The worst is yet to come

July 1, 2011

By Brig Asif Haroon Raja

The US in pursuit of its strategic and economic objectives in this part of the world arm twisted Gen Musharraf in September 2001 soon after 9/11 and made him do its bidding. Pakistan forces were pushed into the inferno of war on terror which was not Pakistan’s war. To start with, flames were lit on two extreme flanks resting in Baloch inhabited interior Balochistan and Pashtun inhabited FATA. The course of flames was gradually channeled towards settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), then to other cities of KP and subsequently to major cities of Punjab as well as Islamabad. Flames of terrorism were stoked by CIA and FBI outposts established in 2002 with the concurrence of the ruling regime. ISI and other intelligence agencies were asked to take up a backseat and intelligence collection, collation and dissemination was taken over entirely by CIA on the plea that it had superior technological means.

The CIA then brought in RAW and RAAM agents to boost its strength and collectively gave birth to Pakistani Taliban, who later got organized and formed Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP) in December 2007. They were won over by providing them bagfuls of dollars and meeting all their weapons and equipment demands and also promising them that FATA will be made an independent caliphate and submerged with Pashtun belt of Afghanistan. In Balochistan, disgruntled Baloch Sardars of Bugti, Mengal and Marri were cultivated to start insurgency. They were lured by promising them independent Balochistan full of mineral resources and Gwadar Port falling in the path of envisaged energy corridor from Central Asia. About sixty Farari (training) camps were established in interior Balochistan and supply routes both from Afghanistan via Spin Boldak and Shahgarh in India were made operational to meet all their demands. Later on, several terrorist outfits like BLA, BRA and BLF came into being and their leaders were given asylum in Afghanistan and London.

While our intelligence agencies got busy in nabbing terrorists from all over the country and the Army got embroiled in fighting tribesmen in FATA and Balochistan, CIA and FBI helped by MI-6, RAW and RAAM agents got on with their job of destabilizing Pakistan from within. Besides sabotage and subversion by terrorists, drones were also introduced by CIA to further fuel terrorism. Shamsi airbase was used for the purpose. Sold to the idea of enlightened moderation Musharraf accepted the US advice to expand and liberate the media. It was then decisively penetrated by foreign powers to be able to promote their coined themes and to change perceptions of the desired audiences in Pakistan. India promoted its culture through electronic media and also took help of our media to hide its ugly face. All these processes which weakened Pakistan went on unabatedly throughout Musharraf’s stint in power till March 2008 and Pakistan’s sovereignty kept eroding. By that time all institutions of Pakistan including Army, ISI and judiciary stood discredited.

When the US realized that Musharraf had lost his popularity and would not be helpful in changing the perceptions of people from religious conservatism to secularism, and was not in a position to make compromises on joint Pak-US operations in FATA, or opening up nuclear and missile assets and placing them under a joint control mechanism, or reducing Chinese activities in Gwadar Port and Balochistan mineral projects, or shelving Pak-Iran gas pipeline and in curbing anti-Americanism, it decided to bring in Benazir and make a dream team of liberal parties. When Benazir started to act too independent, she was removed from the scene and handpicked puppets were given reins of power. They pursued Musharraf’s policies in letter and spirit and went a step ahead in keeping their patrons appeased. The Army, ISI and the judiciary however made recoveries by recapturing lost spaces and soon were able to re-establish their image and credibility.

The political leaders deeply engrossed in lot and plunder were slapped and humiliated but were also given blandishments and a free hand to milk the country and reduce it to a carcass. Their incompetence to govern and their corrupt practices were acceptable since they obediently served Washington’s interests. In order to cripple Pakistan’s economy and make it dependent upon US aid, rulers were told to put Pakistan’s neck in the stranglehold of IMF and to keep borrowing and keep spending lavishly.

They were told to ignore terrorism and ethnic cleansing of non-locals by Baloch insurgents seeking separation simply because they are seculars and pro-USA and India. Rulers were directed to use full force against militants in northwestern tribal area particularly against those who were anti-American and supporting Jihad in Afghanistan. Haqqani group based in North Waziristan (NW) is their chief foe. Ilyas Kashmiri outfit and Lashkar-e-Taeba are also on US hit list, and to a lesser degree are Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Maulvi Nazir. Dozens of other militant groups including TTP located in NW which are anti-Pakistan but not involved in Afghanistan do not bother USA.

TTP which has its tentacles in all seven tribal agencies as well as in settled areas of KP, Swat, Malakand, South Punjab, Pashtun belt of Balochistan and its long arm can reach any part of Pakistan is of chief concern for Pakistan. Several foreign agencies are providing massive funds, weapons, equipment, explosives, training facilities, guidance and manpower replenishments from Afghan soil to TTP since they desire this force to possibly defeat or as a minimum contain bulk of Army. But for foreign support in huge quantities, it would not have been possible for the TTP to rebound after its backbone had been broken in the two decisive battles of Bajaur and South Waziristan in 2009. Footprints of foreign hands were clearly seen in all the regions that were recaptured from the militants by security forces. In the Bajaur battle which raged from July 2008 till February 2009, large number of Tajik and Uzbek fighters used to supplement Maulana Faqir’s force. Even now Afghans are involved in Mohmand Agency and in Dir.

While launching of military operations by the Army in Waziristan led to emergence of Pakistani Taliban, two drone attacks in Bajaur Agency in 2006 instilled hatred against the Army particularly when October strike on a seminary killing 80 students was wrongly owned by the Army. Brutal military action against inmates of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafza including women and children in July 2007 triggered recruitment of young Taliban in a big way. It also ignited spate of suicide bombings in cities. Thereon, it became easy for the senior members of TTP like Qari Hussein to motivate young boys aged 12-16 years to become suicide bombers. The schemers then shifted terrorism to major cities particularly Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Lahore. This was made possible after the induction of Blackwater in 2008. Several security companies cropped up in capital cities.

Mumbai attacks on 26/11 were masterminded to deflect attention of the world from the atrocities committed by Indian security forces in Indian occupied Kashmir where the situation had become explosive, and to nail down ISI and to pave way for carrying out surgical strikes in Pakistan similar to drone strikes. New tactics involving double suicide bombers and group attacks were introduced in 2009. Drone attacks were intensified and so were target killings in Balochistan and Karachi.

