Suggested Discussion Outline

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A brief, final note on Magnificent Delusions in case we ever have occasion to discuss this or any related topics again.

The attendees of our 1/8/2014 meeting were shocked and appalled over how dysfunctional American foreign policy toward Pakistan has been --

(1) Not just the basic non sequitur of why we would provide arms to Pakistan to, in our view, oppose the Soviet Union during The Cold War when over the years we saw virtually all such arms deployed immediately to the Border With India (which is the basic theme of Grand Delusions);

(2) And not just America’s CREATION AND FINANCING OF AL QAEDA CORE AND THE TALIBAN to combat the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan 1979-1989 which Grand Delusions notes that America INCORRECTLY likes to remember as “Charlie Wilson’s War” per the famous Hollywood movie starring Tom Hanks as Charlie Wilson -- INCORRECTLY per Grand Delusions because although it is true that AMERICA CREATED AND FINANCED AL QAEDA CORE AND THE TALIBAN, it did so through the Pakistani military government headed by General Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq so that Al Qaeda Core and The Taliban have always been puppets of Pakistan’s ISI-military complex;

(3) And not just America’s constantly certifying that Pakistan did NOT have atomic weapons from 1985 onwards so that under American law we could continue to provide American military aid to Pakistan (our “fig leaf” was that Pakistan did not test the atomic weapons until 1998 so we could pretend they did not exist);

(4) And not just how the impact of President Bill Clinton’s wonderful 3/25/2000 speech at the Islamabad Airport that he insisted be televised live all over Pakistan as his price for helping Pakistan extricate itself from the FOURTH India-Pakistan War was immediately eradicated by the Pakistani media WHICH WAS/IS TIGHTLY CONTROLLED BY PAKISTAN’S ISI-MILITARY COMPLEX (noting that as we have studied many times in the past, democracy can NOT exist without a free press);

(5) But how badly the War on Terror was mis-managed from the outset by Secretary of State Colin Powell!!! We all remember how, immediately after 9/11, Colin Powell organized the War on Terror by famously informing each of the world’s governments that if they weren’t “for us” then they were “against us”!!! But what never appeared in the headlines was the fact that in Pakistan’s case, we were asking the ISI-military complex to throw their Al Qaeda Core and Taliban puppets “under the bus” AND WE KNEW THAT’S WHAT WE WERE ASKING!!! So when Colin Powell personally phoned the head of the Pakistani government -- General Pervez Musharraf -- (per Musharraf’s Memoires as quoted extensively in Grand Delusions at p. 311) to tell him that he “should be prepared to be bombed back into the Stone Age if he did not comply with American demands” the first reaction of Musharraf was to “war-game the United States as an adversary” which caused him to adopt, instead, the time-honored Pakistani strategy of paying “lip service” to American demands while, in this case, trying to preserve his Al Qaeda Core and Taliban puppets insofar as possible to maintain Pakistani control over Afghanistan. And we have been fighting Pakistan’s puppets ever since!!!

So what could we recommend, other than that all other Americans be as shocked and appalled as we were???
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johnkarls
Posts: 1559
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Suggested Discussion Outline

Post by johnkarls »

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1. Pakistan's 3 conventional wars with India followed by "nuking up" in 1998 in preparation for "round 4."

2. Pakistan nuclear-bomb technology immediately supplied to North Korea, to Iran and to Colonel Qaddafi's Libya.

3. Pakistani "turn key" nuclear weapons already sold to Saudi Arabia for delivery as soon as Iran goes nuclear.

4. Has Pakistan already sold "turn key" nuclear weapons programs to other countries that have also announced they will go nuclear as soon as Iran does = Egypt, Turkey, Kuwait, The United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman?

5. Pakistan's fixation, according to our author, with undying enmity toward India -- reasons and rationality.

6. Why, according to our author, is a nation of 193 million seemingly focused solely on India's rule over Kashmir and its population of only 9 million -- to the exclusion of everything else including its own economic development?

7. Why has Pakistan been the home of "Al Qaeda Core" and, following 9/11, the home of Osama bin Laden?

8. What is it about Pakistan that makes it unable to "get along" in the world? After all, Bangladesh (the old East Pakistan) has decent relations with India and is not the source of nuclear-weapons proliferation or Islamic Jihadis.

