of terrorists in Afghanistan in the 80s, he has criticized Musharraf’s military dictatorship and elite corruption, and he has been one of the loudest voices against the drone strikes, the War on Terror, and sectarian violence.

At the end of the day, Khan has emerged as the voice against poverty, corruption, and, most promisingly, Western control over the government.

Although this has been the result of a long evolution and we certainly can’t be resting our hopes entirely at the feet of a nationalist-oriented liberal, the PTI offers the best chances at the moment of steering Pakistan in a direction of sovereignty and security.

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One of my friends once said that Pakistan has the shape of a dog and now I can never unsee that.

Khan, notably, has been critical as well of Chinese-funded infrastructure projects in the country. Pakistan’s orientation is likely to shift dramatically with the PTI in power, as new coalitions and partnerships are formed. The geopolitical map is already in flux in region and it will be interesting to see how the new government rides this wave.

Afghanistan today is falling back into chaos, China is pushing its weight around, India’s unlikely to do much until the elections in 2019, and the U.$. and Pakistan have been at odds for a while now (especially since Trump started causing problems).

How Khan will manage things going forward remains to be seen. After all, this is the first time that the PTI will be at the helm of Pakistani politics, after 22 years of being an opposition party. Will Khan’s Islamic welfare state become a reality? Will Pakistan crawl out from under the thumb of the Amerikkkans? Will the PTI usher in an era of stability?

And what does this mean for the multipolar world?

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In the coming weeks, as the coalition is formed, we will be able to see whether or not Khan is able to build his dream of an Naya Pakistan and what that means for the world.

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In Defense of the Upcoming Multipolar World Order

Amerikkka is often presented as the global peacemaker in sympathetic circles. If we take a cursory look around the globe today, however, we can see that every single conflict has the fingerprint of the United $tates in some capacity. This imperial strategy has not brought about the solution to conflict, but rather intended to proceed with conflict until achieving absolute control.

Even minor states – North Korea, Cuba, Syria, and Iran are continuously punished for merely existing outside of the unipolar order. Amerikkka demands total subservience to its geopolitical institutions.

The strategic parity between different states could decrease the occurrence of U.S. imperial wars, if the U.S. understands that it faces the threat of potentially losing such a conflict (Amerikkkans have not yet forgotten Vietnam and Iraq).

Russia and China (along with the other BRICS states) present a counterbalance to U.S. hegemonic goals around the world.

In fact, considering the recent decision by Mr. Orange-White-Supremacist-Clown to pull out of the JCPOA with Iran, we may also begin to see the E.U. establishing a more independent geopolitical pole as well.

New contours of global power present us with new options. Instead of repeating the Cold War, we shall soon find ourselves in totally new circumstances. The new global powers – the E.U., Russia, China are catching up to the U.$.

This power is no longer substantially ideological, as all of these countries (in one form or another) subscribe to neoliberal capitalism.

As others have written, “And Russia and China are part of this imperialist camp as well; the problem is that, because they are still developing as imperialist powers, they are beginning to represent a pole that might determine the global contradiction between imperialisms in the next decade.”

Where I disagree with MLM Mayhem is on how we should delineate our support for these competing powers. By encouraging competition, we encourage ruptures in hegemony and open the space for counter-movements. We should not say Russian and Chinese imperialisms are “better” than U$ imperialism, but rather, in order to bring down Amerikkkan global domination, we must critically support its nascent challengers.

This isn’t some moralistic argument about imperialism. Rather, this is a strategic argument about how we can move to socialism: through revolutions in the Third World.

Revolutions can only occur when political and economic systems reach the limits of their contradictions. As long as capital is able to flow freely, then Amerikkka (or another country) is able to prop up puppet regimes indefinitely.

By pushing for global ruptures, we inevitably force these contradictions to reveal themselves bare. This, of course, is no guarantee of Third World revolutions, but the chances increase dramatically.

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Additionally, it is inherently advantageous for smaller countries that there is competition among the superpowers. Smaller countries throughout the Cold War skillfully embraced one or another side in order to gain favor and receive beneficial (or not-so-beneficial) aid packages, military assistance, or increased sovereignty and independence.

The very establishment of the Non-Aligned Movement solidified the strength of the Third World against the First World.

Following the dismantling of the Soviet Union by three men in a forest, the global order fragmented, ruptured, and tore itself asunder. The U.$. crowned itself the sole Empire and ensured that the Third World bent to its will.

Financial institutions like the WTO and IMF grabbed the Third World by the throat and smashed their skulls against the ground. Mimicking the old colonial days, white people continue to strip the wealth from black and brown people around the globe.

Why should Amerikkkans have hegemony?

Why does everyone in the world need to think about the fascists in Washington?

Why should the racist naked mole rat in the white house have so much power?

Drugs, Propaganda, and the Party of God

The news is abuzz with Politico’s new article that claims that Obama derailed an investigation in alleged drug trafficking and money laundering done by Hezbollah in Lebanon. The Politico article linked above charges Obama with dismantling “Project Cassandra” in order to make the “Iran Deal” possible.

I would, from the outset, question the veracity of these claims, considering a lot of the content of the article is regurgitated from allegations made back in 2011 (when Obama was president).

Of course, as usual, a little bit of reasoning ought to put the official Politico story into question. Whether or not Obama put up roadblocks against investigations is something that I do not and cannot know, beyond what the media reports (even at the end of the Politico article, they seem to call everything they’ve just said into question).

However, I do have three points that show something is very wrong with the propagandists’ rendering of Hezbollah and the fundamentals of the organization.