In order to keep the judiciary subservient, the ruling regime was emphatically told not to restore the sacked judges led by chief justice Iftikhar. Shahbaz Sharif’s Ministry in Punjab which was relatively stable was brought down and Governor Rule imposed on Washington’s direction in early 2009. Restoration of judges and Punjab government was not to the liking of plot makers. After the enactment of Af-Pak policy in March 2009, which heralded the beginning of the final phase against Pakistan’s strategic assets and passage of Kerry-Lugar Bill, large number of under cover CIA operatives mostly belonging to US Special Forces made their way into Pakistan in 2010. Their inflow increased in second half of 2010 as a result of removal of all security checks by ISI and Special Police. Raymond Davis who had earlier on been deported due to his shady activities also managed to sneak back. By end 2010 an effective countrywide CIA-Blackwater network duly connected with militant groups and criminal gangs had become operational. Roadmaps leading to various defence installations and nuclear sites had been prepared.

This network provides the local militants intelligence and intimate guidance of marked target areas. Its ramifications came to light after the arrest of Raymond but also led to intensification of CIA-ISI rivalry and nose-diving of Pak-US relations. Till April, the militants targeted mostly soft targets in cities to create harassment and fear among the public and to accentuate problems of security forces and intelligence agencies. Mosques, worship places and markets were targeted to pitch Islamists against Islamists and defame Islam.

Helicopter assault on 02 May duly assisted by CIA base in Abbottabad was executed to achieve multiple objectives. The foremost was to restore declining popularity of Obama and US military in the eyes of Americans in particular and world in general. Second; lower the image of Army, air force and ISI that had risen high and to discredit the three institutions in the eyes of the public. Former CIA Director Panetta who had crossed swords with Lt Gen Pasha on several occasions had sworn to teach him a lesson. Third; embarrass Pakistan and to put it in a tight corner, leaving it with little space to defy US dictates.

Having created the desired effects through media and Congressmen, US high officials visited Islamabad and further harassed the already hassled leadership by conveying that Pakistan would from now on be judged by its acts and deeds. To give heart to the fainting leaders, the visitors gave a clean chit to them saying that they were not directly involved in hiding OBL but there was a support group inside Pakistan which had protected OBL. This certification was music to the ears of our leaders. Feeling relieved, they readily agreed to let CIA inspect the Abbottabad House compound where OBL lived, hand over the tail of the destroyed Blackhawk helicopter, launch an operation in NW and to conduct joint operations to eliminate terrorists. These concessions were doled out in violation of the spirit of 14 May unanimous resolution of the parliament.

Mehran Naval Base attack was executed on 22 May to dishearten the navy, to shatter the confidence of the people in armed forces and to completely demoralize the nation. Among several hypotheses, one of the assumptions was an attack conducted by Ilyas Kashmiri group. If so, he has been reportedly killed on 04 May fearing that he may spill the beans. Apparently 02 May and 22 May incidents were also intended to create divisions within forces by suggesting that there were sympathizers and supporters of al-Qaeda and Taliban in each service and intelligence agency and that there was an urgent need to purge such undesirable elements. Mehran Base attack is a prelude to many more suchlike attacks since it seems that the conspirators have now started the final destructive stage to hit hardened military installations including nuclear sites.

In continuation of ISI bashing, Human Rights Watch and western media has come out with another wacky story that the ISI was behind the unfortunate murder of eminent and bold journalist Syed Salim Shehzad. Had it been so, he would have been taken to KP or FATA and not towards Sarai Alamgir? It seems to be a clear cut case of Blackwater which is ever ready to exploit a situation whenever any person makes several enemies and becomes prominent. ISI’s plate is already full to the brim and would be mad if it buys another headache for itself. The situation assumes greater curiosity and mystification after expression of deep concern by high US officials like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton on his death.

While the people have not come out of the shock of two attacks in May, the foreign and local media is adding to their apprehensions by floating rumor balloons of despondency and trying to undermine the capabilities of armed forces. An impression is being created that the military is incapable of safeguarding our vital interests. There is a very small segment that still talks good of USA otherwise great majority distrusts USA and suspect that it will again strike Pakistan to denuclearize it. They are not convinced with John Kerry assurances that the US is not interested in Pak nukes particularly after NATO Secretary General’s statement that it is the collective responsibility of international community to secure nuclear assets of Pakistan.

Stories of our nukes falling into wrong hands have begun to reappear in western media. Despite multi-layered system of security evolved by Pakistan which is second to none, doubts are still being aired by vested interests that Pakistan’s nuclear program is unsafe and needs to be secured. Pakistan Army managed to get out of the deathtrap laid by its adversaries in Swat and SW. They have now prepared another deadly deathtrap in NW and are once again trying to lure in Pak Army with a hope that this time it will get trapped. It is only when major portion of our combat divisions get embroiled in the war in northwest that India will make its Cold Start doctrine operational on the weakened eastern front. Coming months are fraught with extreme dangers but our rulers are naively thinking that after John Kerry and Hillary Clinton’s visit worst is over. In my view the worst is yet to come.

While I am quite confident that our security forces would be able to thwart all hostile attempts made on our nuclear arsenal and delivery means and will also be able to safeguard the frontiers against foreign aggression, what I am worried is that we have still not identified our foes and taken preventive measures. Unless we guard against the designs of our foes pretending to be friends, we will not be able to confront the worst threat which is staring into our eyes and has got closer to our vital ground.


The worst is yet to come

July 1, 2011

By Brig Asif Haroon Raja

The US in pursuit of its strategic and economic objectives in this part of the world arm twisted Gen Musharraf in September 2001 soon after 9/11 and made him do its bidding. Pakistan forces were pushed into the inferno of war on terror which was not Pakistan’s war. To start with, flames were lit on two extreme flanks resting in Baloch inhabited interior Balochistan and Pashtun inhabited FATA. The course of flames was gradually channeled towards settled areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), then to other cities of KP and subsequently to major cities of Punjab as well as Islamabad. Flames of terrorism were stoked by CIA and FBI outposts established in 2002 with the concurrence of the ruling regime. ISI and other intelligence agencies were asked to take up a backseat and intelligence collection, collation and dissemination was taken over entirely by CIA on the plea that it had superior technological means.

The CIA then brought in RAW and RAAM agents to boost its strength and collectively gave birth to Pakistani Taliban, who later got organized and formed Tehrik-e-Taliban-Pakistan (TTP) in December 2007. They were won over by providing them bagfuls of dollars and meeting all their weapons and equipment demands and also promising them that FATA will be made an independent caliphate and submerged with Pashtun belt of Afghanistan. In Balochistan, disgruntled Baloch Sardars of Bugti, Mengal and Marri were cultivated to start insurgency. They were lured by promising them independent Balochistan full of mineral resources and Gwadar Port falling in the path of envisaged energy corridor from Central Asia. About sixty Farari (training) camps were established in interior Balochistan and supply routes both from Afghanistan via Spin Boldak and Shahgarh in India were made operational to meet all their demands. Later on, several terrorist outfits like BLA, BRA and BLF came into being and their leaders were given asylum in Afghanistan and London.

While our intelligence agencies got busy in nabbing terrorists from all over the country and the Army got embroiled in fighting tribesmen in FATA and Balochistan, CIA and FBI helped by MI-6, RAW and RAAM agents got on with their job of destabilizing Pakistan from within. Besides sabotage and subversion by terrorists, drones were also introduced by CIA to further fuel terrorism. Shamsi airbase was used for the purpose. Sold to the idea of enlightened moderation Musharraf accepted the US advice to expand and liberate the media. It was then decisively penetrated by foreign powers to be able to promote their coined themes and to change perceptions of the desired audiences in Pakistan. India promoted its culture through electronic media and also took help of our media to hide its ugly face. All these processes which weakened Pakistan went on unabatedly throughout Musharraf’s stint in power till March 2008 and Pakistan’s sovereignty kept eroding. By that time all institutions of Pakistan including Army, ISI and judiciary stood discredited.

When the US realized that Musharraf had lost his popularity and would not be helpful in changing the perceptions of people from religious conservatism to secularism, and was not in a position to make compromises on joint Pak-US operations in FATA, or opening up nuclear and missile assets and placing them under a joint control mechanism, or reducing Chinese activities in Gwadar Port and Balochistan mineral projects, or shelving Pak-Iran gas pipeline and in curbing anti-Americanism, it decided to bring in Benazir and make a dream team of liberal parties. When Benazir started to act too independent, she was removed from the scene and handpicked puppets were given reins of power. They pursued Musharraf’s policies in letter and spirit and went a step ahead in keeping their patrons appeased. The Army, ISI and the judiciary however made recoveries by recapturing lost spaces and soon were able to re-establish their image and credibility.

The political leaders deeply engrossed in lot and plunder were slapped and humiliated but were also given blandishments and a free hand to milk the country and reduce it to a carcass. Their incompetence to govern and their corrupt practices were acceptable since they obediently served Washington’s interests. In order to cripple Pakistan’s economy and make it dependent upon US aid, rulers were told to put Pakistan’s neck in the stranglehold of IMF and to keep borrowing and keep spending lavishly.

They were told to ignore terrorism and ethnic cleansing of non-locals by Baloch insurgents seeking separation simply because they are seculars and pro-USA and India. Rulers were directed to use full force against militants in northwestern tribal area particularly against those who were anti-American and supporting Jihad in Afghanistan. Haqqani group based in North Waziristan (NW) is their chief foe. Ilyas Kashmiri outfit and Lashkar-e-Taeba are also on US hit list, and to a lesser degree are Hafiz Gul Bahadur and Maulvi Nazir. Dozens of other militant groups including TTP located in NW which are anti-Pakistan but not involved in Afghanistan do not bother USA.

TTP which has its tentacles in all seven tribal agencies as well as in settled areas of KP, Swat, Malakand, South Punjab, Pashtun belt of Balochistan and its long arm can reach any part of Pakistan is of chief concern for Pakistan. Several foreign agencies are providing massive funds, weapons, equipment, explosives, training facilities, guidance and manpower replenishments from Afghan soil to TTP since they desire this force to possibly defeat or as a minimum contain bulk of Army. But for foreign support in huge quantities, it would not have been possible for the TTP to rebound after its backbone had been broken in the two decisive battles of Bajaur and South Waziristan in 2009. Footprints of foreign hands were clearly seen in all the regions that were recaptured from the militants by security forces. In the Bajaur battle which raged from July 2008 till February 2009, large number of Tajik and Uzbek fighters used to supplement Maulana Faqir’s force. Even now Afghans are involved in Mohmand Agency and in Dir.

While launching of military operations by the Army in Waziristan led to emergence of Pakistani Taliban, two drone attacks in Bajaur Agency in 2006 instilled hatred against the Army particularly when October strike on a seminary killing 80 students was wrongly owned by the Army. Brutal military action against inmates of Lal Masjid and Jamia Hafza including women and children in July 2007 triggered recruitment of young Taliban in a big way. It also ignited spate of suicide bombings in cities. Thereon, it became easy for the senior members of TTP like Qari Hussein to motivate young boys aged 12-16 years to become suicide bombers. The schemers then shifted terrorism to major cities particularly Peshawar, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Lahore. This was made possible after the induction of Blackwater in 2008. Several security companies cropped up in capital cities.

Mumbai attacks on 26/11 were masterminded to deflect attention of the world from the atrocities committed by Indian security forces in Indian occupied Kashmir where the situation had become explosive, and to nail down ISI and to pave way for carrying out surgical strikes in Pakistan similar to drone strikes. New tactics involving double suicide bombers and group attacks were introduced in 2009. Drone attacks were intensified and so were target killings in Balochistan and Karachi.

In order to keep the judiciary subservient, the ruling regime was emphatically told not to restore the sacked judges led by chief justice Iftikhar. Shahbaz Sharif’s Ministry in Punjab which was relatively stable was brought down and Governor Rule imposed on Washington’s direction in early 2009. Restoration of judges and Punjab government was not to the liking of plot makers. After the enactment of Af-Pak policy in March 2009, which heralded the beginning of the final phase against Pakistan’s strategic assets and passage of Kerry-Lugar Bill, large number of under cover CIA operatives mostly belonging to US Special Forces made their way into Pakistan in 2010. Their inflow increased in second half of 2010 as a result of removal of all security checks by ISI and Special Police. Raymond Davis who had earlier on been deported due to his shady activities also managed to sneak back. By end 2010 an effective countrywide CIA-Blackwater network duly connected with militant groups and criminal gangs had become operational. Roadmaps leading to various defence installations and nuclear sites had been prepared.

