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Thread: Raymond Davis

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    Default Raymond Davis

    I am surprised at the lack of comment about Raymond on this blog. It probably reflects admirable self-discipline, but given the fact that everybody and his aunt is commenting on the Pakistani internet, this reticence is not doing really critical to "avoiding muddying the waters in a tough situation"...
    just wondering.

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I suspect that's a function of three things.

    No one knows enough to comment intelligently and the stories out there offer a number of conflicts. Said conflicts lead to a "who is he and what was he doing" speculation which probably wouldn't be beneficial to him, Pakistan or the US. He's not overtly related to a small war.

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    Omar:

    I have some questions. What is the general gist of the comments on the Pakistani net? Is the public mood similar to that concerning the poor Christian woman (whose name I forget) they want to kill for blasphemy? I think you or somebody else said that in these cases the pattern is to milk it for all the public outrage possible and then get the victim quietly out of the country. Do think that will happen in this case?

    Here is a link to a Time story that reports the men Davis killed were ISI watchers. I hadn't heard that one before.

    http://www.time.com/time/world/artic...047149,00.html

    I wonder if this will make the American diplomatic establishment somewhat more suspicious of the motives of the Pak Army/ISI.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Quote Originally Posted by carl View Post
    Here is a link to a Time story that reports the men Davis killed were ISI watchers. I hadn't heard that one before.

    http://www.time.com/time/world/artic...047149,00.html
    Interesting article, but raises questions. If he was being followed by visibly armed men for 2 hours, and had the capacity to call for backup, why not call before shooting? If you're on your way to the ATM and realize - or suspect - that you're being followed by armed men, common sense says you don't go to the ATM, you stay in your vehicle and drive to the consulate, or some other place where you have support, calling for help immediately.

    Not jumping to conclusions, but that rings a little bit strange to me. Possibly a bit more going on there that the reports are letting on.

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    Default The strange case of Raymond Davis, a ‘strategic corporal’ in Pakistan

    The strange case of Raymond Davis, a ‘strategic corporal’ in Pakistan

    Entry Excerpt:

    In 1999, Gen. Charles Krulak, USMC coined the term “strategic corporal,” referring to a low-level soldier whose battlefield decisions could have strategic consequences. Raymond Davis, an “administrative and technical staff” employee at the United States consulate in Lahore, may soon be inducted into the “strategic corporal” Hall of Fame. Davis, now jailed in Lahore and awaiting trial for allegedly murdering two Pakistani men whom Davis claims were attempting to rob him at gunpoint, may accomplish what Osama bin Laden, the Taliban, and ISI scheming have failed to do, namely cause a fundamental break in relations between the United States and Pakistan.

    Click below to read more ...



    --------
    Read the full post and make any comments at the SWJ Blog.
    This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

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    Carl, the Pakistani internet is saying pretty much what the ISI-internet wants them to say. I wrote the following comment on the SWJ blog before I saw your post and I think it answers some of your question and asks some from my side:
    Go to http://rupeenews.com/?p=35639 to see the "official" Pakistani version of this relationship. If you doubt the "official" nature of this site, check it out in detail, see the other sites linked there, and reach your own conclusions. (the editor of Rupee news lives in New Jersey, btw, and seems very connected to every pro-army website in Pakistan...and we have a lot of those).
    Obviously I have no idea what the inner details of this strange case really are. Did Davis shoot two robbers? did he shoot two intelligence operatives? Was he there working with the Pakistani security establishment or against them? And if he was working against them, was that a smart idea? After all, Pakistan is not a banana republic in the true sense of the word. Its a large country with a very large and disciplined army and effective intelligence agencies and foreign patrons in addition to the US (China and Saudi Arabia, now maybe also Turkey). The security establishment also has a strategic vision that is very different from what the US may desire (not that I can claim to know what the US desires. "The US" is not a person. Its policy makers may be up to stupidities and schemes of individual aggrandizement that are not congruent with the interests of the majority of the American people). To send strategic corporals to such a place does not sound like a smart idea.
    My usual thought at this point is that no great power can possibly be THAT stupid, so obviously I just don't know what is going on. But then the thought does come that we are all human beings and we are not a particularly wise species. Maybe the emperor has no clothes?
    To add to that, I will put it in somewhat personal terms. When I first started visiting this blog, I was not in the Chomsky-Arundhati mode, but I was open to the idea that the US policymaking establishment is capable of great sneakiness and even evil (especially in Latin America, but probably anywhere they percieve they have a vital interest). But I dont work with fixed opinions. I am just an amateur and I like to think I can change my mind. Well, in this case, I have changed my mind. I think there probably are some secret layers of decision-making where deep and dark evil is planned, but that is not the dominant long-term plan in any country. I think the actual situation on a larger-scale is some combination of naivete, ignorance, arrogance, good intentions, individual bureaucratic empire building and inertia. What makes the US a great power is its (still) great economy and human resources, not some sort of super-clever management of foreign policy and spy agency heroics. In this case, there is obviously some spook stuff going on and equally obviously I do not know what it is, but the overall relationship with Pakistan is a complete mystery to me now and THAT (the overall public policy) is, I think, NOT the public face of some secret plot (against Pakistan, against China, against whoever). Its just CYA bureaucracy trying to get through the next promotion cycle, army people (still the most capable army in the world and therefore, by definition, the most capable army in history) applying their army-level notions to every situation, and policymakers blundering along with whatever notions they learned from TIME magazine last year (forgetting that they probably taught TIME magazine those very notions the year before).
    I think this will end badly, no matter what happens in the Davis case. I also think that disaster will be worse for Pakistanis than for the average American..

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    Default Stranger than fiction?

    Try Circling the Lion's Den for a strange podcast, allegedly an in custody interview partly caught on a mobile phone and some other links:http://circlingthelionsden.blogspot....s-messier.html

    Curiously this weird story landed and I strongly suspect someone, maybe the Russians, are exploiting the story and the headline says it all 'CIA Spy Captured Giving Nuclear Bomb To Terrorists'. Link:http://www.eutimes.net/2011/02/cia-s...to-terrorists/

    Yes, this newspaper makes its stance clear if you read a little more; basically against the New World Order.
    davidbfpo

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    A version of my comment is now up at brown pundits: http://www.brownpundits.com/2011/02/...ral/#more-1070

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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    ...Curiously this weird story landed and I strongly suspect someone, maybe the Russians, are exploiting the story and the headline says it all 'CIA Spy Captured Giving Nuclear Bomb To Terrorists'. Link:http://www.eutimes.net/2011/02/cia-s...to-terrorists/

    Yes, this newspaper makes its stance clear if you read a little more; basically against the New World Order.
    The EU Times is linked to the neo-Nazi National Alliance and the Volksfront. Despite the name, the server is here in the US. If you check out their site, it appears that they're just as fond of UFO stories as they are of conspiracies....

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    A good article by liberal columnist Cyril Almeida: http://www.dawn.com/2011/02/18/the-m...continues.html

    Though I would not characterize the security establishment as myopic in exactly the way Cyril does. Its not that they want a relatively liberal and progressive Pakistan and underestimate the risks of encouraging the religious right. That is too charitable a view (though its still sensible compared to the nonsense the average Pentagon General seems willing to swallow everytime he goes to have tea with Kiyani sahib). They DONT want a liberal Pakistan. They really DO want a hypernationalist, anti-Indian, Islamist and fascist Pakistan (though they may be willing to allow some "basic democracy" at the grassroots...this has been one of their dreams from the 1950s; strongly centralized rule at the top, but partyless democracy at the grassroots, its never worked, but that has never stopped them from dreaming). Other components of their dream include providing the muscle for Gulf Arabs willing to pay for muscle, acting as America's and now China's gun for hire in the region, dominating Afghanistan and Central Asia, and so on.
    The myopia consists in not realizing that these aims are a recipe for disaster.

