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Pak Tea House » Army, Education, FATA, Taliban, Terrorism, Uncategorized, USA » Irrational Patriotism and Pakistan

Irrational Patriotism and Pakistan

Raza Habib Raja

In Pakistan, watching the media talk shows can be an enlightening and in fact entertaining experience. The “pearls” of wisdom uttered in these talk shows are a testimony to the intellectual orientation of the hosts, participants and unfortunately even the regular viewers who have become addicted to this Pakistani version of Indian soap operas. Like Indian soap operas, these talk shows aim to create melodrama, controversy and try their level best to capitalize on the fertile and highly imaginative mindset of the middleclass urbanities. This mindset has evolved and not surprisingly continues to evolve under the “conducive” environment fuelled by external events and Government of Pakistan’s response to them.

The guiding philosophy of this mindset is irrational patriotism chiefly emanating out of identity crisis, delusional self importance and paranoia about the security of nuclear arsenal (which is Pakistan’s only “achievement” at least in terms of nuisance value). The slogans for this irrational patriotism are: Qaumi ghairat per samjhota nayee ho sakta (National sovereignty cannot be compromised); Kashkol ko toor do (Break the begging bowl); Hukmuran America aur Israeli isharon per naach rahe hain (Rulers are dancing to the tunes of the USA and Israeli whims); and Nuclear program per soda na manzoor (We won’t compromise on Nuclear program).

Right now all the brains are seemingly working in one direction: how to link nuclear arsenal and so called strategic location with every act of terrorism occurring in the country. Even Malala incidence, despite open acknowledgement by Taliban is being interpreted as something conducted by CIA to build a case for drone attacks and military action in tribal areas. The fact that drones actually target militants (those who tried killing Malala) is completely lost on them. What in essence is being said is that CIA used Taliban to kill Malala so that a justification for attack on Taliban can be made!! And these people call themselves as “patriots” and any nonbeliever as a “sell out”.

I call this irrational patriotism because it is based on instinct and reflects our rather over inflated opinion about ourselves in terms of importance and achievements. Today whether we admit it or not, the fact is that Pakistan ranks low in important social indicators pertaining to transparency, literacy, economy and healthcare even when compared to developing economies of similar characteristics. According to Asian Development Bank, compared with Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka, Pakistan’s school enrolment is lower, adult illiteracy is higher, and infant and child mortality rates are higher. According to the Corruption Perceptions Index developed by Transparency International, Pakistan ranks 134th out of 180 countries, “beating” even African poor countries like Zambia, Ethiopia and Uganda.

Since we do not have anything concrete to be proud of, therefore things like “strategic location” and “nuclear arsenal” become the only citable “evidences” of our importance. Consequently, these are repeated to death on media. Of course this brand of patriotism comes hand in hand with a strong religious fervor. Majority of the Pakistanis see their country spearheading the Islamic military resurgence.

Due to a combination of all these factors we simply assume that the entire world’s foreign policies are devised around Pakistan. This brand of patriotism is irrational also because it is proving to be counterproductive to not only Pakistan’s economic, social and political welfare but is also in a strange way undermining the wishes of these romantic nationalists of a strong nuclear Pakistan.

This irrational patriotism has developed a reciprocal relationship with the media- print as well as electronic- and both reinforce each other thus making sure that we spiral downwards into a state of complete intellectual bankruptcy. Obviously this downward spiral is not merely intellectual as it is also accompanied by lack of public interest and participation in other and far more important issues.

One has to understand the power of media and its target market to comprehend the importance and consequences of this apathetical behavior. In a country like Pakistan which has parliamentary form of democratic setup (that too in an infancy stage ) and is still in the process of transition from agriculture to industrial economy, the check and balance institutions are not highly developed. Moreover, the majority of the populace resides in the rural area and is more attuned to local political issues rather than national policy related matters. A quick look at the respective rural urban political profiles will attest it. Elections are not fought on ideology in rural areas or on policy related political issues but on the strength of candidates which explains as to w hy parties (both of “left” and right) field strong candidates. These individuals are often in a position of winning independently also. The basic criterion of a strong candidate is his wealth, political clout, influence on the local bureaucracy and his ability to successfully push through local demands such as jobs, sanitation, construction of small roads, arbitration of local disputes etc.
On the other hand in the urban areas, it is the political ideology, legislative and policy issues which matter more. Consequently issue oriented political movements in countries like Pakistan are primarily urban based. The recent successful lawyers’ movement was primarily an urban movement. Thus despite the fact that urban areas account for lower share of population, they become the major arena where the ideological battles are fought.

The urban mind-set becomes the chief driver and determinant of the national policies. The media since it reflects the urban opinion becomes the major vehicle through which Governments can be pressurized, consensus can be built for policy decisions and even a movement can be initiated( the lawyers movement was primarily a media generated movement). Having an extremely commercial orientation and in bid to capitalize the overly conservative mindset of the urbanites, the present day media is unfortunately perpetuating this senseless paranoia and is sensationalizing facts through knitting sophisticated conspiracy theories according to which the foreign powers have ganged up to destabilize Pakistan. Here the media lately has been reinforcing this irrational patriotism rather than playing any progressive role. Irrationality is reigning supreme amongst the class which can potentially play a meaningful and progressive role.

