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Posts tagged with: America

Who Watches the Watchmen? on Drone Warfare

A though provoking post by Kulsom from Changing up Pakistan she writes … the issue of drones goes beyond the issue of legality. It touches on the progression of warfare as a whole. Arguably the foundation of international law, is really being compromised in favor of the arbitrarily defined “greater good.”

This is not to say that human beings do not play a significant role in today’s conflicts. But is the “automation” of warfare something that should concern us. As we become more detached and more removed, are we losing touch with the humanity of warfare. Civilian casualties become dots on a computer screen, the collateral damage of the “best worst option.” And we in turn become increasingly distanced from the reasons why we engage in conflict in the first place. nevertheless. Who does watch the watchmen? – LINK


US considered Cyber Attacking Libya & Pakistan

The New York Times is reporting that the United States nearly chose to use “cyber weaponry” just before the American-led strikes against Libya in March by hacking into the Libyan government’s air defense control systems. While the exact techniques remain classified, the goal would have been to break through the firewalls of the Libyan government’s computer networks to sever military communications links and prevent the early-warning radars from gathering information and relaying it to missile batteries aiming at NATO warplanes. But it is reported that the commanding officers balked at the idea fearing that it might set a precedent for other nations, in particular Russia or China

It is then reported that the military commanders again contemplated on using Cyberattack tactics during the Navy Seals raid in Abbottabad that killed Osama bin Laden on May 2.

Naked Security: It is unclear exactly why the US didn’t proceed, but it appears several factors influenced the decision.

Some are suggesting that the urgency of the invasion may not have left an appropriate amount of time for the network attacks to proceed. Gaddafi’s troops were advancing quickly on the rebels, and breaking into their military networks would not have been as simple as it appears in the movies.

Another factor was a US law known as the War Powers Resolution. The President has limited powers to declare war without the approval of the US Congress. Would a cyber attack be construed as assistance to the NATO mission, or an act of war?

Update:- In light of the revelation that the Americans were contemplating to cyber attack Libya & possibly Pakistan. UK Foreign Secretary William Hague declares Britan is prepared to strike first to defend against a cyber attack from an enemy state – Foreign Secretary’s warning to the world is the first clear signal that the UK has developed new weapons for the online battlefield with a estimated £650 million pounds invested in strengthening its resources

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Rendezvous with Farah Pandith, US Special Rep for Muslim Communities

Last week a few “new media” journalists were invited by the US Consulate to an exclusive meeting with Farah Pandith, who has been recently appointed as the U.S Special Representative for Muslim Communities. The usual bloggeratti excitement was held at bay since the invitation card had a blazing “No-Camera” policy, which had most of us worried concerned about this concerning hush-hush meeting but on the contrary, when we reached the destination we were told it was only a deterrent to avoid the TV &/or Press media fan-fare as the consulate preferred to have a close face-to-face uninterrupted one-on-one discussion, else the meeting was blogable, tweetable and pictures were definitely welcome, immediately putting the anxious team of bloggers at ease and right in their own comfort zone, out came the iPhones, up came the blackberries, twitter clients were fired up and we were ready raring to go.

The guest list had some 10-odd new media journalists, a few from Dawn, of which I had the honor to finally meet Huma Yousuf, the list of bloggers, (or blAAgers [sic]) was the usual fun bunch, ranging from Faisal Kapadia of Deadpanthoughts, Ammar Yasir of Ronin and Tea Break fame, Sana Saleem of Mystified Justice & Dawn Blog, Sabeen Mehmud from T2F, our very own Zaheer Sb from BiTs Online and Windmills of the Mind and last but not the least our celebrity blogger Naveen Naqvi was also in the house, who we now have laid claim to be more of a blogger then a TV personality. The star-studded bloggeratti guest list almost guaranteed an exciting rendezvous with the US Representative for Muslim Communities.
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Terrorists are the American Agents: Shia Scholars

Guest Blog by Farhan Janjua

In the aftermath of today’s deadly twin bomb blasts at the Shia pilgrims, the scholars of Jafarria Alliance notably Allama Hasan Zafar Naqvi has blasted the United States of America in strong words stating that these terrorists pretend to be Anti-American and in fact are working on the very own agenda of the US and that very agenda is to destabilize and disintegrate Pakistan.

Allama Naqvi said that there was no chance of sectarian crises because the examplary religious harmony can be seen in the Shia-Sunni community of Pakistan. He said that these attacks are rather an attempt from America to provoke sectarian crises amongst the masses in Pakistan that would ultimately lead to the disaster and bloodshed in every street. Allama further appealed to the Shia community to stay calm and united for the sake of the country’s stability.
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Blackwater ‘IN’ Pakistan – Rehman Malik, Patterson & Clinton all LIED to the People of Pakistan

In an interview with Express News [transcript on DoD], Robert Gates confirmed in some clear terms that private security firms Blackwater and DynCorp are operating inside Pakistan. “They’re operating as individual companies here in Pakistan” – so technically by all counts this statement more or less proves that Anne Patterson, Hilary Clinton and Rehman Malik all have being LYING to the people of Pakistan. Where over the past few months they have one after the other vehemently denied the presence of Blackwater and its operatives in Pakistan. Rehman Malik is on record to quit. In an attempt to soften the blow the US Department of Defense is covering up their statement by that updating reporters that Mr. Gates had been speaking about contractor oversight more generally and that the Pentagon didn’t employ Xe in Pakistan – which we all know is yet another lie, since even Erik Prince, the founder of Blackwater, confessed to his organizations involvement in Pakistan barely a month back in the Vanity Fair article.

I can’t complain much if foreign agents like Anne Patterson and Hilary Clinton lied to our people, as they probably were protecting the interests of their own government, but what irks me is that our own Ministers (& President) knowingly continue to lie to their people literally selling our soul to the highest bidder and yet had the audacity to deny the real facts while our country continued to burn under our noses.
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American forces Harass a Pakistani Citizen in Karachi

Mubashir Lucman in his show Point Blank on Express News which was aired yesterday on the evening of 29th December presents some sweeping evidences of the role of American forces in harassing Pakistani citizens, specifically intimidation and interrogation of Dr Mehvish Baig in Karachi – a naturalized Pakistani American who has been trying to give up her US citizenship.

Dr. Mehvish Baig shares her experience as a number of American forces enter into her house and harass her and her kids with dire circumstances. She resides in Naval Complex Karachi and her brother is a serving Naval officer. The first 12 minutes are relevant with the interview of Dr. Mehvish.


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Blackwater’s Secret War in Pakistan being Verified

blackwater Xe servicesJeremy Scahill writes a must read detailed report on the operations of Blackwater in Pakistan. His extensive investigation naturally starts off from The White House which refused to comment or respond to his emails but a spokesperson from the US Department of Defense denied the presence of Blackwater in Pakistan to categorically say “We don’t have any contracts to do that work for us. We don’t contract that kind of work out, period”

I share some important points from the article, while I strongly suggest to read the full write at The Nation
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Open Letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

Feryal GoharYour Excellency,

Allow me to apologize to you for not being able to be present during your address to civil society at the hallowed campus of Government College University in my beloved city of Lahore. Much as I would have wanted to benefit from the wisdom of your analysis and foresight, I could not make the journey quickly enough from the remote town of Chilas where I was in consultation with the proponents of a major dam which shall displace 32,000 people and submerge 32,000 ancient rock carvings if and when built. Allow me to further explain that since flights were cancelled from the nearest airport in Gilgit, a tedious five hour journey on the Karakoram Highway, I was compelled to take the road journey over the Babusar Pass situated at an altitude of 14,000 feet above sea level, travelling a total of eighteen hours to Islamabad.

Your Excellency, it was during this eighteen hour journey through some of the most desolate yet spectacular landscape of my country that I imagined speaking to you, being unable to join the privileged few who were invited to hear you speak both in Lahore and in Islamabad. As the vehicle carrying us made its way carefully over open culverts fashioned by the able engineers of the China Construction Company, as it slid over six inches of freshly falling snow, as it dipped into crevices swirling with glacial melt, and as it glided smoothly over the bits of tarmac which have survived the devastation of the 2005 earthquake which killed 70,000 people in these remote parts, I spoke to you, imagining that you were truly interested in what I, an ordinary citizen of this, my beloved, blighted country had to say.
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Abdullah Saad > Operation Rah-e-Nijat: An operational assessment

Abdullah Saad discusses the operational assessment of Pakistan Army’s offensive in South Waziristan Operation Rah-e-Nijat (Path to Salvation). A definite read to understand the dynamics of this offensive that Pakistan needs to take upon itself to possibly clean up the shit left by the Americans and their disastrous War on Terror


