Obama’s turn-arounds

A sizable section in the left wing of the democratic party is all up in arms about a few recent Obama decisions that appear to be turn-arounds from campaign promises. I am in favor of the decisions.

Decision 1: Stop the release of detainee abuse photographs

Torture is a terrible thing. It was institutionalized by the Bush administration and untold number of innocent people got tortured. A rather sad and dark chapter in the recent history of the USA. However, all the people who are asking for the release of the photographs sit safely ensconced in the confines of our border and are out of harms way. They have no idea what their demands will result in for the brave Americans positioned in foreign countries.  It is purely for practical and pragmatic reasons I agree with President Obama — release of such photographs inflames anti-American emotions, is played to full advantage by Al Qaeda and its ilk, and will surely result in violence against Americans and justification for torture of captured Americans who had nothing to do with torture in the first place.

The best way to prevent such abuse from happening is to clearly define what torture is and starting from the highest office down state in unequivocal terms that such practices are banned. It is surely not to make the left wing feel happy but lose Americans lives in the bargain.

Decision 2: Has denied calls for investigating the last administration on torture

The noise to investigate past deeds has grown more shrill and people are not listening anymore to the thunderous warning of the impending category five hurricane.

We need to muster all our collective energy and focus them on the Economic, Jobs Market, Health Care, Climate Change and Geo-Political disasters at our hands.

I would love to learn how all the Bushies violated the law but these are truly unique times. I want to know about the past but not if I do not have a future.

Pakistan — you reap what you sow

The Seed

When General Zia ul-Haq led a coup against Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1977, and subsequently hanged him in 1978 under the pretence of plotting to kill political opponents, it was then that the present deplorable state of Pakistan was etched in to history in advance.

Irony of irony was that Bhutto himself chose ul-Haq as the Chief of Army in 1976 despite his lack of seniority thinking more senior officers posed greater threat to his survival. But then the history of Pakistan, and indeed the Muslim empire in South Asia is replete with blood letting by benefactors and family members of those that greatly helped them. Aurangzeb, effectively the last Mughal Emperor of India, executed his brother Dara Shikoh and put his father, Shah Jahan — of Taj Mahal fame — under house arrest until his death.

The Soil

Zia ul-Haq started off supremely unpopular both at home and abroad. However, it was the 1979 invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets that saved his illegitimate presidency. The United States, who had decried General Zia up until that time had no other option but to support him to in turn get support for their agenda in Afghanistan. Zia also courted the Islamic ideologues in Pakistan and abroad. This allowed him stability at home and cash pouring in from United States — to support the destruction of the Soviets at any cost — and Saudi Arabia — to spread the Wahabi form of Islam –  a most conservative form of Islam. Money from both sources funneled to the Islamic ideologues who set up Madarassas to train the mujahedeens that spread across Afghanistan and later became the Taleban and Al Qaeda.

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