Saturday, June 19, 2010

Riz Khan - Pakistan's violent frontier

This video focusing on Pakistan brings up some interesting questions.

Imtiaz Gul, an academic and author from Urban Pakistan fears going in to the rural parts of the country. Syed Mohd Tariq Pirzada claims FATA did not become a hub of terrorism until the Pakistani government signed itself on to US foreign policy.
This to me is an obvious example of the ongoing battle between nationalism and regional self-determination. While in my country the question was essentially decided in with the closing of the Civil War, there are many places where the question is still being debated, both with politics and with war.
Taleban in Afghanistan, and Ba'ath in Iraq were obviously, given the overall breakdown of "control" in those countries, loose national institutions developed over decades. Rough and weak balances that were as much cultural as "political". Most participants in military opposition to western interests were not fighters prior to US invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistant.
It seems that in Pakistan, as Imtiaz Gul alludes, the national government has been forcible imposed on FATA, where many people feel disenfranchised, and join Al Qaueda as a form of honoring and standing up for their attachment to their own culture and demands for self determintation.
Like in my previous article the obvious distinction between the two "sides" are more cultural than intellectual. But those differences will inevitably influence the perspective of westerners. (Although this distinction between the rural world and the urban world are pronounced in almost every country on the planet.)
Syed Mohd Tariq Pirzada later reminds us that the Bush administration, much as Obama's Clinton-dog barks at Iran, demonized Pakistan, and paved the road for forcing them to both participate in, and be the victims of US foreign policy. It was under Bush that the US began violating that country's borders.

[How many years before national borders are erased, instead replaced with a new international order where (as the US does now) it would instead legislate at an international level the overpowering and "controlling" of anyone standing in their way.]

The video closes with Riz bringing up the drone attacks on the border of Pakistan, which I alluded to earlier.

Inside Iraq - Iraq parliament's first session

Even my beloved Al Jazeera suffers many of the shortcomings of Western media. However I enjoy getting exposed to inside perspectives from Iraqi politicians discussing the future of Iraq. It's amazing to see even in that country to obvious differences in presentation from the Mainstream toward the opposition. The pro-US pro-occupation representative is well spoken, with very good command of English. The opposition is less presentable, and thus will probably come off for most people as probably irrational.
The Alliance representative even makes obviously hyperbolic claims, asserting the opposition is attempting to create a government on its own. My understanding of IRaqi politics is limited but I doubt the Kurds are any less radical than the opposition. But what is the National Alliance offering them? and does they understand what they're doing?
The opposition seems to want discourse rather than expediency. The Alliance representative says upfront that all they need is 4 more MPs to form a government and select a Prime Minister. He claims wanting the opposition to assist them in forming the government, but I heed greatly the words of the opposition representative, warning about unrealistic optimism of the new modern majority bloc.