9. Is our author correct that Pakistan and the U.S. can never truly be allies because of their radically-different objectives? Or is ally status merely a nomenclature problem that should not deter the U.S. from continuing to pursue its objectives vis-à-vis Pakistan = nuclear non-proliferation and suppression of terrorism?

johnkarls
Posts: 1559
Joined: Fri Jun 29, 2007 8:43 pm

Additional Food For Thought

Post by johnkarls »

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Additional Food Morsel No. 1

What happened to the U.N. Report on the U.S. drone program that had been requested by Pakistan/Russia/China and that was due to be submitted to the U.N. General Assembly last October?

[Further details available on www.ReadingLiberally-SaltLake.org in connection with our 7/10/2013 meeting on U.S. Drone Policy.]

Is the apparent disappearance of the report evidence of informal cooperation between the U.S./Pakistan/Russia/China?

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Additional Food Morsel No. 2

Isn’t there an eerie parallel between America’s refusal to admit publicly 1985-1998 that Pakistan had acquired nuclear weapons (which had happened in 1985 per our author at p. 267) and America’s current refusal to admit publicly that Iran HAS ALREADY acquired nuclear weapons?

{Please see “NY Times Speculation That Iran Already Has Nuclear Weapons” posted on www.ReadingLiberally-SaltLake.org under Reference Materials for our 11/13/2013 meeting focusing on the Character of Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei.]

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Additional Food Morsel No. 3

Is the Pakistani fear of India justified?

After all --

(A) approximately 1 million Muslims (and nearly as many Hindus) were massacred during the 1947 partition of Pakistan and India upon independence from Britain,

(B) India tested nuclear weapons first = a ludicrously-named “peaceful” atomic bomb in 1974 followed by 5 more tests in 1998 before Pakistan first responded with its own tests, and

(C) India and Pakistan have fought 4 wars, the most recent in 1999 after India and Pakistan had both nuked up.

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Additional Food Morsel No. 4

Didn’t Pres. Bill Clinton exhibit a lot of wisdom and courage during his 3/25/2000 speech at the Islamabad Airport that he insisted be televised live all over Pakistan as his price for helping Pakistan extricate itself from the FOURTH India-Pakistan War???

Per our author (pp. 306-7), Pres. Clinton said, inter alia:

“Are you really more secure today that you were before you tested nuclear weapons? Will these weapons make war with India less likely or simply more deadly? Will a costly arms race help you to achieve any economic development? Will it bring you closer to your friends around the world, closer to the partnerships you need to build your dreams? ….. Will endless, costly struggle build good schools for your children? Will it make your cities safer? Will it bring clean water and better health care? Will it narrow the gaps between those who have and those who have nothing? Will it hasten the day when Pakistan’s energy and wealth are invested in building its future? ….. If you choose that future, the United States will walk with you. I hope you will make that choice.”

Unfortunately, per our author (p. 307): “As soon as Clinton left the country, Pakistan’s media reverted to its usual pattern. The United States was accused of siding with India, ignoring the just Kashmir cause, and acting as an imperial power.”

Pat
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Re Additional Food Morsel No.1, U.N. Drone Report Was Issued

Post by Pat »

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Reading Liberally Editorial Note =

John Karls’ “Additional Food Morsel No. 1” questioned what happened to the U.N. Report on the U.S. drone program that had been requested by Pakistan/Russia/China and that was due to be submitted to the U.N. General Assembly last October.

And speculated about the reason for its apparent disappearance.

THE REPORT ONLY FAILED TO APPEAR IN THE AMERICAN MEDIA !!!

There follows an American Al Jazeera article on the U.N. Report which was in fact released last October and two additional reports released nearly simultaneously by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

[The fifth paragraph of the article confirms the release of the U.N. report a few days earlier.]

Two observations =

The blackout (or near blackout) by the American media happens more often than Americans would like to believe and underscores the need to canvass foreign media outlets on a regular basis.

It is also further evidence of American hubris = our attitude on display for the rest of the world that “Our Shit Doesn’t Stink”!!!


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america.aljazeera.com/articles/2013/10/21/rights-groups-sayobamasdroneprogramviolatesinternationallaw.html

Rights groups say Obama's drone program violates international law
By Peter Moskowitz @PeterMoskowitz

Two new reports on the use of drones by the United States in its ongoing war against Al-Qaeda add to a growing chorus of concern among human-rights groups that the Obama administration's drone program has violated international law and caused unnecessary civilian deaths, fear and chaos in Pakistan and Yemen.