This network provides the local militants intelligence and intimate guidance of marked target areas. Its ramifications came to light after the arrest of Raymond but also led to intensification of CIA-ISI rivalry and nose-diving of Pak-US relations. Till April, the militants targeted mostly soft targets in cities to create harassment and fear among the public and to accentuate problems of security forces and intelligence agencies. Mosques, worship places and markets were targeted to pitch Islamists against Islamists and defame Islam.

Helicopter assault on 02 May duly assisted by CIA base in Abbottabad was executed to achieve multiple objectives. The foremost was to restore declining popularity of Obama and US military in the eyes of Americans in particular and world in general. Second; lower the image of Army, air force and ISI that had risen high and to discredit the three institutions in the eyes of the public. Former CIA Director Panetta who had crossed swords with Lt Gen Pasha on several occasions had sworn to teach him a lesson. Third; embarrass Pakistan and to put it in a tight corner, leaving it with little space to defy US dictates.

Having created the desired effects through media and Congressmen, US high officials visited Islamabad and further harassed the already hassled leadership by conveying that Pakistan would from now on be judged by its acts and deeds. To give heart to the fainting leaders, the visitors gave a clean chit to them saying that they were not directly involved in hiding OBL but there was a support group inside Pakistan which had protected OBL. This certification was music to the ears of our leaders. Feeling relieved, they readily agreed to let CIA inspect the Abbottabad House compound where OBL lived, hand over the tail of the destroyed Blackhawk helicopter, launch an operation in NW and to conduct joint operations to eliminate terrorists. These concessions were doled out in violation of the spirit of 14 May unanimous resolution of the parliament.

Mehran Naval Base attack was executed on 22 May to dishearten the navy, to shatter the confidence of the people in armed forces and to completely demoralize the nation. Among several hypotheses, one of the assumptions was an attack conducted by Ilyas Kashmiri group. If so, he has been reportedly killed on 04 May fearing that he may spill the beans. Apparently 02 May and 22 May incidents were also intended to create divisions within forces by suggesting that there were sympathizers and supporters of al-Qaeda and Taliban in each service and intelligence agency and that there was an urgent need to purge such undesirable elements. Mehran Base attack is a prelude to many more suchlike attacks since it seems that the conspirators have now started the final destructive stage to hit hardened military installations including nuclear sites.

In continuation of ISI bashing, Human Rights Watch and western media has come out with another wacky story that the ISI was behind the unfortunate murder of eminent and bold journalist Syed Salim Shehzad. Had it been so, he would have been taken to KP or FATA and not towards Sarai Alamgir? It seems to be a clear cut case of Blackwater which is ever ready to exploit a situation whenever any person makes several enemies and becomes prominent. ISI’s plate is already full to the brim and would be mad if it buys another headache for itself. The situation assumes greater curiosity and mystification after expression of deep concern by high US officials like John Kerry and Hillary Clinton on his death.

While the people have not come out of the shock of two attacks in May, the foreign and local media is adding to their apprehensions by floating rumor balloons of despondency and trying to undermine the capabilities of armed forces. An impression is being created that the military is incapable of safeguarding our vital interests. There is a very small segment that still talks good of USA otherwise great majority distrusts USA and suspect that it will again strike Pakistan to denuclearize it. They are not convinced with John Kerry assurances that the US is not interested in Pak nukes particularly after NATO Secretary General’s statement that it is the collective responsibility of international community to secure nuclear assets of Pakistan.

Stories of our nukes falling into wrong hands have begun to reappear in western media. Despite multi-layered system of security evolved by Pakistan which is second to none, doubts are still being aired by vested interests that Pakistan’s nuclear program is unsafe and needs to be secured. Pakistan Army managed to get out of the deathtrap laid by its adversaries in Swat and SW. They have now prepared another deadly deathtrap in NW and are once again trying to lure in Pak Army with a hope that this time it will get trapped. It is only when major portion of our combat divisions get embroiled in the war in northwest that India will make its Cold Start doctrine operational on the weakened eastern front. Coming months are fraught with extreme dangers but our rulers are naively thinking that after John Kerry and Hillary Clinton’s visit worst is over. In my view the worst is yet to come.

While I am quite confident that our security forces would be able to thwart all hostile attempts made on our nuclear arsenal and delivery means and will also be able to safeguard the frontiers against foreign aggression, what I am worried is that we have still not identified our foes and taken preventive measures. Unless we guard against the designs of our foes pretending to be friends, we will not be able to confront the worst threat which is staring into our eyes and has got closer to our vital ground.


Former U.S. Asset Exposes Tony Blair’s Legacy of Deception and 911

January 26, 2011

Pakistan Daily

He’s got the smirking grin of a politician who knows that he got away with his crimes. He escaped responsibility for his political murders and the full brunt of moral outrage for the wasteful public sacrifice on his behalf.

I can see it in his eyes. They don’t know half the truth. They don’t know they’re asking the wrong questions. I’m scott free.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair got a second grilling in London last week over his decision to force Britain into the Iraq War, though U.N. weapons inspectors had uncovered no caches of illegal weapons to justify the invasion. Iraq was already broken by United Nations sanctions and had no capacity for self defense at all.

In the aftermath of sectarian strife and daily bombings, Blair’s delusion of nation-building has collapsed. Not so his preening moral rectitude to justify the War.

That smirk tells it all. Blair knows his legacy of public deception has prevailed.

Until now.

What the British people don’t realize is that up to this point, while Blair’s government fabricated nonsense stories of Pre-War Intelligence and phony moral arguments, intelligence Assets involved in Pre-War Iraq have been locked up in prison or otherwise silenced by phony indictments that functioned as a gag on political discourse. So much for the moral courage of Washington’s favorite puppy dog.

I myself covered the Iraqi Embassy at the United Nations in New York from August, 1996 until March, 2003. A few weeks after requesting to testify before Congress about a comprehensive peace framework that would have fulfilled all U.S. and British objectives without killing a single Iraqi child, I got indicted as an “Iraqi Agent” in “conspiracy with the Iraqi Intelligence Service.”

