The Sun Never Sets (on our ability to f*%k s#!t up)


by lizard

Raymond Davis is probably not a widely known name here in the states. Yet. But as this story evolves, the entire premise for America’s WAR ON TERROR could unravel. But the Obama administration and our corporate media are trying really hard to ensure that doesn’t happen.

Raymond Davis is being held in Lahore, Pakistan after shooting and killing two motorcyclists who, according to the accused, were trying to rob him. A third Pakistani was allegedly killed by a speeding car that is suspected of trying to come to Davis’ aid.

The Obama administration is in full damage control mode, which means they will say anything to keep this incident from escalating an already tense situation in Pakistan. But so far the lies and deceit coming from the White House haven’t been adequate. The truth is slowly leaking out.

At Counterpunch today, Mike Whitney lays out some disturbing speculation about what this incident could expose about America’s covert operations in Pakistan:

But why all the intrigue and arm-twisting? Why has the State Department invoked the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to make its case that Davis is entitled to diplomatic immunity? If Davis is innocent, then he has nothing to worry about, right? Why not let the trial go forward and stop reinforcing the widely-held belief that Davis is a vital cog in the US’s clandestine operations in Pakistan?

The truth is that Davis had been photographing sensitive installations and madrassas for some time, the kind of intelligence gathering that spies do when scouting-out prospective targets. Also, he’d been in close contact with members of terrorist organizations, which suggests a link between the CIA and terrorist incidents in Pakistan. Here’s an excerpt from Wednesday’s The Express Tribune:

“His cell phone has revealed contacts with two ancillaries of al Qaeda in Pakistan, Tehreek-e-Taliban of Pakistan (TTP) and sectarian Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), which has led to the public conclusion that he was behind terrorism committed against Pakistan’s security personnel and its people ….This will strike people as America in cahoots with the Taliban and al Qaeda against the state of Pakistan targeting, as one official opined, Pakistan’s nuclear installations.” (“Raymond Davis: The plot thickens, The Express Tribune)

“Al Qaeda”? The CIA is working with “ancillaries of al Qaeda in Pakistan”? No wonder the US media has been keeping a wrap on this story for so long.

Naturally, most Pakistanis now believe that the US is colluding with terrorists to spread instability, weaken the state, and increase its power in the region. But isn’t that America’s M.O. everywhere?

Also, many people noticed that US drone attacks suddenly stopped as soon as Davis was arrested. Was that a coincidence? Not likely. Davis was probably getting coordinates from his new buddies in the tribal hinterland and then passing them along to the Pentagon. The drone bombings are extremely unpopular in Pakistan. More then 1400 people have been killed since August 2008, and most of them have been civilians.

The Obama administration has been willing to lie, initially stating that Davis was a diplomat based out of Islamabad. That assertion is crap. They’ve even invoked international conventions that, when it doesn’t suit their imperial ambitions, they don’t give two shits about. Diplomatic immunity?

This is the old trifecta at play: duplicity, hypocrisy, deceit. But as our decade-long involvement in Afghanistan continues to bleed into Pakistan, all the old cover stories for why we’re there are evaporating, leaving the ugly residue of imperialism for all to see.

But do we see?

Counterpunch has been great at keeping up with this story, which is important, because our corporate media has once again shown they are more willing to obey orders from our government than report the news. A few days ago Dave Lindorff wrote this piece. snip:

America’s and the President’s reputations take another beating as a result of the handling of this bloody incident. Not only did the US dispatch to Islamabad members of Congress, including the Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), as well as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to press for Davis’s release, threatening the withholding of aid to Pakistan (our ostensible ally in the Afghanistan War!). It provided a patently false document to the Pakistani foreign office claiming Davis to be an employee of the US Embassy in Islamabad (which would have meant he’d have immunity from arrest and detention), when he was actually working out of the Lahore Consulate, where he would not be entitled to any immunity for his actions). It also tried to exchange his regular passport for a diplomatic one a day after his arrest, again retroactively trying to get him immunity from prosecution for his murderous acts.

Furthermore, the US government, according to the Guardian, induced major US news organizations to hide what they knew about Davis’s real role from the American public. The paper reported that several US news organizations had also learned on their own that Davis is a spy, but then voluntarily withheld the information from the American public “at the request of the Obama administration,” which preferred to stick to the fictional story line that Pakistan is holding an American “diplomat” in “violation of the Vienna Convention” on diplomatic immunity.

This is big stuff, and if given the context it deserves, should be headline news. Instead it’s relegated to alternative media sources, which means relative obscurity for most Americans.

But there are some important things to take away from this incident which are critical, and Lindorff says states it quite succinctly at the end of his article:

Two things clear already though. One is that the US is a thoroughly untrustworthy member of the international diplomatic community. It has shown that, from the President on down, it is ready to bald-facedly lie to its own allies to cover up its nefarious activities, which well could include fomenting terror within their borders. The other is that the US media are nothing more than propaganda mouthpieces for that same wretched government, ready to help it cover up its crimes when asked.

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  1. I’m not really clear what you’re getting at. This guy doesn’t sound like a good guy, but if he’s a spy, he’s a spy. Does it surprise anyone we have spies in Pakistan? Does it surprise anyone that we’re trying to get him out of Pakistan rather than facing trial? Lets not forget that we recently arrested a bunch of spies in the US, and what did we do? We sent them home.

    And I’m not sure it’s that shocking that a US spy in Pakistan has terrorists in his contact list. Would you be surprised if an undercover cop had mafia numbers on his speed dial? Given that Pakistan’s own intelligence agents are known to supply terrorists with weapons and training, this is not much of a shocker.

    I agree that this guy should have probably faced trial in Pakistan, but it is essentially inevitable that he would have been executed, given the state of the Pakistani justice system. Notice how Russia scrambled to get their spies out of the US as soon as they were caught? It’s the way the game is played.

    And regarding the media – this was front page news, at least in the BBC, when it happened. Now it’s been eclipsed by far more important goings-on in Libya.

    • lizard19

      you may not be shocked, wolf, but you pay closer attention to what’s going on abroad than most, which i would say makes your ho-hum response even more discouraging.

      you may just shrug your shoulders at how reflexively our elected officials—all the way up to our president—are willing to lie to cover up the consequences of our nation’s covert wars, but i think that’s making a huge mistake.

      the possibility of blowback is incredibly dangerous. remember 9-11? the collusion of our intelligence agencies with foreign terrorist networks matters.

      or maybe you think it doesn’t.

  2. I guess I should re-state – I am neither surprised nor offended at our efforts to cover this up, and I am not surprised at our interaction with terrorist cells. I do think it’s dangerous – and it may indicate that elements of our intelligence apparatus are doing things that could well blow up in our faces. At very least I think we need to go over firearm-using protocol with our spies – this isn’t a 007 movie and if the Pakistani police are telling the truth when they say the ‘robbers’ had never cocked their guns, perhaps there was a better way out of this particular situation than killing two people in broad daylight.

    On the other hand, the individual in question could just have easily been using his contacts with terrorists to aid in the elimination of terrorist threats by either US or Pakistani forces. I fully expect we have assets taking part in this – otherwise we’re just bombing random locations, which makes civilian casualties all the more likely. And even if he is involved in something nefarious, I’d prefer we cover it up as quickly as we can. I fail to see how this man being tried and executed and potentially spilling his state secrets before hand is better.

    Putting on my lizard thinking cap, and doubting everything I read, I must ask: was it just a coincidence that someone happened to be trying to ‘rob’ an American spy? Were these the two unluckiest robbers in Pakistan, or were they targeting this individual? Given that we know that Pakistani Intelligence operates outside the supervision of it’s government (and indeed, perhaps US intelligence does as well), there may be more to this story on both sides than will ever be heard. The Pakistanis may be covering for something, as well.

    • lizard19

      since you are admittedly a-ok with lies and cover-ups, there’s really nothing more i can say to you.

      after all, this is the way the game is played, right?

      so who cares if civilians die. if we are to just shrug our shoulders at 1400 dead civilians in Pakistan, like you do, then we have no right to get all indignant when a couple thousand civilians die in America.

      • In what way am I shrugging my shoulders at dead civilians in Pakistan? Killing this guy or spilling his secrets isn’t going to help that. Indeed, having more spies in Pakistan, gathering more intelligence, will greatly decrease the civilian casualties we cause there. On the other hand, if this incident causes us to reduce our intelligence levels in Pakistan, what have we gained? Almost certainly more unrest in Pakistan, and almost certainly more propaganda for the Taliban. But maybe strengthening the Taliban in a fragile nation that also happens to possess nuclear weapons isn’t such a bad thing? I have a hard time seeing that point of view.

        Now I’ll admit, it’s possible that this agent is indeed involved in something truly nefarious – a massive covert operation of some kind. That’s what I thought when I started reading your post. But then, you didn’t really support that point of view in the rest of it.

        • lizard19

          you support a speedy cover-up. you accept that stuff like this is not shocking because it’s just how the game is played. and that game includes thousands of civilians dying. that doesn’t seem to bother you too much.

          we are destabilizing a nuclear armed ally, possibly on purpose through covert operations. do i need to spell it out for you? read the links. connect the dots.

          or keep whoring yourself out for the status quo. ’cause you’re really good at it.

          • “you support a speedy cover-up. you accept that stuff like this is not shocking because it’s just how the game is played. and that game includes thousands of civilians dying.”

            See, now you’re conflating two things. You’re totally right, I have no problem with our covert operations remaining covert. That’s what they are for. If all our CIA actions where open while the rest of the world continued to engage in covert operations, I don’t think either of us would like the outcome.

            But, that doesn’t mean I support the killing of civilians. I’m still not sure how that is connected to us having spies in Pakistan. Indeed, a great deal of my more idealistic positions, such as staying in Afghanistan, are based on the idea that keeping civilians alive is a good goal.

            “we are destabilizing a nuclear armed ally, possibly on purpose through covert operations. ”

            Or we are covertly trying to eliminate the enemies of a nuclear armed ally (the Pakistani Taliban and fundamentalist terrorists) because overtly propping up the Pakistani regime only makes it less popular with its own people. Now this particular spy shooting Pakistanis- that is destabilizing. If it is really just a coincidence, it never should have happened. But getting him out of there – that’s not destabilizing Pakistan. That’s protecting sensitive information and saving one of ours from an impossible trial. I do think he should face charges in the US, however, at least until we can establish what happened.

            But now I’m asking you this Lizard – is it not equally suspicious that this spy happened to be assailed by two these two unfortunate robbers? Is it not also possible that someone wanted to create a rift between the US and Pakistani governments? Indeed, we know that people want to do that. We know that people within the Pakistani intelligence community want that. I don’t have any proof. I don’t know if I believe that, necessarily. But it’s certainly possible.

            • lizard19

              i don’t think the two men who were shot were robbers; that’s just the cover story. something else is going on here.

              but it’s not for us lowly citizens to know what’s being done covertly with our tax money, right? thank goodness our president is so willing to lie and our corporate media willing to sit on information to protect these clandestine activities.

              anyway, you don’t seem to get it. when you say this is how the game is played, that means you accept the reality that civilians are regularly being blown to pieces by our predator drones.

              so if we suffer a terrorist attack from a radicalized pakistani, you better just accept that as a consequence for how the game is played.

              • Is it impossible to accept some parts of the status quo without accepting the entirety of it? Hint: we’ve been running spies and covering them up (because…otherwise they wouldn’t be spies?) a lot longer than we’ve been bombing Pakistani civilians. I am confident we can do one without the other.

                And no, it’s not for us lowly citizens to know. Some things will stay secret. That’s why it’s espionage, not The Price is Right.

  3. blasphemy !

    You must not doubt The Great Leader !

    Obama is telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth !

  4. Kptrng

    You need to start your own blog, Lizard. You’re not like the others.

    The implications of the story are far deeper and more sinister than Polish Wolf allows, as the episode threatens to undermine to whole of the official pretext of our presence in Afghanistan and Pakistan – to root out the Taliban and “Al Qaeda”. (I never believed that anyway, but don’t know the real reason either.)

    There are always two stories to every war – the one they tell the American public, and the real one. This story is intriguing in that it partially uncovers the real one, and the government, titularly headed by Obama, is quick to cover it up again.

    So what’s the real story? Why are we there? Are we working in secret with “Al Qaeda” and the Taliban, and if so, who is the real enemy?

    One obvious answer is that there is great fear of democracy breaking out in Pakistan, just is in Egypt, Tunesia, Algeria, Yemen and Bahrain, but especially Pakistan. America is reviled and hated in all of these places, but Pakistan is special. Pakistan has nukes. Democratic rule in Pakistan would be disastrous for the U.S. We might have to pack it up and go home.

    And if we did that, God only knows. Peace might break out.

    • “And if we did that, God only knows. Peace might break out.”

      Or another war, like the last three between India and Pakistan. But yeah, peace is more likely, with Pakistan continuing to train terrorists to attack India, and destabilize Afghanistan because the Afghan people are too friendly with India. Just keep telling yourself that.

      Pakistan is more Democratic now that it has been for many years, EXCEPT where the Taliban or other tribal leaders have control. The biggest obstacle to Democracy is that the security forces are not subservient to civil institutions. And what would the US have to fear from a Democratic Pakistan? Periods of relative Democracy in Pakistan have been no worse for our relations than period of relative dictatorship.

      For being a cynic, Mark, you have a weird confidence in the ability of Democracy to just happen, in a culture with little tradition thereof, despite an security apparatus firmly opposed. And I admire your classiness in mentioning Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and Bahrain, but not the bloodiest protests against the more repressive regime of the lot of them, in Libya.

      • JC

        “Pakistan is more Democratic now that it has been for many years”

        How can you square that comment with the political assassination while at a political rally of Benazir Bhutto, the leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party?

        Bhutto had been rallying Pakistanis with evidence of electoral fraud perpetrated by President Musharraf, and tactics he was planning to use in the upcoming election.

        Bhutto and a Pakistani Senator were just preparing to release a report on the corruption of Pakistani politics, “Yet another stain on the face of democracy”, when she was assassinated. Furthermore, Musharraf was implicated in the fraud with taking U.S. money and support to suppress the PPP and manipulate elections.

        And you say Pakistan is more Democratic? How does assassinating the opposition show that? Or are there some subtle markers of progress outside of that you would point to to prove your point that outweigh political assassination?

        Again, Pakistan is yet another example of America propping up a regime in the name of security over democracy and freedom.

        • JC, what you are talking about happened four years ago. A very large part of the reason I said that Pakistan is more Democratic now is that the new government (an elected government formed by parliamentary coalition) has issued a warrant for the arrest of Musharraf accusing him of being involved in Bhutto’s death. Putting him on trial may well uncover the elements of the security apparatus that were almost certainly involved.

          http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/12/pakistan-issue-arrest-warrant-musharraf

          • JC

            A little over three years ago: Dec. 27th, 2007.

            And just what do you think the chances of him ever going on trial are? Especially as he was backed for so long by the U.S.?

            Just because Pakistan got a new president does not mean it has become more democratic. NO more than the U.s. becoming more democratic because we elected a new president.

            As long as the U.S. is prioritizing security over democracy in its global hegemony, democracy takes a second seat.

            • “what do you think the chances of him ever going on trial are?”

              Rather low, given that he doesn’t live in Pakistan. But the fact that he was ousted by rival political parties after an election would suggest that Pakistan is a bit more Democratic than it was when he was ruling. It wasn’t merely a change in who was president, it was a significant change in how the leader was chosen.

              Pakistan isn’t perfect, but if you don’t think that it is more Democratic now than it was under Musharraf, then I don’t understand where you’re coming from.

        • Kptrng

          Pakistan is a democratic state only in the sense that it is allowed to have elections and the like so long as it goes along with US plans and policies for the region. If it fails to do so, AID steps in ad stirs up foment. Opposition politicians – people who really believe in democratic rule, often end up as Bhutto. That’s not just Pakistan, but all of Latin America, SE Asia, Indonesia … etc.

          So though I don’t want to get into a long and dragged out debate with you, I must observe that your observations are of surface phenomena. Are you really saying that the US is a force for peace and democracy in the region?

          • If that were true, about Latin America, why do we tolerate Chavez and Ortega and Correa and Morales?

            I’ll give you that usually there is a point at which the US intervenes. That point shifts dramatically, though. In 1939, it was actually being attacked; during the cold war we were a little more trigger-happy. The key is finding the proper balance – knowing when to intervene and when not to.

            No country has complete sovereignty, because no country has total power to resist its neighbors. Indeed, complete sovereignty is a dream – it requires also complete isolation and complete autarky. North Korea is perhaps the closest nation to achieving the goal of sovereignty. Good for them: may they be a cautionary tale. Not achieving complete sovereignty does not make a country less of a Democracy. Indeed, I challenge you to point out one Democracy in history that has had complete latitude to do whatever the people wanted.

            I’m just saying, there were three wars between India and Pakistan before 1971. I don’t think US involvement is the source of the fighting.

          • Kptrng

            I did not say that the US had anything to do with the India-Pakistan wars. The US is not the cause of all problems in the world. But when the US is a cause, we should talk about it. The US is raining violence on Pakistan, creating an insurgency. That is a problem.

            The US (through AID) is surely busy in the four countries you mention, and did indeed stage a coup against Chavez in 2002. But the country is losing steam – in 1965, 1985, 95 – no way would those four be in power. Since our heavy involvement in the Mideast, we are overextended, and that has opened up a window in Latin America and there is great progress. There is even talk of transnational unity down there, which the US does not want but maybe cannot stop.

            There is also an Asian bloc forming – India-China-Pakistan, which the US does not want. Any alliance is a threat to US control of resources. And it is all about resources.

            The inability for the people of a country to have the government they want is indeed a sign of a lack of democracy. The US is not a force for democracy, and as you watch Arab governments topple, if you don’t realize that, you are blind. The simple fact is that the US cannot tolerate democracy where countries have anti-American populations. Pakistan is such a place, as are the Arab tyrannies that are falling.

            The “client state” is in no sense a democracy. It is true that the US has hegemonic force, as does China and Russia and India, but the US does not passively exert its power. It is aggressive and violent, which is why people hate our government. Not us, not the American people – our government.

            • “I did not say that the US had anything to do with the India-Pakistan wars.”

              You suggested that if we left the region, there would be peace. Forgetting, of course, that there has not been peace in Pakistan or Afghanistan since well before the US got involved in those countries.

              You have an odd argument – that the US is less powerful than it was during the cold war, and that’s why we are ‘tolerating’ Democracy in Latin America. It would seem quite otherwise – the US is less threatened by Latin American leftism and thus is unconcerned by the four leftists in power now. During the cold war, Da Silva, Bachelet and the Kirchners would have been suspect as well. But now, they are seen more positively as they manage their nations’ economies with varying degrees of success. Economic success in Latin America is critically important to the American economy.

              However, the US has not been harmed by these developments. Important natural resources continue to flow, poverty is being reduced in Venezuela and Brazil, increasing their stability. We expend less energy in South America, and can start to regain our reputation after decades of sullying it in order to keep out communism.

            • Kpkptrng

              >blockquote>You suggested that if we left the region, there would be peace. Forgetting, of course, that there has not been peace in Pakistan or Afghanistan since well before the US got involved in those countries.

              You seem to have lost track of the substance of this thread, which is that the Pakistanis suspect that the US is working with “Al Qaeda” and the Taliban in doing the terrorists bombings for the purpose of fomenting violence in Pakistan, and that for the purpose of justifying a grand invasion strategy.

              Now, if that is true, and I suspect it is, then the US leaving the region would indeed result in peace.

              It would not settle the Indian/Pakistan dispute. Why you even bring that up is odd, as if you are saying that they are not rational … but we are? That is the standard retort of the bankrupt patriot.

              I might add one more thing – this http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/BRZ110A.html

              You have an odd argument – that the US is less powerful than it was during the cold war, and that’s why we are ‘tolerating’ Democracy in Latin America. It would seem quite otherwise – the US is less threatened by Latin American leftism and thus is unconcerned by the four leftists in power now. During the cold war, Da Silva, Bachelet and the Kirchners would have been suspect as well. But now, they are seen more positively as they manage their nations’ economies with varying degrees of success. Economic success in Latin America is critically important to the American economy.

              We are less powerful for many reasons: We are financially bankrupt (without oil pegged to the dollar, the dollar is a weak currency, and we implode and must retreat, as the Soviets did in the late 1980’s); we have antagonized so many countries with our military might; we have not used that might for any good purposes; we have tortured and slaughtered and intimidated people all over the globe.

              Due to lack of respect, we have little credibility, and so must resort to even more violence to attain our ends. Due to the threatened dollar, we have to immediately attack any oil-producing country that threatening to abandon the dollar peg. Our position is precarious.

              The failed coup in Venezuela in 2002 was perhaps a grand moment, like the Berlin Wall coming down – the US was exposed, and could not achieve its ends due to popular will. That exposed our weakness and gave strength to people all over the continent.

              Your notion that “economic success” down there is important up here is so wrong that it hardly deserves comment. We do not need or want their “success” – we need their resources and their cheap labor (aka “free trade”), and back dictators to keep them in line. That’s the model, the one that is crumbling.

              However, the US has not been harmed by these developments. Important natural resources continue to flow, poverty is being reduced in Venezuela and Brazil, increasing their stability. We expend less energy in South America, and can start to regain our reputation after decades of sullying it in order to keep out communism.

              It’s amazing how you see the exact developments that we oppose as being those we foster. Venezuela and Brazil are developing now, and development is what we fear most, as those countries tend to use their own resources for their own purposes, and bargain hard with us for those that they wish to trade. You’ve been reading the wrong history books.

              • Mark, your entire argument rests on a few false premises. We are certainly not internationally weaker than we were during the cold war. Our GDP is an equal percentage of the world GDP as it was in the 1980’s, and our military and force projection are substantially stronger. Our CIA is now second to none, with the fall of the KGB. Something else must behind our recent outlook in Latin America.

                Your great false premise is that the US opposed development, that somehow we are better off if no one else develops. That’s far from true. You point to cheap labor and natural resources. Both exist in abundance in the least developed nations in the world, and are relatively useless. There’s loads of cheap labor in Africa, much cheaper, indeed, than China. But it doesn’t do us any good because there’s no stability and no infrastructure development to make it economically viable.

                Canada, China, Japan, Germany – our big trading partners and thus the largest contributors to our economy and corporate coffers – are relatively developed, highly stable countries. Now, does the US benefit from another Malawi in the world, or another Japan? Another Venezuela, from whom we get much oil, or a country like Nigeria, whose oil is largely wasted?

                The US was concerned with developments that would have made Latin America lean towards communism or socialism. But an impoverished and unstable Latin America does us no good. Thus, efforts to eliminate poverty are accepted even when they come with socialist speech, because widespread poverty in Latin America destabilizes the region, whereas widespread development makes their natural resources more accessible and their populations more globally productive.

              • Kpkptrng

                I’ll make the same suggestion to you that Chavez made to Obama – to read a little about the history of the continent. Chavez handed Obama the book The Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent” by Eduardo Galeano.

                I can’t argue much with you,a s you operate on assumptions that, though widely shared, are false. You assume that the U.S. wants the area to develop. False, and there’s nothing in history to support you. You assume that the resources of the area are useless unless we buy (or take) them. False again, and wildly so.

                Mao (or someone) split the world into first, second and third world, with one and two fighting over the resources and control of three. That dynamic has not changed. Simple fact is that the whole of the world cannot live at the high level of the first world without straining resources, so that third world countries have to be kept in their place. It’s not cut and dried, as Korea has moved out of poverty, but the most recent arrival, Iraq, was beaten back into poverty.

                Anyway, I can’t argue with false premises, as mere words won’t make you look at things in a new way, examine internal contradictions, or be less patriotic.

              • This is the inevitable part of a Mark argument – “I fear you shall never be as enlightened as me, so I’m going to stop presenting evidence. ”

                The United States has frequently supported development in Latin America at the cost of equality or Democracy or human rights or what have you.

                The world may eventually run out of resources, but it is clear from history that this his not caused the US to try to hinder development worldwide. You note that we beat Iraq into poverty, but since the second world war the US has acted directly to increase resource consumption throughout Eastern and Southern Europe, Japan, Korea, SE Asia, the Middle East, and most recently China and India. Why? Because even as this drives up the demand for natural resources, it greatly increases the global economy.

                So why would we take actions that increase resource consumption every where else, but in our own continent work to intentionally decrease economic efficiency, lessen our access to markets for products and increase instability and immigration?

              • kptrng

                So you want me to assume your premises are true? I don’t claim enlightenment, but there are things that can be shown to be true or false. So let’s get busy:

                The United States has frequently supported development in Latin America at the cost of equality or Democracy or human rights or what have you.

                Specifics please. And read the book. It’s a classic, published in the 1970’s and in every library in South America. It won’t hurt you in the least to see as they see.

                The world may eventually run out of resources, but it is clear from history that this his not caused the US to try to hinder development worldwide.

                It’s not a matter of hindering development of resources, but rather who benefits from development of resources. Does Indonesia benefit from copper? Peru? Did Venezuela before Chavez benefit from its own oil? Again,specifics. We lay claim to resources, and people who happen to live with those resources, but who cannot defend them do not benefit from them.

                You note that we beat Iraq into poverty, but since the second world war the US has acted directly to increase resource consumption throughout Eastern and Southern Europe, Japan, Korea, SE Asia, the Middle East, and most recently China and India. Why?

                You’re partly right in that you’ve identified the three elements of the trilateral world -Japan, Western Europe and the U.S. It was understood since the end of World War II that these three areas needed to develop. But not the rest. The US can only influence as much as it has influence. As such it is been a force in retarding development everywhere else.

                Because even as this drives up the demand for natural resources, it greatly increases the global economy….So why would we take actions that increase resource consumption every where else, but in our own continent work to intentionally decrease economic efficiency, lessen our access to markets for products and increase instability and immigration?

                What a mess of words, few of which bear on reality. The US does none of that – development goes on in spite of us, as we are in decline. Again, I take you back to the dollar tied to oil … without that, we’re sunk. Again, I take you back to our having no moral sway, and so having to resort to military force, as without it, we are nothing.

                I can cite specifics on all of this. You’ve got your patriotism, your beliefs, but not much else. Call me what you will, say things about my superiority complex or other such silliness, but if you cannot put cards on the table, if you only spout general beliefs without substance, then we’re kind of doing a long skinny argument.

              • Specific leaders we supported who increased development of Latin America? Porfirio Diaz, Agusuto Pinochet, the Punto Fijo pact in Venezuela, and numerous others. I’m not saying any of them were saints, indeed they did nothing for the poor in their countries. But they all supported development. Now if by development you mean equal development, you’re right, the US has never been particularly fond of that trend. But that is influenced primarily by the cold war – prior to that we did support Juarez in Mexico and some other liberal politics in Latin America.

                And Mark, I think you missed my point. We didn’t just build up Western Europe and Japan. Since WWII we aided in developing S. Korea & Taiwan, and after that China, India, and Eastern Europe. The United States could have easily slowed China’s economic growth by blocking their WTO entry, or simply not trading with them after 1989, or not normalizing relations at all. We did none of these things because the US favors development. I’ll admit that the doesn’t much care whether that development is just or equal, but American policy has always favored stability and development. To argue otherwise, as you continue to do, is to argue against the vast majority of evidence.

              • More than you know

                I am inserting this comment and asking that it be deleted once it has served it’s purpose. Polish Wolf repeatedly referred to “Mark” in his responses above. Either he knows his opponent and our names are coincidentally the same, or he believes that I am masking my identity as Kpkptrng. I do not comment here. Ever. When I comment anywhere. I use my name and email address.

              • lizard19

                um, what?

  5. lizard19

    here’s an interesting article about the role of (blackwater) Xe in Pakistan.

  6. lizard19

    9 boys were killed by a NATO helicopter while collecting firewood.

    but overall, we’re making life better for afghans, right?

    • Lizard, you can’t discuss foreign affairs without a sense of scale or proportion. As you insist on doing so, your arguments, though moving, are irrational.

      • JC

        Apply that remark to your comments a few months back about us bombing Nagasaki and Hiroshima.

        And then let’s have a discussion about scale.

      • lizard19

        i’m not being irrational, i’m being emotional, like this: fuck your sense of scale.

        that’s my emotional, human response to your disgusting attempt to rationalize kids being gunned down.

      • Okay, JC, let’s discuss scale. In the invasion of Okinawa, 10 to 30 percent of the civilian population was killed. Apply that to all of Japan, and you have a scale a lot worse than the atomic bombs, ignoring for the moment the expansion of Stalinism and continuing atrocities by Japanese forces in mainland Asia that would also be possible. That’s my discussion about scale.

        Lizard – we live in a world full of tragedies. I may seem callous is arguing to look at the big picture instead of isolated atrocities, but it’s the only way to make a real policy. Otherwise, every action in hindsight can be argued to be wrong. There were thousands upon thousands of tragedies during the Civil War, but was the better alternative the continuation of slavery? There were millions of tragedies in World War Two. Should the British have let the Germans take Poland, and just waited and seen what happened next?

        Indeed, arguing from the perspective of individual tragedy inevitably favors inaction. The United States can be directly blamed for war deaths in Kosovo, in Afghanistan, etc. No one can directly blame us for what happened in Rwanda – no American soldiers killed any Rwandans. And yet our inaction in Rwanda had far more tragic consequences than our actions in Kosovo or Afghanistan.

        • lizard19

          these “isolated tragedies” do inform the big picture of a decade long military occupation that has nothing to do with making civilian life better. even if we had enough native speakers and resources to do counterinsurgency right (you know, winning hearts and minds) the fact death keeps raining from above, killing innocents (official tally, 1400) makes any good that may get accomplished meaningless.

          you continue to cling to a concept of US imperialism that just doesn’t make any sense to me. you think your position is rational, and that mine is “irrational”.

          but i’ve tried to appeal to your emotions, and that doesn’t work. you rationalize the horror of war by criticizing my sense of scale, and match tragedy for tragedy. i’ve tried to explain blowback, and you just shrug, saying that’s the way the game is played.

          after trying to track how you think for awhile now, it seems, at least to me, it all comes down to this idea you have that, if America didn’t constantly flex its military might, some other country would fill the vacuum with worse behavior.

          that is the kind of ethnocentrism you accused me of, and the specific strain you suffer from is called American Exceptionalism

          it appears to be very potent and, unfortunately, there is no known cure.

