Sunday, June 12, 2005

With Friends Like These....

The recent terrorism-related arrests of two Pakistani émigrés in Lodi, CA (a mere 150 miles due south of the Hammer Cave) has prompted the SF Comical to highlight the Pakistani government's overall role in helping the US stop the fermentation and spreading of Islamofascist terrorism. This "help" seems largely to consist of military strongman Pervez Musharraf putting on a brave face and doing the best he can, while his own army and intel agencies actively thwart his efforts and may even be conspiring to assassinate him. To make matters worse, a sizable majority of Pakistani citizens has indicated their active hostility to the US and its policies many times since 9/11.

A federal investigation into possible links between a Lodi man arrested this week and a terrorist camp in Pakistan has raised questions about the involvement of America's principal ally in the region in networks that train terrorists.

According to the FBI affidavit outlining charges against Hamid Hayat, the 22-year-old said he was trained "to kill Americans" -- even using photos of President Bush and other U.S. officials as target practice -- at a camp called Tamal near Rawalpindi, a city just outside the capital of Islamabad.

That assertion raised eyebrows among terrorism experts because Rawalpindi is home to the Pakistani army's general headquarters and also is the site of President Pervez Musharraf's official residence.

That sure is a coinkydink, doncha think?

A Pakistani senior foreign ministry official, Naeem Khan, rejected the assertion this week. "There are no training camps in Pakistan," he said. "We are the frontline state in the fight against terrorism. How could we allow such camps in our country?"

But a number of experts on Pakistan said such training camps -- many of them formed to feed insurgencies in Afghanistan and Kashmir -- do exist in some parts of the country and in the part of Kashmir under Pakistan's control even as the Musharraf government works with the United States to combat terrorists.

Michael Krepon, director of the South Asia project at the Henry L. Stimson Center, a Washington, D.C., think tank that studies international security issues, said "many thousands" of young would-be recruits to al Qaeda and other extremist groups cycle through camps in various parts of the country.

I have no idea why Naeem Khan would be vociferously insisting that there are "no training camps in Pakistan". That's a tall claim, especially since they've been tacitly admitting for quite some time that they can only do so much about this problem.

Al Qaeda has long maintained a support network in Pakistan's remote, mountainous border with Afghanistan, and most experts believe that clandestine training sites operated by different jihadi organizations are concentrated in the fiercely independent North-West Frontier Province, in Waziristan, in the Punjab and in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir.

You know, every stinking time I read some sort of nutshell analysis of how things are in this benighted shithole of a country, it never fails to stress the point that the North-West Frontier Province and Waziristan (where bin Laden is widely assumed to be hiding out) are "fiercely independent". What the fuck does that mean? Are the part of the federal jurisdiction of the national government or aren't they? Are they subject to the same laws and civil code or aren't they? Are the Pakistani Army going to step in and do something about this bullshit, or do we have to wait for another group of the closet-case lunatics to kill another 3,000 Americans?

Of course, it might help if the army and the ISI (Pakistani intel agency) wasn't in cahoots with these fuckers.

Think I'm being a bit harsh, calling Pakistan a "benighted shithole"? Have you read the story of Mukhtar Mai?

A Pakistani woman who was gang-raped on orders from a village council asked the government on Saturday to lift restrictions on her movement.

Mukhtar Mai, 36, said she had suddenly been included without explanation on a government list of people who cannot leave Pakistan.

"Now, police deployed at my home for my protection are not allowing me to go anywhere," Mai told The Associated Press by phone from Meerwala, a village about 350 miles southwest of Islamabad where she lives with her family.

Nice, huh? This poor woman gets gang-raped, on orders from the village council, who are presumably accountable to higher civil authorities, and not only were the men all released after being briefly jailed, but now she is having travel restrictions imposed. Because in the eyes of this whackjob cult of a society, she's the criminal. Yeah, that makes sense.

Mai was raped to punish her family after her brother allegedly had an illicit affair with a woman from another family. Her comments came a day after a court in the eastern city of Lahore ordered the release of 12 men detained in March in connection with her rape.

A total of 14 men were detained in June 2002 after Mai came forward and told of her ordeal. In August 2002, six suspects were sentenced to death and the other eight acquitted.

But in March of this year, another court overturned the convictions of five men, and reduced the death sentence of the sixth to life in prison, causing an outcry from domestic and international human rights groups. The man who had his sentence reduced to life in prison will remain jailed despite the latest ruling.

Crazy. But wait, there's more. [emphasis mine]

[Mai] has denied that her brother, who was 13 at the time, had relations with a woman from the Mastoi clan and says the clan fabricated the story to cover up another incident in which her brother was allegedly sexually assaulted by Mastoi men.

I guess I'm at odds with all the anthropolgy majors of the world that posit that every culture has something that the rest of us can learn from. Nonsense. There is nothing any of us have to learn from these lunatic tribal ass-raping fiends. These tribal assholes are vile people, with a vile culture, and a vile excuse for a legal system.

It's too bad the rest of Pakistan doesn't demand that something be done with these "fiercely independent" animals, because we're starting to get the idea that maybe they don't have as much of a problem with these terrorist-enabling butt-pirate hillbillies as they should. Either you're with us, or you're with the ass-spelunking child-raping terrorist-enabling hillbillies.

Not that I actually expect anything of note to happen, mind you -- for even though Pakistan has and flaunts its nucular capabilities, and indeed has willfully infested a handful of rogue state with said technology, and can safely be said to be harboring or at least abetting known terrorist networks and cells, the fact is that Pakistan can defend itself. We're not dicking around with "low-hanging fruit" here.

But let's quit pretending that they're our fucking friends.


Craig Heath said...

Yeah, I guess if all Pakistanis are "lunatic tribal ass-raping fiends", then their culture is vile and there's nothing to recommend against just wiping them off the face of the earth.

Much as they decide my worthiness based on the killers of Matthew Shepard and the cast of Survivor.

Heywood J. said...

I didn't say they were all "lunatic tribal ass-raping fiends", but the problem is that they let the hillbillies get away with this shit. The people who raped Mukhtar Mai and her brother did so with the blessing of the local civil authority.

Only in the past week has the national government of Pakistan been embarrassed enough to re-arrest these bastards and finally do something about this. Mukhtar Mai, meanwhile, has had to literally live in fear of her life for over three years now, waiting for someone to step up and do the right thing.

This is unconscionable, and it's not exactly an isolated incident in this "fiercely independent" sector of Pakistan -- an area that also sympathizes and harbors Taliban and al-Qaeda members, including bin Laden himself.

These are not freak blips on the cultural radar of these rural areas -- they are accepted cultural norms for handling uppity women, or members of poorer clans who don't know their place.

This is an area of the world where women are violently abused and oppressed as a matter of daily life, and "honor killings" are commonplace as a matter of longstanding cultural tradition.

It may not literally be a reason to wipe millions of humans off the face of the planet, but it also not at all analogous to a couple of idiot tweekers going on a bender and exercising their latent-homo impulses to a horrific extent.

Aside from the usual dozen or so Fred Phelps weirdos that picketed Matthew Shepard's funeral, the vast majority of Americans quickly spoke in solidarity at the horrific brutality and unacceptable nature of that crime. The idjit tweekers were summarily tried, convicted, and sentenced, where they get to work on their "I hate fags" speech for decades to come.

Pakistan's public and protracted foot-dragging over cases like Mukhtar Mai's, as well as the hunt for bin Laden and friends, bespeaks a great deal about just where the core cultural values of a plurality, if not an outright majority, of Pakistanis appears to stand. I don't mean the usual strains of anti-Americanism; I'm talking about fundamental human decency rather than mere politics here.

Between all that, plus the A.Q. Khan nucular proliferation mess, I think the onus is on Pakistan's government and citizens to be more proactive in mending certain unsavory ways of doing things.

Anonymous said...

You are fucking retarted. I didn't know people like you actually existed. Do you work for the government?

Heywood J. said...

You know, if you're going to call someone retarded, you might look like less of an ass if you spell that fucking word correctly. It's like calling someone a "moran".

Fucking dope. I don't mind being called a retard, but it would help if, you know, you provided some basis for disagreement.

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