Unspoken China Role In Terror America’s Moment Of Truth
The leakage of 91000 US classified documents relating to the war in Afghanistan by the WikiLeaks website could be a major game changer. The Indian media has seized upon classified revelations about the long alleged official Pakistani links to terror. That is understandable. But the impact of the leaks might go far beyond Pakistan and the ISI. Let us see how.
The WikiLeaks website is run by Julian Assange. He is of mixed Chinese-British parentage. He was born and brought up in Australia. For the last two years he has been shuttling between countries in East Africa seldom staying long at the same place for personal security. Whether his kind of shoe-string operation, huge access to secret documents in all spheres, and his kind of movements arise from a solitary effort or are aided logistically by a bigger force is a question that may be put aside for the moment.
All the 91000 recently leaked documents on his website are classified US material. It was passed on by Assange to The New York Times in America, The Guardian in Britain, and Der Spiegel in Germany. All three media outlets are respected and liberal. The primary source of the classified leaks must be an insider in the US government. One junior official has been arrested. He could be only a minor cog. The prime source has to be much higher. What needs to be determined is whether the leakage had the tacit blessing of the Obama administration or occurred despite it. Either way the US policy towards Pakistan will have to change. Once there is official admission that Pakistan is aiding the terrorists who kill US soldiers, public pressure will impel change of US policy in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Already official statements from Washington suggest that.
Officially the White House has frowned upon the leakage and ordered an investigation. In fact it may have been very pleased. Reportedly the New York Times Washington bureau Chief Dean Baquet before publishing took reporters Mark Mazzetti and Eric Schmitt to brief the White House on what they planned to write. “I did in fact go the White House and lay out for them what we had,” Baquet has been quoted as saying. “We did it to give them the opportunity to comment and react. They did. They also praised us for the way we handled it, for giving them a chance to discuss it, and for handling the information with care. And for being responsible.”
In other words the White House knew all along what Islamabad was doing to help terrorists. Now it is prepared to publicly acknowledge it. Why? Probably because in the forthcoming election to the US Congress and Senate the Democrats are expected to lose. That could put President Obama’s continuance in jeopardy. There is evidence about his challenged birth outside the US which lies in the freezer waiting to be used any time. It might be recalled that soldiers challenging the President’s legitimacy due to his alleged foreign birth refused to serve in Afghanistan. They were not dismissed by the Pentagon. Instead they were allowed to not serve in Afghanistan. To win in the November election President Obama must do something dramatic. What can be more dramatic than a substantial withdrawal from the war in Afghanistan and divert the billions of dollars saved to revive the US economy? Unless of course Pakistan immediately shows spectacular success in the war on terror!
Up till now the US has knowingly put up with Islamabad’s double-faced policy. Surely the nation that could ruthlessly bomb Iraq without its complicity in 9/11 could have done the same in Pakistan known to have links with Al Qaeda and even with 9/11 through its agent Mohammed Atta? How could Pakistan brazenly succeed with its double-faced policy and mock the US? The answer lies with China. America could not punish Pakistan because of Islamabad’s powerful links to China. America could not abandon Pakistan because it did not want to present it on a plate to China. America has to be very cautious in dealing with China. Its close economic ties with China give Beijing a stranglehold over America’s domestic stability.
By acknowledging the authenticity of the leaks is Washington about to change course in Pakistan? If so, it will call China’s bluff. Will China consent to be the sole power supporting Pakistan now acknowledged as the hub of global terrorism? Or will China restrain Pakistan? Up till now Beijing has obfuscated its own role in fomenting terrorism. The cosmetic joint anti-terror exercises between the PLA and Pakistan army deceive only the gullible. The much touted terror threat in Xingjian reflects merely resentment of a repressed population, no real terror threat. A compliant West readily traces the terror trail to Islamabad. It does not acknowledge that the trail leads to Beijing. To indicate Beijing’s complicity one can do no better than recall the evidence often cited by this scribe but put together by D.J. McGuire, author of Dragon in the Dark: How and Why Communist China Helps Our Enemies in the War on Terror.
McGuire has recalled how in 1998 after the American missile attack on Al Qaeda China paid $10 million to Al Qaeda for unexploded cruise missiles. In 1999 two Communist Chinese colonels presented a battle scenario in their book Unrestricted Warfare in which the World Trade Center is attacked. The authors identified Osama bin Laden as someone with the ability to orchestrate the attack. On September 11, 2001 China signed a pact on economic cooperation with the Taliban. Just after 9/11 China’s official press agency made a video glorifying the terrorist strike. Also after 9/11 on CNN Willy Lam claimed that Chinese leaders considered Al Qaeda as a check on US power but thought the time unsuitable to confront America. Also after 9/11 China announced opposition to US troops being based in Pakistan. After 9/11 US intelligence confirmed that the PLA owned technology firm, Huawei Technologies, built a telephone network in Taliban-ruled Kabul. In 2002 US raids of Al Qaeda hideouts by NATO allies discovered huge caches of Chinese weapons including surface-to-air missiles. In August 2002 the post-Taliban Afghan government claimed that China had made the Kashmir portion illegally ceded by Pakistan to China a safe haven for Al Qaeda…
Despite all this and more evidence the West has remained silent about China’s role in terror. Will the leaks change that? It remains to be seen how America, Pakistan, India and China react to the leaks in the coming days. It is difficult to predict what will eventually happen. It is safe to assume that much will happen.
By Rajinder Puri