I got hit with all the bells and whistles of the Patriot Act- secret charges, secret evidence and secret grand jury testimony. My demands for a trial were blocked to protect the government. Instead, I “disappeared” into prison on Carswell Air Force Base in Texas for 11 months, where I faced threats of indefinite detention up to 10 years without a trial. Actually that proved to be the least of my worries. In prison, I had to fight off a Justice Department demand to forcibly drug me with Haldol-a rhinoceros tranquilizer that imitates the effects of Parkinson’s Disease-so that I could be “cured” of knowing the unhappy truth about the Iraqi Peace Option and Iraq’s substantial contributions to the 9/11 investigation.

Making matters worse, my team had delivered advance warnings about the 9/11 attack to U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft’s private staff and the Office of Counter Terrorism in August, 2001. I was definitely persona non grata at the White House and 10 Downing Street.

My indictment continued five years. It ended five days before the inauguration of President Obama. Those five years gave pro-war leaders in Washington and London ample time and free rein to invent a totally fictitious story about Iraq and anti-terrorism that beefed up their personas in the corporate media.

I watched it all on prison television at Carswell Air Force Base. And I watched it again when Blair testified last week. In the absence of public knowledge, Blair has manipulated silence and secrecy to his own advantage. He has abused security classifications to obfuscate his weakness and policy mistakes. And Blair’s government has continued to promote policies that have caused grave harm to global security, and perhaps most ironically, the War on Terrorism.

Unhappily for Blair’s legacy of deception, today Assets are free from prison and false indictment. Now it is our day to defend the public’s right to disclosure and accountability.

And so I challenge the British Government to summon Blair back to face the Inquiry. Only this time the British people should ask Blair about the comprehensive peace framework negotiated by the CIA in the two years before the War.

Oh never fear. MI-6 tracked our back channel talks exhaustively, even appearing at restaurants in New York at lunches with senior diplomats on the Security Council. British Intelligence had full knowledge of the Peace Option. Blair’s top intelligence staff understood that every single objective demanded by Washington and London could be achieved through peaceful means.

That included major oil contracts for the United States, and a package of highly innovative democratic reforms proposed by Baghdad to guarantee the successful repatriation of Iraqi Exiles and international election monitoring. Iraq also offered major reconstruction contracts for U.S (and British) corporations in any post-sanctions period. Iraq promised massive engineering contracts, translating to thousands of jobs and billions in revenues for any U.S. (or British) corporation that helped rebuild Iraqi infrastructure after sanctions.

Everything the U.S and Britain wanted was free for the taking. No blood had to be spilt. And this was no last ditch appeal for peace. It was a rock solid framework, with careful attention to all potential flash points for future conflict identified by the CIA. The truth is not remotely similar to what the international community has been told.

Once the British people understand the right line of questions, let us start again- with the truth this time. For the sake of historical integrity, Tony Blair should face the people to answer questions that would have been asked if Assets like myself had not been locked in prison to protect pro-War leaders in Washington and London. If Tony Blair deceives the British people in this next round of questioning, let him face criminal prosecution for perjury and obstruction of justice, like any other British citizen who lies under oath.

For that matter, I am prepared to stand before Parliament myself-as one of the very few Assets covering Iraq before the War. I am ready to look the people in the eye, and raise my hand to tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Assets are primary sources of intelligence, in direct contact with people and events after all. As it stands, for all the tens of thousands of pounds financing this inquiry, the British people don’t know anything. Why not ask those of us who do?

That would wipe the smirk off Tony Blair’s face. Because now Assets are free from prison and phony indictments. And Tony Blair’s legacy of deception is finished.

Susan Lindauer covered the Iraqi Embassy at the United Nations for seven years before the invasion.


Bin Laden, the Taliban, Zawahiri: Britain’s done business with them all

July 9, 2010

Mark Curtis

Five years after the 7/7 bombings in London, the UK’s decades-long collusion with radical Islam is still going strong

When the London bombers struck five years ago, many people blamed the invasion of Iraq for inspiring them. But the connection between 7/7 and British foreign policy goes much deeper. The terrorist threat to Britain is partly “blowback”, resulting from a web of British covert operations with militant Islamist groups stretching back decades. And while terrorism is held up as the country’s biggest security challenge, Whitehall’s collusion with radical Islam is continuing.

Two of the four London bombers were trained in Pakistani camps run by the Harkat ul-Mujahideen (HUM) terrorist group, which has long been sponsored by Pakistan to fight Indian forces in Kashmir. Britain not only arms and trains Pakistan but in the past provided covert aid benefiting the HUM. There are credible suggestions that Britain facilitated the dispatch of HUM volunteers to fight in Yugoslavia and Kosovo in the 90s. Earlier, MI6’s covert war in Afghanistan involved the military training of various Islamist groups to counter the Soviet occupation of the country. Many HUM militants were instructed by an insurgent faction that Britain was covertly training and arming with anti-aircraft missiles.

One of that faction’s warlords was Jalalludin Haqqani, who is now the Taliban’s overall military commander fighting the British; his past is not something the Ministry of Defence relates to the young soldiers deployed to Helmand province. Another old friend is the Afghan commander Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, known as a ruthless killer, who was given covert aid and training in the 1980s and was even received by officials in Whitehall. It was Hekmatyar who Britain backed to conduct secret operations inside the Muslim republics of the Soviet Union.

The further twist is that Britain is now reliant on doing a deal with these forces to secure something more than a humiliating exit from the increasingly brutal war in Afghanistan. The stakes are exceedingly high – General Sir David Richards, the head of the British army, has said that the “UK’s authority and reputation in the world” are on the line in Afghanistan. He also remarked last week that talks should be held with the Taliban “pretty soon”.

In fact, Whitehall has been desperately trying to do a deal with the Taliban since at least 2004, when it is claimed that Maulana Fazlur Rahman, a radical pro-Taliban cleric in Pakistan, was invited to visit the Foreign Office. Rahman told the Pakistani media that “Britain is holding indirect talks with the Taliban militia to seek an honourable American exit from Afghanistan”.

This dependence on militant Islamists to achieve foreign policy objectives is an echo of the past, when such collusion was aimed at controlling oil resources and overthrowing nationalist governments. The Anglo-American operation in Iran in 1953 to remove the popular Mossadeq government, which had nationalised British oil operations, involved plotting with Ayatollah Seyyed Kashani, the founder of the militant fundamentalist group Devotees of Islam. MI6 and the CIA financed demonstrations against Mossadeq, and even discussed installing Kashani – a predecessor of Ayatollah Khomeini – as Iran’s leader after the coup. The Foreign Office noted that in power Kashani “would conceivably accept western money”, but viewed him as “a complete political reactionary”, and therefore not reliable as a long-term asset.

