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.

More articles by:

CounterPunch Magazine

minimag-edit

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550

zen economics

Weekend Edition
March 24, 2017
Friday - Sunday
Michael Hudson
Trump is Obama’s Legacy: Will this Break up the Democratic Party?
Eric Draitser
Donald Trump and the Triumph of White Identity Politics
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Nothing Was Delivered
Andrew Levine
Ryan’s Choice
Joshua Frank
Global Coal in Freefall, Tar Sands Development Drying Up (Bad News for Keystone XL)
Anthony DiMaggio
Ditching the “Deep State”: The Rise of a New Conspiracy Theory in American Politics
Rob Urie
Boris and Natasha Visit Fantasy Island
John Wight
London and the Dreary Ritual of Terrorist Attacks
Paul Buhle
The CIA and the Intellectuals…Again
David Rosen
Why Did Trump Target Transgender Youth?
Vijay Prashad
Inventing Enemies
Ben Debney
Outrage From the Imperial Playbook
M. Shadee Malaklou
An Open Letter to Duke University’s Class of 2007, About Your Open Letter to Stephen Miller
Michael J. Sainato
Bernie Sanders’ Economic Advisor Shreds Trumponomics
Lawrence Davidson
Moral Failure at the UN
Pete Dolack
World Bank Declares Itself Above the Law
Nicola Perugini - Neve Gordon
Israel’s Human Rights Spies
Patrick Cockburn
From Paris to London: Another City, Another Attack
Ralph Nader
Reason and Justice Address Realities
Ramzy Baroud
‘Decolonizing the Mind’: Using Hollywood Celebrities to Validate Islam
Colin Todhunter
Monsanto in India: The Sacred and the Profane
Louisa Willcox
Grizzlies Under the Endangered Species Act: How Have They Fared?
Norman Pollack
Militarization of American Fascism: Trump the Usurper
Pepe Escobar
North Korea: The Real Serious Options on the Table
Brian Cloughley
“These Things Are Done”: Eavesdropping on Trump
Sheldon Richman
You Can’t Blame Trump’s Military Budget on NATO
Carol Wolman
Trump vs the People: a Psychiatrist’s Analysis
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
Marines to Kill Desert Tortoises
Stanley L. Cohen
The White House . . . Denial and Cover-ups
Farhang Jahanpour
America’s Woes, Europe’s Responsibilities
Joseph Natoli
March Madness Outside the Basketball Court
Bill Willers
Volunteerism; Charisma; the Ivy League Stranglehold: a Very Brief Trilogy
Bruce Mastron
Slaughtered Arabs Don’t Count
Pauline Murphy
Unburied Truth: Exposing the Church’s Iron Chains on Ireland
Ayesha Khan
The Headscarf is Not an Islamic Compulsion
Ron Jacobs
Music is Love, Music is Politics
Christopher Brauchli
Prisoners as Captive Customers
Robert Koehler
The Mosque That Disappeared
Franklin Lamb
Update from Madaya
Dan Bacher
Federal Scientists Find Delta Tunnels Plan Will Devastate Salmon
Barbara Nimri Aziz
The Gig Economy: Which Side Are You On?
Louis Proyect
What Caused the Holodomor?
Max Mastellone
Seeking Left Unity Through a Definition of Progressivism
Charles R. Larson
Review: David Bellos’s “Novel of the Century: the Extraordinary Adventure of Les Misérables”
David Yearsley
Ear of Darkness: the Soundtracks of Steve Bannon’s Films
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail