FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Profiles in Courage, and in the Lack of Courage

by DAVE LINDORFF

After that courageous Pakistani advocate of girls’ right to an education, Malala Yousafzai, had her meeting with President Obama and his wife Michelle and older daugher Malia in the White House, the White House issued a press release and a photo, saying that the presidential couple had invited this youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize nominee to visit “to thank her for her inspiring and passionate work on behalf of girls’ education in Pakistan.”

It hardly did justice to the courage of a young girl who, for publicly demanding that children of her gender be allowed to study in a society where many Muslim fundamentalists consider the education of women a dangerous threat, continues her advocacy even after she was attacked on her way to school and targed with a nearly fatal shot to the head by a Taliban death squad .

But the White House press release was worse than just dismissive of this brave girl.

It further diminished the import of he visit, and her remarkable courage, by failing to note that she had taken the opportunity of her visit to tell the president directly to his face that he should halt the drone attacks that he has been ordering on suspected Taliban “leaders” in western Pakistan — drone attacks that have often been calculated to kill not just targeted individuals but many innocent men, women and children in the vicinity of the blasts.

As Malala recalls the moment in a statement she released herself after her meeting with the commander in chief of the most powerful war machine the world has ever known:

“I thanked President Obama for the United States’ work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees. I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact.”

Wow! Sitting just feet away from the president of the United States, and as his invited guest, that had to take guts.

And wow! Not reporting that remarkable act of courage by a young girl who is still a target of Muslim zealots, was an appalling act of cowardice on the part of the president and his press secretary. It’s actually even worse than that, as by making that appeal to the president Malala was demonstrating that she was no tool of the US. Had the White House acknowledged her effrontery, it might have provided her with a needed bit of life insurance.

Instead the self-promoting and unconcerned president sought to simply use this brave young woman as a photo op to boost his own standing with the American public, not wanting to call any attentiont to the fact that she was openly critical of his “executive kill” policies in her native country.

One can only hope that Malala’s courage to stand up to the president resonated with and impressed Obama’s daughter Malia. Perhaps she will now start pressing her father about why he is killing so many civilians, including young children, in Pakistan with his drone strikes, including those “double tap” ones where a second Hellfire missile is unconscionably launched once people have come the site of an initial strike to look for and help the wounded.

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

Dave Lindorff is a founding member of ThisCantBeHappening!, an online newspaper collective, and is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press).

More articles by:
May 26, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts
The Looting Stage of Capitalism: Germany’s Assault on the IMF
Pepe Escobar
Hillary Clinton: A Major Gold-Digging Liability
Sam Pizzigati
America’s Cosmic Tax Gap
Ramzy Baroud
Time to End the ‘Hasbara’: Palestinian Media and the Search for a Common Story
José L. Flores
Wall Street’s New Man in Brazil: The Forces Behind Dilma Rousseff’s Impeachment
Patrick Cockburn
The Battle of Fallujah: ISIS Unleashes Its Death Squads
John Feffer
The Coming Drone Blowback
Alex Ray
The Death Toll in Syria: What Do the Numbers Really Say?
Richard Pithouse
We Shall be the Prey and the Vulture
Binoy Kampmark
Trump and the Polls of Loathing
Manuel E. Yepe
A Cruise Ship Without Tourists Arrives in Havana
Jack Rasmus
Greek Debt Negotiations: Will the IMF Exit the Troika?
Ajamu Nangwaya
Pan-Africanism, Feminism and Finding Missing Pan-Africanist Women
Howard Lisnoff
Israel, a Palestinian State and Anti-Semitism
May 25, 2016
Eric Draitser
Obama in Hiroshima: A Case Study in Hypocrisy
Ryan Mallett-Outtrim
Does Venezuela’s Crisis Prove Socialism Doesn’t Work?
Dan Arel
The Socialist Revolution Beyond Sanders and the Democratic Party
Marc Estrin
Cocky-Doody Politics and World Affairs
Sam Husseini
Layers of Islamophobia: Do Liberals Care That Hillary Returned “Muslim Money”?
Susan Babbitt
Invisible in Life, Invisible in Death: How Information Becomes Useless
Mel Gurtov
Hillary’s Cowgirl Diplomacy?
Kathy Kelly
Hammering for Peace
Dick Reavis
The Impeachment of Donald Trump
Wahid Azal
Behind the Politics of a Current Brouhaha in Iran: an Ex-President Ayatollah’s Daughter and the Baha’is
Jesse Jackson
Obama Must Recommit to Eliminating Nuclear Arms
Colin Todhunter
From the Green Revolution to GMOs: Living in the Shadow of Global Agribusiness
Binoy Kampmark
Turkey as Terror: the Role of Ankara in the Brexit Referendum
Dave Lindorff
72-Year-Old Fringe Left Candidate Wins Presidency in Austrian Run-Off Election
May 24, 2016
Sharmini Peries - Michael Hudson
The Financial Invasion of Greece
Jonathan Cook
Religious Zealots Ready for Takeover of Israeli Army
Ted Rall
Why I Am #NeverHillary
Mari Jo Buhle – Paul Buhle
Television Meets History
Robert Hunziker
Troika Heat-Seeking Missile Destroys Greece
Judy Gumbo
May Day Road Trip: 1968 – 2016
Colin Todhunter
Cheerleader for US Aggression, Pushing the World to the Nuclear Brink
Jeremy Brecher
This is What Insurgency Looks Like
Jonathan Latham
Unsafe at Any Dose: Chemical Safety Failures from DDT to Glyphosate to BPA
Binoy Kampmark
Suing Russia: Litigating over MH17
Dave Lindorff
Europe, the US and the Politics of Pissing and Being Pissed
Matt Peppe
Cashing In at the Race Track While Facing Charges of “Abusive” Lending Practices
Gilbert Mercier
If Bernie Sanders Is Real, He Will Run as an Independent
Peter Bohmer
A Year Later! The Struggle for Justice Continues!
Dave Welsh
Police Chief Fired in Victory for the Frisco 500
May 23, 2016
Conn Hallinan
European Union: a House Divided
Paul Buhle
Labor’s Sell-Out and the Sanders Campaign
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail