Hate Amrica; crush Amrika – by Kamran Shafi

So then, who saw the photograph in the Wall Street Journal of this last Wednesday that showed Pakistanis in some bazaar, shouting hate slogans against the United States? If you didn’t, do see it on the Internet, reader: there are about 15 or 20 raggedy people, in the forefront a bearded gentleman with his face contorted with what he expects us to believe is rage. It seems nothing of the kind because several ‘protesters’ in the background are actually smirking.

The placards they are holding and quite obviously shoving into the face of the cameraman bear the legends: ‘Hate Amrica’; ‘Crush Amrica’ which seem, quite obviously, the handiwork of the ‘Ghairat Brigades’ supported by the hard-right jingoist media, on the lines of the obviously contrived ‘We love ISI’ demo in Islamabad in the aftermath of Bin Laden’s killing.

The second of the placards (Crush Amrica) took me straight back 41 years to the ‘Crush India’ campaign launched by the Pakistani Deep State hand-in-glove with an Urdu daily out of Lahore. Most of my readers (for, reading the spirited comments at the end of news stories and op-eds it seems to me that this newspaper of record is the preferred newspaper of the young) may not even know of THAT campaign, the result of which, incidentally, was the dismemberment of Pakistan with one-half of the country and the larger part of the population becoming an independent Bangladesh.

Remember, that at the time we were trying to crush impoverished, but much larger than ourselves, India, which was then almost equivalent to us in the sophistication of weaponry. NOW we are calling for the crushing of ‘Amrica’, the only super-power (other than us, of course!) on earth, and on whom OUR military machine (aka the Deep State) depends for the more sophisticated of its weapons systems; cash; moral support; you name it. And on which it strikes attitudes and growls at the rest of the world.

As an aside, a blogger on one of the many, many blogs and threads and sites and whatever they are called, a Jihadi who also wants to ‘crush’ Amrika, challenged all and sundry to tell him exactly how America had come to the aid of Pakistan! Well, I only know what I saw when I joined the army in 1965 (no, I was not a Nur Jahania i.e., one of those who joined the short courses that came in after the 1965 war with India).

While in the Pakistan military Academy (PMA, the much written-about academy near which the terrorist Bin Laden was killed) we were trained on the Rifle No.4 Mk 1, a bolt-action, British-era small arm and the .303 light machine gun (LMG). When we got to our units in May of 1966 we were issued the American semi-automatic .30 M-1 rifle and the .30 Browning automatic rifle (BAR) light machine gun. As also the .30 heavy machine gun. These was also Korean war surplus weaponry which had been diverted to Pakistan after the end of that conflict.

We also had the great M38 Willys Jeep which we called ‘Little Willy’, and which was a little workhorse with a heart as big as an elephant — later upgraded to the M-38 A-1 (by the Americans didn’t you know)? These Jeeps went everywhere, did everything, and I remember so well driving the M38 through the Tavi River, its exhaust in two feet of water; to say nothing of the wonderful ¾ ton Dodge and the 2-1/2 ton Cargo, let alone the Patton tanks and the F-86s and the F-104s and then the C-130s and the F-16s and the Orion-P3Cs (all of which were destroyed by five al Qaeda operatives not too long ago, shame on us); and battle-ships; and cruisers; and mine-sweepers. We ought to be ashamed of ourselves for forgetting history.

It is not my intention to be an apologist for America: I have been a trenchant critic of its long-standing preference for military dictators who did its bidding, from Ayub Khan who actually agreed to change the TO and E (the Top Secret Tables of Organisation and Equipment) of the Pakistan Army just to get more aid from the Americans, to the tyrant Zia, to the ill-meaning Musharraf. I am merely putting on record the largesse that America has shown to our tin-hats over the years which they are now (seemingly, only) not recognising to embellish their so-called ‘nationalism’.

This is dishonesty and hypocrisy of the worst order, and is obviously being pursued to divert people’s attention from their own failings and most recent set-backs (do we have to repeat the names ‘Abbottabad’ and ‘Mehran’?) that have shown them to be incompetent and inept. This managed hysteria and jingoism also helps put other of their problems out of sight. Such as the disappeared people, and Saleem Shahzad’s brutal and cruel murder.

By the way, the ISI had announced through one of its unnamed and mysterious ‘media managers’ that it would leave ‘no stone unturned’ to find Saleem’s murderer, a few days after his violent death, when the spoor marks led directly to itself. Well, how many more stones are left to be turned, please sirs? You obviously aren’t all you tout yourselves to be, what, for you have not told us so many months down the line who killed Saleem?

But, coming back to the fake righteous indignation of our Rommels and Guderians, they know better than us just what America means to them and in what close embrace they are with it. The only problem is that America has shown them up to be the double-dealers that they are. And America is right, for which of us Pakistanis did not know that our Deep State was, yes, consorting with exactly the wrong people? And is continuing to, as evidenced by our great ‘Foreign Policy Elites’ trying to get them a seat at the Afghan High Table.

How, pray, are the Taliban and their friends the Haqqanis good for Pakistan? Their record is uniformly bad.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th,  2011.



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