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-   -   Worldwise: Live From Lahore (Robert Wright & Issam Ahmed) (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=7143)

Bloggingheads 11-02-2011 08:06 PM

Worldwise: Live From Lahore (Robert Wright & Issam Ahmed)
 

T.G.G.P 11-02-2011 09:08 PM

Re: Worldwise: Live From Lahore (Robert Wright & Issam Ahmed)
 
"Helped create the Taliban"
Rather indirectly. The Taliban arose in reaction to the warlord era that ensued after the U.S helped topple the Soviet-backed government. Some history for those interested in Who Is Responsible For the Taliban.

Diane1976 11-02-2011 09:54 PM

Re: Worldwise: Live From Lahore (Robert Wright & Issam Ahmed)
 
I've only just started listening, but does anybody really doubt that Pakistan created the Taliban, or that the US supported it during their Cold War obsession, along with the "brave mujihadeen" which ultimately produced OBL? I think they're both trying to scapegoat each other for the mess that followed.

T.G.G.P 11-02-2011 10:20 PM

Re: Worldwise: Live From Lahore (Robert Wright & Issam Ahmed)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 230248)
I've only just started listening, but does anybody really doubt that Pakistan created the Taliban, or that the US supported it during their Cold War obsession, along with the "brave mujihadeen" which ultimately produced OBL? I think they're both trying to scapegoat each other for the mess that followed.

The point I was trying to make is that there was no "Taliban along with the brave mujihadeen" at the time. The Taliban post-date the end of the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan. Once the Taliban came into formation it gained the support of many other groups, including the I.S.I, but it would also be a mistake to view them as the creation of some external power.

PreppyMcPrepperson 11-02-2011 10:28 PM

Re: Worldwise: Live From Lahore (Robert Wright & Issam Ahmed)
 
I should start by saying I am impressed that BHTV is finally getting people actually IN Pakistan to come on and talk about the country and the region. Keep doing this, please.

Some thoughts:

1. Issam mentions the critical nature of Pakistan's relationship with China and then doesn't explain how it works. Bob grunted in a way that suggested this information was new to him, and perhaps the depth of this relationship isn't common knowledge in the West, but it ought to be. Because China is Pakistan's first ally - the first country to recognize it after independence - and shares with Pakistan an opposition to India. So that even as Afghanistan has become a proxy in a fight between India and Pakistan that Issam describes well, Pakistan has long been a proxy in a fight between India and China. The U.S. has an alliance with India and a rivalry with China, and its attempt to ally with Pakistan is always going to fit a bit awkwardly as a result.

2. Issam vastly understates the economic power of the Pakistani military. A better account can be found here.

3. For all the pessimism here, the very best news ever - which broke today - is that Pakistan and India are finally moving forwards on the diplomacy front. Since this DV was recorded before it broke and dwells so heavily on the impact of Indo-Pak relations on US-Pak relations, it is worth noting that Indo-Pak relations are extremely fluid right now.

4. Issam makes a VERY smart point about the IMF and the World Bank and how much they matter to a state like Pakistan. Kudos for that.

5. Bob is correct to suggest that Pakistan's poor deeply resent the westernized attitudes of the country's elites. Issam brushes it aside, but in my experience reporting there, it's a huge factor and acts in concert with a general frustration people have for the fecklessness of the country's leaders over day to day economic issues to shred the country's social fabric.

sugarkang 11-03-2011 12:06 AM

Re: Worldwise: Live From Lahore (Robert Wright & Issam Ahmed)
 
Hmm. So, was Ron Paul right about this all along?

Sulla the Dictator 11-03-2011 03:54 AM

Re: Worldwise: Live From Lahore (Robert Wright & Issam Ahmed)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Diane1976 (Post 230248)
I've only just started listening, but does anybody really doubt that Pakistan created the Taliban, or that the US supported it during their Cold War obsession, along with the "brave mujihadeen" which ultimately produced OBL? I think they're both trying to scapegoat each other for the mess that followed.

