Representative democracies and autocratic dictatorships respond to profound internal crises in very distinctive ways: the former attempts to reason with citizens, explaining the causes, consequences and alternatives; dictatorships attempt to terrorize, intimidate and distract the public by evoking bogus external threats, to perpetuate and justify rule by police state methods and avoid facing up to the self-inflicted crises.
|By: GREYDOG Wednesday August 14, 2013 7:12 pm|
|By: Jim White Friday March 18, 2011 2:50 pm|
With protests about Raymond Davis’ release still raging across Pakistan to the point that extraordinary levels of riot police are required around the US consulate in Lahore and Pakistani lawyers are burning the US flag, the CIA has recklessly escalated anti-US sentiment yet again by targeting a jirga, or meeting of village elders, in a drone strike in North Waziristan
|By: Jim White Monday February 21, 2011 1:31 pm|
Just as we saw with the vaunted Bush-era color coded terror warning level charts that were overtly manipulated at election time and Obama-era rape-scanners that were turned off on national opt-out day, the increasing frequency of drone attacks in northwest Pakistan has been shown to be just another prop in the ongoing security theater farce directed by the US government and produced by the military industrial complex. Because drone attacks were simply “turned off” when the political pressure arising from the Raymond Davis affair got too high in Pakistan (and then turned back on when word got out), it cannot be concluded that the attacks are anything more than theater. Essential functions in a vital war cannot be turned off due to political pressure, just as essential screening practices cannot be turned off due to political pressure. Props, however, can be used as the situation allows.
|By: emptywheel Monday February 21, 2011 7:00 am|
From the very first reports of Raymond Davis’ killing of two Pakistanis and subsequent arrest, the insistence he was just a consular employee was obviously just polite fiction. The Guardian has stopped sustaining that fiction.
The fiction that Pakistan has nothing to do with our drone campaign depends on mutual trust and sustenance of the fiction. The ISI has to be willing to play its part. And it’s not clear everyone wants to play that game anymore.
|By: Jim White Thursday December 30, 2010 2:45 pm|
Without even a hint that they realize the deep irony in their story, the New York Times yields front page space on Thursday to a report that the Obama administration now suddenly is concerned about prisoners who are being held without being charged, possibly subjected to torture or even killed without a judicial pronouncement of guilt. The irony, of course, is that although there is strong documentation that the U.S. engages regularly in these same acts, the U.S. now condemns Pakistan for these injustices.
|By: Jim White Wednesday October 27, 2010 7:00 am|
Despite a propaganda buildup that began last weekend, with both General David Petraeus and NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen making claims of regaining momentum against the Taliban in the Kandahar offensive, Wednesday’s Washington Post destroys those claims with the headline that “U.S. military campaign to topple resilient Taliban hasn’t succeeded“. As if the destruction of Petraeus’ propaganda offensive by the Post is not enough on its own, BBC chimes in Wednesday, as well, with a fresh quote from Mikhail Gorbachev that victory in Afghanistan is impossible.
|By: Jim White Tuesday October 5, 2010 8:50 am|
In an article published Monday by Der Spiegel, we learn that German authorities remain skeptical regarding information being obtained by US interrogation of Ahmad Sidiqi, a German citizen of Afghan heritage currently held at Bagram Air Base. Since there are accusations that US torture continues at this facility (which appears to be under the control of the Defense Intelligence Agency outside normal detention practices) and since it is known that torture produces notoriously unreliable information, then the question must be asked whether the German skepticism is based on a presumption that Sidiqi is being tortured.
|By: Jim White Saturday October 2, 2010 7:53 am|
Tense relations between the United States and Pakistan are leading to a mixed set of signals today. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the US is secretly diverting military drones from Afghanistan for CIA use in Pakistan, resulting in a record month for drone strikes in Pakistan. As if to prove this point, Reuters reports that on Saturday two drone strikes in Pakistan killed 18 people. Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani on Friday addressed the Pakistan National Assembly and spoke of unspecified “other options” should the US continue its helicopter raids over the border, but a telephoned apology from General David Petraeus to General Ashfaq Kayani (Chief of Staff of Pakistan’s army) seems to have calmed tensions to the point that the closure of the Torkham crossing now is described as temporary. Adding to the mix, Iran’s PressTV trots out Zaid Hamid (Googling him brings many references to him being a conspiracy theorist and Pakistan’s answer to Glenn Beck) to comment on the situation, ascribing US actions to panic over the prospect of losing the war in Afghanistan.