In the post 9/11 scenario and before the recent spree of daily bombings began, as Pakistan was slowing falling into a deep pit, the media instead of building a political will for military action at the right time was painting it as merely US war and some kind of a grand conspiracy by the western world to get hold of the nuclear arsenal. Consequently the terrorists were able to win the battle of the minds and the political will could not develop and is still not there despite a belated full scale military action. Assuming the weird logic that the entire conspiracy is to purge the nuclear arsenal, the media by successfully delaying a decisive action against militants allowed them to gain a complete foothold thus strengthening US concerns about the nuclear issue. Thus this brand of irrational patriotism has in reality proven counterproductive to the wishes of romantic nationalists.

This irrational patriotism is also seriously undermining the process of reorientation of the state towards other important areas such as education, law and order, poverty, healthcare and political reforms related to issues like provincial autonomy. Instead of debating on these issues and ensuring that the respective central and provincial governments are made accountable, the entire media thrust and the public attention is on nuclear issue and on already overhyped notions like national sovereignty. Consequently, the state is not feeling the heat on critical issues and nor is any seeking any intellectual discourse on them. By taking the focus away from these issues, this irrational patriotism is also contributing towards social instability and political fragility. An obvious sufferer is the resource rich and yet poor province of Baluchistan. At this moment instead of trying to focus on redressing their grievances our brilliant media is busy attributing everything to foreign involvement.

Theoretically a way out would be that liberal elements also come to the media to present their alternative viewpoint. But here is another problem. On the media, the liberal voices have mostly been relegated to entertainment programs. In a strange way, the liberal image has been widely accepted to be synonymous with some kind of elitist outlook emanating out of a partying lifestyle. This categorization of liberalism is also projected and reinforced by the media in such a way that liberalism in Pakistan is now accepted to have the following characteristics:

1) It is an unpatriotic philosophy and has the sole aim of westernization and thus weakening of Pakistan.
2) It is being adhered to by the segment which is ultra western, sexually active and morally pervert and wants the entire Pakistani society to become the same.
3) The philosophically important ideas which have somewhat liberal underpinning such as individual liberty, women liberation, religious tolerance, preference of self introspection over irrational patriotism, separation of state and religion, increased role of state for leveling of income inequalities, less ambitious external policy, a passive military with no aspirations built around romantic nationalism, too have no use for Pakistani society. A general consensus is that these ideas are a modus operandi cum intellectual vehicle to westernize Pakistan and to undermine the existing “rich” patriotic culture and values. Of course our insecurity over our national “pride” of nuclear arsenal also features in.

The worst thing which has happened over the decades is that the abovementioned liberal tenants have successfully been amalgamated with a sexually deviant anti culture lifestyle, by our mainstream media. In a strange way a mindset has developed where anyone talking about these issues (though degree of association would differ from issue to issue) will also be labeled as a pro western elitist having a fringe opinion. Mainstream opinion about liberal journalists like Fasi Zaka and Nadeem Farooq Paracha is that they are unpatriotic or at best English speaking misguided elitists with no clue about Pakistani problems. Even the partying lot, while accepting western lifestyle, nevertheless retains this nonsensical “patriotic” streak whereby ideologically liberal are considered as unpatriotic.

The rise of “leaders” like Imran Khan have further complicated the problem as they are now the main torch bearers of this ideology. I am personally seeing no hope until those who call themselves liberals take it mainstream Urdu print and electronic media. One of the worst problems is that there is no alternative discourse in Pakistan. All the channels are uttering variants of the same narrative.




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Filed under: Army, Education, FATA, Taliban, Terrorism, Uncategorized, USA · Tags: , , ,

111 Responses to "Irrational Patriotism and Pakistan"

  1. Shehroze Ahmad Australia Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    You are the liberal advocate who calls for a full on military operation on its own people. The wars will not solve anything but create civil wars with in the country and increase attacks on us.

    Nice work on putting the blame on IK. Please remember that Pakistan government is run by the most undeserving and corrupt people in human history(If you need proofs I can name a 100 corruptions from top of my head). Punjab government is run by a man who himself said that Taliban and Punjab have the same agenda. IK is the only person with some logic left. Ik statements are same whether in US or India or Pakistan.

    Please kindly leave IK out of your bias views

  2. krash United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    To be honest, the connection between liberal ideas and ‘the Westernized elite’ is not entirely imaginary. The fear that liberal ideas are a threat to conservative cultural values is also well-founded since many cultural practices are essentially illiberal.

    It will be a shame if true political liberalism gets crushed in the culture wars between Westernization and conservatism.

    I think the way forward, in Pakistan at least, is to argue that liberal values are consistent with Islam and illiberal culturaland politcal practices are essentially unIslamic. A lot of people are trying to make that argument. Unfortunately, many find that they have to struggle against not only the conservatives but also non-religious liberals who find the very mention of religion to be toxic.

  3. MilesToGo United States Safari Mac OS says:

    RHR

    try writing without using the word ‘liberal’ – so that there is no interpretation issues.

  4. MilesToGo United States Safari Mac OS says:

    btw

    Raza nice to see you back.

  5. MilesToGo United States Safari Mac OS says:

    Sam Harris does this. He talks about atheism without using the word atheist.

    http://youtu.be/I8ZYiLSPDHE

  6. Ajit Canada Safari Unknow Os says:

    Hey RHR

    Where have you been? Frankly PTH is not PTH without you and YLH! Dudes keep on posting.
    Very good article as usual.

