Pakistan on the Brink? The Real Threat from Within

February 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

APP member Adaner Usmani in Against the Current (Jan/Feb 2010):

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THE AMERICAN ANTIWAR movement must understand that what is unfolding in Pakistan bears no resemblance to the “failed-state” proclamations of establishment hacks the world over. The danger is not at all that the country will fall to the Pakistani Taliban, drowned in a tidal wave of instability said to be cascading eastwards from Afghanistan. While sham elections in Afghanistan have hopefully helped clarify the venal, corrupt character of NATO’s efforts there, at times an unhealthy haziness still afflicts the Left’s thinking on Pakistan.

As we approach the end of Obama’s first year in office, “Af-Pak” is prominent among the issues at the forefront of America’s political consciousness. For the first time since he took power, the President’s approval rating has dipped below 50% — due largely to the far-reaching crises in the economy, of course, but certainly also partly due to his very vocal commitment to a war that has become increasingly unpopular with the American people.(1) As antiwar activists seek to rebuild in the shadow of this impending surge, clarity over key issues is critical.

The principal danger, for Pakistan and its people, is that the logic of the Long War promises to cement the effective power of autocratic institutions over its political life, which in turn threatens to suck the oxygen out of popular, democratic movements in the country. With Obama’s Afghanistan “surge,” the real fear is that the establishment, embraced by anxious American patrons, will be able to roll back the fragile gains so recently won through the progressive struggles of its people. « Read the rest of this entry »

Ending Obama’s War (con’t)

October 13, 2009 § 5 Comments

Below is the text of the talk given by APP member Adaner Usmani, on October 7th, 2009 (at the event advertised in the previous post). Audio of the full discussion, including a very helpful Q & A session, is available here.

Because I only have a few minutes to speak on the issues I’ve been assigned, I want to start by saying that I won’t be able to represent to you all of the complexities that characterize the situation in Pakistan–and specifically in the NW. What I want to do, though, is to begin from what I think are the simple, and in some sense most important points that the anti-war movement must be prepared to assert–and then start to outline some of the more specific issues.

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