The Taliban is a separate entity than the Afghan Muj. The war was over by the time they invaded Afghanistan.

opposable_crumbs 11-03-2011 07:47 AM

KABUL - City Number One
 
There is a wonderful blog series from Adam Curtis, the film maker behind the Power of Nightmares, that looks at US involvement in Afghanistan including it's massive engineering efforts to remake the country.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurti...ne_part_3.html


It includes an array of vintage footage, from news reels to pop songs. The whole series can be read here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurtis/afghanistan/

BornAgainDemocrat 11-03-2011 10:22 AM

Is Pakistan a state?
 
We tend to assume that places with national borders and capital cities are political states as we think of them in the West. But a state is defined as having a government with "a monopoly of power" within its jurisdiction. By this standard Pakistan is not a state, anymore than Afghanistan and (as will soon become evident) Iraq are states. Iran, apparently, is a state on the other hand, as is Saudi Arabia, in both cases qualified by the phrase "at least for the time being."

The explanation, I've gradually come to realize, is the tribal and clan-based organization of these societies, which, in turn, is largely a result of the prevalence of first-cousin marriages within them. An individual's primary allegiance in such societies is to their extended family, not to society as a whole. Only in the West, where cousin-marriage has been suppressed for centuries, is true individualism possible, which underlies the whole concept of liberal democracy, individual rights, and sovereign power which we take for granted.

This thinking is not original with me. Far from it. Hbd chick has assembled the evidence and the arguments in support of this point of view, and it is to her blog I go to learn more about it.

Let me close with a simple proposition: realism is the first requirement for moral responsibility in this world. Naivite and wishful thinking are not.

Don Zeko 11-03-2011 10:27 AM

Re: Is Pakistan a state?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat (Post 230282)
The explanation, I've gradually come to realize, is the tribal and clan-based organization of these societies, which, in turn, is largely a result of the prevalence of first-cousin marriages within them. An individual's primary allegiance in such societies is to their extended family, not to society as a whole. Only in the West, where cousin-marriage has been suppressed for centuries, is true individualism possible, which underlies the whole concept of liberal democracy, individual rights, and sovereign power which we take for granted.

This thinking is not original with me. Far from it. Hbd chick has assembled the evidence and the arguments in support of this point of view, and it is to her blog I go to learn more about it.

Not again. As an aside, is anyone else amused by the effect of this person having a google alert out on her name? I feel like I'm in Harry Potter. If we don't want the thread hijacked, then it's not "hbdchick," it's "she who must not be named."

BornAgainDemocrat 11-03-2011 10:33 AM

Re: Is Pakistan a state?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Zeko (Post 230283)
Not again. As an aside, is anyone else amused by the effect of this person having a google alert out on her name? I feel like I'm in Harry Potter. If we don't want the thread hijacked, then it's not "hbdchick," it's "she who must not be named."

Zeko, No direspect but please note that Hbd* chick is not the source of these ideas. She merely documents them using mainstream scholarly sources and data. It is to them you must go if you want to criticize. If nothing else I hope our ten year adventure in the Middle East turns out to have been a valuable learning experience -- "a teachable moment" in the words of our President.

stephanie 11-03-2011 10:57 AM

Re: Worldwise: Live From Lahore (Robert Wright & Issam Ahmed)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by PreppyMcPrepperson (Post 230256)
I should start by saying I am impressed that BHTV is finally getting people actually IN Pakistan to come on and talk about the country and the region. Keep doing this, please.

Yes, I was very happy about this and found the diavlog quite interesting.

Glad to see your comments too.

opposable_crumbs 11-03-2011 11:16 AM

Re: Is Pakistan a state?
 
Quote:

If nothing else I hope our ten year adventure in the Middle East turns out to have been a valuable learning experience -- "a teachable moment" in the words of our President.
Only ten years, are you sure, maybe we need some new teachers?

Have a peek midway down this blog post to see how Afghanistan has become the grave yard of social theories:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurti...ne_part_3.html

BornAgainDemocrat 11-03-2011 12:01 PM

Re: Is Pakistan a state?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by opposable_crumbs (Post 230289)
Only ten years, are you sure, maybe we need some new teachers?