  7. Mohan United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    RHR,

    Nice to see you back after a long break. As expected a brilliant article. Please, please if you want to bring a change in Paktistan that get your articles published in local
    languages : Urdu, Punjabi, Pushto, Sindhi to have the desired effect.
    You may have to face lot of backlash but writing only in English media
    will not have any serious impact on the majority people of
    Pakistan, the country I used to love.

  8. SMG United Kingdom Opera Mini Unknow Os says:

    You and your pak go to hell.not interested.instead write on some beautiful angels from ur side.

  9. Mohan United Arab Emirates Safari iPad says:

    SMG,

    Why would you visit a Pakistani website if you were not interested in Pakistan ?

  10. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    The situation in Pakistan is very sober and dry view which one observes from outside, is very well laid out from inside knowledge; the election process as described is identical to that which took place in America with the exception of limitations of number of political parties, six billions dollars to elect a second hand President. The ballot rigging is common in both countries, because of the massive illetracy in both Nations. The fate of the liberals in Pakistan is no different from the German liberals, though currently in coalition Govt. are heading from 16% share in the previous election to less than 4% forecast for the next General election. The party of freedom, justice and social market economy has been transformed into the party of lobbyists for the elites busiessmen and professionals.

    Imran Khan appears to be heading for a land slide in the electoral process if allowed, and the liberals and foreign sponsored institutions including its military brass should expect a decent hair cut by the talibaisation process which is now overdue.

    Rex Minor

  11. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    correction,
    The situation in Pakistan is described with a sober and dry view which …….

  12. wonderer India Safari Mac OS says:

    Talking of TV talk shows and the howlers one comes across, here is a gem from Gen, Aslam Beg. Asked by the host why did the President want to ensure defeat of the PPP in 1990 polls, the Gen. replied, “you see, the President had dismissed the PPP government which resulted in the elections being called. Now if the same government had come to power again, the dismissal would have looked so unfair. I agreed with the President, and then we arranged the distribution of the money.”

    Guess what – even the talk show host completely missed the absurdity.

  13. RajTOO Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Rex Minor,
    in every form of government, only the elite are catered to. However the difference between dictatorships and democracy are to that the people also feel empowered and some crumbs also come their way.
    .
    A democracy is superior than the other, depending on to what extent the political elite make the people feel empowered and cater to their needs.
    .
    American democracy is in that way infinitely more superior and more sophisticated than the goonda-raj you see in Pakistan. Of course at some level of abstraction one can fit both Gandhi and Hitler in one category and curse both of them, just as one can do an equal-equal on American and Pakistan democracy. But we all know that this equal-equal is a lot of bullshitt.

  14. Kamath. Spain Safari iPad says:

    Excessive Nationalism is unhealthy anywhere in any state on this planet. Here in Catalunya the sick Nationalism they advocate can make any of you very angry with its brand of bizarre claims and expectations from other Citizens of Spain and Europe.

    Well done RHR in your insight.

  15. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Raj,
    Are you all right talking about crumbs? What is Goonda-raj?

    Rex Minor

  16. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Raj,
    American democracy is superior? What are you talking man? You reckon being shot down on the street because someone feels threatened is fun, new Jeff Bush law, or not be able to have a glass of wine or a beer with meals is emocracy, I would say 7th century Sharia in a muslim r christian monestry.

    Rex Minor

  17. Amin United Kingdom Safari iPad says:

    Good one, RHR.

  18. RajTOO Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Rex Minor,
    I am well aware about the shortcomings of the American political system, but it is superior to anything that has ever been thought up in any Muslim country in the whole 1400 year history!
    .
    Only Turkey has at the moment some democracy but considering how they have suppressed Kurdish minority, it is a disgrace, not to speak of owning up to the brutal Armenian genocide. Indonesia is another democracy in a Muslim country, but it is still new, and Islamists have been running amok there as well.

  19. Bagherbappu United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Mr.Raj
    Comparing American Democracy with middle age Islamic system is an insult to the intelligence of average human. Do you know that Goondas have morals but not the follower of Islam whose ethics stems from falsehood of Taqqya and the Idological reverence toward person blind to Incestual Animalistic behaviour and devoid of human empathy with genocidal bend of mind.

  20. gautam United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Comparing American Democracy with middle age Islamic system is an insult to the intelligence of average human

    demoncracy increases violence, corruption theft and division.islamic system is much better.the luxury poor cannot afford.

  21. gautam United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Do you know that Goondas have morals but not the follower of Islam whose ethics stems from falsehood of Taqqya and the Idological reverence toward person blind to Incestual

    still thousand time better than hindu system.asoka mascared entire population of kalinga.since partition 1000 plus communal riots were perpetuated in india hundreds of thousands of women were burnt alive as sati.

  22. mann United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    report issued by the Movement Against State Repression (MASR) quotes the
    Punjab Civil Magistracy as writing “if we add up the figures of the last few
    years the number of innocent persons killed would run into lakhs [hundreds of
    thousands.]” According to Sardar Mann, the Indian government has murdered over
    a million Sikhs since 1982. Sardar Inderjit Singh Jaijee, author of The
    Politics of Genocide, and Bibi Baljit Kaur of the Movement Against State
    Repression (MASR) told Dr. Aulakh that if it were not for the efforts of the
    Council of Khalistan, that number might be ten times as high. India has also
    killed more than 300,000 Christians in Nagaland, over 100,000 Muslims in
    Kashmir, and tens of thousands of Tamils, Assamese, Manipuris, and others. The
    Indian Supreme Court called the Indian government’s murders of Sikhs “worse than
    a genocide

  23. Bagherbappu United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    gautam,

    First stop using the internet as its not a Middle age product and second your evaluation fits well with the thinking process of incest driven retard society. Ask any Paki who visit real Punjab and find out yourself the difference between the children of Righteous Path comparing to the product of Bhai Behan Begum system from ME. Not only the brain but Paki height is also shrinking in last half century. Comprehnde Amigo, what is happening in civilized world and the mental poverty of Islam. And stop using Indian name.

