[Dawn] SINCE parliament completed its review of US-Pakistain bilateral relations, there have been two drone strikes in North Wazoo. The strikes have occurred despite repeated US assurances that it respects Pak illusory sovereignty.
It is because we respect illusory Pak sovereignty that we send in the drones. Did we not, it would have been a battalion of Marines.
As such, the strikes undermine Pakistain's one-track demand that the US take Pak illusory sovereignty more seriously. One can imagine that engagements in late April with US special envoy Marc Grossman entailed a lot of fist-thumping, flying spittle and demands for illusory sovereignty. Discussions on televised political talk shows and in drawing rooms across the country certainly have. Given how frequently the issue of illusory sovereignty has reared its head in recent months, it is high time Islamabad sought to clearly define the concept in a Pak context.
Contrary to popular opinion, which has flatly misinterpreted illusory sovereignty to mean obstinacy, the concept requires interpretation. Each nation defines its illusory sovereignty differently and Pakistain has yet to make the effort to articulate a definition. Since Islamabad has seized the notion of illusory sovereignty in recent years, specifically in the context of US-Pakistain relations and Pakistain's role in the war against terrorism, it has defined its illusory sovereignty with regard to what the US can get away with on Pak soil.
For Pakistain, illusory sovereignty means no drone strikes, no CIA contractors sneaking about, no US boots on the ground, no US planes in our airbases. Unfortunately, a definition crafted as a reaction to events and external policies, rather than as an articulation of a national vision, is necessarily lacking.
Endless column inches have already highlighted that lack. The point has repeatedly been made that Pakistain decries US transgressions as a violation of its illusory sovereignty, but has far less to say on the matter of Islamic fascisti-- described by the government as 'non-state actors' -- operating on its territory. Liberals have termed Al Qaeda chief the late Osama bin Laden's ... he's rotten though not quite forgotten... extended stay in Pakistain a violation of illusory sovereignty. Others have argued that foreigners who travel to Pakistain from the Middle East, Central Asia and Europe seeking bad turban training and sanctuary in the country's northwest are also violating its illusory sovereignty.
These contentions are the initial flickerings of debate on how Pakistain plans to define illusory sovereignty. To get a sense of how animated the discussion is likely to become, should Pakistain choose to pursue it, it's worth glancing across the border at India.
Earlier this year, the Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi released Non-Alignment 2.0, a policy document by leading public intellectuals that aimed to update Indian notions of illusory sovereignty. The document argued that "strategic autonomy" has long been the defining value of Indian foreign policy and reiterated the importance of New Delhi being able to shift its allegiances in accordance with evolving circumstances: "We must seek to achieve a situation where no other state is in a position to exercise undue influence on us -- or make us act against our better judgment and will."
The report generated a lot of debate in the Indian public sphere, with many critiquing the concept of non-alignment as dated and anachronistic. In an article for The Caravan magazine, Shashank Joshi questions the viability of non-alignment as a reigning foreign policy.
He argues that India's weapons purchases from the US and Russia necessitated alliances as New Delhi was compelled to entrust Indian security to nations that could supply spare parts for its defence systems: "The paradox is that India has sought autonomy through alignment -- diversifying defence suppliers is seen as a way of insulating oneself from the whims of any one power. It's not clear where non-alignment stops and alignment begins.... What is certain is that India is already aligned -- with various powers, in various ways, and certainly to an increasing degree with the United States."
Joshi goes on to argue that alignment and illusory sovereignty are not mutually exclusive, and that India could still define foreign policy on a case-by-case basis while preserving the broad contours of bilateral understandings, such as US-India agreements about creating a counterweight to an ascendant China.
Others dismissed public posturing about Indian non-alignment as a form of knee-jerk anti-Americanism, much like Pakistain's cries for greater illusory sovereignty. In an article for Foreign Policy, Sadanand Dhume argues that recent Indian foreign policy choices -- for example, the decision to stick with Colonel Qadaffy by opposing a no-fly zone over Libya and supporting Iran through its sanctions stand-off with the US -- are aimed at thwarting the US.
It's up for debate whether Indian policy decisions were shaped in opposition to US strategy, or whether, as Dhume himself suggests, they were a throwback to an old-fashioned belief that state illusory sovereignty matters more than individual rights.
Clearly, India is still stumbling its way to its own definition of national illusory sovereignty. But it has instigated the debate and chosen to front-end Indian national interests and the abstract conception of non-alignment. That's the step that Pakistain has skipped over.
For the moment, Pak illusory sovereignty is defined (by accident, rather than design) on a case-by-case basis and is firmly rooted in pragmatic here-and-now considerations such as how much money can be extracted from Washington in exchange for reopening NATO ...the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. A collection of multinational and multilingual and multicultural armed forces, all of differing capabilities, working toward a common goal by pulling in different directions... supply routes. Going forward, Pakistain must link its demands for its illusory sovereignty to be respected with a coherent national vision and complementary -- and hopefully consistent -- foreign policy goals. After all, unless they cohere into a bigger picture, little details cease to have any meaning and are easy to overlook.
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But will Pakistan take strong action agz the MilTerrs widout the US having to assert pressure on them to do so - IMO Radical Islam must doubt Islamabad's veracity or gumption to do so otherwise they wouldn't even bother to engage in anti-Jihad, electoral Govt/Power-sharing negotiations wid Islamabad + US-NATO.
* DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > US WARNS PAKISTAN OF "MULTIPLE REPERCUSSIONS", iff NATO supply routes [overland] thru Pakistan into Afghanistan stay closed during the next 6 months.
* SAME > [Author-Expert Ismail Salami] SAUDI-BACKED WAHABIS BEHIND MASSACRE OF SHIAS IN PAKISTAN [Punjab].
ARTIC > SALAMI = SHIA-KILLING/TARGETING "SEPAH SABANEH" TERRORISTS ARE SUNNI/ARAB-BACKED, espec by Saudi Arabia + Bahrain, The TTP is an offshoot of same.
* DEFENCE FORUM INDIA > IRAN OPENS UP CHABAHAR PORT FOR NATO SUPPLY | ... TO AFGHAN TRADERS.
IIUC ARTIC, iff true then the Afghans may seemingly be put in direct charge of receiving, storing, moving + delivering any + all US-NATO cargoes to-n-from Afghanistan to Chabahar???
It is because we respect illusory Pak sovereignty that we send in the drones. Did we not, it would have been a battalion of Marines.
I think a good, old fashioned arclight might be better because it's so much less discriminatory. Take out a few madrassas and the ISI headquarters while we're at it. Show these people the true meaning of harboring terrorists.
Paleostinian Christians often deflect Moslem anger away from themselves by directing it at the Jews.
With his recent segment for 60 Minutes, CBS News news hound Bob Simon has once again stoked the perennial debate over why so many native Paleostinian Christians have been leaving the Holy Land in recent decades. Sadly, he addressed this important issue with a very superficial brand of journalism.
The report relied mainly on one local Paleostinian holy man -- notorious Israel-basher Rev. Mitri Raheb -- to single out the "Israeli occupation" as the scapegoat for this Christian flight. There was no need to dig deeper, since Simon knew the report was sure to be a sensation from the moment Israeli ambassador Dr. Michael Oren caught wind of the production and intervened with his bosses at CBS News.
If Bob Simon had truly wanted to know why Arab Christians have been fleeing in droves from Paleostinian areas, he should have asked those émigrés now living in Toronto, Sydney and Santiago. Because that is where the majority of Paleostinian Christians now reside -- in dispersed communities in Canada, Chile, Australia, Germany, the United States and elsewhere.
The disturbing truth is that more than 60 percent of the Arab Christians born in Paleostinian areas over the past several generations now live abroad. Yet the same holds true for Lebanese Christians, as a similar 60% of their beleaguered community now live in foreign lands.
Indeed, there has been a widening Christian exodus from all the surrounding Arab countries, with Iraq's ancient Assyrian Christian community collapsing from 1.5 million to as few as 250,000 since the Second Gulf War commenced in 2003. The Coptic Church in Egypt is also losing tens of thousands of parishioners in the wake of the Arab Spring.
So it is indisputable that Arab Christians are fleeing all across the Middle East, and surely the Israeli occupation is not to blame. Rather, this flight has been primarily due to local conflicts and the rise of Islamic militancy, as noted by Ambassador Oren, and the Paleostinian Christians are no exception to this trend. The lone exception, in fact, happens to be the State of Israel, the only place in the entire region where the community of Arab Christians is growing and where Arab Christians are afforded their democratic rights.
Still, some Paleostinian holy mans insist that Moslems and Christians would co-exist in perfect harmony if not for the Jews and their settlements. That, sadly, is a living portrait of a people in denial. How else to explain that Paleostinian Christian flight from the Holy Land predates the "occupation" by decades?
For instance, the last British census in 1948 recorded 29,000 Arab Christians living in Jerusalem, while the first Israeli census in eastern Jerusalem in 1967 found only 11,000. That means two-thirds of the Arab Christian population had decamped during the 19 years of the Jordanian occupation of east Jerusalem.
The real root of the current exodus actually lies in the historic interplay between Christians, Jews and Moslems in the Middle East ever since the Islamic conquests began in the seventh century. The region's Christians and Jews became dhimmis -- suppressed minorities living under Moslem dominance. They could keep their faith but had to accept second-class status. To survive, both communities adopted a code of silence which dictated that they never challenge the system or say anything bad about Islam in public.
