Tag Archive | Afghanistan

Obama and McCain: same crap, different smell.

Distantly observing the US election race this year, I find it odd when I come across some non-Americans getting excited about the whole process. I can’t help but think that no matter who comes into power, Obama or McCain, it’s not really going to change much for the rest of the world.

The future president of the United States and chief of army staff is going to base decisions on what’s best for the United States. Obama and McCain may disagree on when it’s best for the American troops to be pulled out of Iraq; they may disagree on the tactics and styles suitable to win the ‘hearts and minds’ of the people across the Muslim world; they may even disagree on the approach to take regarding talks with Iran. But the foreign policy of the United States will fundamentally remain the same: it will be about securing American interests abroad and doing whatever it takes to make (corporate) American lives happier. Domestic policies and measures will be introduced or revised to repay or reward industries that supported the election campaign of the winning party. Some aspects of the foreign policy will also be steered by these oh so generous donors.

So what’s wrong with this?

It’s simple: what’s in the interest of the United States is often not in the interest of other countries (a few exceptions apply here when countries agree upon mutual interest to exploit the weaker ones). One country’s gain is often another’s loss. If any country dares to stand for its interests that conflict with American interests, Obama and McCain will be required to respond according to the interest of the American people. The American media will also play a supporting part and steer public opinion to enable the future president to fulfil his ambitions.

The result: third world poverty will continue to rise, the American government will continue to support the Israeli occupation, the occupation of Iraq will continue until it is ready for a smooth transition into colonialism, the war in Afghanistan will continue until the people there stop resisting and give in to the puppet regime… the list is quite possibly, endless.

Whether Obama or McCain, as far as the non-American is concerned, it’s going to be the same crap with a different smell.

Whilst you remember Sarah Bryant, don’t forget Fatima.

I’ve just been reading about the female British soldier killed in Afghanistan. In a war initiated by the US and joined by others to share the spoils, Sergeant Sarah Bryant was the first female British soldier to be killed in Afghanistan. She was simply following orders from her democratic nation. It’s been all over the news and interviews from her loved ones add to the sympathy we feel towards her and her family. The language used in the reporting commemorates her as an aimiable individual with dreams, whose life was taken unlawfully.

I feel sad that many have lost their lives for unclear reasons. But I can’t help but think of ‘Fatima’ every time I hear Sgt Sarah Bryant mentioned in the news. I am wondering if people will remember Fatima the way Sarah Bryant will be remembered. I don’t even know Fatima’s surname. But her story left a mark on me and as I feel there is prejudice in the way the world mourns the death of some whilst easily forgets others, I’m dedicating this article in memory of Fatima and the other nameless women in Abu Ghuraib. Read More…

US Double Standards: the sequel

There’s an expression frequently used in the Muslim world to describe the west, it is the all too familiar words, ‘double standards’.

Speaking in London about the inflamed tensions between Mr Karzai and Islamabad, Mr Bush said “Obviously it’s a testy situation there… And if I’m the president of a country and people are coming from one country to another — allegedly coming from one country to another — to kill innocent civilians on my side, I’d be concerned about it. But we can help. We can help calm the situation down and develop a strategy that will prevent these extremists from, you know, from developing safe haven and having freedom of movement.”

I suppose the US strikes on Pakistani soil are different in the eyes of Mr. Bush and others who choose to stand behind him.

Yes obviously Mr Bush, it is a testy situation. And Pakistanis are concerned about it. But you can’t help because it is your government that’s the problem. And yes, Pakistanis can calm the situation and should develop a strategy that will prevent the ‘extremist US army’ from developing a safe haven in Pakistan and having the freedom of movement to kill their own people.