One report, released by Amnesty International, reviews 45 drone strikes in North Waziristan and surrounding regions in Pakistan in 2012 and 2013. The area is considered a hotbed of Al-Qaeda activity and is the most targeted location in the world for drone strikes. The other report, released by Human Rights Watch, details the circumstances and aftermath of six strikes in Yemen, where drones are used less frequently than in Pakistan.

Both reports conclude that in many cases, drone strikes may have breached international laws. Both also say that the White House's and CIA's lack of transparency surrounding the drone program makes it unaccountable to the citizens of the U.S. as well as to unintended victims of the attacks.

"The biggest problem is the accountability vacuum," Naureen Shah, Amnesty International's advocacy adviser for Pakistan, told Al Jazeera. "(The Obama administration) has created a situation where they're claiming success at killing the right people and ignorance or indifference to the wrong people dying."

THE TWO REPORTS COME DAYS AFTER THE UNITED NATIONS RELEASED ITS OWN REPORT ON THE U.S. DRONE PROGRAM. THE U.N. ALSO URGED THE UNITED STATES TO BE MORE TRANSPARENT ABOUT ITS PROGRAM, AND THE INTERNATIONAL BODY PLANS TO PRESENT THE REPORT TO THE U.N. GENERAL ASSEMBLY ON OCT. 25. [Emphasis added.]

Amnesty International investigators conducted on-the-ground research into nine of the 45 drone strikes they reviewed. They found that in some cases, innocent civilians were killed in the strikes. In one circumstance, 18 workers were killed by multiple missiles in North Waziristan as they were settling into an evening meal. In another, a 68-year-old grandmother was killed by a Hellfire missile as she harvested vegetables from her family's farm.

"We cannot find any justification for these killings," said Mustafa Qadri, Amnesty International's Pakistan researcher, in a statement. "It is hard to believe that a group of laborers — or an elderly woman surrounded by her grandchildren — were endangering anyone at all, let alone posing an imminent threat to the United States."

These attacks, the organization says, are in violation of international law. Amnesty International said that one attack it investigated may also be a war crime.

On July 6, 2012, a U.S. drone appears to have struck a group of people who arrived to help rescue those injured in an attack a few minutes earlier, according to Amnesty International. If the U.S. intentionally targeted those who were injured or the people assisting previous them, that could be considered a war crime, according to Shah.

But there is no way of knowing what the U.S.'s motivations were, Shah said.

In the vast majority of strikes, the target, any accidental deaths and information about whether a strike was successful are all kept confidential.

That, the groups say, makes it hard to ensure that the program falls within the bounds of international law. It also makes it difficult to determine how many people have been killed by drones.

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that 407 to 926 civilians have been killed since 2004 in Pakistan, while the Pakistani government says the number is between 400 and 600. The United States says information on civilian deaths is classified.

By not acknowledging civilian deaths or releasing details of the strikes, the U.S. government makes it impossible for families of civilians killed by drones to receive compensation, according to Amnesty International.

The strikes, coupled with the U.S. government's secrecy, create an atmosphere of anxiety in areas where drone attacks are frequent, according to the reports. Many are afraid to speak out against the strikes because they fear that would associate them with terrorists in the eyes of the U.S.

Human Rights Watch's report on Yemen, where the drone program is less prevalent, came to many of the same conclusions that the Amnesty International report did.

Both say the U.S. should work to make the facts and legal justification surrounding drone strikes more transparent and investigate when there are claims of innocent lives lost. Both groups say the international community should condemn the drone program in its current state and push the U.S. and its allies to fall in line with international law.

But it is unclear what, if anything, can be done about the U.S. drone program.

According to the Obama administration and some experts, only so much can be revealed about the program without jeopardizing national security.

"The Obama administration has been rather transparent, but there are limitations," Charles J. Dunlap, a former Air Force major general and now a professor at Duke University, told Al Jazeera. "What they haven't been transparent about is the information about specific cases. That's because adversaries go to school when any information is released."

This isn't the first time the Obama administration's drone program has come under fire.

Responding to mounting pressure, Obama gave a speech in May in which he promised to release more information about the program. But nothing has come of that speech so far.

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