FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Raymond Davis

by SHAHID MAHMOOD

Raymond Davis is emblematic of the West’s relationship with today’s autocrats and dysfunctional democracies. His story highlights an impunity that the United States and its allies are discovering is very hard to cover-up in our digital age. The pro-reform groups, rallying in the Middle East, are not only speaking against leaders such as Mubarak and Gaddafi but also against polices of appeasement that sustain individuals like Mr. Davis.

These policies of appeasement allow military contractors free license to patrol and kill in Pakistan — in the case of Mr. Davis the ability to fire on his assailants 10 times, and to shoot one of them five times in the back, even apparently as one was fleeing away. These policies of appeasement allowed for a Christian woman, Asia Bibi, a mother of five, to be sentenced to death for “blasphemy” in Pakistan. These policies of appeasement allowed President Zardari to party in Normandy at his 16th century chateau whilst the flooding in Pakistan displaced over 20-million people in 2010.

Who are the benefactors of such policies? The answer: the military, religious zealots, and a feudal President who considers Pakistan as his god-given resource to exploit.

Some years ago I drew a cartoon of Uncle Sam disposing of a used condom (marked Pakistan) with a veiled Afghani woman cringing in the corner. It is easy to blame American foreign policy, as the cartoon shows. According to the Brooking Institute, for every militant shot dead by remotely piloted drone-aircraft in the border-regions of Pakistan 10 civilians end-up as collateral damage. It is a damning indictment of the controversial strikes sought to defeat militants living in the region.

However, this was not the point of the cartoon. What many Pakistanis did not want to see was their own Government’s culpability in this mayhem. Pakistan’s government has sold itself in the excess of $4-billion dollars a year — helping the US government wage a war in Afghanistan. With $4-billion dollars there is likely a surplus of earmarked money. This allows the Pakistani military to breed extremists like they breed foxes in England — ensuring an adequate supply of game, undermining claims that foxes are only killed in the name of pest control. Many Pakistanis despised the cartoon when published — the original stolen in 2005 from an exhibition in Scotland.

Henry Kissinger mentioned, at the Pike Committee Meetings in 1975, that, “covert action should not be confused with missionary work.” Arab demonstrators in recent weeks have called for a democratic regime change, not a US-facilitated transition to another despot. This will hopefully limit Washington’s covert actions in the region and from Americans deferring to local despots as necessary chattels for business and security.

Pakistan needs to deport Raymond Davis back to the United States. It doesn’t matter what he’s done — holding him accountable in Pakistan will not help address the real issues confronting the country. Letting Mr. Davies return to the United States will force Pakistan to look at itself far more critically.

Judicially trying Mr. Davies in Pakistan is not a successful long-term strategy. The Government of Pakistan has already sold its sovereignty. Courtesy of WikiLeaks, many Pakistanis now know that Prime Minister Gilani agreed to expand the CIA drone program in 2008, while promising to denounce it in Parliament for the sake of appearances.

It is time the people of Pakistan hold both Prime Minister Gilani and President Zardari accountable for selling off the last few vestiges of Pakistan’s sovereignty.

SHAHID MAHMOOD grew up in Pakistan. He was the editorial cartoonist for the national newspaper in Pakistan, Dawn. His work has appeared in numerous International publications including the Guardian, Huffington Post and Courrier International. Shahid’s work was viewed by world leaders at the 1997 APEC Conference, enjoyed by John F. Kennedy Jr., and managed to continuously enrage Benazir Bhutto. Shahid is internationally syndicated with the New York Times Press Syndicate; has work archived at the Museum of Contemporary History in Paris; and has been “Designated High-Profile” on the US Government’s No-fly List.

February 09, 2016
Andrew Levine
Hillary Says the Darndest Things
Paul Street
Kill King Capital
Ben Burgis
Lesser Evil Voting and Hillary Clinton’s War on the Poor
Paul Craig Roberts
Are the Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?
Fran Quigley
How Corporations Killed Medicine
Ted Rall
How Bernie Can Pay for His Agenda: Slash the Military
Kristin Kolb
The Greatest Bear Rainforest Agreement? A Love Affair, Deferred
Joseph Natoli
Politics and Techno-Consciousness
Hrishikesh Joshi
Selective Attention to Diversity: the Case of Cruz and Rubio
Stavros Mavroudeas
Why Syriza is Sinking in Greece
David Macaray
Attention Peyton Manning: Leave Football and Concentrate on Pizza
Arvin Paranjpe
Opening Your Heart
Kathleen Wallace
Boys, Hell, and the Politics of Vagina Voting
Brian Foley
Interview With a Bernie Broad: We Need to Start Focusing on Positions and Stop Relying on Sexism
February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Patrick Cockburn
Oil Prices and ISIS Ruin Kurdish Dreams of Riches
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
Eoin Higgins
Please Clap: the Jeb Bush Campaign Pre-Mortem
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail