Some common American idiosyncrasies
Dawood Ebrahim, who killed mostly Hindus is a lesser terrorist than Osama bin Laden who killed mostly Christians?
There are countless American idiosyncrasies that must end now since President-elect Barack Obama has promised a “new dawn” for the world.
Like bin Laden, Ebrahim is an extremely dangerous man. It is most certain the two met in gold-glittering smugglers paradise of Dubai, where both were social elites in the early nineties.
Ebrahim rose from the streets of Mumbai to become a world renowned smuggler with assets upwards of $500 million. “He has so much money that he does not know how much it is,” was a popular joke in Pakistan where he is still a revered state guest; officially Pakistan states it has no knowledge about him.
At least one Pakistani journalist Ghulam Hasnain, a correspondent of TIME, almost died reporting about Ebrahim. He was abducted by the ISI for his report Portrait of a Don in the investigative monthly Newsline:
“To win the loyalty of a person is the most difficult task in the world,” Dawood Ibrahim, 46, would tell his brother gangsters. This former street urchin and son of a Mumbai police constable seems to have managed to earn it manifold. Hated by many, Dawood’s employees and associates adore him, and would go to any length for him, including murder.
Hasnain's abduction and the abduction and later videotaped slaying of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl happened around the same time, but most of the media failed to understand the links between the two. An ambitious investigative journalism project, called the Pearl Project, undertaken by the Center for Pubic Integrity to uncover the gory details of Pearl's slaying, found itself stonewalled by the US security establishment and has ended in a law suit.
It is almost certain Pearl would have loved to write about Dawood Ebrahim and in fact did show an interest in the story just days before his death. Insiders say the US embassy officials in Pakistan have not been very cooperative in getting to the roots of who killed Pearl, so as not to antagonize the ISI. These officials want to continue business as usual with Pakistan, even if the truths remain buried in the Aegean stables of the infamous ISI.
Assassinated premier Benazir Bhutto in one of her last interviews, with David Frost, came on record to very clearly state ISI's Brigadier Ijaz Shah was responsible for killing Pearl--by a slip of her tongue, she said Shah's henchman Omar Sheikh killed bin Laden in stead of saying Pearl.
There's a cover-up not only about Pearl's murder. As this scribe introduced himself from being from Pakistan to a man in Washington DC, his barely four-year-old American son quipped, "That is where bin Laden is hiding." Those in the corrdors of power, including White House correspondents, know quite well Pakistan has been deceptive about Al Qaeda. If the new administration really wants a new dawn for the world, it should honest to the American public from the very start and declassify information about Pearl's killing, ISI ties with bin Laden and Dawood Ebrahim, and that spy service's role in the 911 attacks.
It is not sure if Vice President-elect Joe Biden raised the issue of Dawood Ebrahim during his recent visit to Pakistan to talk with the civilian leaders about many things, including reining in the notorious Inter-Services Intelligence. This is interesting, because the Pakistani civilian leaders are looking towards the U.S. to help them rein in the monstrous “state within the state” that the ISI has become during the last quarter century. ISI treats Ebrahim, who reportedly facilitated the "Bloody Thanksgiving" mayhem in Mumbai last November, like a foreign head of government and provides him VVIP security, eyewitnesses accounts confirmed by this scribe shows. Likewise to the ISI bin Laden is a saint -- not a terrorist -- and many in the army stronghold of Punjab call him Babaji with respect.
Biden has been committed to cut military aid to Pakistan and in stead bolster the civil society through economic uplift, but to his chagrin got a laundry list of items that would benefit the country's military the most. The ISI used the civilian leaders to request Biden to change his stand and have their needs met.
Pakistan has had military dictators run the country for more than half of its “independent existence” from British rule. It has the dubious distinction of being one of the most allied among allies of the United States -- in other words, a client state. Founded by Muhammad Ali Jinnah, an alcoholic who loved pork – two practices Muslims hate but the country was founded in the name of Islam--, Pakistan was halved within the first quarter century of its birth. Bangladesh, formerly East Pakistan became independent in 1971 after the killing of three million people and rape of 200,000 women at the hands of Pakistan army. One of India's founding father, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, had correctly predicted Pakistan would not survive in his book India Wins Freedom.
Regrettably, Americans have continued to lionize paper tigers from Pakistan, like former coup leader-turned-president Pervez Musharraf. The dictator even used the White House to promote his book of lies, called In the Line of Fire. What is most incredible is an American think-tank, World Affairs Council of Western Michigan, has honored the dictator to speak at their event on January 14.
There is no better solution to the woes of Pakistan than its balkanization, on the lines of Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. Pakistan will not work, no matter how much of US taxpayers money are injected, even without proper oversight. People in the area-wise largest Baluchistan province demand independence.
Sindh too is not far behind with the same demand -- with the Bhutto clan wiped out by the army or its proteges like Baitullah Mehsud--, while a considerable sections of the political Pashtuns know that their province called North West Frontier Province and their motherland Afghanistan is bleeding because of Pakistan army generals.
Some American idiosyncrasies are most profoundly felt in the Middle East.
More than a million died in the so-called war on terror that began with the US invasion of Iraq. Jeffersonian democracy was being exported to Iraq on B-52 bombers. The casualty include 4,200 Americans dead and 30,000 injured.
Whatever the arguments are offered to justify that America has won the war in Iraq —won against whom? the Iraqi people? -- the fact remains the Muslim world perceived it is as a war between brown Muslims and white Christians.
Drawing out comedy from the art of tragedy, though tens of thousands Americans protested against the war once the bombs began raining on Baghdad patriotic sentiments prevailed and everyone went home, silently. And when elections came in 2004, Bush was elected for a second term because Americans seldom vote against their presidents during times of war. And the Saddam Hussein's pistol lands at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, North West, that is the White House.
When Saddam Hussein was rousted from his spider hole in Dawr, a town near Tikrit, by U.S. soldiers last December, Iraq's fallen dictator was clutching a pistol. He is now in detention at an undisclosed location, being questioned by American authorities and awaiting charges for war atrocities and crimes against humanity. But what ever happened to the pistol?
My nation, right or wrong? Right.
There is very little understanding about the world, history of different peoples, their cultures. Common people can not be blamed because of credit card, home mortgage or high rents, and car payments that consume their intellectual lives like cancer. But a think-tank like World Affairs Council of Western Michigan honoring a dictator is simply inexcusable and unacceptable as General Musharraf got thousands of innocent people killed..
Small wonder then many innocent Sikhs were mistaken for being pro-Al Qaeda simply because of their turbans and long beards. If those who attacked these innocent Sikhs just cared to peep into their pubic area before deciding to kill them, many innocent lives might have been saved: Sikhs don't shave, Muslims do.