Also targeted was Egypt’s Gamal Abdel Nasser, who in 1952 overthrew the pro-British King Farouk, providing an Arab nationalist alternative to the pro-western monarchies in the Middle East. Britain had first covertly funded the Muslim Brotherhood, a new radical force with a terrorist wing, in 1942, and further links were made with the organisation after Nasser’s revolution. By 1956, when Britain invaded Egypt, contacts were developed as part of plans to overthrow Nasser. Indeed, the invasion was undertaken in the knowledge that the Muslim Brotherhood might form the new regime. After Nasser died in 1970, and the pro-western president Anwar Sadat secretly sponsored militant Islamist cells to counter nationalists and communists, British officials were still describing the Brotherhood as “a potentially handy weapon” for the regime.

Declassified files reveal that planners recognised their Islamist collaborators as anti-western, but entered into marriages of convenience to achieve short-term objectives. As British power waned in the Middle East, Whitehall sought out all the allies it could find, with little regard for the long-term consequences. Britain’s role in the emergence of global terrorism should not be exaggerated, but there are many contributions: opposition to Arab nationalism, which paved the way for the rise of radical Islam in the 1970s; support for the Afghan holy warriors in the 1980s, from which emerged Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida; and the phenomenon of “Londonistan” in the 1990s, when the capital became an organising centre for global jihad, tolerated by the authorities.

But Whitehall’s view of Islamist militants as handy weapons or shock troops is far from historical. In 1999, during Nato’s bombing campaign against Yugoslavia, the Blair government secretly trained fighters in the Kosovo Liberation Army to act as Nato’s soldiers on the ground. The KLA was openly described by ministers as a terrorist organisation, and worked closely with al-Qaida fighters who joined the Muslim cause; their military centre was in the same camp network in Kosovo and Albania where the SAS were providing training. One KLA unit was led by the brother of Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bin Laden’s right-hand man. This murky feature of Blair’s “humanitarian intervention” remains conveniently overlooked in most accounts of the war.

The attacks of 9/11 and 7/7 have made Britain revise but not end its secret affair with radical Islam. In the occupation of southern Iraq, Britain’s weak position led to conniving with Shia militias. Liberal, secular forces were bypassed after the invasion, and when Britain withdrew its combat forces it in effect handed responsibility for “security” to these militias. The irony is that Britain’s favoured collaborator, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, has long been Iran’s favoured vehicle for its policy in Iraq. Britain also continues its deep alliance with a Pakistan that is the main protector of the Taliban, and does little to press Islamabad to end its support for the jihad in Kashmir. Thus, in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Whitehall has been in the bizarre situation of being allied to its enemy.

Militants may be serving other useful functions. The then Foreign Office minister Kim Howells told a parliamentary inquiry in March 2007: “At dinners at embassies around the world I have suddenly discovered that somebody happens to be sitting next to me who is from the respectable end of a death squad from somewhere. The ambassador has, with the best will in the world, invited that person along because he thinks that, under the new democracy, they will become the new government.”

The government says it has prevented 12 bomb plots in the last decade and that we face a threat from 200 networks. My concern is that the wards of state pledging to protect us have neither accounted for “blowback” nor stopped contributing to it. Governments guided by morals would have different priorities and would discontinue policies based on interests that endanger us and much of the world.


RAW: The Dangerous Wolf; Threat To World Peace!

June 30, 2010

Brig Asif Haroon Raja


Cold Blooded Wolf

It is now an established fact that no South Asian state has ever indulged in covert operations or cross border terrorism against its neighbors. The only culprit is India which resorts to this evil practice against all its neighbors, be it Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan, China and Myanmar. It has dovetailed clandestine operations into its war strategy to apply it against its foes during peace time for harassment, intimidation and blackmailing purposes and for weakening them from within. Afghanistan has been used by Russia and India to raise the bogey of Pashtunistan, render support to Pakistani runaways and rebels and to launch covert operations against Pakistan. Karzai has belatedly assured Pakistan that it would not allow its soil against Pakistan. Hopefully he sticks to his commitment. Marching orders given by Karzai to his intelligence chief and interior minister, both venomously anti-Pakistan and favorites of Washington are positive signs though some more steps are needed to scatter away clouds of distrust built over nine years.

The US military has starting packing its bags to wind up its business in Afghanistan and go home starting July 2011. The US and Karzai’s tilt towards Islamabad are ominous developments for India vying to have complete sway over Afghan affairs after the departure of coalition forces. The entire Indian leadership is in a state of depression. Its spin doctors are at a loss but are still scratching their heads how to retrieve the situation. Indians are feeling out of place since they are akin to traits of a scorpion which stings compulsively.

Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and Home Minister Chidambaram were here in Islamabad to renew talks. An Indo-Pak talk is a drama staged by India at the behest of USA. India loses all and gains nothing out of composite dialogue, which she had purposely stalled after Mumbai attacks. She stubbornly clung to her one-point agenda of no talks without Pakistan tackling India’s concerns about terrorism. After intense pressure from USA, stuck in Afghanistan and urgently requiring Pakistan’s services for a bailout, India has reluctantly relented and agreed to resume talks. However, the entire focus of talks was on terrorism. Chronic issues such as Kashmir dispute, Siachin and Sir Creek problems, water problem, RAW’s support to terrorists in Balochistan and in FATA were skipped. India wants solution to Kashmir as suggested by former President Gen Musharraf. It had been mutually decided to sideline UN resolutions on Kashmir, convert Line of Control (LoC) into soft border and to put the dispute in cold freezer as had been done during Simla Agreement in 1973.

But for lawyers movement which weakened Musharraf, the sellout plan would have been implemented in 2008. It is for this reason that Indian leaders fondly remember Musharraf and pray for his return. President Zardari was also in favor of this plan as was evident from several statements he had made on Kashmir and the so-called ‘good news’ he wanted to give to the nation. Had the Army under Gen Kayani not taken a firm stand and had Zardari not lost his reputation and credibility, he would have given a go ahead signal to the plan. Zardari’s inability to open up nuclear program for US and IAEA inspection, bring ISI under Interior Ministry and to implement Indian dictated Kashmir solution has disappointed USA and India. To twist his arm, he is off and on subjected to barrage of vilification campaign, most of which is based on facts.

Pakistan had been led up the garden path by India through much hyped composite dialogue in early 2004. It was pledged that all issues including Kashmir would be resolved through dialogue. Four rounds of talks were held but nothing concrete came out of the meetings. While Pakistan lost a lot, India gained a lot. Under the garb of friendship, India successfully completed fencing of LoC, defanged armed resistance in Held Kashmir, redirected all Jihadi outfits towards Pakistan, made Balochistan, FATA and large parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa restive, lowered the image of Pak Army and other institutions through propaganda campaign, consolidated tentacles of RAW within Pakistan, disturbed law and order situation, built several dams over rivers Chenab, Jhelum and Indus and reduced flow of water into Pakistan. India not only enhanced its presence in Afghanistan significantly but also spread hatred amongst Afghans against Pakistan to keep the two neighbors perpetually hostile to each other. Through these acts, it impoverished the economy of Pakistan.

While preaching friendship, Indian military feverishly built up its strength and former Indian chief Gen Kapoor hurled threats of Cold Start and limited war under a nuclear overhang. Pakistan quietly digested all the insults and harms inflicted upon the body of Pakistan under the skewed policy of appeasement and under a misperception that Kashmir issue would be resolved. In return, India didn’t budge an inch over any of the disputes and continued to maintain its pre-2004 rigid stance on all issues. It showed its ugly face after Mumbai carnage and reverted to its old policy of antagonism.

Having gained on all fronts, India is unprepared to dole out any concession to Pakistan. It still wants more from Pakistan. It wants Pakistan not to oppose its key role in Afghanistan, its right for a land route to Afghanistan via Wagah, and its membership to UNSC. It also wants Punjab based banned Jihadi groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jamat-ud-Dawa, Jaish Mohammad and Sipah-Sahaba to be crushed and Muredke religious centre to be dismantled. India is keen to extend physical support to help Pak security forces to tackle these outfits. Punjab being the only stable province, it has become an eyesore for India and it desperately wants its destabilization. The likes of Salman Taseer and RAW sponsored Tehrik-e-Taliban are helping India in its nefarious designs.

RAW is among the leading terrorist organization which is bleeding South Asia but surprisingly no finger has ever been raised on it. The US and western think tanks and newspapers never tire of concocting stories against ISI but see RAW, Mossad and CIA chaste and spotless. This is because they are birds of same feather and are flocking together in pursuit of common objectives.

Pakistan and other South Asian countries have remained the victims of intrigues and conspiracies of India for the last 63 years. It pretends to be well meaning and friendly but it always carries a dagger under its armpit and strikes whenever opportunity comes its way. It is principally responsible for impeding the growth of SAARC because of its habit of hegemony and selfishness. It is high time for SAARC countries minus India to get together and collectively combat the Indian menace. Awareness drive should be initiated by Pakistan to expose true face of India.

I propose immediate establishment of a joint intelligence centre at Islamabad or Colombo on the pattern of the one working in Jabal-al-Siraj, north of Kabul. Both are well trained in the art of counter terrorism and have successfully fought RAW sponsored terrorism. The new intelligence setup should have tentacles in all the affected South Asian countries to share intelligence and monitor activities of home based and foreign based terrorists, spies and double agents. Assistance of China may be sought or it may be co-opted. Intelligence Centre should maintain close liaison with intelligence agencies of selected Muslim states which follow independent foreign policies and are not close to India. Intelligence can be exchanged with CIA, FBI and MI-6 prudently and on need basis only.

Besides, a joint media and publicity cell should be opened to counter Indo-US-Israeli propaganda. In addition, each country should raise a counter terrorism force fully equipped with requisite firepower, mobility and technology superior to what the terrorists possess to be able to dismantle terrorist networks, disrupt supply routes and sources of funding. Collective efforts should be made to beat RAW in its own game.

The writer is a security and defence analyst and author of several books. He is a regular writer for www.opinion-maker.org His articles are profusely commented upon in international newspapers/ websites.


Profiling Pakistan-1

June 21, 2010

A Well Orchestrated Defaming Campaign

By Dr. Raja Muhammad Khan


Not Iraq, Lets Bomb Pakistan

“The allegations are baseless,” Pakistan and its security setup, perhaps thought this brief, succinct, and patent elucidation enough in response to the 22 pages, Matt Waldman’s research report on, “The Sun in the Sky: The relationship between Pakistan’s ISI and Afghan Insurgents,” published by Crisis States Research Centre of London School of Economics (LSE) on June 13, 2010. While recognizing the fact the Taliban in Afghanistan is a reality, the report reveals that ISI indeed guides them in their strategic planning, decision making and even in the implementation phases of the insurgency. So much so that, the author is self-assured in claiming that starting from the training, the funding, arming, and even logistical support provided to Afghan Taliban and Haqqani network, is accomplished by this Pakistani intelligence agency. The astonishing research also reveals that, apart from the intelligence setup, President Zardari, otherwise considered to be a pro-US and Pro-West, has given assurances to the Taliban for Pakistani assistance.

U.S and NATO troops are embattling these insurgent Taliban ever since the former invaded Afghanistan in October 2001, following the incident of 9/11. To their hard-luck, these foreign forces could not subdue the resistance put up by Afghan Taliban and masses in spite of having superior weaponry and despotic tactics. Rather their tyrannical acts further fuelled the insurgency in that country. After having analysed, the consecutive failure of US and NATO troops, and their counter-productive results, Afghan President Mr. Hamid Karazai, decided to launch reconciliatory efforts to integrate the Taliban into the main stream of Afghan society and the Government. The process had the US backing and even met initial success too. Therefore, the issuance of this report at this critical juncture, once the reconciliation process is underway between Afghan Government and Taliban insurgents seems to have ill intentions. Since Pakistan, as a brotherly Islamic and neighbourly country is helping the Afghan Government in the process, therefore, is linked with the Taliban.