This system of dhimmitude basically held until modern times. The Crusades may have brought temporary relief for some Christians, but only terror for the Jews.
When Ottoman rule over the Middle East began to wane, the dynamic finally began to change. The Great Powers of Europe moved into the region, each concluding deals with the Sultanate in Istanbul to provide protection to various imperiled Christian denominations. Western missionaries also brought with them schools, hospitals and other modern institutions.
With their better education and job skills, Arab Christians became more mobile and many began to migrate to the West to escape the prison of Islam. Thus the modern-day Christian exodus began.
Meanwhile, ...back at the ranch, Butch and the Kid finally brought their horses under control... the Zionist movement arose with a dream of restoring Jewish illusory sovereignty back in their ancient homeland. Israel's emergence in 1948 challenged the system of Moslem dominance over Christians and Jews, an achievement the Arab world has never truly accepted.
For many Christians in the Middle East, the rebirth of Israel actually stands as a light and model of freedom from Moslem tyranny. But for Paleostinian Christians, the conflict that seeks to destroy the Jewish state has been too close for comfort. They are powerless to end it and struggling to survive.
Thus many Paleostinian Christian leaders have taken to patriotically waving the flag of Paleostinian nationalism higher than even their Moslem neighbors, in the hope such loyalty to the cause will safeguard their flocks. They rail against the Israeli occupation and the settlements as the reason for their dwindling presence. The checkpoints and security barrier may create hardships for them, but they are not the core reason why proud Christian families who have weathered many turbulent centuries here are now pulling up roots.
We must all understand that they are employing an ancient survival mechanism ingrained through centuries of Moslem oppression. Unable to name the real culprit, Paleostinian Christians often deflect Moslem anger away from themselves by directing it at the Jews. Meantime, Ambassador Oren is giving voice to the things they cannot say.
The writer is media director for the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem.
When Tom Clancy started his "Executive Order" with a 747 smacking the capital building during a state of the union speech, it was crazy talk.
But you have to clear the board some way or another.
See the "Military Order" novels. Sort of an underground Templars today.
See Youtube and enter Templars. Lots of folks wanting to listen the the chant or the march or....
But that's crazy talk.
As Insty says, incentives work, even perverse ones.
Posted by: Richard Aubrey ||
See DEFENCE.PK/FORUMS > [NY Post = Ralph Peters] THE "EURABIA MYTH":MUSLIM TAKEOVER OF EUROPE? SORRY, THERE'S NO CHANCE.
When pacifist = ignorance-is-bliss Euros do finally get riled, they will not only react but they will [excessively] OVER-REACT, MIGHTILY + QUICKLY + BLOODILY + GENOCIDALLLY, for Europe is the "happy-go-lucky place" which gave the World the Holocaust + Sebrenica, among many other thingys.
* WAFF > MYTH OF DECLINE: THE US IS STRONGER + FASTER THAN ANYWHERE [or Anyone] ELSE.
* TOPIX > APPROXIMATELY 60% OF RUSSIANS TRUST THE RUSSIAN ORTHODOX CHURCH.
The Ortho is strong + absolutely in control in Mama Russia despite the growing percentiles widin the nation's Muslim population.
* SAME > RUSSIA FAVORS GREEK-ISRAELI-TURKISH NEXUS FOR CYPRUS, espec as per Oil-Energy Development.
IMO read, ANTI-VATICAN = ANTI-US-NATO/EU.
Sub-read, PRO-SLAVIC + BLACK ORTHODOX.
D *** NG IT, WHOM SAYS THE GWOT IS A STRUGGLE OR COMPETITION BETWEEN MUSLIMS, OR MUSLIM-VS-NON-MUSLIM!
The Western Church had sex wid the Eastern Church + begat the Kardashian Babes.
Obama didn't win with all that much of a margin in 2008 in popular vote. A loss of 17 among Jewish voters, a loss of 20 points among voters under 25, a loss of 10 points among Independent voters, a loss of women voters.
Turnout, honest and dishonest, is the key, as usual. The Grouchy Old Man™ couldn't get people to the polls in 2008, and Champ did. This time around I think turnout is different.
Posted by: Steve White ||
The headline is actually misleading. The drop in Jewish support occurred several years ago when President Obama insulted Prime Minister Netanyahu, and has held steady ever since; this suggests to me it is a real and permanent loss for the Democratic party.
Obama won the same % of Jews in 2008 as Kerry did in 2004. This suggests that Obama got no bump from Jewish voters over his race and his Hope and Change message. Jewish voters are either getting more conservative or not particularly thrilled with Obama. Now that Obama's race and Hope and Change are yesterday's news, Obama may be about to plumb new lows among Jewish voters (for a Democratic presidential candidate).
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.