Ground zero


The world was stunned today as nuclear devastation fell on the Subcontinent. Enormous areas of Mumbai, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Delhi were reduced to radioactive rubble in the early hours of this morning. Both Hyderabads have been obliterated, as have Sargodha, Bahawalpur and Jaipur, by weapons thought to have had a yield of about 40 kilotons (the Hiroshima bomb was less than half that).
An Indian strike against Karachi failed, when nuclear-armed Su-30 aircraft had to take evasive action and released their bombs about fifty miles east of Pakistan’s largest city – but then prevailing winds drove massive clouds of radioactive sand across the entire urban area and far along the coastline.
Ground zero for Pakistan’s nuclear missiles aimed at New Delhi appeared to be symbolic: India Gate, the city’s business area, centred round Connaught Place, no longer exists, and destruction was total in the diplomatic enclave of Chanakyapuri and north to Civil Lines, perhaps further.
?

 ·

SUBCONTINENT: WHEN THE NUKES CONFRONT!!! 

·

by Brian Cloughley

 ·

Note for WoP readers:  The following post is a stark presentation of the nuclear Armageddon, a scenario which could beome a reality if sanity between India and Pakistan did not prevail. The war mongers in both the nuclear armed neighbours seem to have absolutely no idea of what a nuclear confrontation could entail between these two nations of the subcontinent. Or perhaps they intentionally have their own axe to grind, oblivious to what could happen to the vast multitude of humanity all across the subcontinent.

Agreed there are differences between the two. This is quite natural. Even when there are two persons, its not always the foregone conclusion that they will have the same opinion on every issue that comes into the orbit of their interaction. Simialrly countries too have differences. But to sort out opposing opinions, differences there is a civilised way. Fighting wars for territories, ideas, hegemony and economic interests is the most brutal way of sorting out such matters for a war in most cases brings nothingg but death and destruction.

India and Pakistan have been having differences on many issues right from the day both countries got independence when they came out of the yoke of British empire in 1947.

Instead of fighting a war which will result in no Kashmir, no India, no Pakistan, leadership in both the neighbouring states need to sit together and seriously make a bid to sort out their differences. If the leaders are sincere in settling the disputes, there will be a solution. God forbid if there is no solution, there will be nothing to discuss, nothing to rule, nothing to take pride of being Pakistani or a proud and patriotic Indian….. [Nayyar]


(more…)

Advertisements

Newtown kids v Yemenis and Pakistanis: what explains the disparate reactions? [2 of 2]



Few months ago, New York Times reported that the Obama administration has re-defined the term “militant” to mean: “all military-age males in a strike zone” — the ultimate expression of the rancid dehumanizing view that Muslims are inherently guilty of being Terrorists unless proven otherwise.
When Obama’s campaign surrogate and former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about the US killing by drone strike of 16-year-old American citizen Abdulrahman Awlaki two weeks after his father was killed, Gibbs unleashed one of the most repulsive statements heard in some time:
that Abdulrahman should have “had a more responsible father.” Even when innocent Muslim teenagers are killed by US violence, it is their fault, and not the fault of the US and its leaders.

·

MUSLIMS ARE SYSTEMATICALLY DEHUMANIZED. AMERICANS VIRTUALLY NEVER HEAR ABOUT THE MUSLIMS KILLED BY THEIR GOVERNMENT’S VIOLENCE.

·

by Glenn Greenwald

·

Every war – particularly protracted ones like the “War on Terror” – demands sustained dehumanization campaigns against the targets of the violence. Few populations will tolerate continuous killings if they have to confront the humanity of those who are being killed. The humanity of the victims must be hidden and denied. That’s the only way this constant extinguishing of life by their government can be justified or at least ignored. That was the key point made in the extraordinarily brave speech given by then-MSNBC reporter Ashleigh Banfield in 2003 after she returned from Iraq, before she was demoted and then fired: that US media coverage of US violence is designed to conceal the identity and fate of its victims.

The violence and rights abridgments of the Bush and Obama administrations have been applied almost exclusively to Muslims. It is, therefore, Muslims who have been systematically dehumanized. Americans virtually never hear about the Muslims killed by their government’s violence. They’re never profiled. The New York Times doesn’t put powerful graphics showing their names and ages on its front page. Their funerals are never covered. President Obama never delivers teary sermons about how these Muslim children “had their entire lives ahead of them – birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own.” That’s what dehumanization is: their humanity is disappeared so that we don’t have to face it.