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1.) Hezbollah is, at least partially, a religious-confessional organization. Hezb-Allah (the Party of God) is an organization that was established in the draw-down of Lebanon’s bloody civil war, fought mostly along sectarian lines.

Hezbollah emerged as the primary representative of Lebanon’s Shi’a (although slowly, due to the competition from the Amal Movement).

The Politico article seems to suggest that Hezbollah is receiving money from both drug trafficking and Iran, or, alternatively, both Hezbollah and Iran are receiving funds from drug trafficking. The article leaves the reader guessing.

On the face of it, that would seem a bit odd, considering mainstream Islam’s pretty tight restrictions on drug use. Indeed, both Hassan Nasrallah (the leader of Hezbollah) and Ali Khamenei (the Supreme Leader of Iran) have explicitly forbade the use of drugs.

Aren’t these people supposed to be so incredibly religious that they’re unreasonable and impossible to negotiate with? Isn’t that the main line of the propaganda against them: Amerikkka can’t “trust” Iran, because they’re insane religious extremists?

Like Iran could ever trust Amerikkka!

Someone has their propaganda mixed up. It’s a jumbled policy of “throw everything at them and see what sticks”.

If you want to say that the leaders are lying and that they’ll take money from drug trafficking, then clearly they’re pragmatists and can negotiate. If you want to say they’re religious fundamentalists, then there is no way that they’re getting money from the drug trade.

2.) The Politico article centers around the drug trade in Latin American and Africa, apparently through some key business traders who have been able to secretly fund some transnational anti-Amerikkkan network.

In the past, Hezbollah’s alleged drug trafficking enterprise has been linked to the so-called Tri-Border Area. The Tri-Border Area is along the borders of Paraguay, Argentina, and Brazil. Supposedly accounting for a significant portion of weapon, drug, and human trafficking, the Tri-Border Area is notoriously mysterious, with very little reliable information regarding the market there.

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It’s sort of a similar situation to North Korea, right? We don’t know anything, but everything we do know is bad and, therefore, we can extrapolate a lot of nonsense from that.

Apparently, every “terrorist” organization gets funding from the Tri-Border Area, if we’re to believe the reports. According the U.$. media and the U.$. government, both Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda receive funds from illicit trading through South America.

That seems a little strange, considering the war in Syria, where Hezbollah and Al-Qaeda are killing each other.

The Politico article does not directly mention the Tri-Border Area. It does, however, bring up the supposed “cocaine corridor” from South America up through Mexico, where the funds are not only apparently used to support Hezbollah, but also governments in Latin America that stand up against imperialism – Venezuela, Bolivia, and Ecuador.

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What’s the connection? Well, according to Politico, we can find it in the relationship between Hugo Chavez and Mahmoud Ahmadinejad:

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Another claim with absolutely no evidence!

Isn’t it interesting that according to “interviews and documents”, Hugo Chavez is also responsible for everything bad in the world. After all, Politico says that Hezbollah has “for decades” been engaging in “narcoterrorism”?

Why is it that all of the evidence that comes up in the article is from simple testimonies and anonymous sources if this is an unquestionable fact?

If Hezbollah gets all its funding from illicit sources, then why does it even need funding from Iran?

If Hezbollah is so ubiquitous on the black market, then why isn’t there hard evidence of such trading?

Why is everything just hearsay and word-of-mouth?

This brings us to my third point.

3.) All of the supposed linchpins in the Hezbollah-drug trafficking connection conveniently work with everyone the U.S. doesn’t like right now, according to Politico. They even have this other picture in the article to drive home their point:

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Three presidents who are way better than Trump.

The article is fascinating for who make up this apparent narco-terrorist network around the world. It seems to be a blend of Russians and Lebanese businessmen traveling around the globe in search of ways to fund Putin and Hezbollah.

Isn’t it all just so convenient!

At one point, the article basically celebrates when, in 2008, “the CIA and Israeli intelligence detonated a bomb in [Imad] Mughniyeh’s car as he was leaving a celebration of the 29th anniversary of the Iranian revolution in Damascus, Syria. He was killed instantly. ”

How is this treated unproblematically in this story about Hezbollah? This was pretty big news in 2015, after seven years of Israel and the U.$. denying responsibility for the murder.

The Politico article accuses Imad Mughniyeh, who was a Hezbollah commander, of the bombing of a U.$. military barracks (by a different organization) during the Lebanese Civil War. However, notably, there is very flimsy evidence on which to blame him of any of his alleged crimes.

Also, no one seems to question the presence of a U.$. barracks on the outskirts of Beirut during a civil war.

Luckily, we don’t have to regard anything in the text with much seriousness, because the idea of “objectivity” on any level is thrown out the window. The Politico article reveals its pro-Amerikkkan bias very clearly with the following paragraph:

“Meanwhile, Hezbollah — in league with Iran — continues to undermine U.S. interests in Iraq, Syria and throughout wide swaths of Latin America and Africa, including providing weapons and training to anti-American Shiite militias. And Safieddine, the Ghost and other associates continue to play central roles in the trafficking of drugs and weapons, current and former U.S. officials believe.”

That last line is the most crucial – current and former U.$. officials believe. What does that mean? No evidence. None. Zero. Zilch.

And what is Hezbollah’s real crime? The fact that it continues to “undermine” the U.$.

This isn’t about drugs or about the black market or about terrorism (or about some bizarre used-car money-laundering scheme in Benin).

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Really!?

This is about the fact that Hezbollah has stood up, time and time again, against U.$. imperialism.

Hezbollah has defended Lebanon from invasion by Israel. Hezbollah has defended Syria against terrorist organizations like ISIS and Al-Qaeda. And Hezbollah continues to defend the Middle East from the threat of Saudi and U.A.E. influence.