Sunday, May 05, 2002

Some people are questioning why Daniel Pearl was murdered. It has been suggested that he was murdered by or on behalf of the Pakistani security agency, the ISI. The implication was that he was delving deeply into the connections between the ISI and radical Islamic fundamentalists, particularly, Jaish-e-Mohammad and al-Qaeda (Pearl's alleged murderer, Omar Sheikh, is supposed to have connections to both ISI and al-Qaeda). While the murder may have ISI connections, the theory that it was done to prevent Pearl discovering connections between ISI and al-Qaeda makes no sense to me. We know that the ISI is closely connected to Islamic fundamentalism. We also know that it is extremely closely connected to the CIA. It was the Pakistanis together with the CIA who arranged for Islamic fundamentalism to be used against the Russians in Afghanistan. In fact, rather amazingly, much of modern Islamic fundamentalism derives from the American idea to use Islamicist movements as a counterweight to American enemies, including the U. S. sponsorship of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt in the 1950s to use against Nasser and Nasserism, so this manipulation of religious feelings for political goals is not a new thing. After the success against the Russians in Afghanistan, the ISI helped to set up the religious/terrorist schools to train Islamic warriors for use in Afghanistan, Kashmir and India. The same people who fought the Russians, augmented with students from these schools, became the Taliban. None of this is a secret, so why would Pearl be investigating it (interestingly, Pearl was apparently getting hints from Indian sources, sources with a bias in finding links between the Pakistani government and Islamic fundamentalism)? If he was investigating it, why would the ISI, very closely connected with the CIA, arrange to murder a reporter from the Wall Street Journal, a newspaper not known for its criticisms of U. S. geopolitics? I feel that the real hidden question in Pakistan has to be the connection between the ISI, the CIA, and the Pakistani elites, and how this connection relates to the planned Afghan pipelines. In particular, was the ISI, acting as an agent for the CIA, working to set up Islamic fundamentalists to take the blame for the September 11 terrorism (I do not believe that it was a coincidence that the head of ISI was in Washington on September 11, and I think there is more intrigue behind the $100,000 sent to Atta than we have been told)? As I think more and more about September 11 and its aftermath, al-Qaeda appears more and more to be a red herring, an orientalist fantasy of assassins and bearded, turbanned madmen intended to distract us from the truth. The al-Qaeda role in September 11, and the role of bin Laden in particular, may just be to vaguely take the blame for various acts of terror in order to facilitate the U. S. 'war on terror' with completely different real geopolitical goals than we are led to believe (the famous meeting in Dubai between a CIA representative and bin Laden may be where bin Laden was given the script for his role, a role, as they say, he was 'born to play'). When we hear about a connection between ISI and al-Qaeda we're supposed to think we've discovered some deep secret, but it seems to me this just hides a deeper secret. If Pearl was getting too close to the truth, it had to be a truth that is not yet obvious. If he was murdered by the ISI, it had to be for reasons that are not yet obvious.