The Khyber Pass Interview: Murtaza Hussain - MAZBOL Theory
MAZ on why Toronto is Shit, American Collapse in Afghanistan, Dumb Elites, Why You Should Convert to Islam, Houllebecq's Hadith, Bob and Vagene, etc.
Murtaza (or “Maz”, as he annoyingly insists that everyone refer to him) Hussain was handed the keys to his extended family’s Ford Aerostar Minivan when he was 16 years old and hasn’t looked back since. From his early days in Toronto where he would beat up Drake (justifiably so) for his lunch money at school, he has always had his eyes on the big prize: forcing Glenn Greenwald out of employment.
A second-generation low-level CIA asset, he is now firmly ensconced at The Intercept where he dissects Central Asian affairs alongside with civil rights issues in the USA, supplementing his already massive pay by running protection rackets involving illegal immigrants from the Hindu Kush.
A salaam alaikum.
Good to chat with you. Allahu Akbar.
Allahu Akbar. Can you please share with us your favourite Nasheed?
Once while travelling in Pakistan, my driver asked me to translate all the lyrics to “Without Me” by Eminem line-by-line as it played on the car stereo. It is an incredibly cringeworthy song, but my subconscious continues to place him as an honorary Janissary to this day.
I’m quite disappointed that you did not pick this Nasheed. Anyway, much like Jay-Z, you have risen to the top of the rap game (journalism). And also like Jay-Z, you began by slinging rock. You are a legend in street-level drug dealing circles thanks to the 100% undeniable fact that your most infamous client was once-Mayor of Toronto, the now dead Rob Ford. In fact, you helped kill him by way of your product.
Rob Ford was deeply beloved by all the working-class immigrants and minorities of the Toronto inner suburbs. These people also comprised his largest and most vociferous base of political supporters. Ford, as video evidence later showed, was not too stuck-up to participate in traditional social ceremonies beloved by his supporters, like communal drug abuse. After my role in his regrettable passing came to light, I prudently fled town for the United States where I reinvented myself from ruthless drug dealer to overly cerebral journalist mulling over various social and political ills.
Yet here you are, working at The Intercept. Have you ever thought to yourself about all the lives that you have ruined and destroyed over the years? All the damage that you have caused to so many well-meaning people? Have you ever felt shame being a journalist and wondered whether you should instead return to the lesser evil of crack-dealing?
Any occasional pangs of conscience I feel for the carnage my deeds have caused are invariably put to rest by that sweet, sweet, journalist coin rolling in reliably every month.
Maz and I Find Common Ground and Both Shit on Toronto
You, like I, spent your formative years in the GTA (Greater Toronto Area/Globalist Test Area), which is where the world's excess population gets dumped to try and make something of themselves after failing to do so at home. Toronto has pretensions of being a New York, but is barely 3/4s of a Chicago. Torontonians think that they and their city actually matter, but they don't. It's an irrelevant city full of even more irrelevant elites. Both you and I got the fuck out the first chance we got.
Canada is a vast dumping ground for the former subjects of the British Empire. It continues to fulfill that function even after that once-great empire vanishes into the dustbin of history. The effect is a little strange, because it is as though the country is a cultural orphan. Into the absence left by the departed Metropole, the main thing that his filled the void is capital. Toronto is a great monument to this because it is perhaps the most post-historical place on earth. It has embraced completely the politics of homogenous globalization, something that can be seen its anonymous mass-produced architecture and absence of identifiable civic culture. The city, and indeed entire country, is run less as a nation than as a free economic zone. There is a lot of immigration and it is supported by elites on every side of the political spectrum. But this is less out of ideological conviction than for the short-term economic benefits it brings to people already here; waves of new peoples from around the world are needed to keep the gigantic real estate Ponzi scheme (Please look at the charts on Canadian housing prices) underpinning the economy in motion. That’s all that’s going on. It turns out that at the end of history there is nothing left to do but try to make some money, eat, and fixate on the small dramas of a few mediocre sports teams. I still, inescapably love it, for the simple reason that it is the place on Earth that I can most clearly call home. I love despite the knowledge that, because of its cold, impersonal nature, it is incapable of ever loving me or anyone else back in return.
I recently stumbled upon a WWII-era cenotaph while visiting Toronto. It included many pictures and descriptions of former residents of the local area who had served in the war, including many who had been killed in action. It was hard to imagine it was even describing the same area, because everything surrounding the monument had been thoroughly transformed by the intervening decades of globalization. I am also a visible part of that change. Globalization is not ending or slowing down, let alone being reversed. It’s a process, driven, at heart, by technological change, and one major consequence of it is that has mixed up different groups of people in a manner and scale unprecedented in history. Any idea of violently turning it back is simply a fantasy. I’d say the toothpaste actually escaped the tube a century ago.
That’s also why I think it’s important to honour episodes of national history like that memorialized at the cenotaph. It’s the right thing to do on a human level on behalf of those who dedicated or sacrificed their lives (imperfect people, perhaps, but who in the world isn’t?) to establish and preserve the countries that now exist. People need to be bound together by shared myths and stories and no society will survive long without that. Honouring and respecting the good aspects of the past is also a means of smoothing over the socio-political dislocations of globalization, by way ensuring that it preserves what is of value from the existing culture rather than effacing it. No one on earth likes to sense that their identity and culture is fading away. It’s something like the death of the self. Yet this unnerving feeling is experienced by almost everyone today, including people who have left their homes due to economic or political necessity and become immigrant to the West. We should be empathetic and thoughtful about the type of society in which we’d like to live in, and avoid, on all sides, the revolutionary tendency towards blowing everything up and declaring Year Zero. Year Zero also sounds like it would jam-packed with futility as well.
Toronto, however, does have some unique attributes that set it aside from your average American metropolis. For one thing, race relations and ethnic politics are not as black and white as they are in the USA. You've written a very, very interesting piece on how immigrant populations (particularly non-white ones) in Toronto are more than cool with populist politicians who come from the right like the Ford Brothers. My experience growing up not too far from where you grew up is that divisions weren't racial, but were instead Anglo vs. Immigrant, with various subsets of immigrants in their ethnic ghettos. Alongside this was Catholic vs. Public schooling as an additional layer. Online American friends would be bewildered by this breakdown and would ask me "well, would you hang out with blacks or whites?" My response to them would always be "we didn't hang out with Anglos". Cultural affinity for us first generation European immigrants was about our parents speaking the old language at home, and our moms preparing serious lunches for us to take to school with us. Alongside this was beatings from our parents.
Growing up (and even to this day), most people I know socially are first-generation immigrants, mostly from the Caribbean, South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, who came to the West as children, or who are second-generation immigrants and the first of their families to be born here. One thing I can say emphatically about most of these people is that they are not socially liberal. They tend to be religious, family-oriented, and take what you could call traditional gender norms for granted. If I were to try to give you a relevant analogy with comparison to white people, I would say that most of their views on social issues like race and gender run somewhere on a spectrum between Rod Dreher and Hitler, and I’m only sort of kidding. They may vote for liberal political parties out of calculated self-interest, but that easily changes if they feel that their interests are served by doing the opposite. That is why so many non-white Torontonians, including most of my friends, voted for Rob Ford. It is also why I suspect not a few minorities in the United States voted for Donald Trump during his re-election campaign. It doesn’t surprise me that polls show 98 percent of Latino people in the United States don’t use the progressive “Latinx” descriptor for themselves, even though it has become so standard in politics and media that even Joe Biden is saying it. That doesn’t mean that the views of the two percent, usually credentialed elites, are wholly illegitimate or irrelevant. But if you genuinely come to believe that they represent what a lot of minorities think, or how they see themselves, you are going to be in for some rude awakenings, politically. I’m not saying this as a description of how I necessarily prefer things to be, just an honest observation of what I’ve observed during my life. People’s social preferences might change over time with enough corporate social engineering, but I’m skeptical of how far that can be pushed. Progressives are potentially making a big error assuming that minorities are going to be a reliable base of support for whatever new social changes they decide to push though in the future.
