Archive for the ‘South Asia’ Category

Foot-in-mouth disease

June 5, 2010

Lately I have been thinking about the growing number of international thugs, organizers of genocide, terrorists, and autocrats who have taken hypocrisy to an almost unimaginable level. Well, its getting worse. Over on Michael J. Totten’s blog, I told some of my fellow commentators that Sri Lanka — the emerging dictatorship that literally blasted its way through refugee camps to kill its enemies — would probably join the anti-Israel chorus. Well, here it is…

A propaganda poster for Sri Lanka's president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, seen shortly after the military crushed the Tamil rebellion in the north (photo/Corey Hunt).

Colombo, 03 June, (Asiantribune.com):

The Sri Lankan government today (June 2) condemned Israel’s attack on an aid flotilla which was carrying supplies for Palestinian people on Monday.

On Monday’s predawn operation carried out by the Israeli defence forces at least ten civilians who were in the boats which were carrying, food, medicine and essential items were killed.

The attack had taken place off the coast of Gaza in international waters in a bid to thwart a blockade in Gaza.

Sri Lanka today joined hands with several other counties that brought international condemnation to Israel’s barbaric act.

The reports of attacks during the Israeli military operation on boats carrying supplies for Palestinian people in international waters off the coast of Gaza have caused grave distress to the Government and the people of Sri Lanka, states the Ministry of External Affairs.

“Sri Lanka deeply regrets the loss of life and injuries resulting from this operation. Indiscriminate use of force to prevent the carriage of supplies for people under occupation is condemned,” it stated.

“The attack has caused grave distress to the government and the people of Sri Lanka,” the statement said.

Sri Lanka needs to appoint a minister in the department of hypocrisy and propaganda affairs — its surprising they have time to condemn Israel since they have been so busy defending the “heroic” actions of their soldiers during last years’ final conflict with the Tamil Tigers. You know, like when Sri Lankan commandos lobbed mortars into a makeshift hospital and incinerated almost 50 already-injured people. Or maybe the biggest accomplishment of the Sri Lankan State is that fact that the final operations of its civil war killed about 10 times as many civilians as the Israeli attack on Gaza last year. Yes, commanders from the Israeli Defense Forces should be sent to Sri Lanka to learn about how officers and their soldiers should properly conduct themselves when fighting a guerrilla force.

Then again, maybe the Government of Sri Lanka and its power-usurping president, Mahinda Rajapaksa, should just shut their mouths and lead by example — perhaps they could begin treating their Tamil citizens like humans and apologize for killing wounded civilians at hospitals. After that, they should accept an international probe into atrocities committed by its military — like the one that is being demanded for Israel. As the embers left behind from Sri Lanka’s civil war continue to smolder in the scorched-earth northern parts of the country, international hypocrisy is exploding at the seams.

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He’s baaaaack!

May 4, 2010

A few months ago I posted about Hakimullah Mehsud, the violent leader of the Pakistani Taliban. Shortly after, he was reported to have been killed in a drone strike, only to reappear in this shocking video, released just in time to coincide with the bombing attempt in Time Square.

Over on Huffington Post, some people in the comments sections are expressing their dismay that the culprit in the attempted bombing was not a “teabagger” or a right-wing extremist (nice to see that America is this divided, eh?). Other publications, such as Mother Jones, are expressing similar lunacy. Hakimullah and his Tehreek-e-Taliban may be disappointed that scores of people were not incinerated in this car bomb attempt, but they must be happy and enthusiastic to see the cracks that are splintering through the United States due to politics. Car bombs aren’t really necessary…America is tearing itself apart on its own.

Meanwhile, I have been commenting on The Long War Journal, where some of my fellow commentators have used the Time Square attack to berate Pakistan. While Pakistan has made some dumb mistakes in the past (USA and all countries have too) it’s not really fair to point the finger at the state of Pakistan because a car bomb was found in NYC. Up until now, Hakimullah’s TTP has largely been targeting Pakistanis, including the ISI (Pakistan’s intelligence agency), which is often accused of supporting the Taliban in Afghanistan. While Pakistan has attempted to route the Taliban from its tribal areas, its cities — the markets, schools, rallies, and government buildings — are paying the price in the form of increasingly deadly suicide bombings that have taken thousands of lives. During these attacks, the commuters in Time Square have gone about their busy days uninterrupted. This car bomb operation is very disturbing, but Americans should not act as if they are the only ones suffering from terrorism. Believe it or not, we have actually been lucky these last 8 years.  The citizens of Lakki Marwat — a small town in Pakistan’s Northwest that was hit by a massive truck bomb at the beginning of the year — might agree.

These new revelations regarding the Time Square plot are confirming my suspicions, which I mention in my first link, that Mehsud and other warlords are filling the vacuum that has been left behind by Osama Bin Laden, who could either be dead or increasingly irrelevant in this seemingly never-ending conflict.

The revenge of the drones

January 9, 2010

The US military should release this video to Hakimullah Mehsud, his Pakistani Taliban, and the other terrorists swarming Pakistan in response to the video that was released on Saturday:

Hakimullah has become the Pakistani version of Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi, the Al-Qaeda leader who conducted massive terrorism against Iraqi civilians…and now he is angry about the death of his own leader, Baitullah Mehsud, who was taken out by a predator drone back in August. In response, the Pakistani Taliban has released punishing attacks on Pakistani civilians from Peshawar to Karachi, killing almost 1,000 people in the last few months and terrorizing fellow Muslims. Now they’ve claimed responsibility for an attack on the CIA. The CIA bomber–a Jordanian double-agent–targeted a base in Afghanistan used for US drone attacks in Pakistan.

Here is the video that was released by the bomber…he’s seen sitting beside Hakimullah. Honestly, I find this very frightening. The face of extremism has changed a lot in recent years…while Bin Laden may be dead, Hakimullah Mehsud (who is only in his 20’s) is leading a new campaign of violence that has brought chaos down upon a nuclear-armed state.

What’s even scarier than Hakimullah though is the Pakistani Army’s complete inability to see who the real enemy is. As attacks bring carnage to its cities, it seems there’s always some police chief, intel officer, or government minister who blames India, instead of fellow Muslims, for the violence. Pakistan continues to keep its best soldiers on its border with India, even as the Taliban destabilizes the country to unprecedented levels that could lead to an fundamentalist Revolution.

It’s important to say that the drone attacks have continued…with 6 of them taking place in the last week alone. As Hakimullah and his allies continue to hide, drones are flying over the snow-capped peaks of Pakistan with their images in mind. Zarqawi and Baitullah Mehsud lived by the bomb…and they died by the bomb. As Johnny Cash would say “When the man comes around…”

The Taliban should think things through. Hakimullah has used a disproportionately high number of teenage suicide bombers for his attacks, which suggests that he and his top commanders might not be as willing to face death as they say claim they are.

Toby Keith brings reality to Norway

December 11, 2009

As the attacks on President Barack Obama intensify over his Afghanistan policy, country music star Toby Keith is standing beside him–supporting his decision with a performance in Oslo, Norway.

While I have my disagreements over whether or not Obama deserved the Peace Prize, it goes without question that an effort to stabilize Afghanistan by crushing the Taliban fall under the category of trying to bring peace to the world. Even the Dalai Lama, who many see as the most peaceful man on earth, has said that fanatical extremists like the Taliban cannot be reasoned with. Some of the European “peace activists” and the American leftists back home who have gone up in arms (sic) over Obama’s surge strategy need to be reminded of this. No amount of reasoning and dialogue is going to stop the Taliban from hating women, blowing stuff up, or wanting to bring about a global backslide into the dark ages.

From AP:

OSLO — There’s no reason to apologize for supporting U.S. war efforts, American country singer Toby Keith said Friday, just hours before performing at the annual Nobel Peace Prize concert.

Keith, whose 2002 saber-rattling hit “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (The Angry American)” was inspired by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, said he stands by President Barack Obama’s decision to send 30,000 troops to Afghanistan.

Keith’s appearance at the downtown Oslo Spektrum arena, scheduled for 1900 GMT (2 p.m. EST), has been questioned by Norwegians dismayed that a performer known for a fervent pro-war anthem is playing at a show focused on peace.

The musician dismissed the criticism.

“If President Obama has to send (more) troops into Afghanistan to fight evil, I’ll pull for our guys to win, and I won’t apologize for it,” Keith said. “I’m an American, and I do pull for our team to fight evil.”

His comments come the day after Obama traveled to Oslo to collect his Nobel Peace Prize and defended his decision to increase troop levels in Afghanistan. “Make no mistake: Evil does exist in the world,” Obama said in Thursday’s speech.

The peace prize laureate normally attends the concert, which is held in his or her honor. Obama’s seat, however, will remain empty. The president left the Norwegian capital early Friday morning, blaming a jammed schedule for cutting the usual three-day stay to just over 24 hours.

The Taliban are no doubt angry about Obama’s decision, so Afghans and Pakistanis at the center of this battle might want to avoid going to mosques and shopping centers for a while. The insurgents tend to take their violence to civilian areas when things don’t go their way.