But this dehumanization is about more than simply hiding and thus denying the personhood of Muslim victims of US violence. It is worse than that: it is based on the implicit, and sometimes overtly stated, premise that Muslims generally, even those guilty of nothing, deserve what the US does to them, or are at least presumed to carry blame.

Just a few months ago, the New York Times reported that the Obama administration has re-defined the term “militant” to mean: “all military-age males in a strike zone” – the ultimate expression of the rancid dehumanizing view that Muslims are inherently guilty of being Terrorists unless proven otherwise. When Obama’s campaign surrogate and former Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked about the US killing by drone strike of 16-year-old American citizen Abdulrahman Awlaki two weeks after his father was killed, Gibbs unleashed one of the most repulsive statements heard in some time: that Abdulrahman should have “had a more responsible father”. Even when innocent Muslim teenagers are killed by US violence, it is their fault, and not the fault of the US and its leaders.

All of this has led to rhetoric and behavior that is nothing short of deranged when it comes to discussing the Muslim children and other innocents killed by US violence. I literally have never witnessed mockery over dead children like that which is spewed from some of Obama’s hard-core progressive supporters whenever I mention the child-victims of Obama’s drone attacks. Jokes like that are automatic. In this case at least, the fish rots from the head: recall President Obama’s jovial jokes at a glamorous media dinner about his use of drones to kill teeangers (sanctioned by the very same political faction that found Bush’s jokes about his militarism – delivered at the same media banquet several years earlier – so offensive). Just as is true of Gibbs’ deranged and callous rationale, jokes like that are possible only when you have denied the humanity of those who are killed. Would Newtown jokes be tolerated by anyone?

Dehumanization of Muslims is often overt, by necessity, in US military culture. The Guardian headline to Monbiot’s column refers to the term which Rolling Stones’ Michael Hastings reported is used for drone victims: “bug splat”. And consider this passage from an amazing story this week in Der Spiegel (but not, notably, in US media) on a US drone pilot, Brandon Bryant, who had to quit because he could no longer cope with the huge amount of civilian deaths he was witnessing and helping to cause:

“Bryant and his coworkers sat in front of 14 computer monitors and four keyboards. When Bryant pressed a button in New Mexico, someone died on the other side of the world. . . .

“[H]e remembers one incident very clearly when a Predator drone was circling in a figure-eight pattern in the sky above Afghanistan, more than 10,000 kilometers (6,250 miles) away. There was a flat-roofed house made of mud, with a shed used to hold goats in the crosshairs, as Bryant recalls. When he received the order to fire, he pressed a button with his left hand and marked the roof with a laser. The pilot sitting next to him pressed the trigger on a joystick, causing the drone to launch a Hellfire missile. There were 16 seconds left until impact. . . .

“With seven seconds left to go, there was no one to be seen on the ground. Bryant could still have diverted the missile at that point. Then it was down to three seconds. Bryant felt as if he had to count each individual pixel on the monitor. Suddenly a child walked around the corner, he says.

“Second zero was the moment in which Bryant’s digital world collided with the real one in a village between Baghlan and Mazar-e-Sharif.

“Bryant saw a flash on the screen: the explosion. Parts of the building collapsed. The child had disappeared. Bryant had a sick feeling in his stomach.

“‘Did we just kill a kid?’ he asked the man sitting next to him.

“‘Yeah, I guess that was a kid,’ the pilot replied.

“‘Was that a kid?’ they wrote into a chat window on the monitor.

“Then, someone they didn’t know answered, someone sitting in a military command center somewhere in the world who had observed their attack. ‘No. That was a dog,’ the person wrote.

“They reviewed the scene on video. A dog on two legs?”

Seeing Muslim children literally as dogs: few images more perfectly express the sustained dehumanization at the heart of US militarism and aggression over the last decade.

Citizens of a militaristic empire are inexorably trained to adopt the mentality of their armies: just listen to Good Progressive Obama defenders swagger around like they’re decorated, cigar-chomping combat veterans spouting phrases like “war is hell” and “collateral damage” to justify all of this. That is the anti-Muslim dehumanization campaign rearing its toxic head.

There’s one other issue highlighted by this disparate reaction: the question of agency and culpability. It’s easy to express rage over the Newtown shooting because so few of us bear any responsibility for it and – although we can take steps to minimize the impact and make similar attacks less likely – there is ultimately little we can do to stop psychotic individuals from snapping. Fury is easy because it’s easy to tell ourselves that the perpetrator – the shooter – has so little to do with us and our actions.

