Saturday, March 5, 2011

The tangled web we weave

A reporter for the magazine, The Week (a fantastic read I highly recommend) wrote in the latest issue that the US has gone into "superpower bully mode." I didn't quite realize that that had just now happened - I was rather under the impression it had been an ongoing shit show since we first set our eyes on the cradle of civilization, dreams of black gold rocking us to sleep at night.
All the same, apparently we've added a few shots of roids to our trigger happy nature ; all in the name of rescuing a CIA contractor who stupidly blew his cover while murdering two Pakistanis in Lahore.
Apparently this cheery character used to work for Blackwater, that cuddly private mercenary firm famous for its diplomacy. Still, Obama claimed that Raymond Davis was a diplomat with immunity and demanded he be returned to the US immediately.
The glaring inconsistency Obama doesn't seem to notice is that most diplomats don't go on shooting sprees in foreign countries. But hey, as WikiLeaks has proven, our diplomacy is a little rusty - maybe he just needs some sensitivity training...

Meanwhile, US press was "forbidden to mention the killer's connection to the CIA," and being the obliging wieners we are, didn't, until the big balled Brits ran the, what's that smell? Oh, that's the smell of burning rights...1st Amendment is so over-rated anyway - oh, unless you're a religious fascist from Kansas.
As more stories leaked out, more questions were raised, not least of all by Pakistanis, wondering what the hell a heavily armed CIA agent is doing roaming the streets of Lahore.
The big bully responded like all dumb shits with muscle - said nothing of consequence and flexed. The US State Department, since the incident, has canceled ministerial meetings, suspended all high level contacts with Islamabad, and even went so far as to threaten our own ambassador with termination.
But Pakistan isn't flinching at the show of bicep - they remain resolute in wanting to prosecute this haywire American spy for choosing their country for a killing spree.
So, the question is, does he deserve, or even have immunity?
Hold on, I'm stuck in this web...fuck, it's getting thicker...
In another sterling show of intelligence, directly following the crimes, the US Embassy freaked out and told the Pakistani Foreign Office that Davis was an employee of the US consulate in Lahore. This basically means that he is only privy to limited immunity, totally invalid for more serious crimes, like fucking shooting people in the street.
However, when Davis first arrived in Pakistan, the Embassy told the Foreign Office that Davis was their employee, giving him full immunity.
The other question on many Pakistani minds is why the hell was he over there in the first place? In a ballsy but ultimately useless effort, ISI (Pakistan's spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence) has demanded that the US "come clean" about how many CIA ops we have in Pakistan. The only thing the CIA has and probably will ever admit to is that Pakistan is home to one of the "most blatant and biggest CIA covert operations ever."
I could probably hazard a guess as to why - if you read my earlier blog entry regarding Pakistan's unique place in the Middle East quagmire, you'll remember reading that Pakistan does a phenomenal job of playing both sides without playing any. They openly hold no loyalty to terrorist organizations but certainly not to us either. Given their location as well, they are a strategic stronghold for our forays into Afghanistan.
What we really should be doing is actually using diplomacy to earn some brownie points with the effective equivalent of a behemoth swing state. But instead, we trounce around waving our flag and crying that Pakistan caught us in their room breaking their toys, and now we don't want them to tell mommy.
Judging by the protests against the US in the streets of Lahore, I'd say "mommy" knows. And judging by our arrogance and complete disconnect with reality, I'd say we don't care. Even Pakistani journalists such as Yousuf Nazar have come to terms with how we play ball. He has no illusions on whether we will continue with our covert operations, of course we will. We're not gonna throw away a fun scavenger hunt just b/c of one bad egg. But he warns against our arrogance in playgrounds not our own: "Uncle Sam does not have the right to roam at will, and if he thinks he does, he may find himself pondering his folly inside a jail cell."
Poetic words, although I think they are unfortunately falling on deaf ears.
The US is not prepared to live within the confines of rules and regulations - just look at corporate America...and what are private contractors?
Our bullying ways have so far netted us losses far below what most people would expect from the amount of violence we dole out. The fact that we are hated is not a tangible enough reason to stop or curb our actions. Our arrogance is at its peak, and as we puff up our chests, the hate of the oppressed grows as well; hate breeds hate.
If I was to hazard another guess, I would say that Davis' fate will have little to no effect on our dealings in the Middle East, and we will continue to spin lies, and weave deceit and violence from our crooked nest - a place that one day we'll find we can bomb our way out of.

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