Was Pakistan being dishonest about withholding intelligence on the whereabouts of OBL? Azeem Ibrahim argues that because of the the inter-institutional dynamics between the Pakistani military, the ISI and the government it’s highly unlikely that information about Bin Laden would not have been shared or even bubbled up to the top. And even if it had, it is unlikely that Pakistan would have taken any short term action to spare themselves the long term embarrassment:
Unlike any given government, the military and the ISI were guaranteed to survive the transition from democracy to dictatorship, or vice versa. This has allowed the army and the ISI to become culturally and organizationally distinct from the government, and from government oversight.
Nadeem Paracha does satire so well, we would like to see him do more. This is a cross-post by Nadeem from the Dawn
ISLAMABAD: In a daring raid, Saudi Special Forces arrested renegade Afghan leader, Mullah Omar, from a famous five-star hotel located in one of Pakistan’s most popular vacation spots – Bhurban.
The news spread like wildfire and people were seen cursing the Pakistani government for allowing the Americans to undermine Pakistan’s sovereignty – again.
However, when it became clear that the raid was not conducted by the Americans but the Saudis, the frowns turned into smiles and many were heard saying, ‘Jazzakallah!’
Only minutes after the raid, Pakistan’s prime minister and Army Chief appeared on state-owned television and congratulated the nation and thanked the Saudi regime for helping Pakistan in its war against terror.
The Bangladeshi International Crimes Tribunals are seen by many in the American-Anglo alliance as being a nuisance. The genocide allegedly committed by Pakistan’s military and its collaborators during the 1971 Liberation War is seen as a Cold War by-product which should be left well alone.
During the Bush era, right wing American institutes like the Heritage Foundation and the Hudson Institute have been downplaying accusations of Pakistan’s war crimes because they believe they are detrimental to US-Pakistani interests. A few years ago some US academics, who are closely linked to US and Pakistan’s foreign policy, argued that the tribunals are being supported by old Communists with no public backing. Nonsense, the majority of Bangladesh support it.
Ghaffar Husain of Quilliam has an explosively (no pun intended) good write-up in the Telegraph on challenging the radicalisation narrative, the myth-making and the wilful obtuseness and masquerading which surrounds Al-Qaeda in the aftermath of the death of Bin Laden.
But in order to attract wider support in Muslim societies al-Qaeda strategists sought to presents themselves as defenders of Muslim causes and the alternative to the corrupt and dictatorial regimes in the MENA region and beyond. By targeting the far enemy (the west) they sought to tap into existing anti-western sentiment and popularise their narrative which interprets all western actions as being motivated by a hatred of Islam and Muslims. This was how western interventions to liberate Kuwait and Kosovo were interpreted. However, when al-Qaeda was allowed to govern some regions in Iraq at the height of the insurgency they immediately alienated the locals with their harsh stipulations and barbaric punishments. Since then, they have been in deep decline.
we at the spittoon seem spend a lot of time both criticising people who appear to be disingenuous, swivel-eyed fundamentalist weasels and their stooges, as well as calling for honest, open-hearted dialogue and support for a stronger, more liberal society in which both jews and muslims have a role to play, not just as citizens, but as jews and muslims. we believe both in the robust defence of liberty and the principles of democracy as well as aspiring to a better, more peaceful future in which people of differing religions, cultures and points of view will be able to live together – call it a messianic vision, if you like, or even “roddenberry-lite”, but we don’t see why people can’t “sit under their vine and fig-tree, with nobody to make them afraid“.
Libby T of Harry’s Place has this to say about Cage Prisoners’ death-fetish pornography.
Terrorist-supporting organisation – and Amnesty International partner – Cageprisoners produced a disgusting fake photo imagining the assassination of President Barak Obama and published a fantasy article which included the killing of his wife Michelle Obama. Tell Amnesty International to stop working with Cageprisoners.
Amnesty International is still a partner of Cage Prisoners and runs joint campaigns with this organisation.
Jonathan Friedland on the Goldstone Report furore which ultimately is a obsession which occludes other issues which are as worthy of the world’s attention as Israel/Palestine. If this a notion that is worth repeating it is most certainly worth repeating on the Guardian.
Many respectable folks have spent decades insisting that the “core issue” in the Middle East, if not the world, is the Israel-Palestine conflict – that it is the “running sore” whose eventual healing will heal the wider region and beyond.
That was always gold-plated nonsense, but now the Arab spring has come along to prove it. Now the world can see that the peoples of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Syria and Bahrain have troubles aplenty that have nothing to do with Israel. There could be peace between Israelis and Palestinians tomorrow, but it wouldn’t relieve those in Damascus or Manama or Sana’a from the yoke of tyranny. For them, Israel is not “the heart of the matter”, as the cliche always insisted it was. The heart of the matter are the regimes who have oppressed them day in, day out, for 40 years or more.
You may remember The Spittoonfeatured a story of Shanna Bukhari, a Muslim girl who had made it to the World finals of the much coveted, Miss Universe competition. ‘Good for her’ were the sentiments from this blog.
But, today, the BBC ran a similar story this time surrounding a faux-controversy over a swimsuit round to pass onto the next stage.
Weirdly, a big chunk of the article has the rants of Mohammed Shafiq of the Ramadan Foundation.
Those of you who don’t know who Shafiq is, he rather enjoys blaming Islamic terrorism not on Islamism but on erm … anything else he can think of. In an interview to Haaretz, here is how he describes the Muslim community: