ModernityBlog

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.” Abraham Lincoln

Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan

Osama Bin Laden, An Antifascist’s Approach.

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I had previously wrote a longer draft on the similarities between Osama bin Laden and other rich sociopaths that indulge their hatreds, but on reflection I am not so sure that is the best description for him.

For all I know bin Laden might just have been a misanthrope with a love for AK-47s?

Still, with his views and participation in the death of others he strikes me, at the very least, as a quasi-fascist, someone who revels in the use of violence and mass murder as a means to an end.

Directly or indirectly, he murdered hundreds of civilians in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.

So in the same way I didn’t mourn over the deaths of António Salazar, Francisco Franco or Augusto Pinochet I don’t worry about bin Laden’s demise either.

Neither should anyone else, particularly those who consider themselves to be anti-fascists.

Update 1: Norm look at this way:

“As a subordinate matter here, those of us who recognize the above difference can’t help but notice the contrasting reaction of others ‘not mourning’ Bin Laden but seemingly capable only of biliousness in speaking about his death. Poor lost socialist, liberal and democratic souls (for that is what they mostly are). In the demise of a reactionary murdering theocrat they are unable to see and plainly articulate the sense of anything good. That, in its way, also gives grounds for satisfaction: many people bothered who ought to be.”

Written by modernityblog

05/05/2011 at 23:58

In Pakistan, Who Knew What?

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BBC’s Hardtalk has an interesting programme on The Death of Osama Bin Laden and basically, who knew what and when.

Two of the participants, Sir General Mike Jackson and David Wurmser, seemed to have been brought on the show as an act of kindness, as they have little to say that is either original or consequential.

Whereas Lieutenant General Asad Durrani, ex of the ISI, seems to fully appreciate the dynamic between both Pakistan and America. His contributions are worth listening to, they are a nice counter to the naive and wooden arguments advanced by Stephen Sackur.

Catch him at 00:12:01 or later on [00:12:55] saying:

“…as far as trust is concerned, the international relations are not based on trust, they are [based on]… commonality of interests, convergence of interests on certain issues, and in this particular case there were so many issues on which there was divergence….”

Watch it here on Iplayer.

A Grumpy Stop the War Coalition And Bin Laden.

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StWC Tweets

StWC Tweets on bin Laden

I am not the only one to notice that the Stop the War Coalition were not too happy at bin Laden’s death.

StWC’s latest tweet suggests they are decidedly grumpy on this issue.

Carl Packman, at Though Cowards Flinch, ably analyses the problem with the StWC’s approach:

“However many of us are quietly pleased that Bin Laden is history.

That is, of course, with the exception of the Stop the War Coalition, who today put out a statement which had the following to say (authored by Lindsey German):

The US and Britain should remind themselves of the grievances which bin Laden claimed in 2001: the presence of US troops in the Middle East; the treatment of the Palestinians; and the continued sanctions against Iraq. All of these grievances have worsened in the last ten years. There are now western troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, US bases all over the region, and an intervention including troops and airstrikes in Libya. The Palestinians suffer even more, and have been subject to aerial attack by Israel. Iraq suffers full scale occupation as a result of the war in 2003.

Why have they chosen to dignify the grievances of Bin Laden? Granted these include worthy grievances, but to put Bin Laden’s name next them, on this day of all days, comes dangerously close to saying “Bin Laden was right” – in the same way the National Front would say Enoch Powell was right.

The way they’ve juxtaposed the name of an evil terrorist with legitimate concerns is tasteless – and should be retracted, and reworded. “

Read more.

Update 1: Ken Livinstone doesn’t seem too pleased at bin Laden’s demise either:

““I just looked at [the scenes of jubilation in the US] and realised that it would increase the likelihood of a terror attack on London… That’s very much the American style but I don’t think I’ve ever felt pleased at the death of anybody.

“The real problem for London is that after America we’re a big target so it’s a very dangerous time at the moment…

“We should have captured him and put him on trial. It’s a simple point – are we gangsters or a Western democracy based on the rule of law? This undermines any commitment to democracy and trial by jury and makes Obama look like some sort of mobster.

Update 2: Eamonn Mcdonagh has a funny take on it.

Rounding Up The End of Bin Laden’s Death.

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Written by modernityblog

03/05/2011 at 14:53

Nearly A Bin Laden Obituary.

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I was part way through writing my own short obituary of Osama bin Laden when I changed my mind on what I wrote, a common predicament for bloggers, realising that my words didn’t convey what I wanted to say, so I will leave it for another day.

In the interim here is a partial round up of other people’s views on this event.

David Wood at HuffPost talks about National Counterterrorism Center: How A Little-Known Spy Agency Helped Track Down Osama Bin Laden.

Adam Holland says He died a coward.

AP on 9/11 kin praise bin Laden death while nursing pain.

Washington Post’s David Ignatius on How the U.S. found and finished Bin Laden.

Whilst most people welcomed bin Laden’s demise, not everyone did, Hamas Leader mourns Bin Laden’s death:

Time’s Bin Laden: Wives Can Say The Darndest Things.

Stop the War Coalition didn’t seem to happy about it, as their tweets suggest and with their link to that crank, Justin Raimondo.

Channel 4 News, The man who tweeted the US raid on Osama bin Laden without knowing.

Jeffrey Goldberg on The Warp-Speed Rise of ‘Deatherism’.

Elsewhere Twitter when mad at the news, nice graph.

The Economist doesn’t miss the political angle, what this means for 2012.

Foreign Policy on After truthers and birthers, deathers?

Jonathan Kay is good on The Immortal Terrorist.

The New Yorker ponders killing Osama: Was it legal.

Over at NPR, How Do They Know He Was Bin Laden?

The Beeb video is informative, Osama Bin Laden killed in top secret operation.

Finally, Trump Demands Bin Laden’s Long-Form Death Certificate: Hawaiian Investigators Sent to Pakistan.

Written by modernityblog

03/05/2011 at 01:14

Balochistan: UN Speech By Peter Tatchell

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Peter Tatchell is a tireless campaigner for human rights.

He has put himself on the line for his beliefs many times and suffered accordingly, but that doesn’t stop him from campaigning and here he is discussing the problems faced by the Baloch people.

The other YouTube video is here.

An extract of what he said:

“Mr President, thank you for giving me an opportunity to address this session.

I am a London-based human rights campaigner who has been campaigning for human rights for 43 years. For 20 of those years, I have monitored and supported the Pakistani people’s struggle for democracy, human rights and social justice, including more recently in Balochistan.

I am neither a Pakistani nor a Baloch. I have no personal or vested interest in the conflict. I address the situation in Balochistan solely as an independent, objective investigator who is committed to the defense of human rights.

I would like to begin by endorsing the recommendations of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), which urge the complete demilitarisation of occupied Balochistan, as a precondition for a negotiated political settlement to end six decades of economic neglect, ethnic persecution and military repression by successive governments in Islamabad.

Echoing the criticisms of Baloch national leaders, the HRCP says the Pakistan government’s recent peace and reconciliation package is undermined by on-going military operations and human rights abuses.

It points out that 4,000 Baloch people have been arrested and then disappeared. Only a handful have been released since the western-backed military dictator, Pervez Musharraf, was replaced by a democratically-elected civilian government in 2008.

The torture of Baloch rights campaigners also remains routine. Promises of military de-escalation are contradicted by continued army incursions and air strikes, which have resulted in many civilian casualties, and by the shooting dead of peaceful Baloch protesters, most recently in January this year.

Successive Pakistani attacks on Balochistan are estimated to have in resulted in 3,000 people killed and up to 200,000 displaced.”

Written by modernityblog

16/03/2010 at 12:51

Politics, police and military in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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Not quite that grandiose title, but I was pondering those two countries and with the news that is filtering out a couple of things seem clear to me.

In Pakistan there is the question of dual power, not between the people and the military, rather than military and the Islamists. The Islamists chose to attack military installations not civilian ones, as that is where power ultimately resides in Pakistan, with the military.

The audacious nature of the attacks was meant to cower the Pakistani military and leave the road open for the Islamists to take full power. Their attacks were meant to show their strength and instil fear into the Pakistani military, which they hoped would eventually capitulate and allow the takeover of the Pakistani state by the Islamists. I feel that they have underestimated the desire for self-preservation in the Pakistani military as they move into the South Waziristan heartlands. Whatever happens it will be a bloody and murderous campaign.

Listening to the news coming out of America I couldn’t understand why the Obama regime was seemingly dithering over Afghanistan and McChrystal’s request for 40,000 troops, but it’s apparent the politics of the Presidential election is part of the reason. Hamid Karzai doesn’t want to hold a run-off and the Americans are using the issue of reinforcements as pressure on him, after considerable election fraud. Whatever happens any government in Kabul it must have a degree of legitimacy and the extent of fraud perpetrated in the recent presidential election makes it hard for the Americans and others to garner support for a continued presence in Afghanistan. Karzai for his part is reluctant to 1) admit that there was election fraud 2) fight it off in a two way contest, lest he loses.

Not sure which way it will go, but there is more going on than we hear.

On a related topic, a kidnapped American journalist, David Rohde, tells of his time in the hands of the Taliban.

Written by modernityblog

19/10/2009 at 15:21