Monday, February 20, 2006

Pakistan Has No Oil But It Is Falling Apart Rapidly And Might Fall To Islamic Revolutionaries


By Elaine Meinel Supkis

Riots rage all over Pakistan and the military dictator struggles to keep a tenuous grip on power, even the cities hit by the earthquakes quiver with rage. This country has no oil but has both nukes and bin Laden.

From the Independent:
Just 24 hours after the cricket international the centre of Lahore was in flames and dead bodies lay on the streets, as the crisis over the "blasphemous sketches", as Pakistanis call the Danish cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed, moved into a new, violent and for Musharraf, treacherous phase. After a week in which protests spread like a rash across the country, many of them violent, Musharraf intervened yesterday to ban a mass rally planned for the capital, Islamabad, and ordered the detention of hundreds of ringleaders.

Qazi Hussain Ahmed, the leader of Jamaat-e-Islami, the religious party that called yesterday's rally, was placed under house arrest. Just hours earlier he had warned of a nationwide campaign to unseat the President if Musharraf were to hinder the protests. "We will not stop till we achieve our objectives against the present rulers," he said. "General Pervez Musharraf is acting as the representative of western civilisation and is fighting a battle against Islamic values."
We keep shooting rockets and missiles into the tents of poor mountain tribes in Pakistan hoping to hit the Taliban or bin Laden who, as usual, are three steps ahead of us physically and ten steps ahead tactically. Have we no sense of our own legends and history?

If one is a Scotsman, how about the story of Robert the Bruce?
It would be neither sheep nor lions that inspired Bruce. News came finally of his family. His sisters and daughter had been caged like animals. His youngest brother Nigel, Sir Charles Seton (his brother-in-law) and the Earl of Atholl all disposed of in the same grievous fashion as William Wallace.

He was told too, of the beheading of his brothers Alexander and Thomas and their failed venture to gain support in Ireland.

According to oral tradition, the King of Scotland, filled with grief, sought solace in a nearby cave as his ragtag army made camp. There he wailed of his family's fate and the seemingly endless road of death and failure on which he had put Scotland forth. Lying there in despair, Bruce noticed a small spider in the corner of the cave trying desperately to weave his web. He watched, transfixed, as the small creature flew from his home to the other side, only to fall short of his destination. Finally, on the seventh attempt the spider reached his goal and Bruce was duly inspired.

He remarked, according to tradition, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Bruce rallied his patriots.

He eventually joined with the Douglas's, his faithful allies. With the permission of Bruce, Sir James Douglas dispatched a team to rid his ancestral castle in Douglasdale of the occupying English. It was a day of great reckoning for the "Good Sir James" as he reclaimed his family's castle. The Scots quickly made their way inside the castle walls. With the shouts of "Douglas! A Douglas!" echoing through the surprised English, the men routed the supplies, beheaded every prisoner and fouled the well with dead horses and salt before torching the entire castle. The day was Palm Sunday exactly one year from the coronation of Robert the Bruce as King of Scots.
King Edward I bent all his considerable military willpower on subduing the wild mountain tribes of Scotland just as he nailed down the Celtic people of Wales. In the end, by sheer strength of will and clever battle tactics suitable for the terraine and people of Scotland, Robert the Bruce triumphed in the end.

Why we don't think of bin Laden this way puzzles me. Way back when we started fighting him in ernest, I wondered what our ultimate game plan was? To draw and quarter him and nail his arm to the mosque doors? Like Edward did to William Wallace?

When he defeated Wallace, Edward thought it was a brilliant idea to nail his body parts on various church doors. It was...For the Scots! Inspired by this, they fought fiercely for Robert the Bruce who was also inspired.

The British royals later made the same mistake. Henry V took huge amounts of France and suddenly died while besieging Orleans. The British weren't too worried, the French were very divided and no problem. They figured they had all the time in the world to take Orleans.

And then this young peasant girl suddenly arose and took on the entire British military. She claimed she was doing this at the behest of two saints who ordered her to fight for France. The British managed to capture her and had her put on trial. She was so eloquent, they had to make the trial secret in the end and they condemned her as a witch and burned her at the stake and this act unified the French and they overpowered the British in her name and drove them out of France (it actually was the cuisine, they couldn't take watching the English boil everything! heh). We all know of Joan of Arc today.

So why are we turning bin Laden into a Joan, a Robert, a Wallace? This is where the "hearts and minds" stuff was life and death for us, a riddle we had to figure out. And we couldn't because the most important piece, Palestine, is the one piece we adamantly refuse to honor, pick up or defend.

Instead, we make things worse at every turn and watching Israel weasel away the tax money they steal from those poor people while Bush withholds humanitarian funds and the Israelis are killing and killing every day and stealing as much as they can as fast as they can, we are on a terrible collision track here, we will be facing Joan of Arc armed with nukes!
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