Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Pashtun Rights Movement Complicates Pakistan-U.S. Endgame in Afghanistan

Thursday, February 20th, 2020

Michael Hughes
February 19, 2020

A crackdown of Pashtun activists in Pakistan has drawn international opprobrium at an inconvenient time for Islamabad and Washington as they try to shape a public narrative to make a peace pact with the Taliban as palatable as possible.

The Trump administration wants the U.S.-Taliban exit deal to be seen as a victory for peace rather than a humiliating defeat at the hands of rag-tag insurgents who will continue destabilizing Afghanistan and the region.

In order to do this, the United States wants the world to believe that Pakistan has suddenly stopped using its northwest tribal areas as an extremist incubator to “keep the pot boiling” in Afghanistan. However, allegations suggesting otherwise that have recently gone viral threaten to upend Washington’s story line. Read the full article here.




Israel in the Middle East — A Civilisational and Metaphysical War

Monday, February 3rd, 2020 

by Alastair Crooke

President Trump’s ‘deal of the century’ has been published this week. Mostly, it has been examined as a purely political project – whether in terms of the domestic needs of Trump and Netanyahu, or as a maximum squeeze on Palestinians, which may, or may not, work. But there is another (implicit) dimension, lying – a little out of sight – behind these explicit politics.

It has been argued, by at least one US historian, that the U.S. is no ordinary nation-state, but should be understood as a system leader, a ‘civilizational power’ – like Rome, Byzantium, and the Ottoman Empire. The ‘system leader’, historically, has always sought to embed its particular civilizational vision onto those distant ‘lands’ that serve, or abut, its empire: which is to say that the universalistic vision may be bound to one state, but is forcefully unfurled across the globe, as ‘our’ inevitable destiny.

It is not hard to see what we are talking about when it refers to America: politically it is liberal markets, liberal capitalism, individualism and laissez-faire politics – and the metaphysics of Judeo-Christianity, too, if you like. For most Americans, their victory in the Cold War spectacularly affirmed the superiority of their civilizational vision, through the defeat and implosion of communism. It was not just a political defeat for the USSR, more significantly, it represented a triumph for America’s full cultural paradigm: It was a Civilisational ‘win’.

What has this to do with what happened in the East Room of the White House this Tuesday? Well, it gives us a better vantage point to perceive something less obvious than just the explicit politics to the spectacle. Something more often ‘felt’, than explicitly considered. Read full article here.