Osama bin Laden in English
May 10, 2011 § 3 Comments
This is the tragedy of Pakistan. It has taken the government nearly two weeks to address the country about the nighttime American raid deep inside Pakistani territory that killed al-Qaeda’s chief, Osama bin Laden. And, when it finally did do so —after speaking to the American media– it did it in English. Start at 6:21:
The point is driven home by local coverage of the parliamentary speech by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani: The chyrons (text) are entirely in Urdu; the speech is entirely in English. It’s a visual depiction of the the alienation between the rulers and those they rule. It’s also a testament to the servile obsequiousness that has become the hallmark of our government vis-a-vis the Americans. For highlights of the speech, you can see this video.
All this, while the Army was putting out a contrary message: General Kayani called the American operation a “misadventure” and warned the Americans against such future escapades. This is the military that’s actually responsible for the massive incompetence or more likely, collusion, that kept bin Laden in Abbottabad.
Politicians of all stripes are calling for the resignation of the President and the Prime Minister with little said about what is actually the Army’s mess. This includes the former Foreign Minister, Shah Mahmood Qureshi and cricketeer turned politician, Imran Khan. Will another civilian government be unable to complete its term? Is there a coup in the making? The Army is good at making lemonade out of lemons.
Finally, here’s a link roundup, in no particular order, on OBL:
- Manan Ahmed’s evocative piece on his blog Chapati Mystery
- Nir Rosen’s excellent breakdown for Jadaliyya
- Glenn Greenwald asking the right questions, assessing the media’s role and the American indifference to the rule of law
- Naheed Mustafa looks at news reports and fearmongering post-OBL
- Mohammad Hanif’s spot-on article on Pakistani reactions for the Guardian
- Madiha Tahir on why Pakistanis aren’t happy about OBL’s death and what the Pakistani Army might’ve known.
Share your links and suggestions in the comments.