Have a peek midway down this blog post to see how Afghanistan has become the grave yard of social theories:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/adamcurti...ne_part_3.html

Interesting. I hitchhiked through Afghanistan in 1963 -- this was before hippies ;) -- and I remember even then being shown around a compound somewhere between Kandahar and Kabul. My guide -- actually a truck driver who had picked me and my traveling companion up -- told us it belonged to whoever was running the country at the time, can't remember who. Anyway once inside the walls of the compound we found a classic Southern California ranch-style house complete with swimming pool on the patio. There was nobody home and our guide unhesitatingly took us inside. The main thing I remember was there was about a quarter an inch of dust covering everything. No one had been there in a long, long time!

Rathertired 11-03-2011 02:54 PM

Re: Worldwise: Live From Lahore (Robert Wright & Issam Ahmed)
 
Indeed, the recent run of BHTVs where Bob interviews journalists and bloggers (often in different nations) who actually know something has been fantastic.

I understand why BHTV needs a backbench of DC shills it can turn to for quickie content, but, man, the efforts of late to get away from The Hack Friends of Megan McArdle is to be acknowledged and celebrated. Kudos. It's great hearing from actual journalists (and, for that matter, economists and academics and scientists) who do more than merely serve as office-bound purveyors of a party line.

Don't get me wrong: McArdle seems like a very nice person, but, geez, there's just so many times a week you can watch her, her spouse, ex dates of hers (oh, whose heart wasn't sent aquiver when the big Wilkinson/McArdle date went seemingly nowhere? Though it was kind of them both to blog about it!) or her friends smugly spout the tenets of their juvenile, discredited philosophy.

Second point: it's a sign of the world we live in that the irony of Issam Ahmed reporting sympathetically on Pakistan for (of all publications) The Christian Science Monitor goes without notice. Further proof that in late 2011 you have to get beyond the Beltway hacks. It's phenomenal to see BHTV making the effort. Please, please keep it up!

Thanks, too, to Preppy MPrepperson for the comment and links.

Florian 11-03-2011 03:09 PM

Re: Is Pakistan a state?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat (Post 230282)
We tend to assume that places with national borders and capital cities are political states as we think of them in the West. But a state is defined as having a government with "a monopoly of power" within its jurisdiction. By this standard Pakistan is not a state, anymore than Afghanistan and (as will soon become evident) Iraq are states. Iran, apparently, is a state on the other hand, as is Saudi Arabia, in both cases qualified by the phrase "at least for the time being."

The explanation, I've gradually come to realize, is the tribal and clan-based organization of these societies, which, in turn, is largely a result of the prevalence of first-cousin marriages within them. An individual's primary allegiance in such societies is to their extended family, not to society as a whole. Only in the West, where cousin-marriage has been suppressed for centuries, is true individualism possible, which underlies the whole concept of liberal democracy, individual rights, and sovereign power which we take for granted.

This thinking is not original with me. Far from it. Hbd chick has assembled the evidence and the arguments in support of this point of view, and it is to her blog I go to learn more about it.

Let me close with a simple proposition: realism is the first requirement for moral responsibility in this world. Naivite and wishful thinking are not.

What does any of this cousin-to-cousin marriage business have to do with the content of the diavlog?

BornAgainDemocrat 11-03-2011 04:52 PM

Re: Is Pakistan a state?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Florian (Post 230302)
What does any of this cousin-to-cousin marriage business have to do with the content of the diavlog?

Pakistan?

dieter 11-03-2011 05:55 PM

Re: Is Pakistan a state?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by BornAgainDemocrat (Post 230306)
Pakistan?

The issues discussed in the Diavlog have mostly to do with conflict between nations (Pashtuns, Non-pashtun afghans, Indian? pakistanis) rather than the effects of high levels of consanguinity within nations. Belgium is not a stable nation state either.

ledocs 11-05-2011 04:25 PM

Re: Worldwise: Live From Lahore (Robert Wright & Issam Ahmed)
 
I have always thought that the US policy towards Afghanistan was really a policy towards Pakistan. Hurlburt said as much a long time ago; Obama implied as much in his big speech about Afghanistan a long time ago. Bob acted as if the two things were distinct. But that's about the only thing I think I understand about this mess, except that the US military blackmailed Obama into the Afghan surge, which seems to be a miserable failure. Why, exactly, the military did that is beyond me.


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