That is the imperial mind at work. Its premises are often embraced implicitly rather than knowingly: American lives are inherently more valuable; foreign lives are expendable in pursuit of American interests; the U.S. has the inalienable right to take action in other countries that nobody is allowed to take in the U.S. (just imagine: “An Iranian drone fired two missiles at a bakery in the northwest U.S. Saturday and killed four suspected militants, Iranian officials said, as Iran pushed on with its drone campaign despite American demands to stop. This was the third such strike in the country in less than a week” or “Thirty five women and children were killed by a Yemeni cruise missile armed with cluster bombs which struck an alleged Marine training camp in Texas”).
These self-venerating imperial prerogatives are the premises driving the vast bulk of American foreign policy and military discourse. It is certainly what’s driving the spectacle of so many people pretending that the punishment of Dr. Afridi is some sort of aberrational act which the U.S. and other Decent, Civilized Countries would never do.
Glenn Greenwald: The Imperial Mind
Glad to see someone point out the hypocricy of the outrage over Dr. Afridi’s sentencing. If you start a fake vaccination camp, thereby exposing hundreds of children to Hep B while they’re under the impression they’re protected (all while essentially committing treason) I’m not sure why you’d expect to be let off without a prison sentence. Unless you’re siding with the US, of course, in which case… just read the article.
Today, January 4th, marks the anniversary of the assassination of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer. He was assassinated in Islamabad a year ago by one of his own security guards, Mumtaz Qadri, who killed him over Taseer’s opposition to Pakistan’s anti-blasphemy law.
Taseer’s death highlights the difficult role that extremist interpretations of religion play in Pakistan’s politics. His death remains divisive: while many supporters hold candlelight vigils, others mark the day by honoring Taseer’s assassin. Qadri was, surprisingly enough, sentenced for his actions, but the judge who ruled against him has since had to flee the country. One of Taseer’s sons, Shahbaz, was kidnapped in Lahore this August and has remained in captivity.
In Dawn today, Badar Alam writes of Qadri:
He stands for subversion of the rule of law in the name of religious passion; he symbolises disregard for the code of professional conduct and institutional discipline under the garb of a self-declared war between religion and its real or imagined challengers; and, most essentially, his conduct is an affirmation of the state’s failure to regulate the society through constitutional, legal and administrative means.
Iran has shut its border with Pakistan as latter’s authorities took three Iranians in to custody over alleged cross-border attack, killing one Pakistani citizen, BBC Urdu said in a report.
Earlier, the incident took place when the Iranians reached Mazan Sar Mashkail, in Washuk district, three kilometres (1.8miles) inside Pakistan where they opened fire on a vehicle they were chasing, according to officials in Balochistan province.
All three personnel of Iranian border security force were taken into
custody for their penetration inside Pakistan and killing a Pakistani national on our soil”, Saeed Ahmad Jamali, Deputy Commissioner of Washuk district told AFP.
A Pakistani national was killed and his brother was wounded by gunshots in the incident, he added.
Well this is interesting.
Really good article. He also mentions how contractors have a financial incentive to review as many people for killing as possible. We’ve incentivized death. He also raises the possibility that the drone program is so destabilizing Yemen it may end up going like Iran, as in the president is kicked out and a hostile to the US government takes its place.
US Drone Strikes 2004-2011 in Pakistan
Here’s a link to a map of drone attacks by year.