With the privilege of physical distance and time elapsed, how do you view not just Toronto but Canada as a whole now? And what about your community? I'm sure that segments of it are assimilating, with others not-assimilating, and the bulk with their feet in both puddles. Also, what then is the main difference between being a Pakistani in Canada and one in the USA? I think that you will agree with me that assimilationist pressures, whether intentional or unintentional, are far, far stronger in the USA and that ethnic communities tend to assimilate quicker there. With this in mind, what role did the negative post-9/11 environment towards Muslims play here?
Prior to 9/11, people had a stereotype of Pakistanis as primarily being asexual nerds who consumed foul-smelling foods and probably had an aptitude for low-level computer programming. This was a very difficult set of stereotypes to have to overcome because such a person sounds like a very appealing target for aggression. We really had to fight to overcome it, and I blame the popular media for developing it in the first place. After 9/11, however, the assumptions started suddenly and imperceptibly changing. The stereotype that replaced the nerd one was that most of us were concealing suicide vests under our over-worn North Face jackets and were so enamored of savage violence that even a wrong look might result in you being gruesomely beheaded in the 7/11 parking lot. As a young man at the time, I actually found the latter stereotype to be preferable on practical terms, and I can tell you that I was far from alone in that sentiment. Better that people be irrationally afraid of you then think you are overly passive, except at the border.
Regarding the issue of assimilation, it is important to look at the religious component here. Islam is a religion that is very interested in preserving its particularity and resists being dissolved into any other ideology. In this sense Muslims are a bit like Jews who have fought hard to preserve their communal identity even in the face of highly coercive assimilationist pressure. But there is also the added caveat that Islam, like Christianity and liberalism, is also a universalizing tradition that aspires to win converts. Observant Muslims believe, very sincerely, that everyone else would be better off sharing their religion and uniting together with them under one universal community. Most of them are not going to completely shed their deepest beliefs in favour of liberalism, which to be honest doesn’t offer much to the soul. White Westerners feeling besieged by cancel culture should consider doing what the Quran prescribes and converting to Islam at this point in history (I’ve been reliably informed that most signatories of the Harper’s Letter have already taken this step), as it is demonstrably proven to be much harder to be driven out of liberal society for having ultra-conservative social views when you’re Muslim. The perceptively self-loathing French author Michel Houellebecq (May Allah be pleased with him) has written a handy book about how such a change would work on a sociopolitical level, and I encourage your readers to check it out.
Paki Goat Herder in The Big Apple - What Strange Sights!
You're now residing in the Big Show, the Prime Mover of global events. And not just that, you're in the nerve centre, New York City. This is it. This is where the Masters of the Universe live, work, breathe, sleep, etc. These must be incredibly impressive creatures.
ITS WEIRD NEW YORK IS MORE MERITOCRATIC THAN DC, AT LEAST PEOPLE TEND TO BE A BIT SMARTER OR LESS BORING. GOING TO ROLL INTO NEXT QUESTION WHICH IS WHERE THE TRUE EVIL LIES!
Settle down, Abdi. No need to scream. There are no attractive female cousins reading this.
Do you think that there's merit to the idea that the best and brightest Americans all go into Wall Street or Silicon Valley, leaving government to third stringers? After all, what type of person would want to put up with such constant, invasive scrutiny like politicians endure if they don't have to? Why not seek millions without having every single move you make being newsworthy, and in such a toxic environment as we live in today?
I’m increasingly convinced that going into politics is a sign of some kind of serious character defect. It’s not just that these are people who are after power….most politicians today also seemingly want to be influencers. They use their attainment of a job that generates lots of public attention as a means of building their own personal brands and followings, so as to better capitalize on later book deals and public speaking circuit tours. I predict that in the future citizens of democracies will simply cut out the middleman and directly elect the most narcissistic, power-hungry, and effective influencers from social media to political office, making the old model of career-climbing politician effectively obsolete. Donald Trump was not an aberration but merely a harbinger of what is to come.
The MAZBOL Theory of Central Asian Geopolitics
The revolving door between the public and private sectors is spinning faster than ever, with many individuals passing through both sides becoming more common. This is a form of corruption, as people in the public sector in powerful roles knows what awaits them in the private sector should they use their powers to benefit the latter while in the former. The mental image of the General turned Arms Dealer Lobbyist automatically springs to mind.
General Milley also springs to mind as he testified this past week that the Taliban was always going to take control of Afghanistan after the Americans left. This was not communicated to the US public prior to that happening. The US military wanted to remain in Afghanistan despite cross-party public support for leaving. This indicates a rather wide gulf not just between the military and the public, but also signals a contempt for the American people as a whole. One of the last actions that the US Armed Forces undertook in Afghanistan was a drone strike that killed a family in Kabul. This is an out-and-out war crime. Americans really, really do not know what was done in their name in that country.
Now a consensus is forming around the idea that the war was a strategic error, but the pullout was a success. It's as if the blame is being foisted onto Trump for his agreement with the Taliban in Doha, Qatar, and that the DoD and Biden were left with a fait accompli, but that they made the best of it. At the same time, you've reported that US citizens have been left in Afghanistan after the pullout, despite contacting the US State Department to make them aware of their situation.
The question then must be: How and when did the USA lose Afghanistan?
Almost every day I talk to this gentleman (who I wrote about here). He is naturalized American citizen, and he and his Afghan wife are stuck in Kabul, and are desperately trying to get out of Afghanistan. They are still trapped there even though by now their situation is well known to many in DC, including at the State Department. While there have been a lot of big promises and talk, literally nothing has been done for them. The fact that he, a citizen in good standing of the most powerful country on Earth, is calling me of all people for help when State and even the Pentagon has been repeatedly apprised of his situation is a great example of how cruelly incompetent the U.S. war in Afghanistan has been at every stage. I’m convinced that the entire thing, after the initial scattering of Al Qaeda in 2001, was just a political project of the arms industry, careerist generals, and a handful of navel gazing midwits in DC think tanks. They have all been happy to engage in endless human sacrifice of both Afghans and working-class Americans for the ultimate purpose of not looking like losers in the media and at their elite social gatherings. These are truly detestable people: simultaneously feckless and brutal. It would be wrong to call them evil because even evil requires some emotional depth. If they had any honour they would commit ritual hara-kiri in penance for their terrible crimes against humanity. At bare minimum they should shut up and lay low for the rest of their lives. Instead, they’re still around, haranguing and lecturing everyone else, all while failing further upwards with the help of their friends.
China and Russia have moved closer to together over Afghanistan, fearing that it could be used as a base by Salafist extremists to destabilize both of those countries. How much merit is there in these fears?
The Taliban’s leadership seems to want to govern in some sustainable fashion and avoid the series of unfortunate events that led to its last overthrow in 2001. Doing so will require ensuring that their country does not once again become a security threat for the rest of the world, including its neighbours. It is unclear though to what extent they are actually capable of exerting control over the entire country, keeping their rank-and-file in order, or preventing others from using their territory as a launching pad for external attacks. One thing I would say about China and Russia is that if they do have a problem in Afghanistan they will deal with it quickly and then leave, most likely with either the cooperation or acquiescence of whoever is in power in Kabul. Neither will try to reshape Afghanistan in their preferred ideological image. If the U.S. had followed such a path and simply taken out Al Qaeda and walked away decades ago, they could have justifiably declared victory in this war. It would have been better for Afghans as well as they would have been spared twenty years of pointless bloodshed.
Where does Afghanistan go from here? Is its fate the further erosion of the Hazara community, and varied Tajik resistance? Will the Taliban's victory embolden their cousins in neighbouring Pakistan?
The Taliban is not a national liberation movement. Neither they, nor any other group, can claim legitimacy, let alone popularity across the entire country. Unfortunately, they have also declined the pragmatic path of forming national government that would give other Afghans a stake in the coming political order. They are ruling according to the principle of winner takes all. As such, it is very likely that further division and even violence are in Afghanistan’s future. That said it seems like at least one factor militating against major conflict is people’s collective fatigue after so many decades of fighting. I suspect this played a role in the Afghan army’s decision to dissolve itself rather than not pointlessly die in the Taliban offensive that took place this summer.
The situation in Pakistan is different. The Pakistani Taliban (TTP) suffered devastating losses during counterinsurgency campaigns launched by the Pakistani military over the past decade, accomplished in part with the assistance of U.S. drone operators to whom they were feeding intelligence. It was widely believed by Pakistanis that the TTP was backed by the intelligence agency of the previous Afghan government, which now no longer exists. I doubt the Pakistani Taliban has the capacity to do anything like what it did in the early-2010s, when it seemed to really threaten the state. That said what happened in Afghanistan is an ideological inspiration to many people across the region and the world, Islamists and otherwise, who dream of overthrowing their regimes and establishing a new order.
Does the American Pivot to East Asia mean that Iran takes a lesser role in US foreign policy calculus? What about Saudi Arabia? And what of Israel? 9/11 was a propaganda boon for them, but that is receding into history as fervour for their state is dissipating among their cousins in the USA.
U.S. foreign policy operates on a pay-to-play model. There is nothing more high-minded or even conspiratorial going on than that. Foreign elites pay for access and receive services. Some of the most influential ambassadors in Washington are from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, countries that have scarcely anything culturally in common with the United States and who have tiny and electorally inconsequential diasporas here. They just have money and are operating in a situation where everyone is willing to be bought, so they get what they want. Israel is the same. I do not agree with the contention that a grassroots domestic Israel lobby plays a decisive role in driving what the U.S. does in the Middle East. U.S. policy on Israel is mainly driven by a few influential political donors and well-funded front organizations masquerading as think thanks. Israel’s biggest base of domestic support in the United States comes from evangelical Protestant movements whose leaders are utterly corrupt and as interested in cashing in as anyone else. It’s all a big club and you’re not invited. Nothing is going to change because none of America’s policies in the Middle East were ever about U.S. national interests anyways. It’s about a handful of people who are focused on continuing to get paid, having interesting jobs that allow them to travel and feel important, and coming up with ever more elaborate arguments to justify this arrangement.
George Washington died at Pearl Harbour so that Thomas Jefferson could argue in favour of freedom of speech, which means that I get to call you a Paki, as is my God-given right to do so. Don't Tread on Me, Paki!
You can continue enjoying this frivolous “free speech” until the Sharia is established, after which speech will correctly no longer be free and further such antics will be dealt with appropriately.
What physiological changes do you experience when you see an attractive blonde woman, besides the obvious one? Do you experience a heart arrhythmia? Do you struggle to find words to use to express yourself? Does "AWOOGA AWOOGA" force itself naturally out of your mouth? Are you at all self-aware? Or is it all involuntary?
I'm going to say something a bit harsh, but I intend it as a constructive criticism. Perhaps my biggest complaint with many fresh-off-the-boat immigrants and men living abroad is this overpowering and cringeworthy sexual desire for white women, particularly the powerful female blonde archetype to whom you have just made reference. Thanks to the internet, millions of these men have also gone out of their way to advertise to the world their depraved longings and undignified simping, humiliating themselves and their nations (“send bobs”) to chase after a fantastical object of desire that exists almost entirely in their imaginations. I blame the satanic influences of global mass media and internet pornography for spreading this neurosis. As a rule, those of us who grew up here are well are aware of the ordinary flaws and shortcomings of white people, including attractive blonde women, and are not any more or less interested in them than anyone else. I would say most are indifferent.
As an aside I want to address the issue of sexually predatory “grooming gangs,” some of whose members were British citizens of Pakistani origin. This is an issue of which many of your readers are keenly interested and may be held up by some as a counterpoint to what I’ve stated above. This phenomenon does not reflect some universal truth about race war, and it also is not a product of Islam which by its law harshly punishes such offenses. It’s about gangsterism and cultural decline in the post-industrial wastes of northern England, and has many parallels in other parts of the world where the variables at play are entirely different. A civilized society would respond to such an outrage with what God prescribes, upholding the command to maintain justice on Earth and sending an unforgettable deterrent message to those who would engage in such crimes in future.
There is nothing more mysterious than blood. Paracelsus considered it a condensation of light. I believe that the Aryan, Hyperborean blood is that – but not the light of the Golden Sun, not of a galactic sun, but of the light of the Black Sun, of the Green Ray.
Thank you. So true!
Finish this sentence: "He is even worse than a Jew, he is, may Allah forgive me for uttering this word, a/an ------------"
There is no way I can answer such a question appropriately so I’m just going to say it: Journalist.