Another day, another two dozen human beings blown to bits in a marketplace by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate. What was the occasion for this new bonanza of carnage? It was a release of pent-up fury at Pakistan for embarrassing the Potomac Poobah by actually arresting one of his hired guns for shooting people in the back in the street in broad daylight.
For weeks, Washington wiggled around in twisted knickers as the Pakistanis put CIA goon-squader Raymond Davis through the horrible, evil process of … er … Western jurisprudence, which Pakistan inherited from colonial times. They arrested Davis, charged him with a crime, allowed him to procure defense counsel and then instigated a series of open court proceedings leading to a trial. This was simply unbearable, insupportable, to the Universal Defenders of Human Rights and the Rule of Law who hold such benevolent sway in the American capital.
They demanded Davis be released. They declared that this secret agent had “diplomatic immunity,” which meant that he was free to gun down Pakistanis, in Pakistan, without let or hindrance or consequences. All he need do was say he felt “threatened” — and anything he did in response to this perceived or alleged or imagined or fabricated threat was justified.
And why not? This is the same logic that governs America’s bipartisan foreign policy writ large; why should it not apply to its individual Glock-packing minions prowling foreign streets in search of prey? George Bush and Dick Cheney said they felt “threatened” by Iraq — and they set loose a hellstorm that has now left more than a million innocent people dead. And they have certainly never been subjected to the processes of Western jurisprudence for that. Thus you can see why the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Barack Obama — who has praised George W. Bush for his great service to the country, and who called Bush’s “surge” in Iraq (that ferocious orgy of ethnic cleansing and death squad berserkery) an “extraordinary accomplishment” — would find the Pakistani’s treatment of Davis so objectionable.
But the process was the usual farce on all sides. The Pakistani system is notoriously corrupt – not quite as corrupt as the American system, of course, although the Pakistanis have not yet managed to lacquer over the murderous venality of its elites with the same degree of sophistication and ‘legality’ that our American lords have honed over the centuries — and the backroom channels were busy trying to hammer out a deal with the Potomac paymasters. At last a couple of million dollars were skimmed from a slush fund somewhere and given as “blood money” to the families of Davis’ targets, which allowed the court to free Davis. In an ironic twist, it was only the application of Islamic law — the ancient practice of paying compensation for unlawful killing (which long predates Islam, of course; you can find it in the Bible as well) — that brought about this face-saving deal for Washington.
But as soon as Davis was safely out of the country, the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate unleashed one of the most violent drone barrages against Pakistan in many months. The Peacely one sent his courageous unmanned robot missiles — fired by courageous warriors sitting in padded seats thousands of miles away — to attack … what else? … a peace conference in northwest Pakistan.
Local tribal elders were meeting to settle a dispute over a mine in the area. The meeting was attended by members of the local Pakistani Taliban — a group now at peace with the Pakistani government. Pakistan’s military chief, General Ashfaq Kayani, issued what the NY Times called “an unusual and unusually strong condemnation” of the slaughter. The Guardian provided this quote:
“It is highly regrettable that a jirga of peaceful citizens including elders of the area was carelessly and callously targeted with complete disregard to human life,” said Kayani. “In complete violation of human rights, such acts of violence take us away from our objective of elimination of terrorism.”
The meeting was being held in an open marketplace. The attack killed 26 people, according to the latest count; more than half of them were elders and tribesmen who had no connection to the local Taliban.
But what of that? The fact that the meeting represented local people, from various conflicting factions, coming together to try to work out their differences peacefully among themselves was probably one of the most compelling reasons to our imperial overlords for launching the attack in the first place. For in the end, what they really object to, what they really despise, and fear, is not religious extremism or terrorism or “Islamofascism” — all of which our bipartisan American elites have supported, in various guises in various places, for decades. No, what really sticks in their craw is the idea that anybody — in any area that our witless leaders consider “strategic” for one reason or another — should try to work out their own destiny, on their own terms, outside of the dictation and dominion of the militarist oligarchy that rules the United States.
So the jirga itself was objectionable, and had to be slapped down; just as Pakistan as a nation had to be slapped around for tweaking the Emperor’s nose over the street-shooter Raymond Davis. The result was the same as always: the blood, bones and viscera of innocent people splattered across their home streets by death-technologies wielded by the utter, craven, quaking cowards who strut in the pomps of power back in Washington.
Meanwhile, across the border from the ongoing slaughter of hundreds and hundreds of innocent people in a patently illegal “secret” war inside the sovereign territory of an American ally, the “good war” in Afghanistan continues its harvest of children chewed up by the Peace Laureate.
This week, two more youngsters were shredded into clumps of lifeless flesh by the occupation forces — in the same province where the forces of the Peace Laureate killed nine children just weeks ago. Reuters reports:
An air strike by NATO-led forces killed two children as they were watering fields in Afghanistan’s eastern Kunar province late on Monday, an Afghan official and lawmaker said. …
Abdul Marjan, district chief of Chawki in Kunar where the two brothers, aged 10 and 15, where killed on Monday, said the boys had been working on irrigation channels before they were hit. …
Shahzada Shahid, a lawmaker from Kunar, said the pair were students who had gone out to help work their father’s fields. Irrigation agreements between villagers in the area mean the family’s land gets access to river water only in the evening.
These boys were killed for the crime of going to get water for their families, on their own land, in their own country.
They were killed for this “crime” 10 years after an attack in the United States that the American government itself has declared was carried out by a gang based in Pakistan, Germany and the United States, without a single Afghan among them. There is not a single shred of legal or moral justification for this decade-long frenzy of murder and war-profiteering. It is just as illegal as the drone campaign in Pakistan, just as illegal as the invasion of Iraq.
But the Peace Laureate says that we must keep on killing unarmed, defenseless, unsuspecting 10-year-old boys on their own land in their own country. This, we are told, will keep us safe. This, we are told, will keep us great. This is what the glory and grandeur of the bipartisan American imperium rests upon: the murder of children in illegal wars.