Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jemima Khan: The things you say sound great, Mr President. So why do you end up disappointing us?

The Saturday Column

 The Independent, June 25, 2011

President Obama is a hit with US troops, but don't be fooled by his Afghan 'withdrawal' REUTERS President Obama is a hit with US troops, but don’t be fooled by his Afghan ‘withdrawal’

Alhamdulillah! President Barack Obama is finally withdrawing troops from Afghanistan.
Except he’s not – only those extras that he deployed in the “surge” of 2009; 68,000 will remain, double the number sent by his predecessor, George Bush.

Obama keeps doing this. Sounding marvellous, then, in retrospect, disappointing. After eight long and bloody years of Bush, everyone outside America, especially Muslims, welcomed this voice of reason, sobriety and perhaps even empathy. Scribbled on a bullet-punctured wall in Gaza was “Obama Inshallah!”. Even in Pakistan, the only ally of the US, which the US regularly bombs, people came out on the streets – any excuse, admittedly – to celebrate his election victory.

Continues >>


Nasir Khan said...

Thank you Jemima Khan for a clear and realistic assessment of the role of Obama and his record as president. This president is the political incarnation of Bush; he, like his predecessor, is a war criminal whose hands are sullied with the blood of thousands of innocent people. The so-called war on terror has been the war of terror that Imperial America had unleashed to assert its military power and global hegemony.

Nasir Khan said...

Listen_music2 wrote:

Jemima Khan has been out of touch with reality for most her highly priveleged life. She quite conveniently leaves out a very important reality, Pakistan and Afghanistan are 2 failed states with a very violent population willing to inflict death on their own. It seems now she is an expert on foreign policy and has some journalistic pedigree. At least….at last, she is working?????????

Nasir Khan’s reply:


To switch over from Listen-music2 to politics cannot be easy for anyone!

And you will also have a go at Jemima Khan for her political shortcomings. It’s good that you have views on the matter.

I thought I was the only foreigner who made many spelling mistakes. When I saw your comment about her highly ‘priveleged’ life I couldn’t help guessing that you must be an Irishman! You know I am a Pakistani.

I know some people are very happy with music. But what led you to your bold (!) assertion that the ‘violent populations’ of the ’2 failed states’ Afghanistan and Pakistan are busy to inflict death on their own? What you say is not correct at all. They are ordinary people like you and me who are subject to the wars of American government and they have to bear the consequences of such wars of aggression and brutality.

Regarding Jemima Khan what you say is not tenable. To my knowledge, she has never claimed to be an expert on foreign policy. But as a journalist and political observer what she says carries weight and she has a clear understanding of the issues she deals with.

It will be really helpful if we control our tendency to throw around any off-the-cuff derogatory remarks about a female who is courageous enough and has the guts to stand up and speak for the ordinary people and the victimised countries at the hands of imperial powers in a world dominated by power politics, imperial wars and crimes against humanity. We should be even more grateful if such help comes from the privileged ones.

Nasir Khan said...

RajX wrote:

Jemima has left out some critical realities about Afghanistan. There is this reality that Pakistan had colonized Afghanistan through their proxies called the Taliban before the NATO invasion and the pakistanis will do the same after NATO leaves afghanistan/Pakistan. The problem is not in Afghanistan but in Pakistan. Pakistan wants to control Afghanistan because they would end up loosing a lot of land over which the afghans have a legitimate right if a stable independent govt takes power in Afghanistan and starts to exert afghan rights over the border lands. The pakistanis are scared of this. The often repeated reason in the media for Pakistans interest in Afghanistan is supposedly “strategic depth” against India. This reason is a camouflage since India has no border with Afghanistan and Pakistan has nuclear weapons which effectively rules out any major conventional war between India and Pakistan. By the way, jemimas ex imran khan is now the blue eyed boy of the Pakistani “agencies”. The “agencies” have been promoting imran khan as the future PM of Pakistan. The one bright spot in the morbidity we call Pakistan can be found in parts of their English media. I recommend reading their media to get the real picture. Articles by social butterflies can’t compare to the real meat of substance served by parts of the Pakistan media.

Nasir Khan’s reply:

Anyone who has any inkling of the political situation in our troubled region, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India will notice that the comment by RajX represents a definite political perspective and mindset. This can broadly be characterised as the rightist Hindutva propaganda and its political agenda against Muslims, Pakistan and Pakistanis. The Hindutva fascist forces use every opportunity and every possible device to mislead, misinform, manipulate and incite religious and communal hatred against the Muslim minority in India and their main enemy, Pakistan. The demolition of the historic Babri mosque in Ajodhya and the killing of more than three thousand Muslims in Gujarat was due to the activities of the right-wing Hindutva forces, backed by the then central government of India.

This anti-Muslim, anti-Pakistan and anti-Pakistanis commentator is a clear example of that crude shape of rightist Hindutva mafia that plagues Indian political scene and which spreads its venomous hatred against Pakistan and Muslims.

Nasir Khan said...

Farina Mughal wrote:

Well done Jemima. Atleast someone in the world has the courage to speak up. Pakistan was never a country dominated by Taliban like extremist. It all started after this war on terror. I never liked Bush and never thought I would say one day that Bush atleast never bragged about his anti war credentials to get elected. The hypocricy of Barack Obama is disturbing. And people living elsewhere in the world have no idea what these drones are doing to Pakistan.
Nasir Khan’s response

Thanks for your comment. Obama is George W Bush in his third term in the White House. But there is also a small difference between the two. Bush brutalised the occupied Iraq, Afghanistan, and also Pakistan and Pakistanis. But he also used his power to capture those whom the U.S. called ‘terrorists’ and put them in dungeons of Gitmo and other secret prisons in Europe and elsewhere. And Obama? He does not capture any such ‘terrorists’. He can call anyone a terrorist and kill him, as simple as that. He kills them by remote controlled drones. The main targets are the people of Pakistan in Waziristan.

Who helps in the killings of Pakistani civilians and ‘militants’? The answer is: the Pakistani government. The U.S. drones are controlled from the United States, but they do not take off from any place in the U.S. They are stationed in Pakistan (and Afghanistan); they take off for their killing missions from the Pakistani soil such as the Shamsi military airport, with the full blessings and permission of the Pakistani government to kill the people. For such services, the Pakistani government and its army gets American money!

Nasir Khan said...

EarlofRochester wrote:

We were informed she was no longer using her former husband’s name and there were numerous articles telling us she had prematurely immersed herself into a culture she was uncertain of. Now we read an report which communicates her position as that of a committed Muslim sympathetic to Pakistan’s cause.

No problem with that, each to their own but, it does seem to be at odds with the ‘new Jemima’ one has read about in recent years – hence the surprise.

Regarding the subject matter itself .. to complex to abbreviate in a blogged response. To cast Obama as the villain is, to me, an over-simplification which fails to connect Asian/Middle Eastern politics with its Western counterparts. Obama, on the whole, is a godsend for the United States.
Nasir Khan’s response:

Dear Right Honourable EarlofRochester,

Your Highness seems to have digested much information about Jemima Khan, her husband and her faith. If I dare to guess, you must be an avid reader of the News of the World or some other papers of the kind!

But instead of casting aspersions on Jemima Khan, her religion (Islam?), her culture, etc., you could have used some of your analytical skills to enlighten the readers as to how she has ‘oversimplified’ what she wrote about. I assume Your Highness may be a profound thinker and an erudite political analyst. But unfortunately the comment (or comments) you have come up with will leave many people sceptical about what you say or stand for. I hope Your Highness understands what I am implying here. We know that English aristocracy from time to time has produced people like Bertrand Russell. Let’s hope you will also be one of those great souls that Britian can be proud of. But for the time being, back to what you say.

You say that Obama is a godsend for the United States. Really? But to a growing number of people around the globe as well as in the United States, he is a warmonger and a war criminal who is dancing to the tunes of the military-industrial complex of the United States and using the armed power of the U.S. and its modern destructive weapons to kill and destroy those who stand in the way of American policies and its genocidal wars. But perhaps for these very reasons you eulogise him. If so, then that’s a pity. And what a waste of the creative mind of a luminary like you!

However, even an ordinary commoner like me, by no means an aristocrat or upper class intellectual or political observer, will be delighted if some sober thoughts come from the pen of Your Highness.

I assure you that I could have subjected your assertions to a critical assessment in a methodical manner, but I decided to give you the benefit of doubt in the hope that you will say something meaningful and sensible; eulogising the warmongers and war criminals in a confused way as you have done so far may placate the rightwing people and other hate-mongers, but that is not good enough.

Most sincerely to Your Highness

Nasir Khan blog

Nasir Khan said...

Bill wrote:

Who cares what this woman thinks? What – other than a wealthy father and relationship with a cricketer – makes her opinions more worth printing than anyone else’s? Once, the independent had aspirations to being a serious newspaper…..

Nasir Khan’s response:

Bill, the basis on which you criticise Khan is at such a primitive level of understanding and consciousness that only people like Ikeda could have liked it! That says a lot in your favour!! (By an incidental mistake, I clicked on who liked your comment. That was a mistake, my mistake.)

Khan’s opinion cannot be judged on the basis of the richness of her father or her marriage to a cricketer (!) as you say, but on the basis of her ability to evaluate and explain her views clearly based on concrete facts in beautiful English as she has done in the article in the Independent, about which you do not say anything.

Looking at your simple comment (here, my understatement out of respect for you!), may I ask you: Do you think your opinions on political matters will also be worth printing in the Independent or anywhere else as Khan’s were? I have no answer; only a question.

Well, please have a go, and write a good article and send it to whom you like including the Independent and hope for the best. I am not going to predict about the outcome. You may also contact Peace and Justice Post if you have any reasonable opinion that others may be interested in to read. I will make sure that the editor takes a sympathetic look at your piece.

Nasir Khan blog