UNDER THE AFPAK VOLCANO: Welcome to Pashtunistan

Pepe Escobar

There must be some way out of here
Said the joker to the thief
There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief
- Bob Dylan,
"All Along the Watchtower"

Something's happening in AfPak, but you don't know what it is, do you Mr Beltway think-tanker?

As Washington mashes up the "Taliban" - be they Afghan neo-Taliban or Pakistani Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) - in Empire of Chaos logic to justify perennial United States/North Atlantic Treaty Organization troops stationed in AfPak, an increasing number of Pashtuns living on both sides of the border have seized the opportunity and started to look to the Taliban as a convenient facilitator for the emergence of Pashtunistan. But the Pentagon, make no mistake, knows exactly how to play its New Great Game in Eurasia. Balkanization of AfPak - the break-up of both Afghanistan and Pakistan - will engineer, among other states, an independent Pashtunistan and an independent Balochistan. Empire of Chaos logic is still British imperial divide-and-rule, remixed; and, at least in theory, yields territories much easier to control.

Exploiting Guilt: The Copenhagen Treaty and Versailles

Peter Smith

Economic consequences of the Copenhagen Treaty

In the Economic Consequences of the Peace, published in 1919, Keynes warned, among other things, of the ruinous consequences of war reparations imposed on Germany by the Versailles Treaty.

No-one in those days, or up until recently, would have thought there might come a day when the debt of war would be replaced by the debt of climate ‘warming’, for which reparations were demanded. That day has certainly come with the UN’s “Framework Convention on Climate Change”, the so-called Copenhagen Treaty (‘the treaty’).

The first thing to say is that the treaty will not be signed in one of its current forms. There are many square bracketed alternatives and options in the treaty but it is fair to say that none of them will prove palatable to the major countries.

The Science of Success

David Dobbs

Most of us have genes that make us as hardy as dandelions: able to take root and survive almost anywhere. A few of us, however, are more like the orchid: fragile and fickle, but capable of blooming spectacularly if given greenhouse care. So holds a provocative new theory of genetics, which asserts that the very genes that give us the most trouble as a species, causing behaviors that are self-destructive and antisocial, also underlie humankind’s phenomenal adaptability and evolutionary success. With a bad environment and poor parenting, orchid children can end up depressed, drug-addicted, or in jail—but with the right environment and good parenting, they can grow up to be society’s most creative, successful, and happy people.

In 2004, Marian Bakermans-Kranenburg, a professor of child and family studies at Leiden University, started carrying a video camera into homes of families whose 1-to-3-year-olds indulged heavily in the oppositional, aggressive, uncooperative, and aggravating behavior that psychologists call “externalizing”: whining, screaming, whacking, throwing tantrums and objects, and willfully refusing reasonable requests. Staple behaviors in toddlers, perhaps. But research has shown that toddlers with especially high rates of these behaviors are likely to become stressed, confused children who fail academically and socially in school, and become antisocial and unusually aggressive adults.

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