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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tariq Ali, SMS (Zardari), Truth on CIA Flights, Shirin Ebadi,

Allah, Army and America” – or, to put it succinctly, the “3 As” – is a formula coined by social scientists often used to explain the political and social malaise that afflicts Pakistan. Numerous studies have been written on the Pakistani ruling elite’s amour with 2 As, namely Allah and the Army, most recently by Hasan Abbas and Irshad Haqqani on the former, and by Ayesha Siddiqa and Shuja Nawaz on the latter. However, what is usually miss ing from the discussion is how incurably enamoured the Pakistani ruling elite has become of the greatest imperialist power since the end of the Second World War, headquartered in Washington, D.C., ever since independence from British rule in 1947, and how small the dividends, if any, this dangerous liaison has yielded to the people of Pakistan. Tariq Ali’s latest work, The Duel, attempts to bridge this gap in our understanding of the relations between the United States and the Pakistani ruling elite. It is rather timely, given the stirrings of democracy in Pakistan evidenced by the launch of the agitation for the restoration of the Chief Justice in March 2007, the coming to power of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) through elections, and the end of General Pervez Musharraf’s dictatorship on one hand, and the almost daily incursions and killings of innocent civilians on the country’s western borders in violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty by American aircraft on the other. Dangerous liaison RAZA NAEEM

One SMS quoted by an official is: "Just imagine Sarah Palin divorces her current husband and marries Asif Zardari. Then Palin becomes vice-president of the US. Then Zardari kills Palin, changes the will which henceforth says, Zardari will become the President of the US if I die.’ And eventually Zardari becomes President of the US six months after Palin’s death. Bilawal (Mr Zardari’s son) ends up changing his name to Bilawal Palin-Zardari." Bilawal had changed his name to Bilawal Bhutto Zardari from Bilawal Zardari after the assassination of his mother Benazir Bhutto in 2007. Bilawal was then made the chairman of the ruling PPP.
An interior ministry official said the government has contacted Interpol to get hold of the Pakistanis who send SMS’ from abroad. Jail threat fails to stop Zardari SMS jokes

LISBON, Jul 20 (IPS) - Throughout her varied career as a political leader in Portugal, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and ambassador, Ana Gomes has been a distinguished and tireless fighter for what she defines as "just causes." The target of her criticism now is the shelving of an investigation in her country into secret CIA rendition flights. Q&A: "Too Many People Don't Want the Truth on CIA Flights to Come Out"Mario de Queiroz interviews ANA GOMIRANIAN NOBEL PEACE PRIZE WINNER

In a SPIEGEL interview, Tehran-based attorney and Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, 62, who is currently traveling in Europe, says the protests in Iran will continue unless the government "stops its butality towards the people" and allows new elections to be held. 'New Elections Must Take Place'


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