The Wrong Enemy

Decent Essays

Carlotta Gall’s February 6 piece in the New York Times (NYT), titled “Pakistan’s Hand in the Rise of International Jihad,” is a journalistic marvel. It spotlights the dizzying creativity a human brain is capable of when paired with a massive axe to grind. Unfortunately, for prose jammed with so many accusations, Gall’s piece is surprisingly light on substantive sources. Oh, but she makes up for this foible by heaping dollops of self-righteous Americentrism.

No surprises here. Gall, after all, penned “The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan 2001-2014,” a tome that must surely feature as essential reading for Pakistanophobes. In her book, Gall posits that Washington’s Afghan war strategy was flawed from the get-go. After felling the Taliban, US forces should have kept marching east instead of invading Iraq. Why? Because without Pakistan’s patronage, neither they nor Al-Qaeda could ever have bloomed in the region.

Okay, so I will not harp on about the Union Oil Company of California’s (UNOCAL) Taliban connection, immortalized incidentally in an article titled “Oil Barons court Taliban in Texas” from British daily the Telegraph’s 1997 archives. I will not even dwell on Operation Cyclone, and how Soviet-era mujahideen that spawned modern Islamic militancy were curated on Washington’s orders …show more content…

Let us start with Afghanistan. Yes, both countries have issues dating back to 1947. The former was the only UN member to oppose the latter’s entry into the world body, a result of misplaced anger at the British Raj’s exit plan. Later, Republican Afghanistan fueled Pashtun nationalist fervor inside Pakistan as payback, tacitly supporting a secessional movement. Islamabad had no choice then but to use Islamists as a counterweight, especially when Kabul cozied up to New Delhi for similar

Get Access