  24. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    REX NEED YOUR COMMENT,…….Jews are leaving Israel in droves (Germany)
    1 day ago Germany has become a multi-cultural, multiracial and multi-faith society, but one should not forget that this country is also a strongly xenophobic and racial country. The right-wing pro-Hitler parties are sprouting like mushrooms here. The German state does not control them. On the contrary they are being pampered. In some parts of Germany aggression in the society is increasing. Most Germans are the progeny of the former Nazis criminals. The Germans (and indeed other nations too) passionately protect the rights of the animals, frogs, cockroaches, hexapod beetles, birds and forests, but at the same time they discriminate the Asian minorities. This is their concept of humanism. No Hindu or Muslim can find any job in a Christian organization. Some 25 years it was possible. In Germany die nearly 5400 Turks per annum die due to unexpected heart attacks, because the suffer from racial, Job and religious discrimination, but the media does not print such news. On the other hand, if a Muslim Turk kills his wife or a relative, it is promptly printed in all media. The crimes of Germans are generally withheld or beamed during the night history TV channels. In Germany every flatulence of the Jews is beamed and repeated in several channels. Sometimes we get the impression, as if we are not living in Europe, but in Tel Aviv !!! One is compelled to view the pro-Jewish propaganda in most channels and news papers. This give rises to more Anti-Semitism. The Muslim minorities pay the COMPULSORY TV-Fees and all incumbent taxes, solidarity funds, pension schemes but the Jews or their Journalists (Trojan horses) control the schedule of the programs from the background. The negative news from Israel are simply not printed. (We all know that Israel is a most peaceful country in the Levant) Any critic on Israel is taboo. Look: this is the press freedom in Germany. The plight of the Jews (death and dying during the 3rd Reich) has become a huge industry for the Zionist lobby. This is, what some historians call, the Marketing of the Suffering. The Jews in Germany have their own hospitals; their Rabbi Training schools, the newly build synagogues (the are so big, as if they are Atomic Reactors in the city centres), the own Kindergarten, the universities, the Jewish budget for the community. The Jews have their own written agreements with the German state. Some parts of the Bible are being re-edition in order to remove the anti-Jewish remarks of the disciples. The Christian TV station beam the news from Israel. We, the Muslims, pay the TV-feed, but the Jews get most of the benefits. The Jews are again virtually a state within a state as in 1930s. In Germany the newly arrived Russian Jewish population (actually converted white Russians) from Israel has surpassed population size of Iceland (nearly 330 000). The Jews are leaving Israel in droves: My God who is persecuted the Jews in Israel or in Russia? The Greed of money

  25. GAUTAM United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Bagherbappu says:
    November 13, 2012 at 3:04 am
    gautam,

    First stop using the internet as its not a Middle age product and second your evaluation fits well with the thinking process of incest driven retard society

    AS PER REPORTS YOUTH OF PUNJAB(INDIAN)IS LAZY AND DRRINKER.NOT CONTRIBUTING NOTHING TO SOCIETY.

  26. Mohammed Iqbal India Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @Bagherbapu,

    I am yet to come across a Sunni divine who thinks it is pemissible to resort to ‘Taqya’. Even Shias allows in exceptional circumstances and not in the way you think.

  27. Ishq-e-Takia United States Google Chrome Windows says:

    Mohammad, Islam doesn’t place any limits on how kaffirs are to be countered and defeated. Murder by deception is a continual theme.

  28. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Tajeder,

    The subject of the article is “irrational patriotism and Pakistan” not Germany. The ‘irrational’ phenomina in one individual is a very rational one in anothers view and is based on reality. RHR deliberations will fit in most accurately in America and almost in most western countries of the west, see Kamath comments on catalunya citizens whose bizaare demands are separation from the Spanish main land, and so are the demands of the scots from Britain and Flamish from Belgium and so on. What you have described about Germany is more or less a reality.

    Integrtion or lack of integration of non-Europeans into the homogenius fabric of the society and the obligations of today’s Germans towards the victims of the ww2, could explain certain developments mostly in the regions which were formerly known as DDR.

    The German society is based on Leistung(hard work and Productivity), exercises social market economy with co-maagement in Industry(workers Union and company maagement), and practices love and compassion for the next as preached among the believers of the Ibrahimic religions.

    German official policy is to grant asylum to the needy one and is in response to those countries in the world who offered asylum to German citizes after the ww2.

    Rex Minor

    PS The current economic minister of the republic is of vietnamese origin who lost his parents during Vietnam war and was adoptedby a German pilot.

  29. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    rex,thanks.u are always right.

  30. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    As an observer, what I find of great interest is that some of the so called liberal writers are of a standard which meets the international norms but far exceeds the requirements of the Inian sub-continent. because of colonial background suitable for British Indian environment perhaps?

    My suggestion for these elites would be to study the slow demise and possible reformation of the western media, which has started from the downfall of Murdoch media empire in Britai as well as that of BBC which is fast spreading towards the American continent.
    Media in my opinion must not take the lead but keep pace with the people and make it transparent to the democratic Govt. of the time so that the policies are based on consensus instead of authoritative mechanism.

    Toays malaise in the anglo-saxon societies of both Britain and the USA is caused by the lobbyst oriented corrupt non-homogenius media in the land. Indian sub-contient media by and large is taking the similar direction.

    Rex Minor

  31. K- United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    Good one Raza !!

  32. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ RHR

    I wish RHR came out of his fool’s paradise and realised the harsher realities of life. Here is an eye opener for him and his likes

    .

    The Good American: My Awakening

    By Timothy Dwight Smithnever understood the consequences. Since my birth I’d been taught the superiority of America and Christianity and it’d been my li

    15 November, 2012
    .

    It was quite the disheartening day when I realized that I, son of a preacher, descendant of the subjugated race here in America, was simply a mere creation and byproduct of the worst forms of American imperialism and religious bigotry the world has ever seen. The most troubling part was that I’d known it all along, but had fe blood. I had no concern nor did I possess any real respect for any other nation or religious experience different than my own. My experiences as a youth into adulthood were perpetually Europeanized, from those quaint school houses which served primarily as subtle initiation into the capitalistic mindset, to the pulpits where I witnessed my father preach similar biblical doctrine utilized by American settlers to enervate my slave ancestors. Everything I knew about life, love, holiness and patriotism was merely the manuscript of a nation that sanitizes bloodshed and oppression with the philosophy of Manifest Destiny. It is this mixing of genocidal nationalism and religiosity which creates the American citizen that is indifferent to injustice, religiously cold, and racially polarized. This sort of human being is a very dangerous one indeed.

    Those in position to create the policies of this country – ever since there’s been an America – have always espoused the notion that subjugation through force is the best formula to combat views in opposition to America’s domestic and foreign policy interests. One of the most troubling aspects of these legislative principles and onerous practices is that they have been applied considerably to persons within the United States as well as those in countries abroad. America has demonstrated little restraint in inflicting the worse forms of oppression on its own people if it resulted in financial enrichment for the nation’s elite. African slaves, the people most responsible for America’s wealth and so much of the political power in Washington D.C., were perpetual victims of this philosophy. American imperialism is but the demonstration of Manifest Destiny. This idea that the Creator desires for America to reign supreme in the world results in bloodshed without remorse. War becomes “God’s work,” genocide; nation building. The ways in which this is accomplished merely represents a means to an end; no matter the blood, despite the countless lives lost in the process. As if mimicking the overall tenor of the country, much of America’s citizens, through capitalism, interact with one another in equally inhumane ways; ever-ready to exploit the other; especially between peoples of differing races, backgrounds, cultures etc.

    It was only after comparing America’s history, and the mistreatment she’d supplied her friends and enemies, with the conditions which exist for those most exploited by America’s domestic and foreign policy interests could I come to terms with the uncomfortable dissonance I’d felt about my country. The shock that accompanied my awakening resulted in continued questioning and investigation of the only identity I’d ever known. What does it mean to be a good American? How do race, religion and patriotism interact within an American context? These were some of the questions I wrestled with perpetually. These questions are not only relevant to me in the present but have been my entire life absent my knowledge. And this is the root of the trouble; failing to question your position in America’s story ensures the story of America continues as is. When I became conscious of this reality I then immediately woke up.

    America functions as it does because this nation’s ideal state is for its citizens to be as much alike as possible, not in any monetary sense, quite the contrary, but similar in terms of the public’s perceptions, sensibilities and or disposition regarding the country’s past, present, and future. This consistency of thought among citizens provides America with willing participants for future atrocities and staunch defenders of its past.

    My attempts to reconcile what it means to be a Christian and a good American have often troubled me for I have, until recently, understood them to be synonymous. They are not. In many ways they are mutually exclusive; one has little to do with the other, making it impossible to be authentically both at the same time. America has always strived to maintain the facade of a nation that embraces the tenets of the Judeo-Christian faith. But if Christianity is truly a faith rooted in the fundamentals of love, sacrifice, and truth, how then can one be a good American when patriotism requires, at minimum, a celebration of America’s murderous accomplishments as a testament to one’s allegiance? Love has no company with murder, sacrifice no relationship with capitalism, and truth no friendship with lies. The lies of America’s past continue being told to her children.

    The complexity of deciphering true identity – racial, national and religious – if one is to reject the lies they’ve been told concerning the history of America and how one fits in it, is exhausting, but not impossible. As James Baldwin so eloquently stated, “If one fails to take up this tough task and continues in a delusion; eyes shut; remaining in a state of innocence long after that innocence is dead turns himself into a monster.”

    When I survey America’s psychological landscape, minding extra attention to those most victimized by America’s unbridled desire for power, domestic and abroad, without question, if an era of innocence ever did exist, it’s far gone now

  33. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ gautam

    Muslims do not practice ‘taqayya’……and refrain from accusing a Muslim , in particular a Wahabi, of that otherwise you might lose your head or have your balls cut off!

  34. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @RHR

    you don’t like Pakistan, its people, its leaders or prospective leaders such as Imran Khan,,,,you better pull out Mirja Ghulla of Qadian from his mound so he can spread more evil and hate in the world!!

  35. RHR United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    AKB

    I love Pakistan much more than you do and that it why I want it to be a tolerant society where all those who were born here (irrespective of their faith)could live peacefully without fearing for their lives.

