Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
May 13, 2009

Pakistani 'Conspiracy Theories'

The New York Times blog The Lede mocks Pakistani 'conspiracy theories' about the U.S. and/or India being behind Pakistan's troubles. It especially takes aim at Pakistan Daily and at TV journalist (and hardcore nationalist) Ahmed Quraishi:

In Mr. Quraishi’s view, alarming reports on the progress of Taliban militants in Pakistan are all part of the plot, in which, he says, “the U.S. media and officials are single-handedly tarnishing Pakistan’s image worldwide to justify a military intervention.”
...
Your Lede blogger can only say that if there is a plot like this someone forgot to send us the memo.

Yes. One really has to wonder where those lunatic Pakistani's got those crazy ideas about U.S. policies being somehow adverse to Pakistan and why Quraishi and others allege that there is a running U.S. media campaign against Pakistan. As being part of the NYT The Lede certainly has to wonder about the last one.

Consider some recent NYT headlines:

But of course - the NYT didn't get the memo ...

Posted by b on May 13, 2009 at 05:24 AM | Permalink

Comments

Brilliant.

Same could be said for stories on teevee nooz.

Your work is invaluable. Thanks, b.

Posted by: Hamburger | May 13, 2009 10:13:50 AM | 1

ditto what hamburger said.

Posted by: annie | May 13, 2009 10:53:17 AM | 2

We believe a lot of crazy shit around here, including the 9/11 and Bombay atrocities were inside jobs.

Now, why would the US want to create instability in Pakistan, and why would the "Taliban" cooperate? What's the quid pro quo?

And for goodness' sake, don't read the "western press" to find your answers!

Posted by: slothrop | May 13, 2009 11:22:12 AM | 3

b-

excellent set of links! Thanks again for all the hard work!

Posted by: DavidS | May 13, 2009 11:27:05 AM | 4

Actually, b, your critique does not correspond to the claims made in the article. The claim in the article is that a high % of pakistani readers of the english press believe the "taliban" work for the US--a preposterous claim, to be sure.

So, what's your point?

Posted by: slothrop | May 13, 2009 11:27:19 AM | 5

Now, that "Taliban" works for US is probably untrue and quite likely preposterous. BUT, that many Pakistanis (especially the well-educated elites who read English press) believe that they do is indisputably true and not quite that preposterous. The latter is the real problem--and you can't make it go away by pointing to the former. It's a very serious indication of how far US has fallen that people would rather believe that pigs fly than trust the US.

Posted by: kao_hsien_chih | May 13, 2009 12:50:19 PM | 6

We believe a lot of crazy shit around here, including the 9/11 and Bombay atrocities were inside jobs.

Who believes that? I for one do not.

Actually, b, your critique does not correspond to the claims made in the article. The claim in the article is that a high % of pakistani readers of the english press believe the "taliban" work for the US--a preposterous claim, to be sure.

The critique corresponds to the general push of the Lede piece.

I do not find the claim that some "Taliban" fight for the U.S. preposterous at all. It only seems so when you put each and every militant in Pakistan and Afghanistan under the label "Taliban" which is in itself preposterous.

There is reason to believe that the U.S. has hired some "Taliban" to put pressure on the Pakistani government. Especially the movement of "Taliban" into the neighbor districts from Swat after the Swat peace deal was done was highly suspicious and likely 'arranged'.

Posted by: b | May 13, 2009 1:25:30 PM | 7

I agree with b's suspicions.

To send a few 'terrorists' into Buner and Dir after the Swat peace deal and get some Punjabi troops in (no matter if it results in half a million homeless refugees), is not beyond the US conspirators who could easily afford a $million dollar reward for the 'arrest of OBL'. That was a no-bet because OBL was already long dead.

'Taliban' means nothing more than 'students'. The US knows next to nothing about Afghanistan or Pakistan, and absolutely nothing about the Af-Pak Pushtuns (Pathans) whose nation straddles the Af-Pak border (Durand Line).

If Pathans are pushing their own interests ahead (funded by America's great ally, Saudi Arabia), then good for them.

20 or 30,000 extra American troops, sequestered in a few risk-free massive bases in Helmand, will not do any good at all.

Orwell could not have forecast this better

Posted by: Richard | May 13, 2009 11:12:07 PM | 8

I agree with b here. The Taliban is not one entity. It appears to be several groups. There are many international spy agencies working in that area so there is a strong possibility that both US and Indian agencies have their agents working there too. In fact, it would be totally unbelievable that the US and India don't have their own agents there.

This is a common practice and only a rank amateur journalist would call that a conspiracy theory.

Posted by: Hasho | May 14, 2009 12:10:14 AM | 9

...only a rank amateur journalist would call that a conspiracy theory.

i think it may be helpful to separate actual theories of conspiracy from the conspiracy culture that most people automatically associate with the (very loaded) term conspiracy theory.

it's almost like the term has been culturally engineered to instantly marginalize the entire spectrum of people (from scientists to spun-out kooks) not satisfied with official interpretations of certain events, like assassinations and terrorist attacks.

Posted by: Lizard | May 14, 2009 12:50:27 AM | 10

whoops, i intended for that first line to be italicized.

Posted by: Lizard | May 14, 2009 12:51:32 AM | 11

Lizard #11: yep.

And just try speculating about other dimensions, other frequencies, like radio stations whose signals are all there but we can only tune to one at a time. Tesla, frequency interested frequently, speculated about unseen life forms, but just mention Tesla and people dismiss.

None of us would believe in radio, television, electricity, or our parents having sex if we could plausibly deny same, yet "I don't believe it" is more effective than "quod erat demonstrandum."

Posted by: plushtown | May 14, 2009 8:36:46 AM | 12

new cartoon:

2 steers (actually bulls in stuffed animal world but only loved/pretended-loved ones know)


"So, we're cattle."

"No, we're too big to be cattle. Cattle are puny, sheep, goats, chimpanzees, losers. Would cattle be taught to read?"


On background billboard: Biggest Barbecue Yet
(date obscured by tree)
Come one, come all, Come come.

Posted by: plushtown | May 14, 2009 9:51:46 AM | 13

another: screen capture of The Dude from Big Lebowsky (Jeff Bridges scruffy and calm), (doubt doll available):


"If radio, after invention, was bought and used only by selected Morgans to selected Rothschilds to selected Rockefellers to selected Duponts etc., as rumored by kooks, would you believe in radio?

If we had television but no radio, would you say no practical radio could exist, screw theory, or it would be sold for the moola to be made, that the profit motive prophets as we all profess? Well, long term profit motives abide."


Sorry if off topic, but if other dimensions do vibrate to a different Keith Moon, Pakistan is even more packed than we see, and screwed.

Posted by: plushtown | May 14, 2009 7:38:24 PM | 14

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