Pakistan indeed, believes that peace in this war-torn country; Afghanistan is a key to its own internal stability, therefore, decided to encourage and helped the Afghan Government to negotiate with the Taliban; the main insurgent group. In this connection, the statement of Pakistani Army Chief, General Ashfaq Pervaz is on record that; “Pakistan cannot wish anything for Afghanistan which it cannot wish for itself”. There are similar sentiments of the civilian leadership and the people of Pakistan regarding Afghanistan. After many misperceptions, the Afghan President has been very realistic during his visit of Pakistan on March 11, 2010, once he said that, “No country has ever showed more hospitality to Afghanistan than Pakistan”. Declaring Pakistan and Afghanistan as the “twin brothers,” President Karzai further said that the “destiny, grieves and happiness of both the countries are shared.” On this occasion, Pakistani Prime Minister Gilani, assured the visiting President that, Pakistan would enhance its cooperation with Afghanistan to eliminate the terrorism, and bilateral ties between the two countries would be enhanced further. Similar assurances and guarantees were promised during the visit of President Zardari to Afghanistan and in his meet with President Karazai in Washington.

The report primarily focussed on the insurgent activities of Afghan Taliban under the Mullah Omar and the Jalaluddin Haqqani network, both allegedly supported by ISI. The very basis of the report by Watt Waldman, are erroneous that after 1971, disintegration, Pakistan started mobilizing and relying on Islamic groups to avert the threat from India. The fact of the matter is that creation of Islamists through Islamization and enhancement of Maddrassah culture are the outcome of US and Western efforts to counter the former Soviet Union in Afghanistan in 1980s. This has nothing to do with the defence of Pakistan. The paper indeed failed to identify the fact that, indeed, it was United States which concentrated the then Mujahedeen from all over the world all Pak-Afghan border to defeat and disintegrate the former USSR. CIA, the premier US intelligence agency, indeed, did all this.

The report betrays the readers by making reference of the US Congressional Research Service (CRS), that Pakistani intelligence agencies are aware of the Taliban leadership and maintains its active links with it. Such allegations are always made once US and West aim to pressurize Pakistan for the implementation of its own agenda. The malicious nature of the report could be well imagined from the fact that Afghan Taliban are forced to obey the Pakistani intelligence agencies because their families are in Pakistan. Whereas, a large number of Afghan leadership had their residences in Pakistan. Even President Karazai had stayed in Pakistan for a long duration and still owns a house in Pakistan.

In his research work, the author himself remained unsure, whether the interviewees; some former Taliban leaders and some current Taliban commanders in various parts of the Afghanistan are the genuine ones or presented by their intermediaries as a fake lot. The argument is further augmented by the fact that, if a researcher, who indeed was an official representative of UK Government, could find that real leadership of Taliban why cannot over 150,000 large US and NATO forces; whose UK troops are also part of, could trace them. This is not the end; there is a huge network of the CIA, FBI, MI-6, RAW and Mossad operative in and around Afghanistan. Why did they fail to trace them and taken them to the task, instead of killing the innocent Afghans, once they are busy in undertaking their religious and social ceremonies?

There is a misperception that Pakistan is maintaining its links with the Taliban in order to use them as a strategic force at the hours of need. The fact remains that Pakistani security forces, its strategic arsenals are enough to defend the country, and it has never depended on such like forces. The West and U.S indeed used them against the former Soviet Union to accomplish their own agendas. Rather Pakistani security forces are combating them all along the Pak-Afghan border and in other parts of the country, especially the FATA since 2003. Furthermore, Pakistan neither desires to use Afghan soil as its strategic depth nor has intention to use the Taliban (Afghan or Pakistani Taliban) as its strategic strength. All that Pakistan, its security forces and intelligence agencies desire is the durable peace, stability, and unity among various Afghan factions.

The Western media, think tanks and authors like Matt Waldman, must realize that Pakistan and Afghanistan are two neighbourly Islamic countries. Both countries share a lot in terms of their culture, history, traditions, and even common origin. Destined into two independent countries, they cannot be estranged spiritually and ideologically. This is evident from the fact the during Soviet invasion, over 3.5 million Afghan refugees (later rose to 5 million) were sheltered by their brethrens in Pakistan. Still Pakistan is housing over 2.5 Afghan refugees. The Sun in the Sky indeed is that, People of Pakistan and Afghanistan have indissoluble relationship. Therefore, such malevolent reports would not dent the mutual relationship of Pakistan and Afghanistan. Rather, these reports and efforts of extra regional forces and their intelligence agencies would further cement the so for vacillating relationship of the two countries.

The report indeed is an effort to defame Pakistani leadership and its premier intelligence agency; ISI, which has maintained a clean conduct throughout its material life. This spotless intelligence network indeed, neither has established inhuman camps like Guantanamo bay nor colonised its neighbours or undertook massacre during WW-I and WW-II. Moreover, it has not been created to destabilize its neighbours like the RAW or to unleash the terror like Mossad. Its efficiency and diligence, of course bothers the ill-conceived intelligence networks of the globe, the so-called scholars and think tanks, who do not believe on the reality, but desire to maintain their hegemony at all cost, which ISI dispels.

Dr Raja Muhammad Khan is Ph. D in International Relations from Karachi University. Now he is an Associate Professor with National University of Defence. Dr Khan’s focus is on South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. He is regular contributor to www.opinion-maker.org


Hate Can Not Defeat Hate: Wars Don’t Solve Problems

June 8, 2010

Kill One, Ten Will Replace Him

Operation in North Waziristan will not eliminate terrorism

By Brig Asif Haroon Raja

War on terror against Muslims was the brainchild of Zionist Jews and Neo-Cons and executed by George W. Bush administration. The war was fought by US led coalition forces and Pakistan security forces and counseled and guided by US-NATO military, Pentagon, CIA-FBI combine, Hamid Karzai led Northern Alliance regime in Kabul, Maliki regime in Baghdad, and RAW, Mossad, MI-6, RAAM. Pakistan which was treacherously made the frontline line state was sidelined in policy matters.


Waziristan FATA

By the time Obama took over from Bush in January 2009 security situation in Afghanistan had turned chaotic and circumstances in Iraq were unsatisfactory. However, outgoing US leadership deceptively portrayed to the world that war in Iraq had been won and it was Afghanistan which required further grinding. In view of heightened anti-Americanism, Obama used his color and half-Muslim background as a deceptive weapon to create a wedge between Muslims by trying to win over moderates in Muslim world through sweet talk and false promises, which he never meant to honor.

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