Note the religious nature of the appeal. It is the center of what he is saying, and it is the one element of his remarks that politically correct analysts would have us ignore. “‘If it was jihad then, it’s jihad now,'” by Colin Freeze in the Globe and Mail (thanks to all who sent this in):
A former Pakistani intelligence officer says he has a message for Canadian and NATO forces in Afghanistan: “Ultimately you will lose,” he told me a phone interview. “You are not bringing any peace here.”
Khalid Khawaja, an English-speaking ex-spy, spoke from Lahore after I called him from Kanadhar, where I am an embedded journalist with the Canadian Forces. The idea was to try to suss out the views of a known extremist, one who might put regional events in a different kind of perspective.
“In [1980s] Afghanistan, when the Russians attacked, the Canadians and Americans and Europeans supported the jihad against the Russians,” Mr. Khawaja said. Foreign policies and foreign armies may shift over time, he said, but real Muslims stand firm.
“Our religion has not changed,” he said. “If it was jihad then, it is jihad now.”
Mr. Khawaja upholds that the world is divided into two: Pakistan’s friends and Pakistan’s foes.
Who are the foes? The “Americans are enemies of Afghanistan and they are enemies of Pakistan,” he said. “They are using even the Canadians now. And for what?”
Who are Pakistan’s defenders?
“Topmost,” he says, is Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal. And the nukes, he said, are closely followed by:
2. The Army.
3. The ISI / intelligence
4. The “mujahedeen”
5. The Taliban
6. Insurgents in the tribal areas.
Mr. Khawaja doesn’t appear to be saying that all these entities and the people that control them are necessarily in cahoots and conspiring together. Rather, they amount to powerful forces with common interests that Pakistan can steer and benefit from.
He makes no mention of al-Qaeda, per se. For him, there is no such entity. “Where is al Qaeda?” he asked rhetorically. “I have not met somebody who says “˜I am al Qaeda.” They never used this word.” He describes the Arab fundamentalist fighters he knows, as “mujahedeen,” or literally Islamic holy warriors.
Mr. Khawaja concedes that Taliban rule had some unfortunate glitches. “Mullah Omar’s style, his technique — I can differ with him,” he said. But he adds that at least the mullah tried to rule by the Koran, he said, which is important. “As Muslims we claim that we will obey God and the Prophet.”
Other governments, he complains, including the ones run by Hamid Karzai and Pervez Musharraf, place themselves above God’s law.
“Musharraf speaks against the beard and calls himself Muslim? This is wrong,” said Mr. Khawaja. No fan of Karzai, he still has some former friends sitting in the Afghanistan government. He complains his power hungry warlords have sold out to become “stooges” of the Americans….