    And I am not an Ahmedi though I do think that they are being targeted and for no reason.

    And Imran Khan though a great cricketer and a charity worker is an idiot politician.

    Regards

    Raza

  36. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    RHR,
    Who do you propose then if Imran Khan in your opinion is an idiot politician?

    To de-escalate one needs a dialogue; those who opt for confrontation and use of power over those who resist should visit the middle east and those who want to witness the consequences of wars, should visit the European continent. The area around the city of Verdun in france is still litred with human bones in open fields without recognition of the nationality.

    Rex Minor

  37. RajTOO Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Imran Khan is simply a boy of the British and will do their errands. Does not mean Pakistan will get much out of it, as Britain is itself bankrupt.

  38. Maggu India Safari iPad says:

    Well, well Immy boy was/is the son in law of one of the richest Jews in the world who was also a great benefactor of Israel. Who knows if there is a deeper game in his apparent support of the unwashed-short-salwar-wearing-kid-killers

  39. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Raj,

    I thought you were of the opinion that maths was the speciality of Indics. Now take the current population count in the world and than extrapulate based on forecast birth rate (1.4 per family in germany ) and give us your vision of the world in next decade.

    The power will shift towards East, dominated by the super power of chinese. In the European continent Britain will be relegated to an off shore island who will be content livig on fishery and liquar export. Did you say a Pakistani of Imran Khan cadre who feels at ease with those who have wealth and power will become an errand boy. The Power in Pakistan and Afghanistan is in the hands of Talibans; Imran khan is the only one for dialogue with those who hold the power before they roll down from the North into the plains of India, and take two nuclear powers as hostage.

    Rex Minor

  40. RajTOO Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Rex Minor,
    I don’t know what you think of Pakjabis, but fantasies about taking over India is less worth than the gas one gets after eating Lahori channa.
    .
    Ever wondered why so much of Pushtun land is in Pakistan and not in Afghanistan. Read up on Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Taliban are strong in their own milieu, in their own waters. Outside of it they are really nothing. So if Taliban wants to take over Pakistan, be my guest! If they think about India, they will get noses so flat, that the Chinese would laugh at them! Just some friendly advice! Don’t believe in the Paki propaganda. They have often been the victims of their own propaganda and have gone home with a bloody nose!
    .
    Anyway, China is a land which is going to grow old before it grows rich.
    .
    Im the Dim is as said a British Manchurian candidate and basically Im the Dim is one of the last cards Britain is playing to retain some modicum of influence in the world. British influence over Pakistan makes Britain an important partner for the Americans. Outside that partnership they are today nothing.

  41. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ RHR

    Disgusting that you called Imran Khan an idiot, How woudl you feel if someone called you a bigger idiot or a moron than anyone else??

    .

    Learn some manners and refrain from laying abuses and aspersions on others…

    /
    What’s the basis of your assertaion that injustice is being done to mirjai’s not only in Pak but all over the Muslim world>>>>????? This is their own fault because being not Muslims they blatantly refuse to be called non Muslims,,,,,
    You do not seem to believe in democracy, right>>>?? If you did you would not flout the decision of the Parliament nor treat with contempt the decision of the SC….you will also not say that all Muslims other than Mirjai;s are Kafirs,,as Syed put it and made him liable for blasphemy, I am thinking about taking this matter to the concerned authorities and might file an FIR against him for that ….c/o PTH and then I will see who comes for his succor!!
    .

    same to you maggu dear,,,,learn manners and don’t be too hasty, prejudiced or speculative in your remarks over others, How would you feel if the same is done to you>>>>??? I know like most women you will begin to cry and complain!!

    .

  42. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Raj,

    No other people in the world are suitable materials for a Blitzkrieg, except two, the Germanics and the waziris. Imran Khan has the kowledge and is acting at the advice of Pakistan military brass, therefore his peace march towards the waziris who refused to meet him.

    Let RHR tell us if there is another alternative leader who not only speaks but act for peace. Stop this Indian habit of answerig questions which are asked of others. You will have plenty of chance to add in your bit after the answer is there.

    Rex Minor

  43. Satyamukhi United States Internet Explorer Windows says:

    RajTOO

    Saragarhi settled the issue that a Khassi men with women dress are no match for real Punjabis on this side of the border. Physical weakness and mental retardness caused by Inbreeding have left its mark.Only person worth the salt they produced was Badshah Khan but he fell to Ham eating Jinnah. How intelligent and brave they could be when they are fooled and ruled by Pakjabi who have no history but that of slavery and surrender.The day is not far when whole ME prostrate at the feet of Mother India, seek forgivenss and ask for protection.

  44. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @Satyamukhi

    Perchance if that day comes the Pak people will screw mother India and give rise to a new generation of Martians and Water Babies!!

  45. tajender United Arab Emirates Internet Explorer Windows says:

    BJP’s RSS anchor
    by A.G Noorani

    IN the last few days, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) have been going through the motions of a subordinate’s bid for slightly greater power from a superior. As ever, the superior wins. The reasons for this predetermined end are historical, organisational and political.

    The BJP is a political front of the militant RSS and very much amenable to fiats from the RSS. This is made known to all by the manner in which the RSS has been removing and imposing successive presidents of the BJP and its predecessor, the Bharatiya Jan Sangh.

    After the March 1977 general election the opposition parties’, including the Jan Sangh, merged into a single party, the Janata Party. It formed the government at the centre only to lose power in July 1979 following a split within its ranks. On April 5, 1980 the Janata Party suffered another split when members of the erstwhile Jan Sangh walked out when the party demanded that they should not “participate in the day-to-day activities of the RSS”. Rather than do the honest thing and revive the Jan Sangh they set up a new party, the Bharatiya Janata Party (the BJP), avowedly as the truly nationalistic Janata Party.

    Before long its leading lights like A.B. Vajpayee and L.K. Advani openly declared that the BJP’s parent was the Jan Sangh.

    This body was set up on Oct 21, 1951 under a pact between the Mahasabha leader Dr Shyama Prasad Mookerjee and the RSS supremo M.S. Golwalkar. The politicians provided the ‘leaders’ but they were pitiably dependent on the cadres lent by the RSS.

    This is the true relationship between the BJP, successor to the Jan Sangh, and the RSS.

    It is important to emphasise this because not only some Indians but also observers outside, particularly in the US, fondly hoped that the BJP would emerge rather like the Christian Democrats in Europe. This is wishful thinking. The RSS never allowed its progeny to become independent. If anything it has strengthened its control in the last decade.

    On Nov 3, 1954 the Jan Sangh’s president Mauli Chandra Sharma resigned complaining belatedly of “interference by the RSS in the affairs of the Jan Sangh”. He was accused of “betrayal” by a senior member, Balraj Madhok. Later he became president only to be expelled from membership of the Jan Sangh by its young president, Lal Kishen Advani. Madhok had complained of “too much interference by the RSS in party affairs”.

    In December 2005 Advani was forced to resign as president of the BJP by the RSS. He had given offence by the comments he had written in June 2005 in the visitor’s book at the mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.

    They read: “There are many people who leave an inerasable stamp on history. But there are very few who actually create history. Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah was one such rare individual. In his early years Sarojini Naidu, a leading luminary of India’s freedom struggle, described Mr Jinnah as an ‘ambassador of Hindu-Muslim unity’. His address to the Constituent Assembly of Pakistan on Aug 11, 1947 is a classic; a forceful espousal of a secular state in which every citizen would be free to practise his own religion but the state shall make no distinction between one citizen and another on the grounds of faith. My respectful homage to this great man.”

    It was a cruel blow. In 2004 the BJP lost power to the Congress and Advani’s hopes of succeeding Vajpayee as prime minister were dashed. The 2009 general elections saw the Congress return to power. Advani turned 85 this month. But he pins his hopes on a possible impasse in the 2014 general election, given the Congress’s declining popularity. This plan the RSS is resolved to defeat.

    There is another aspirant to that post, Narendra Modi, chief minister of Gujarat known for the anti-Muslim pogrom in 2002. The RSS finds him too self-willed. This brings us to the genesis of the crisis in 2012. In 2005, the RSS had replaced Advani with the former chief minister of UP Rajnath Singh. He was replaced on Nov 19, 2009, by Nitin Gadkari of Nagpur, the headquarters of the RSS.

    The whole country was shocked by disclosures last month that Gadkari’s Purti Co. received money from other companies which hardly existed. Where did he get the crores from? He undertook to face a probe, an offer which Advani, no friend of his, lauded.

    The RSS sent S. Gurumurthy, a chartered accountant and a lifelong member, to conduct a ‘probe’. On Nov 6, he told a core group of the BJP leadership — minus a sulking Advani — that Gadkari was neither morally nor legally guilty of any wrongdoing.

    They dutifully affirmed their “full faith” in Gadkari’s leadership.

    Correspondents of repute attributed this to a phone call from Nagpur by RSS supremo Mohan Bhagwat. Gadkari’s term as BJP president ends next month. It is uncertain whether he will get a second term. For the RSS had second thoughts. On Nov 13, Gurumurthy tweeted that his “clean chit” was not for Gadkari, only for his companies.

    What is more relevant is the reality of the RSS control of the BJP and their ideology. Mohan Bhagwat holds “Pakistan is transitory and will become part of India sooner or later … Pakistan and Afghanistan are a part of us and will return one day” (India Today; Nov 18, 2009). That is also Advani’s ideal though he is more circumspect. He spoke of an Indo-Pakistan confederation, doubtless on his terms, on July 6, 2001, on the eve of the Agra summit which he scuttled, and on Jan 22, 2002, when Indian troops were massed on the international border and along the LoC.

    On Nov 10, 2012, Jaswant Singh asserted in a TV debate with Gen (retd) Pervez Musharraf that the BJP alone can deliver the goods because its nationalism is not suspect. His remarks on Muslims quoted by Strobe Talbott in his book Engaging India reveal his ‘nationalism’. The BJP is a menace to Indian democracy in India and an obstacle to a sound policy towards its neighbours.

  46. Maggu India Google Chrome  GT-N7100 Build/JRO03C) AppleWebKit/535.19 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/18.0.1025.166 Mobile Safari/535.19 says:

    AKB, I will learn manners the day you treat all humans the same including Quadianis and women.

  47. RajTOO Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Rex Minor,

    Stop this Indian habit of answerig questions which are asked of others.

    I believe you were the one who was suggesting that the Taliban would come down and take over the two nuclear powers of the Subcontinent! So I butted in.
    .
    As for my initial remarks on Im the Dim, they were addressed to the general readers, and not to you!
    .
    Satyamukhi,
    You are right! Saragarhi did settle the issue between the Sons of the Soil and the Mo-Drones!

  48. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    Tajeder,

    It matters not what transpires from the politicians of the two countries love/hate acts. What is worrying ofcourse is the fact that the two countries do not have a peace treaty between them and reflecting on the emotioal character of the people a nuclear flare-up is a real possibility. Despite living so close to each other and having had a common history for centuries, in recent past they have always managed to give a surprise to each other.

    Rex Minor

  49. AKB Pakistan Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    @ RHR and others at the helm of affairs of PTH!!

    .

    I am disgusted to note that apart from the Mirzi and Jinnah Issue there is not much or nothing on this forum to delve into …For example I could not notice any tag on ”Palestine’ or “Israel’, why?? Also I haven’t come across any article or write up by any of the many thugs here who are so callous as not to see beyond Mirjai’s , Jinnah , Islam or Pakistan. This blindness to humanitarian issues clearly reflects upon their closed mentality and least concern about humanity. shame on them!!

    since there is no active thread On PTH on current happenings as they are in the Middle East, especially in regard to the havoc caused by Israel over Palestinians and the US support rendered to that bully, I have no choice but to post these questions here…

    Amazing what they get away with, isn’t it…..

    Question: Which country alone in the Middle East has nuclear weapons?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: Which country in the Middle East refuses to sign the nuclear non-proliferation treaty and bars international inspections? ?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: Which country in the Middle East seized the sovereign territory of other nations by military force and continues to occupy it in defiance of United Nations Security Council resolutions?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely violates the international borders of another sovereign state with warplanes and artillery and naval gunfire?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: What American ally in the Middle East has for years sent assassins into other countries to kill its political enemies (a practice sometimes called exporting terrorism)?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: In which country in the Middle East have high-ranking military officers admitted publicly that unarmed prisoners of war were executed?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: What country in the Middle East refuses to prosecute its soldiers who have acknowledged executing prisoners of war?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: What country in the Middle East created millions of refugees and refuses to allow them to return to their homes, farms and businesses?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: What country in the Middle East refuses to pay compensation to people whose land, bank accounts and businesses it confiscated?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: In what country in the Middle East was a high-ranking United Nations diplomat assassinated?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: In what country in the Middle East did the man who ordered the assassination of a high-ranking U.N. diplomat become prime minister?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: What country in the Middle East blew up an American diplomatic facility in Egypt and attacked a U.S. ship, the USS Liberty, in international waters, killing 34 and wounding 171 American sailors?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: What country in the Middle East employed a spy, Jonathan Pollard, to steal classified documents from USA and then gave some of them to the Soviet Union ?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: What country at first denied any official connection to Pollard, then voted to make him a citizen and has continuously demanded that the American president grant Pollard a full pardon?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: What Middle East country allows American Jewish murderers to flee to its country to escape punishment in the United States and refuses to extradite them once in their custody?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: What Middle East country preaches against hate yet builds a shrine and a memorial for a murderer who killed 29 Palestinians while they prayed in their Mosque.?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: What country on Planet Earth has the second most powerful lobby in the United States , according to a recent Fortune magazine survey of Washington insiders?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: Which country in the Middle East deliberately targeted a civilian U.N. Refugee Camp in Qana , Lebanon and killed 103 innocent men, women, and especially children?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: Which country in the Middle East is in defiance of 69 United Nations Security Council resolutions and has been protected from 29 more by U.S. vetoes?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: Which country in the Middle East receives more than one-third of all U.S. aid to the world yet is the 16th richest country in the world?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: Which country in the Middle East receives U.S. weapons for free and then sells the technology to the Republic of China even at the objections of the U.S. ?
    Answer: Israel .
    .
    Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely insults the American people by having its Prime Minister address the United States Congress and lecturing them like children on why they have no right to reduce foreign aid?
    Answer: Israel .
    .
    Question: Which country in the Middle East had its Prime Minister announce to his staff not to worry about what the United States says because “We control America ?”
    Answer: Israel .
    .
    Question: What country in the Middle East was cited by Amnesty International for demolishing more than 4000 innocent Palestinian homes as a means of ethnic cleansing?
    Answer: Israel .
    .
    Question: Which country in the Middle East has just recently used a weapon of mass destruction, a one-ton smart bomb, dropping it in the center of a highly populated area killing 15 civilians including 9 children?
    Answer: Israel .
    .
    Question: Which country in the Middle East routinely kills young Palestinian children for no reason other than throwing stones at armored vehicles, bulldozers, or tanks?
    Answer: Israel .
    .
    Question: Which country in the Middle East signed the Oslo Accords promising to halt any new Jewish Settlement construction, but instead, has built more than 270 new settlements since the signing?
    Answer: Israel .

    Question: Which country in the Middle East has assassinated more than 100 political officials of its opponent in the last 2 years while killing hundreds of civilians in the process, including dozens of children?
    Answer: Israel .
    .
    Question: Which country in the Middle East regularly violates the Geneva Convention by imposing collective punishment on entire towns, villages, and camps, for the acts of a few, and even goes as far as demolishing entire villages while people are still in their homes?
    Answer: Israel .

  50. Rex Minor Germany Google Chrome Windows says:

    AKB,

    Your post is becomig a source of enlightenment particularly when your anger remains suppressed but not your intution. Brilliant and classic and at times genial, in my opinion.

    What is missing on PTH as you indicated, appears on Express Tribune in quantity which attracts the larger section of the society from many coutaries but I doubt if PTH wants to attract the crowd and exercise intensive and time consuming moderation?

    Rex Minor

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