Exactly the opposite is true for the violence that continuously kills children and other innocent people in the Muslim world. Many of us empowered and cheer for the person responsible for that. US citizens pay for it, enable it, and now under Obama, most at the very leastacquiesce to it if not support it. It’s always much more difficult to acknowledge the deaths that we play a role in causing than it is to protest those to which we believe we have no connection. That, too, is a vital factor explaining these differing reactions.

Please spare me the objection that the Newtown shooting should not be used to make a point about the ongoing killing of Muslim children and other innocents by the US. Over the last week, long-time gun control advocates have seized on this school shooting in an attempt to generate support for their political agenda, and they’re perfectly right to do so: when an event commands widespread political attention and engages human emotion, that is exactly when one should attempt to persuade one’s fellow citizens to recognize injustices they typically ignore. That is no more true for gun control than it is the piles of corpses the Obama administration continues to pile up for no good reason – leaving in their wake, all over the Muslim world, one Newtown-like grieving ritual after the next.

As Monbiot observed: “there can scarcely be a person on earth with access to the media who is untouched by the grief of the people” in Newtown. The exact opposite is true for the children and their families continuously killed in the Muslim world by the US government: huge numbers of people, particularly in the countries responsible, remain completely untouched by the grief that is caused in those places. That is by design – to ensure that opposition is muted – and it is brutally effective.

Accolades

President Obama, the recipient of the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize, has just been bestowed by TIME Magazine with the equally prestigious and meaningful accolade of 2012 Person of the Year.

Concluded.

Previous: Newtown kids v Yemenis and Pakistanis: what explains the disparate reactions? [1 of 2]

Pages 1   2

For the past 10 years, Glenn was a litigator in NYC specializing in First Amendment challenges, civil rights cases, and corporate and securities fraud matters. He is the author of the New York Times Best-Selling book, How Would A Patriot Act?, a critique of the Bush administration’s use of executive power, released May, 2006.

Related Posts: 

1. Connecticut school shooting: America gets a taste of its own medicine 2.  In the US, mass child killings are tragedies. In Pakistan, mere bug splats 3. Agenda Driven News

More from Glenn Greenwald on Wonders ofPakistan

1. The Imperial Mind
Source  Title image

YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT

Wonders of Pakistan supports freedom of expression and this commitment extends to our readers as well. Constraints however, apply in case of a violation of WoP Comments Policy. We also moderate hate speech, libel and gratuitous insults.
We at Wonders of Pakistanuse copyrighted material the use of which may not have always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” only. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

Newtown kids v Yemenis and Pakistanis: what explains the disparate reactions? [1 of 2]



The grief expressed by Obama over children murdered in Newtown, Connecticut, by a deranged young man should also apply to the children murdered in Pakistan by the sombre American president.
These children are just as important, just as real, just as deserving of the world’s concern. Yet there are no presidential speeches or presidential tears for them, no pictures on the front pages of the world’s newspapers, no interviews with grieving relatives, no minute analysis of what happened and why.
·

GUNS DON’T KILL PEOPLE, PEOPLE KILL PEOPLE

·

by Glenn Greenwald

·

Over the last several days, numerous commentators have lamented the vastly different reactions in the US to the heinous shooting of children in Newtown, Connecticut as compared to the continuous killing of (far more) children and innocent adults by the US government in Pakistan and Yemenamong other places. The blogger Atrios this week succinctly observed:

“I do wish more people who manage to fully comprehend the broad trauma a mass shooting can have on our country would consider the consequences of a decade of war.”

My Guardian colleague George Monbiot has a powerful and eloquent column this week provocatively entitled: “In the US, mass child killings are tragedies. In Pakistan, mere bug splats”. He points out all the ways that Obama has made lethal US attacks in these predominantly Muslim countries not only more frequent but also more indiscriminatesignature strikes and “double-tap” attacks on rescuers and funerals – and then argues:

“Most of the world’s media, which has rightly commemorated the children of Newtown, either ignores Obama’s murders or accepts the official version that all those killed are ‘militants’. The children of north-west Pakistan, it seems, are not like our children. They have no names, no pictures, no memorials of candles and flowers and teddy bears. They belong to the other: to the non-human world of bugs and grass and tissue.

“‘Are we,’ Obama asked on Sunday, ‘prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?’ It’s a valid question. He should apply it to the violence he is visiting on the children of Pakistan.”

Political philosophy professor Falguni Sheth similarly writes that “the shooting in Newtown, CT is but part and parcel of a culture of shooting children, shooting civilians, shooting innocent adults, that has been waged by the US government since September 12, 2001.” She adds:

“And let there be no mistake: many of ‘us’ have directly felt the impact of that culture: Which ‘us’? Yemeni parents, Pakistani uncles and aunts, Afghan grandparents and cousins, Somali brothers and sisters, Filipino cousins have experienced the impact of the culture of killing children. Families of children who live in countries that are routinely droned by the US [government]. Families of children whose villages are raided nightly in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

Meanwhile, University of Michigan professor Juan Cole, at the peak of mourning over Newtown, simply urged: “Let’s also Remember the 178 children Killed by US Drones. He detailed the various ways that children and other innocents have had their lives extinguished by President Obama’s policies, and then posted this powerful (and warning: graphic) one-and-a-half-minute video from a new documentary on drones by filmmaker Robert Greenwald (no relation):

Finally, the Yemeni blogger Noon Arabia posted a moving plea on Monday: “Our children’s blood is not cheaper than American blood and the pain of loosing [sic] them is just as devastating. Our children matter too, Mr. President! These tragedies ‘also’ must end and to end them ‘YOU’ must change!

There’s just no denying that many of the same people understandably expressing such grief and horror over the children who were killed in Newtown steadfastly overlook, if not outright support, the equally violent killing of Yemeni and Pakistani children. Consider this irony: Monday was the three-year anniversary of President Obama’s cruise missile and cluster-bomb attack on al-Majala in Southern Yemen that ended the lives of 14 women and 21 children: one more child than was killed by the Newtown gunman. In the US, that mass slaughter received not even a small fraction of the attention commanded by Newtown, and prompted almost no objections (in predominantly Muslim nations, by contrast, it received ample attention and anger).

It is well worth asking what accounts for this radically different reaction to the killing of children and other innocents. Relatedly, why is the US media so devoted to covering in depth every last detail of the children killed in the Newtown attack, but so indifferent to the children killed by its own government?

To ask this question is not – repeat: is not – to equate the Newtown attack with US government attacks. There are, one should grant, obvious and important differences.

To begin with, it is a natural and probably universal human inclination to care more about violence that seems to threaten us personally than violence that does not. Every American parent sends their children to schools of the type attacked in Newtown and empathy with the victims is thus automatic. Few American parents fear having their children attacked by US drones, cruise missiles and cluster bombs in remote regions in Pakistan and Yemen, and empathy with those victims is thus easier to avoid, more difficult to establish.

One should strive to see the world and prioritize injustices free of pure self-interest – caring about grave abuses that are unlikely to affect us personally is a hallmark of a civilized person – but we are all constructed to regard imminent dangers to ourselves and our loved ones with greater urgency than those that appear more remote. Ignoble though it is, that’s just part of being human – though our capacity to liberate ourselves from pure self-interest means that it does not excuse this indifference.

Then there’s the issue of perceived justification. Nobody can offer, let alone embrace, any rationale for the Newtown assault: it was random, indiscriminate, senseless and deliberate slaughter of innocents. Those who support Obama’s continuous attacks, or flamboyantly display their tortured “ambivalence” as a means of avoiding criticizing him, can at least invoke a Cheneyite slogan along with a McVeigh-taught-military-term to pretend that there’s some purpose to these killings: We Have To Kill The Terrorists, and these dead kids are just Collateral Damage. This rationale is deeply dishonestignorant, jingoistic, propagandistic, and sociopathic, but its existence means one cannot equate it to the Newtown killing.

But there are nonetheless two key issues highlighted by the intense grief for the Newtown victims compared to the utter indifference to the victims of Obama’s militarism. The first is that it underscores how potent and effective the last decade’s anti-Muslim dehumanization campaign has been.

Contd…

Next: Newtown kids v Yemenis and Pakistanis: what explains the disparate reactions? [2 of 2]

Pages 1   2

Source  Title image

YOUR COMMENT IS IMPORTANT

DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF YOUR COMMENT

Wonders of Pakistan supports freedom of expression and this commitment extends to our readers as well. Constraints however, apply in case of a violation of WoP Comments Policy. We also moderate hate speech, libel and gratuitous insults.
We at Wonders of Pakistanuse copyrighted material the use of which may not have always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We make such material available to our readers under the provisions of “fair use” only. If you wish to use copyrighted material for purposes other than “fair use” you must request permission from the copyright owner.

The Children In Connecticut; Not In Iraq



Coditions for Iraqi children worsen sharply in recent years as their humanitarian plight has fallen largely into neglect for focus on Iraq is not on the lives of Iraqis living day in, day out, with deprivation, with lack of food, with lack of medical supplies.
No! It is to give the occupation military a paycheck!
No! It is to give the puppet government a paycheck
No! It is to allow the puppet government to fly out of the country, and stay out, whenever they desire.
No! It is to allow the criminals in Washington, Democrat and Republican, who voted, and continue to vote for this genocide of a people, to survive in office.
·

NO SHAME, NO REGRETS, THAT’S USA

·

To The Americans Who Are Questioning The Death Of The Children In Connecticut

“Madeline Albright; the former Secretary of State said, “killing of half a million children in Iraq was justified”. May we ask H O W?

·

by Nesreen Melek

·

Note for WoP readers: The forth coming piece of opinion from Nesreen Melek reminds me of the time when any of us sometime in his/her life, some time per force but more so out of one’s own choice has to live in a foreign land, you mostly have the pain, the anguish and the yearning for your homeland.

One may live for generations in a foreign land yet in spite of having one’s life in luxury, you remain foreign in a foreign land. Why, because the inborn love you have for your home, your mohalla, your street and above all your country haunts you where ever you go, wherever you stay, wherever you live.

I myself having lived for so many years out of Pakistan, though had all the worldly facilities, good salary, good perks and all that’s associated with developed countries highly advanced social living, still had always the same pain, same anguish same yearning for my dear homeland. I therefore can feel the feelings of a lady like Nesreen Melek who has so artfully depicted her’s in this piece.

Nesreen is an Iraqi woman, a mother and a poet. She lives in Canada but with an abiding love and devotion to her homeland, Iraq.

In Axis of Logic blog Nesreen is described in following words:-

It is very easy for us to become caught up in our busy-ness, working to end a war in a land we have never seen. Nesreen brings us back to the realities of why we protest, organize, write and publish.

When we begin thinking of war as some sort of drama being acted out in a land we have never seen, Nesreen reminds us of the children, mothers and fathers. She reminds us of the terrible details of what the U.S. has wrought in the war on the people of Iraq … the lost child trying to find a familiar face, the shocked mother, staggering aimlessly down a cratered street … the father, staring in disbelief at the body of his child in the back of a pickup truck, the poisoning of Iraqi soil with depleted uranium, the massive destruction on Iraq’s infrastructure and economy.

Living in faraway lands, one can feel the feelings of the writer for her dreamland called Iraq, yearning for her country, a country which was first occupied by Saddam Hussain’s brutal dictatorship and then invaded twice  by the Neoconic cabal under Bush the junior that ruled United States from 2001-2009.
And here now what Nesreen writes… [Nayyar]

(more…)

Connecticut school shooting: America gets a taste of its own medicine



Driven by hate, another home grown terrorist goes on the rampage – this would have been the headline if Adam Lanza had been called Mohammed Lanza. Similar headlines were seen after the Oklahoma bombings; the media spared no time in tarnishing the Muslims even before the basic facts were known.
Like Timothy McVeigh and Anders Breivik, Adam Lanza is also white with Christian heritage. Will the media now scrutinise the link between the ethnicity and religion of these men and the acts of gratuitous violence?
In the image above President Barack Obama wipes his eye as he talks about the Connecticut elementary school shooting, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012, in the White House briefing room in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
·

ONE MAN’S COLLATERAL DAMAGEANOTHER MAN’S CHILD !

·

by Yamin Zakaria

·

Gulam Mitha, my friend from Calgary, Canada, has sent me mail that includes an Op-ed from Yamin Zakaria. In the mail Mitha has also inserted the URL of Yamin Zakaria’s blog. Since I know Mitha himself knows the value of words especially when expressed by people who delve deep into matters that afflict our human societies, therefore, I straightaway browsed into Yamin’s blog and found, whatever, he writes there, carries the punch.

And dear readers, this is what he sent to me and I’m putting it up here. After you have read this Op-ed, browse also for other posts on his site. I am pretty sure you will fully agree when you have gone through a few of his pieces. Plz do send me your comments, views and observations about all what he writes.

At this juncture when the year is closing to an end, I wish to express my very good wishes to all of your dear readers, and hope that new year will be the year where occurence of events such as of Newtown will not be repeated. However, this hope cannot and will not translate into a non violence America until and unless Americans need to ask what motivates such individuals to commit massacres. What ideas and values have been injected in their minds?

There is no Al-Qaeda here, no radical Imams, there is no foreign influence. Therefore, America needs to look in the mirror for answers which may pose a degree of challenge for a society that has a culture of blaming outsiders. [Nayyar] (more…)

%d bloggers like this: