Friday, November 23, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Pakistan (2007) is NOT Iran (1979)There is one mantra that is chanted across the political board, that the USA support of Busharraf will lead to something akin to Iran in 1979.
There are a number of fallacies in this chant:
1. The premise of this mantra is that the Islamic Revolution in Iran was just about removing the "shah." Infact, it was a revolution that fundamentally changed Iranian society's power structure and distribution.
At this time, in Pakistan, there is no perceivable call for a transformation. Rather, it is mostly about replacing Busharraf with someone who would be somewhat less autocratic. And for the US allied liberal elite, they would like to see someone who is more efficient in killing the so-called "extremists."
2. By 1979, Iran had a well defined ideology that moved the nation - while there were the then Soviet Union allied communists, the vast majority of the country had been exposed to the talks and writings of not only Imam Khomeini, but also people such as Dr. Ali Shariati, Allama Mutahhari, and many many others. These writings, tapes, and direct relationships that the religious teachers and students had with the the population, formed a more or less cohesive Islamic ideology that the masses could readily understand, and identify with.
Pakistan has no cohesive or unifying ideology at this time, and the Americans understand this situation all too well. This is why the architect of Central American brutality, Negroponte, can go to Pakistan and talk in favor of the "civil society" - because the myriad of NGOs are Western allies, who will act as the facade of democracy far better than anything a military dictator can accomplish. The task of Pakistan remaining within the US orbit will be the same, only the facade actors are to change.
There is a somewhat well formed ideological movement in the Northern areas of Pakistan, but they are so stuck in sectarianism, that they cannot appeal to the large majority of the country. And the other large, more mainstream, Islamic groups who could help facilitate, and bring clarity to that movement, are themselves neck deep in their alliances with the feudals, industrialists, and the military (i.e. the conservative elite of the country).
3. The struggle in Iran had a notion of the oppressed rising up against the oppressors - this is enshrined in the Iranian constitution with the inclusion of this verse from the Qur'an:
And we wish to show favor to those who have been oppressed upon earth, and to make them leaders and the inheritors." [28:5])
And it was on this basis the revolution took a clear stand against the oppressive behaviors of the United States, and to a somewhat lesser extent against the then Soviet Union.
While there were pro-US secularist-liberals who attempted to hijack the revolution, their numbers and popular depth was so shallow that they were quickly swept away. During later years, these same liberals surfaced in the "west" especially in the US, and are often held in high esteem by the American liberal-left, and are, from time to time, courted by the US conservatives and neo-cons.
At the very most, Pakistan's struggle is about "rule of the constitution" and "civil law" --- while this is well and good, and most of the lawyers leading that component of the struggle are sincere. This is hardly about social justice, nor does this challenge the existing power dynamics of the feudals and capitalist industrialists who have swindled the country in cahoots with the military. There is zip talk about social justice in this movement, only about something called "democracy" that the US is only too happy to play along with...
The pro-US aspects of Pakistani NGOs and liberals is made obvious in this comment by the so-called "human rights" leader, Asma Jahangir, in her interview on Democracy Now:
" In the last two weeks, there has been more, you know, openness towards looking at US as a partner of people, rather than a partner of dictatorship."
"So I think that if the US really now -- really is a player here, which is quite obvious, takes a more balanced approach, rather than go all out for Musharraf, regardless of his massive unpopularity, finds a solution to future democracy in Pakistan, because democracy..."
When, oh when, human rights worker Jahangir, has the US has ever been a partner of the people? I don't think Jahangir, and others who make such comments are just plain naive - I think their agenda coincides with that of the US, which is to have a more efficient machine to deal with what she calls "talibanization of Pakistan."
"And people resent the fact that in his last period, Talibanization in Pakistan has crept into our society and in many cities. We are of the considered opinion that he is too distracted and too busy amassing power, rather than having a courageous policy and taking public opinion with him to combat terrorism."
And so, now what? Obviously, the liberals are, at best, going to effect a change in oppressors, while remaining true to the US.
I don't think Pakistan is going to see any major change anytime soon, even if Busharraf is replaced with a facade of democracy, the country will keep going from crisis to another. The present movement has been best described by Aijaz Ahmad as a battle between the ruling elites of country, and has little or nothing of value for the vast majority of the country.
Muslims might take heed of the words of Imam Ali (AS)
Steer clear through the waves of mischief by boats of deliverance, turn away from the path of dissension and put off the crowns of pride. Prosperous is one who rises with wings (i.e. when he has power) or else he remains peaceful and others enjoy ease. It (i.e. the aspiration for Caliphate) is like turbid water or like a morsel that would suffocate the person who swallows it. One who plucks fruits before ripening is like one who cultivated in another's field. (Nahjul-Balaga, sermon #5)
In our present day, we all may be tempted by power (i.e. the caliphate in the above sermon) delivered on a platter of fake gold by the present day opportunists and imperialists --- avoid that temptation. Our focus has to be a longer term clarification of Islamic principles - encourage Muslims and movements to take their inspiration from the Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) and not look towards outdated, discredited forms that has resulted in over a million killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine in just the past six years.
Ultimately, the objective of Muslims in relation to the empire must be to become non-subjects i.e. to find ways to think and act outside the Western framework, outside colonialism. In the context of Muslims, and specifically Pakistan that is 98% Muslim, it has to mean taking a deep meaningful look at Islam --- otherwise, what is the point of even calling ourselves those who seek to surrender towards the will of Allah (Muslim)?
Inshallah Pakistan, and all other oppressed peoples will soon be free of the yoke of imperialism, neo-colonialism, feudalism, capitalism, and our own internalized oppressions.
Al Ajal Al Ajal!
Friday, November 09, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
the unsung victims of the puppetThe opportunist secularist liberal-left is now going to clamor all over because the puppet Busharraf has arrested a whole bunch of secular liberals in Pakistan. Before going further, I will say that amongst those arrested are some very principled individuals such as the Chief Justice of Pakistan, and many rank and file lawyers who come from strong working class backgrounds.
There are also many opportunistic hypocritical liberals who also somehow got arrested. These individuals would rather that Busharraf do an all out slaughter in the northern areas of Pakistan, as he did in the case of Lal Masjid --- these opportunist secularists deserve no sympathy, and no tears, they got the blow back they deserved.
The most articulate voice in this clamor is that of Juan Cole - he makes it clear about what he wants the puppet to do:
"In fact, the Muslim extremists are in the tribal areas, and in the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP) and the hardscrabble towns and villages of northern Punjab. If you were worried about the extremists, you'd declare martial law in the NWFP and the tribal areas."
Perhaps Cole and other liberals missed the fact that Busharraf, over the past few months and more, has been using F 16s, and heavy shelling on NWFP, driving out thousands of families from their homes and villages. If that is not "martial law" exactly what is?
Asma Jehangir issued a pathetic statement: Ironically the President (who has lost his marbles) said that he had to clamp down on the press and the judiciary to curb terrorism. Those he has arrested are progressive, secular minded people while the terrorists are offered negotiations and ceasefires.
Excuse me, human rights worker, do you even live in Pakistan? You just found out that the puppet has no marbles?
Have you not watched the news recently on the bombing campaign that Busharraf has been carrying out? Is creating tens of thousands of refugees, and killing of hundreds (and whose knows how many more) - not enough of a going after the so-called "terrorists" for you? And if you don't want negotiations and ceasefires with an alienated and disenfranchised people, exactly what is it that you want?
Here are some photographs of the other victims of Busharraf who will not be sung by the liberal-left, nor by the western media, nor by some sectarianists - they will only point out (horrendously) that the puppet is not doing enough to kill more people in the northern areas of Pakistan.
Saturday, November 03, 2007
The puppet's high treason against Pakistan.ISLAMABAD: Opposition politician and former cricketer Imran Khan said Saturday that "President" Pervez Musharraf has committed treason and should face the death penalty for declaring a state of emergency.
ISLAMABAD: Opposition politician and former cricketer Imran Khan said Saturday that President Pervez Musharraf has committed treason and should face the death penalty for declaring a state of emergency.
Imran Khan also called on the Pakistani people to resist Musharraf's move and not to recognise the new chief justice appointed by the military ruler.
"He has committed high treason by negating the orders of the Supreme Court which bars him from taking any unconstitutional steps and by sending in troops after the Supreme Court decision," Khan was quoted as saying.
"He is punishable by death."
He continued to say, "I urge every Pakistani people not to recognise this collaborator chief justice.
"I urge the people, lawyers, civil society to resist this move by Musharraf. I urge lawyers to boycott the court proceedings."