          • I’ll agree with you lizard, that every time we make a mistake like this, it hurts our cause. I’ve said it before – I have no military experience, no military training. It may well be the case that from a strategic perspective, we would be better off withdrawing from active combat in order to stop antagonizing the population. Where we part company is whether beating that Taliban is a worthwhile endeavor. I think it is, but if it is better accomplished by providing more aid to the current government than actually fighting it out ourselves, then I’ll support that.

            And as far as my belief that a withdrawal of American military power would mean that other countries would fill in the vacuum…Yes, that is the core of my perspective on foreign policy. Show me a time in history it hasn’t been true that a weakened great power has given rise rival powers. And I think the recent behavior of our potential successor states indicates that its better that we stay on top for a while.

            Notice I say a while, not indefinitely. In the world today there are far more people living under Democracies than there were a hundred, fifty, or thirty years ago. As powerful Democracies like Brazil and India emerge, US hegemony becomes less important. I know you already spoke disparagingly about this sort of balancing, but it seems quite rational to me – if most governments are elected and thus accountable to their people, their ability to make war on one another falls dramatically, because the efficacy of a Democratic nation in an offensive war is severely reduced.

            Until that point, however, I am guilty as charged with thinking in geostrategic terms about foreign policy issues and believing that American hegemony is preferable to expanded influence by non-democratic nations.

  7. lizard19

    congratulations, CIA, you got him back, and it only cost 2.34 million dollars in blood money paid to the victims’ family.

  8. lizard19

    Dave Lindorff takes a hard look at the Davis situation. snip:

    There were angry protests in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad following the court’s ruling lifting the indictment against Davis. Police clashed with demonstrators outside the US Consulate in Lahore.

    Left unanswered is what “all the Raymond Davises” in Pakistan, and Raymond Davis himself, were actually doing. Davis reportedly left the country immediately.

    What is not in doubt is that Raymond Davis was not “our diplomat” in Pakistan, as President Obama falsely proclaimed at a press conference on Feb. 15, when he demanded that Pakistan grant him immunity under the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Immunity of 1961. Nor is there any doubt about what was found in his car at the time of the shooting incident: masks, makeup, night-vision equipment, several semi-automatic pistols with large-capacity clips, over a hundred killer bullets for both a Glock and Beretta pistol and also an M-16, multiple cell phones, a cell-phone locator, a special GPS with removable chips, wire cutters, batteries and a camera, on the memory card of which police investigators found photos of Pakistani military installations, as well as mosques, madrassas and even a Montessori School. Police say they found over 27 calls on his cell phones to key people in both the Pakistani Taliban and a terror organization called Laskhar-e-Taiba, which has been linked to both the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and to the kidnap/murder of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl.

    Pakistani papers, including the Express Tribune, have suggested that Davis, a 10-year Army Special Forces veteran, and a former employee of Blackwater/Xe, appears to have been involved in orchestrating terrorism, not just monitoring it.

  1. 1 Faisal Qureshi

    […] READ -> The Sun Never Sets (on our ability to f*%k s#!t up) https://4and20blackbirds.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/the-sun-never-sets-on-our-ability-to-fk-st-up/ LikeBe the first to like this […]

  2. 2 The Mysterious Case of Aafia Siddiqui « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] my earlier post about how the sun never sets on our ability to fuck shit up, I looked at the embarrassment of the diplomat CIA agent Raymond […]

  3. 3 Pants On Fire « 4&20 blackbirds

    […] February of 2011, I wrote a post about Raymond Davis. Obama went in front of the cameras and lied about Davis being a diplomat. He […]

  4. 4 Is Glenn Greenwald Cashing In? | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] few years ago I thought an incident in Pakistan where an American by the name of Raymond Davis shot and killed two motorcycl… was a bid deal. I was naive. An American President lying about the status of some intelligence […]

  5. 5 The CIA’s Dangerous Covert Actions in Pakistan Continue | 4&20 blackbirds

    […] in February of 2011, I wrote this post about Ray Davis, an American who was being held in Lahore, Pakistan, for shooting and killing two motorcyclists. I […]




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