US Joins Arms Trade Treaty but at a High Price

stop arms transferThe United Nations is at the moment undergoing a very important debate on the Arms Trade Treaty which more or less has a very direct impact on the lives of everyone, specially in countries like Pakistan where there is an abundance of unregulated arms and ammunition. The Arms Trade Treaty is to control the conventional trade requiring states to authorize any international arms transfer which may originate or pass through their territory. The treaty was initially brought into effect in 2006 wtih a landslide vote in 2006 where 153 states voted in favor of this treaty while the USA was then the only state to vote against the Resolution. The major proponents of this bill have been UK, Argentina, Finland, Costa Rica, Japan, Kenya and Finland. It must be noted that armed violence claims at least 2000 deaths per day, and NGOs have calculated the cost to Africa alone of armed violence is 19 billion dollars per day.

It seems ironic that on one hand the US claims itself to be the police force for the world waltzing into countries like Pakistan trying to sweet talk its way on Anti-Terrorism offering to lend a helping hand [sic] to de-weaponize Pakistan. ironically on the very opposite end the US of A remains remains the only country not willing to come under an Arms Trade Treaty, which would help control and monitor the trade, trafficking of ammunition across the globe
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Come Tuesday a Victory of Hope Over Rovesque Fear

Will the US be ever the same again?

Since life is all about flux, we continuously change, therefore any questions of change can be rhetorical in nature.

Yes, caution is advised and one must never underestimate the shenanigans of the neconzix, but the looming victory of Barack Hussein Obama (according to these pundits and this study of polls by Nat Silver) to come November 4, 2009 will be a global watershed event.

The last time the US was this polarized was in 1960 over Kennedy’s Catholicism. And the next time would perhaps be over a woman or a Jew candidate.

The Bush Presidency has managed to drag the US popularity downward throughout the world. He lied and misled the US – a Mass Deception over WMD and led an offensive against Saddam Hussain’s Iraq without a credible exit strategy.
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Why I as a Pakistani, choose to support Obama, instead of McCain

For a few days people must have noticed that I have starting sporting a button on my blog which loudly proclaims ‘I Support Obama‘, and consequentially many friends have questioned my reasoning to opt for the Democratic candidate instead of the sweet talking McCain. Firstly I accept the fact that as a non-American whatever I say or do will not matter on the outcome, but if there are still any undecided voters and are willing to be swayed by my position then so be it, but I feel its important to support the candidate which I feel could be best for Pakistan

The conclusion I have achieved is most definitely debatable, I choose to look beyond mere words and see a possible solution for the mess in Pakistan. For me Obama represents a fresh change in the White House, it is my understanding that they both propose ‘approximately’ the same line of action for Pakistan. Obama wishes to quickly clean up the terrorism threat in Pakistan, while McCain proposes a slow but extensively drawn out plan of action, which I feel actually means a long term American presence in Pakistan. If they are both generally coming with the same mindset then I feel I would carefully put my eggs into Obama’s basket.

My reasoning is based on a couple of articles that I contributed to Al-Jazeera Election coverage. The first was written immediately after the First Presidential debate while the next one just recently after the Vice Presidential face-off. I must admit that I was unable to physically watch the second presidential debate, but the transcripts I have read on Pakistan show the general position is fairly the same
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Fareed Zakaria rips on Sarah Palin

Fareed Zakaria has in his Newsweek editorial ripped apart Sarah Palin to say Palin Is Ready? Please. He continues to argue his point on CNN when interviewed by Wolf Blitzer.


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SNL interviews Sarah Palin: Pakistani guys hugged ‘Literally’

America continues to rip on Asif Ali Zardari’s fling with Sarah Palin a few days back. The famous show Saturday Night Live does a mock of Sarah Palin’s recent interview with CBS News’ Katie Couric. Katie Couric is played by Amy Poehler, while the amazing Tina Fey spins a look-alike of Sarah Palin.


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Sarah Palin’s: ‘Blonde Moment’ on Pakistan

Saturday night, while on a stop for cheese-steaks in South Philadelphia, Republican VP Nominee Sarah Palin was questioned by a Temple graduate student about whether the U.S. should cross the border from Afghanistan into Pakistan.

Waziristan is blowing up!,” he said. “Yeah it is, and the economy there is blowing up too.” responded Palin,

So we do cross border, like from Afghanistan to Pakistan you think?,” asked the temple graduate. “If that’s what we have to do stop the terrorists from coming any further in, absolutely, we should,” Palin said.


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