Balochistan: Pakistan’s other war – Al Jazeera

January 11, 2012 § Leave a comment

Balochistan: Pakistan’s other war – Al Jazeera World – Al Jazeera English.


Who’s Threatening Whom?

January 5, 2012 § Leave a comment

Who’s Threatening Whom?

As the war rhetoric towards Iran continues to heat up, here’s an instructive map of U.S. bases in the region showing who the real aggressor is (hint: it’s not Iran).

The emptiness of the term “terrorism”

December 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

Although the term “terrorism” is widely used as if it had real meaning, it is always useful to remind oneself that the term is specifically constructed and used not to elucidate or analyze but to advance specific policy agendas. Glenn Greenwald’s latest column is a great reminder of how the contemporary usage of the term “terrorism” has been used to further U.S. foreign and domestic policy goals:

The FBI yesterday announced it has secured an indictment against Faruq Khalil Muhammad ‘Isa, a 38-year-old citizen of Iraq currently in Canada, from which the U.S. is seeking his extradition. The headline on the FBI’s Press Release tells the basic story: “Alleged Terrorist Indicted in New York for the Murder of Five American Soldiers.” The criminal complaint previously filed under seal provides the details: ‘Isa is charged with “providing material support to a terrorist conspiracy” because he allegedly supported a 2008 attack on a U.S. military base in Mosul that killed 5 American soldiers. In other words, if the U.S. invades and occupies your country, and you respond by fighting back against the invading army — the ultimate definition of a “military, not civilian target” — then you are a . . . Terrorist [emphasis in original].

As Greenwald notes, if responding to an attack by a military entity in a state of war – in a war that has been unilaterally launched on your country, mind you – isn’t the perfect definition of war and not of terrorism, then nothing is. Read Greenwald’s full piece, it’s worth it.

Pentagon releases latest security assessment, prepares for perpetual war

September 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Pentagon recently released its annual assessment of global security, and the report predicts an era of perpetual war in which peace is the exception rather than the norm. Of course, unsaid in the report is that the cause of war is the Pentagon itself. Instead, war is framed as the means by which to achieve peace. Somewhere, George Orwell is weeping.

An excellent analysis of the report and its coverage in the Washington Post is at Keating’s Desk. Do check out the full entry, it’s worth the read.



Strange bird-like drone found in Pakistan

August 29, 2011 § Leave a comment

Perhaps file this under conspiracy-theory-that-is-revealed-to-be-true-in-due-time? A strange bird-like drone has apparently crashed and been captured in Baluchistan.

Meanwhile, the killing continues…

August 10, 2011 § Leave a comment

Another day, another drone strike:

A US drone attack has killed at least 21 militants in north-western Pakistan, local intelligence officials said. The drone fired two missiles, destroying a vehicle and a compound near Miranshah town in North Waziristan tribal district, on the Afghan border. The dead militants include some foreigners and are believed to be part of the Haqqani network, officials say… “The dead included local Taliban as well as some Arabs and Uzbek nationals,” news agency Reuters quoted an unnamed intelligence official in North Waziristan as saying.

The Obama administration has stepped up the rate of drone strikes considerably. As the article notes, just last month, drones killed more than 30 people within 24 hours in North Waziristan. And of course, the dead are always, by definition, “militants.” Who needs to check, right?

Pakistan host to largest refugee population

June 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

The UN announced today that Pakistan is host to the largest refugee population in the world – 1.9 million people (source: Dawn; note that refugees are distinct from internally displaced persons). The vast majority of these refugees are Afghans who have been displaced due to the relentless wars in Afghanistan that have now spanned over three decades. The global population of refugees is also very high, at 44 million people. Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of refugees are NOT flooding Western countries, as the UN report takes pains to note:

The United Nations sought Monday to debunk what it called ‘worrying misperceptions’ about movements of displaced people saying that developing countries hosted 80 per cent of the world’s refugees.

The total number of refugees, asylum seekers and displaced persons, had not ceased to grow with the figure reaching nearly 44 million people in 2010, the UNHCR said in a report.

“In today’s world, there are worrying misperceptions about refugee movements and the international protection paradigm,” said Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

“Fears about supposed floods of refugees in industralised countries are being vastly overblown or mistakenly conflated with issues of migration.

“Meanwhile it is poorer countries that are left having to pick up the burden.” The UNHCR’s annual report on refugee trends found that most of the world’s displaced were seeking sanctuary in developing countries, including those which are among the world’s poorest.

In other words, rich countries, chill. No one is flooding your societies, and no one is jumping over your borders. No, the biggest impact is being felt by those poor countries which you have exploited and bombed as you seek to advance your neo-colonial agenda.

To our fellow Pakistanis, we note this as another reminder of just exactly how the ISI and the military establishment as a whole has continued to sacrifice the people of Pakistan – and of course, most grievously, the people of Afghanistan – for the sake of advancing its own narrow institutional interests. And of course, by “narrow” we mean those most exceedingly narrow of interests: cold hard cash. It’s been almost amusing to see the Pakistani political machinery jump into gear in the aftermath of the OBL operation, to desperately try and ensure that the flow of US aid keeps coming uninterrupted, into the coffers of the Army and its friends, and of course eventually into the overseas bank accounts of high-ranking officers and government officials. Meanwhile, ordinary Afghans and Pakistanis continue to have terror rain down on them, with seemingly no end in sight.

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