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Elephantine Corruption

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The WikiLeaks confirm what we already know about Af-Pak. Pakistan is a US satrapy: its military and political leaders constitute a venal elite happy to kill and maim its people at the behest of a foreign power. The US proconsul in Islamabad, Anne Patterson, emerges as a shrewd diplomat, repeatedly warning her country of the consequences in Pakistan if they carry on as before. Amusing but hardly a surprise is Zardari reassuring the US that if he were assassinated his sister, Faryal Talpur, would replace him and all would continue as before. Always nice to know that the country is regarded by its ruler as a personal fiefdom.

Then we have the country’s military boss, General Kayani, sweetly suggesting that the Pushtun leader Asfandyar Wali Khan, a beneficiary of US funds, might be a possible president: confirmation, if any were needed, that the uniformed ones are the real power in the land, sharing it at the moment with the US Embassy.

And the old bearded joker Fazlur Rehman, a.k.a. Maulana Diesel (after the late Benazir Bhutto gave him a diesel concession in the North in return for a bit of help), pleading with the US ambassador to be made prime minister. Now that did me make me laugh. Like many others he, too, wants the job to make some money and knows perfectly well who can make it possible. His riposte that the lack of a majority was not a problem since he could buy enough MPs is unanswerable.

As for Afghanistan, virtually everything that has emerged – the elephantine corruption, Karzai’s rifts with his US minders etc – has been written about in the LRB. Good to get confirmation that everything we alleged was correct.

Comments on “Elephantine Corruption”

  1. Geoff Roberts says:

    So, it’s London Review of Leaks now is it? This episode has shown me just how valuable LRB is as a source of informed comment on the rogues of the world but it also bears out what I have thought about the latest WikiLeak – that the world’s media got all excited about finding out that what they have been told ‘off the record’ is hot enough to give red ears to half of the world’s diplomats, when in fact it’s all the sort of gossip that gets bandied around by editors with nothing to do except ponder on where to have lunch. Wikileaks revealed to an estimated audience of millions that the President of Khasakstan goes to night clubs with his minders and that the German Foreign Minister’s office boy chatted to the US Ambassador about the state of the coalition discussions. He did what he was paid to do. Now German politicians want the US Ambass recalled!!! Amazing stuff. Wikilleaks has done some very notable work, but this last load was not even in the ball park. Can’t wait to see the next Onion or Private Eye – they’ve been doing better for years. But not as well as the London Review of Books.

  2. tilaksen says:

    Reassuring to see that Tariq’s patriotism is alive where it really matters since he studiously ignores the most significant WikiLeak confirmation, which is to highlight the terrifying dangers associated with Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal and the State’s determination to continue sponsoring global terrorist murder and mayhem. But then Tariq is virtually the only Trotskyite to have a positive view China, which is likely to replace the US as Pakistan’s patron. Now, that should make Tariq’s day since Pakistan being a US satrapy is apparently what irks him mainly.

  3. kannan srinivasan says:

    Ah but it irks Indians even more that they must compete with Pakistan for American favour!
    The fantasy of the Indian ruling class is that America leave it to India to lord it over all others in South Asia.
    In that light, the comment of Clinton that India was the Rodney Dangerfield of international politics, always wanting respect, is telling.

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