Saturday, December 12, 2009
The Pakistani rulers are in tatters. They are being attacked in their offices, the barricaded headquarters, that is, almost everywhere they hide. The imposing structures from where they rule stand today as prisons of a bygone power. The rulers are forced to sneak-a-peak and disappear again. They are reduced to issuing statements of sorrow and condemnation at the 'suicide attack'. They cannot appear with prior notice, their appearance has to be discrete, instantaneous and surprising, else they will be surprised by the unseen enemy.
This unseen enemy is also daily lambasted by the US and its imperialist allies. They denounce and everyone is asked to fight it, wreck it and finish it off from the face of earth. But the unseen enemy keeps on reappearing. It is also hidden, shadowy, instantaneous and surprising. But you cannot see it, you cannot find it, you cannot attack it. But the imperialist powers demand us in Pakistan to fight it. We are told as a nation, as rulers and as spymasters to muster all our energies and fight this unseen enemy. We are reminded, on a daily basis, its not USA's war, its yours, Pakistanis war and Pakistanis will have to fight the unseen enemy. And how do we know it is the unseen enemy that has attacked us?
Every time there is a bomb explosion in a city it is instantaneously claimed by the hidden ministry of interior, and the military public relations office and all sorts of sneak-a-peak rulers that the explosion was a suicide attack carried out by the Taliban or most recently India. To catch the suicide attackers every day scores are arrested in raids at Afghani, Waziristani and Swati localities all over Pakistan. This is how we are made to see the enemy. So the mountain inhabiting Pushtoons are portrayed as uncouth, greedy and rural. Pushtoons are made to look like uncivilized, hot-headed and terrorist in making. We are reminded that since we cannot see the unseen enemy but see a Pushtoon and therefore we should be watchful of their behavior. If we see them anywhere and we think they are acting suspiciously we must inform the police, spy on them and help save the nation. We are made to support the raids, search operations, arrests in the cities and killings in the rural areas only because we are made to accept the propaganda of the state. This is how Pushtoons are made to become the unseen enemy. Scapegoating the Pushtoons as the unseen enemy is aimed at creating a Pushtoon as a Taliban in our imagination.
So they win our imagination but have they won the wars? Despite the propaganda of winning the war in Swat and nearly winning the one in Waziristan we can see that attacks continue to happen on city centres and of course on the ruling class. Now we are told that it is an allout war, as if the military operation on Waziristan and Swat were not. On a daily basis it is officially claimed that 40 to 70 terrorists were killed in Swat/Waziristan operation. But we are supposed to be shocked at the 'suicide attack' only!
And hence we are told to get prepared to fight this war. Now does that ring some bells? Yes, first the US told us that it is Pakistani's war and now the ministry of interior and military's public relations tells us that the Pakistanis will have to fight it. But wasn't the Pakistani military supposed to fight Pakistan's enemies? But that is not enough now, comes the response, we need laskhars, defence committees and need to arm them.
So here we go again. Once more it is a jihad but now it is against the bad jihadists. So once again the minister of interior visits the local death squad organizers, the militias that control the cities, and asks them to join this war. Thus you see the pictures of the minister with the preferred sectarian leaders who are willing to give thousands of their madressa students and militant lower-middle-class MQM cadres to fight alongside the Pakistani military. Does that sounds familiar? Yes back in the 1980s it was the madressa students who were urged by the US and Pakistani rulers to fight the infidel Soviets in Afghanistan and the lower-middle class Jamaat e Islami came along as well. Now it is the good madressa students and the MQM which will get the arms to fight the bad madressa Taliban. Very soon we will be told that these good have also become bad and once again there will be another war of the people to be fought with the people. A war leads to another war.
So what can the people do? The ruling class has decided that it will speak from its prisons, rule from broadcasting stations and only police its own safe houses. The middle class has decided to pack its bags or for the moment allow the goons of the lower-middle class to fight the monster, the unseen enemy. The problem remains with the under-class unemployed, hungry, disempowered and the working class. It is these who are now forced to decide the side they are going to hold their sway.
The ruling and middle classes, if they had their way, they will make everyone else fight this unending and non-sensical war until they wipe out half of the population. They have already displaced record number of people in a single calendar year and are famous for shedding blood of 3 million at the least 39 years ago. They are already making the ordinary Pakistani soldier, coming from the lowest echelons of the peasantry, to give their lives to occupy the Pushtoon land. They have already bombed over 4.5 million people to punish them for siding with the unseen enemy. Now whenever they are attacked in their military or police or torture headquarters the next day a city centre is bombed. As if to ensure that if the war is between the Taliban and the military then it should appear as a war of Taliban against the Pakistani people. Hence they wish to create a false polarization.
Taliban leadership does not have an agenda for the under-priviliged, they themselves are willing to impose an order from above. Hence the false polarization is rapidly becoming a real polarization. This is between those who are against the Taliban and those who are with the Taliban. In other words those with the Pakistani rulers and those against. That means those against the US and those with the US. Hence condemnation of Taliban becomes an act of endorsing US-led aggression to occupy Afghanistan and now Pakistan. And this is a reactionary polarization. It is not a polarization of the under-priviliged against the privileged, the ruling class against the working class. It is polarization that sheds blood at every moment of its existence, it is reactionary to its core.
Therefore the underprivileged and the working class, the city dwellers and the countryside petty worker has to do is to refuse to accept that it is our war, demand the warring military to stop its military operations, force the US led imperialist occupiers out of our land and call for an all out peace.
The rulers are cornered, they have no way out. The middle class is besieged and the military bitterly divided. The imperialist power USA stands defeated in Iraq and Afghanistan. They all want to spread the war, make it the war of Pakistani underclass. They want to use the military against ordinary Pushtoons, they want us to form lashkars and arm them, they want us to form defence committees. We should refuse to fight their war and refuse to accept that there exists an enemy which we or they could not see. We should refuse to scapegoat the Pushtoon and the Afghan and demand an end to extrajudicial killings and raids and arrests. It is not the unseen enemy we can fight back against, it is always the enemy we see that we have to organize against. The more the war spreads the more will be a mutated response against it. Its not our war, we should not let it be fought in our name.