Posts Tagged: Pakistan

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"Now, if the Democratic rank and file haven’t necessarily learned to love the bomb - though many certainly have - they have at least learned to stop worrying about it. Barack Obama may have dramatically expanded the war in Afghanistan, launched twice as many drone strikes in Pakistan as his predecessor and dropped women-and-children killing cluster bombs in Yemen, but peruse a liberal magazine or blog and you’re more likely to find a strongly worded denunciation of Rush Limbaugh than the president. War isn’t over, but one could be forgiven for thinking that it is."

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TV presenter Rachel Maddow’s latest book speaks out against war, but not the system which makes wars inevitable. - Charles Davis.

Such an important critical analysis of how many liberal democrats and “peace” activists speak against the idea of war but rarely engage in actively criticizing the Empire that enables the possibility, funding and activation of war.

For one, Maddow, a self-described “national security liberal” who is “all about counterterrorism”, writes more like a politician seeking to flatter her US audience than a teller of tough, uncomfortable truths. While at times briefly alluding to its war-filled past, Maddow repeatedly paints a picture of the US as, at heart, a peaceful nation, one with a government structured by its noble founding founders with a “deliberate peaceable bias”. It is only recently, she maintains - post-World War II, but especially since Ronald Reagan - that war and a gargantuan military-industrial complex have been deemed “normal”.

And:

Though many might perceive it as an anti-war work, Maddow’s overriding concern seems to be not so much the wars themselves - certainly not the non-American victims of them, who are never once mentioned - but the modern, unilateral way in which we go about fighting them. Reagan, for example, invaded Grenada without first seeking approval from Congress and armed and funded right-wing insurgents in Nicaragua despite a congressional prohibition, facts she holds responsible for the creation of all that “‘imperial presidency’ malarkey”.

Plus:

Maddow doesn’t tell her readers any of that. Nor does she advocate a radical break from the system of hierarchical power that allows a few people in Washington - one if you’re a unilateralist, 535 if you’re not - to have the literal power to destroy the world. Rather: “The good news is we don’t need a radical new vision of post-Cold War American power,” she says. “We just need a ‘small c’ conservative return to our constitutional roots, a course correction.”

Just read the damn thing. It takes guts to face the Empire, the big guns that engage in war. Rarely will you find a media personality, political entity or activist questioning the validity of the Empire, of the Super Power. Those who do, have very little control and representation in the spheres where political narratives are established.

(via mehreenkasana)

Mehreen makes a very good and important point - those who routinely challenge conventional wisdom aren’t given the platforms that those who don’t are. It sounds cynical but it’s a reality. Rachel Maddow is a talk show host on a once heavily pro-war network that still touts neoconservative talking points. The U.S. media is all about access, that is, never angering politicians or government officials in hopes that they’ll appear on and return to your show or allow you to interview them in the future so you get your high ratings, pricey ad spots, and you sell more copies of your printed media. The heads of MSNBC have said that they are “the [Washington] establishment.” This is true of every mainstream cable network and media outlet. The military industrial complex is, arguably, the most powerful and largest actor in U.S. politics so, of course, presenting a challenge to U.S. foreign policy is going to be seen by Washington as unfavorable.

It’s not exactly fair to single Maddow out but using her as an example does a nice job of making the point that even the mainstream media giants who seem to be representative of leftist/progressive viewpoints really aren’t and there are a number of reasons why this is true, including all of the silly patriotic ideals we’ve absorbed, but much of it has to do with the nature of our media and their reluctance to challenge Washington conventional wisdom.

(via mohandasgandhi)

(via mohandasgandhi)

Source: mehreenkasana
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The New York Times reports that researchers in the US are working on “shrinking unmanned drones, the kind that fire missiles into Pakistan and spy on insurgents in Afghanistan, to the size of insects”, along with oversized drones that can capture video of an entire city. There are birdlike drones, underwater drones, drones within drones, facial recognition drones, and perhaps most terrifying, completely autonomous drones - currently being tested in Georgia - which will require no human control at all.

Whether they are being used for surveillance or all-out combat, drones will soon pose serious risks for all of the world’s citizens. They can offer governments, police departments, or private citizens unprecedented capabilities for spying, and given their security vulnerabilities, the potential consequences could be endless.

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Swati girl nominated for international peace prize

pak-socioeconomy:

[Image is a photo of Yousufzai, wearing a light green hijab and a pink dress, reading a book outside.]

Malala Yousufzai, 13, beat 93 contestants from 42 countries to be nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize 2011. The class 8 student became the first Pakistani to be nominated for the prize, and if selected, she will be given the award by Nobel Peace Laureate Desmond Tutu.

The prize is presented to a child with exceptional capabilities whose remarkable acts and thoughts have made a difference in countering problems that affect children around the world. The prize was first launched at the Nobel Peace Laureates’ Summit 2005 and was initiated by the Dutch Organisation KidsRights.

The other four nominated for the award are: Liza (17) from Palestine, Michaela (17) from South Africa, Nikolay (17) from Armenia and Winfred (14) from Uganda. One of the five nominees will be rewarded with the prize on November 21 (today) and will become the seventh child to get the prize.

Malala was nominated because she alone raised her voice for girls’ education during the mayhem in Swat, in which girls were not only banned from attaining schools and colleges, but their schools were destroyed as well. She successfully used national and international media to let the world know about violations of their rights. She fought bravely for girls’ rights in the militancy-hit Swat, focusing on their right to education.

(via warcrimenancydrew)

Source: tribune.com.pk
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notfondofasking:

I can not believe that up until recently I hadn’t actually heard about the Genocide in Sri Lanka that happened over the course of 2008 and 2009. I finally plucked up the courage to watch this a channel 4 documentary called ‘Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields’. It has genuine footage from civilians of them being shelled, shot at, injured and dead in massive numbers that the Sri Lankan Government has rejected and claimed that is it not real footage but a lie. Even after a official UN report earlier this year. 

A few terrifying facts;

  • the title ‘Killing fields’ comes from how the Government would announce ‘no fire zones’ wait for civilians to arrive in their masses and shell them constantly
  • 40,000 people were killed in the last few weeks [death toll is uncertain]
  • there were 400,000 people made homeless and fleeing their cities
  • war crimes have been committed by the Government of Sri Lanka such as execution on prisoners of war [i.e. murder], rape, abuse, torture and bombing of hospitals [consistently].
  • those who surrendered were also shot point blank
  • the man behind it all is still President of Sri Lanka
  • the Sri Lankan Government has support from China who provided heavy artillery air crafts as well as support from Russia and Pakistan.
  •  in 1983 1/2 million Tamils fled but 800,000 populated Sri Lanka - 1999 mass graves were found - 600 people went missing 
  • Year 2000 Massacre 
  • by 2009 the Tamil population had fallen to half of what it was in 1983. Since the massacre it is uncertain how many are left as there is no official figure

Three things you should please make the time to do;

  1. Watch the documentary linked above if you can [I’m not sure if you can watch it outside the UK] If you are not able to watch it there is a youtube link here which summaries what the show is about as well as this description provided by Channel 4; 

    Jon Snow presents a forensic investigation into the final weeks of the quarter-century-long civil war between the government of Sri Lanka and the secessionist rebels, the Tamil Tigers.

    With disturbing and distressing descriptions and film of executions, atrocities and the shelling of civilians the programme features devastating new video evidence of war crimes - some of the most horrific footage Channel 4 has ever broadcast.

    Captured on mobile phones, both by Tamils under attack and government soldiers as war trophies, the disturbing footage shows: the extra-judicial executions of prisoners; the aftermath of targeted shelling of civilian camps; and dead female Tamil fighters who appear to have been raped or sexually assaulted, abused and murdered.

    The film is made and broadcast as UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon faces growing criticism for refusing to launch an investigation into ‘credible allegations’ that Sri Lankan forces committed war crimes during the closing weeks of the bloody conflict with the Tamil Tigers.

    In April 2011, Ban Ki-moon published a report by a UN-appointed panel of experts, which concluded that as many as 40,000 people were killed in the final weeks of the war between the Tamil Tigers and government forces.

    It called for the creation of an international mechanism to investigate alleged violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law committed by government forces and the Tamil Tigers during that time.

    This film provides powerful evidence that will lend new urgency to the panel’s call for an international inquiry to be mounted, including harrowing interviews with eye-witnesses, new photographic stills, official Sri Lankan army video footage, and satellite imagery.

    Also examined in the film are some of the horrific atrocities carried out by the Tamil Tigers, who used civilians as human shields.

    Channel 4 News has consistently reported on the bloody denouement of Sri Lanka’s civil war. Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields presents a further damning account of the actions of Sri Lankan forces, in a war that the government still insists was conducted with a policy of Zero Civilian Casualties.

    The film raises serious questions about the consequences if the UN fails to act, not only with respect to Sri Lanka but also to future violations of international law.

    You can follow the programme on Twitter using #KillingFields 
  2. Read the information provided on this facebook group which is very well put together ……. here
  3. Sign this petition 

We need to help those who need it most. These people are living in fear/poverty and injustice.

EDIT: Total killed so far 100,000

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