Saturday, February 26, 2011

The New Smiling Face Of Capitalist Imperialism

The real story behind CIA agent Raymond Davis, who was arrested in Lahore, Pakistan on January 27 and charged with two murders, continues to unfold, including why the US government can't force Pakistan, one of its client states, to release Davis.

For those who have not been following this story -- and if you depend on the US corporate media for news, that includes you by default -- the Obama administration is sticking to the bald faced lie that Davis is a US embassy official, and thereby entitled to diplomatic immunity. The state department has gone to ridiculous lengths to try to push this story, including resubmitting a new list of authorized embassy officials to the government of Pakistan that includes Davis' name, and showing up at the jail he is being held in with a diplomatic passport in Davis' name and trying to exchange it for the civilian passport he was carrying when arrested.

When the story of his arrest broke, the US media, notably the New York Times, who knew the administration's story was a lie, repeated it, repeatedly, at the administration's request. Even now, after the lie has been blown out of the water by news outlets all over the world, the US media by and large tries to stick as closely as it can to the Obama narrative, by downplaying the story and by ignoring its more insidious elements altogether.

Instead of embedding links to the stories that tell the truth about the Davis, his CIA involvement, and the US government's designs on Pakistan's civilian government, I have included a short list below.  (It is being reported today that Davis was actually the acting CIA station chief in Pakistan.)

The items found on Davis when he was arrested pretty much tell the story that is emerging. It's a sordid story, but one that is typical of US Imperial intervention in the affairs of other countries.

The Pakistanis found, in Davis' rented car -- which was not a US embassy vehicle -- powerful small arms, ammunition, a telescope, and photographs of sensitive sites of the type that have been being blown up recently by what has been labeled "terrorists" and "Islamist extremists." They also found in Davis' car several cell phones, whose memories reveal that Davis has been in repeated contact with members of Al Quaeda and the Taliban. Both groups, since the US invasion of Afghanistan, have been operating out of neighboring Pakistan, and the US government has repeatedly criticized Pakistan for not doing more to go after them.

The bombings that have been taking place in Pakistan, which have made civil life in Pakistan a living hell, have been seen as an attempt to destabilize Pakistan. They have been largely blamed on factional rivalries and competing loyalties in the powerful Pakistani intelligence services. (As the story is told in the US media, some in the intelligence services oppose the US and its Imperial interests and actively support al Quadea and the Taliban.)

In other words, it is beginning to look like the reason the Obama administration is frantically trying to get Davis out of the country is to prevent it being known that it is actively trying to destabilize Pakistan -- an ally in the "war on terror" with a democratically elected civilian government -- and has been working with our sworn enemies to do so. The reason, it is being suggested, is that the US would rather work directly with Pakistan's military, which would run the country, as it has in the past, if the civilian government fell. The US might also be setting up a coup, which it has done many times in other countries in the past, most recently in Honduras, which happened under Obama, the smiling new face of US Imperialism.

And the reason the Obama administration can't force Davis' release by the government of Pakistan, which is, after all, considered one of our client states, is that Davis was arrested in Lahore, which is the stronghold of the main opposition party to President Asif Ali Zadari. As Shaukat Qadir, a former Pakastini military officer and now a columnist, writes:

"Asif Ali Zardari might be a politically empowered president domestically, but if the US asked him to jump, he would ask "how high?" If they asked him to bend over, he would ask, "how low?" Had Davis committed the murders in Islamabad, under federal jurisdiction, he would have been flown out of the country within hours of his crime before any furor could have time to develop. But he slaughtered his victims in Lahore, in the jurisdiction of the Punjab state government, manned by the PML(N), which is Zardari’s party’s main opposition."

Qadir continues:

"Then there is the superior judiciary; the Supreme Court (SC), which awaits Davis with sleeves rolled up, more than ready to ensure justice in defiance of Zardari’s wishes. Meanwhile, Davis has already been indicted before the Lahore High Court (LHC), which has extended his judicial remand in police custody to allow time for more interrogation. Therefore, even if the LHC could be intimidated, an appeal before the SC is inevitable

Finally there is the Pakistani Pentagon, the General Headquarters, commonly known as GHQ. Now that it is a fairly accepted fact in Pakistan that Davis is guilty of anti-Pakistan activities and has killed two members of an intelligence agency, probably the well-known Inter-Service Intelligence (ISI), GHQ will have a say in his disposal. Consequently, despite Zardari’s desire to please the US, he may find himself hamstrung."

So while democracy continues to break out in the Middle East -- where the remarkable, history altering revolution that spans the region continues with no end yet in sight and has the US government backpedaling in its efforts to protect the interests of Capital -- things continue as usual in the halls of power. The US just vetoed a UN Security council resolution -- which all the 15 other members voted for -- that merely pointed out that what Israel is doing in the West Bank and East Jerusalem is illegal, that it is illegal under UN (and US) law for an occupying power to build settlements on land it occupies, as Israel is doing and has been doing since 1967. Which means that while it is giving lip service to democracy in the Middle East, the US government continues to work with Israel to to deny self determination to the few remaining Palestinians Israel hasn't already driven into refugee camps or exterminated.

The US government is tying mightily in Egypt and Tunisia and Yemen and Algeria and everywhere the people have risen up to co-opt what is emerging to replace the ruthless dictators it backed, in the interests of Capital, which it serves. And in Pakistan, strategic along with Afghanistan because of the US coporpate-owned gas pipelines headed toward Europe that traverse those countries, which the US see as critical to checking the power of Russia, the other main provider of natural gas to Europe, the US government, as we see now, is really on the side of its sworn enemies Al Quada and the Taliban, who are responsible for the deaths of all the US soldiers being killed in Afghanistan, as well as all those who died in the twin towers on September 11, 2001.

One can only hope that some day, before the wiretapping becomes too pervasive, before they get their internet kill switch, before the Republican attack on the working class leaves our already declining wage levels so low that after a 16 hour day at minimum wage we can't even raise our head off our sleeping mats to emit a bleat of protest, the American people will rise up, too.


Independent journalist David Lindorff has been doing most of the US reporting on the Raymond Davis incident at his web log, This Can't Be Happening. Also this, his latest, at Eurasia Review:

The Case Mounts Against The CIA’s Raymond Davis

Shaukat Qadir's informative piece, from inside Pakistan:

Why Pakistan Cannot Release the Man Who Calls Himself Raymond Davis


Raymond Davis 'was acting head of CIA in Pakistan

Raymond Davis: Intelligence Recruiter in Pakistan, Too?

Raymond Davis refuses to sign charge sheet

Lindorff earlier had this longer investigative piece in Counterpunch shredding the Obama administration's story:

The Deepening Mystery of Raymond Davis and Two Slain Pakastani Motorcyclists

And he wrote this for The Public Record:

UK Guardian Reports Raymond Davis, American Killer Of Two Pakistanis, A CIA Operative

 And from the UN web site.

United States vetoes Security Council resolution on Israeli settlements

 Note the cryptic "note" by Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon referred to and linked to in the announcement.

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