A word is out on the ISI chief’s confabulations with his American interlocutors in Washington. Among other things, they statedly have agreed to avoid using media to pressure Pakistan. But will they? You must be kidding. For them, their media is not conformist just to deceive their own people and mislead the world community. It is their war battalion that acts conspiratorially like Goebbels to project victories where exist none and muffle up reverses that are too many. And unarguably for the quandary they are presently in Afghanistan so irretrievably, this conformist media of theirs is no lesser responsible.
Had it been an independent truthful media, not a compromised outlet as it essentially has been, it would have reported realities, not produced fictions. And that would have brought home to the American people and their western allies very early after the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan by the US-led coalition armies that instead of fighting their warriors had cooped up in their cages – the ISAF contingents in Kabul and the American expeditionary force in Bagram. The public chagrin would have possibly shamed them into showing a little bit of soldiering.
But as they kept sitting on their haunches in their redoubts, munching on pistachios and hamburgers immovably, the American media kept its guns trained at Pakistan and for long, long five years. The upshot of their fictional serials was that the Pakistani security forces were not putting in the fighting and letting the fleeing Taliban and al-Qaeda rumps to sneak into their territory. Never ever they took a pause nor gave a break to their audiences worldwide from their fictional barrage to think if it was not an equal, if not bigger, responsibility of Afghanistan’s invaders to prevent on their side this crossing over of the Taliban and al-Qaeda fleeing remnants.
Of course, a cringing military dictator Pervez Musharraf, out to court the American blessings for the legitimacy of his illegitimate usurpation of power, took all this barrage lying down, loathsomely sheepishly and defensively when he had had no reason to be on the retreat. Culpably, the invaders were failing in their essential task spectacularly for their sheer spinelessness and blatant cowardice. But he kept mum even when the Taliban would launch an attack on a target hundreds of miles away from Pakistan and the conformist media would mislead their audience at home and abroad by shouting that the invaders had come from the Pakistan direction.
But as this compromised embedded media was obsessed with denigrating and demonising Pakistan and its military, a bigger reality was in the works to become a strangulating albatross around the necks of the invaders. The fleeing Taliban who had returned to their homes, to their families and to their tribes were regrouping, reorganising and rearming freely to take on the invaders. And when the invaders moved out of their Kabul and Bagram forts, somewhere in 2006, the whole of Afghanistan’s east and south was under the complete sway of Taliban and other insurgent groups, with large chunks in their total administrative control as well. The invaders now are endeavouring only failingly to reclaim the south and east from their suzerainty. Yet the American media is keeping up with its old game, talking of victories that have to do more with fantasy than with reality.
The ground realities, nonetheless, mock at the invaders’ claims of having subdued the south. And their outgoing top commander Gen. David Petraeus’ recent outpouring that the coalition forces would now move into the east to act is a clear confession that this vast territory has never been under the invaders’ control. Indeed, the invaders are finding it hard to confess that they have lost the Afghan war and to concede defeat. And they will keep using the conformist media to put the entire burden of their collapse on Pakistan. The media will certainly keep playing ball with them as spiritedly as has it been doing so far.
Pakistan is thus destined to get all the wrap on the knuckles from this media at the behest of the invaders, their commanders and their political bosses. It is as simple as that. Their agreement with the ISI chief will be just that, just an agreement on the paper, only for show.