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    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...022305040.html

    Of course the ISI knew who he was. Do you think you can have 5 CIA agents renting houses in lahore and tailing people without the ISI knowing about it? The legal question revolves around whether he had diplomatic status or not (all countries get diplomatic status for their spies..and if the host country doesnt like a spy, they can always kick him out) and what exactly happened in Mozang (was it a robbery of did he shoot two ISI agents or were they terrorists or what?).
    The strategic question (separate from the legal one) is why the ISI media cell jumped all over the case. Do they want to break up their marriage (or affair or concubinage, whatever) with the CIA or do they want more money? I guess we will soon see..My money is on "more money"..

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    Default Possible.

    I know the passport game was done, and I watched those ISI on motorcycle follow him for quite a while. Full video is available. No, I read up on all of this many days ago and have since forgotten some of the fine points but for all intents and purpose, I do know that it is a difficult situation for both countries.

    Rahman tackled what he could on it. It's out there, but a good read. Something to bounce off.

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    My feeling (based, I admit, purely on guesswork) is that the head honchos at GHQ are no longer Jihadists, but they have not freed themselves from a lot of their own past propaganda and (more to the point) in this particular case their propaganda organs have had "too much success". They may have planned to push the CIA a little and get them to tone down some overly intrusive operations and maybe get some more concessions on India-specific Jihadis and other issues dear to their little hearts, but they have succeeded in inflaming the public beyond their wildest dreams...they may have wanted to push to the edge and come back (a skill at which they consider themselves great masters) but this time, they may fall over...I hope not, but they are too damn close for comfort right now.
    The irony is, Kiyani sahib is probably the smartest man to ever hold that exalted position at the head of GHQ (and is a flaming genius compared to the last man in that position). It will be sad to see things go south on his watch.

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    Some of the comments here (and elsewhere) get recycled in my article about this business: http://www.3quarksdaily.com/3quarksd...-ali.html#more

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    Pro-army websites are now blaming the assassination of minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti on the CIA...supposedly as a ploy to "deflect attention from the Davis case". http://rupeenews.com/?p=36041
    Again, these are NOT fringe websites. These are the most widely read websites in the Pakistani blogosphere (far more popular than liberal sites) and their propaganda efforts are well coordinated by some "invisible hand" .
    But in the interest of fairness, I should add that I have occasionally heard from leftwing friends that these websites are not really ISI sponsored, they are CIA sponsored and reflect some extremely deep and subtle form of psyops. Make of that what you will.
    The owner of this site does live in the US so one can see where the more conspiracy-minded can create a story that portrays this site as an American plot.

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by omarali50 View Post
    Pro-army websites are now blaming the assassination of minorities minister Shahbaz Bhatti on the CIA...supposedly as a ploy to "deflect attention from the Davis case". http://rupeenews.com/?p=36041
    That is one remarkable read. It describes an alternate world, sort of like dropping into Wonderland with Alice.

    Articles like this, others you've linked to and the rantings of the trolls over at the blog are starting to worry me. It reminds me of the things promulgated by the Germans and Japanese in the years prior to WWII. Like you said, this might not end well.
    Last edited by carl; 03-05-2011 at 07:25 AM.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    Default Weimar Republic?

    A friend from the PPP (who lives in Pakistan) recently commented that Pakistan feels like the Weimar Republic right now. Historical analogies are generally on shaky ground, and I wouldnt push the analogy too far, but there is something to it.
    I think the Jihadist core in the army and the Islamist groups (especially the explicitly fascist Jamat e Islami) does have a vision that bears many analogies to Nazism (including the horrible likely ending to the story). Its NOT the most likely outcome because I think no one in Pakistan has enough control or will get enough control, the culture is deeply anarchic (in what I would consider a good way) and fragmented and many other factors work against this vision, but they DO have the vision in mind and they are pursuing it with great determination.
    The Ahmed Qureshi types (who represent the viewpoint of those who think they are using the jihadis and not vice versa) see China as their model, not the Taliban. But because of their single-minded obsession with India, or because they think Uncle Chin wants them to finger India (never mind if he reallly does or does not, they think he does and they are really smitten with Uncle Chin right now) or because of some twisted notion of how nationalism supposedly works (rupee news editor has had remarkable postings about that....it seems that they believe that every nation needs a demonic enemy to unite the masses and so on; its some half-assed theory they picked up somewhere in America...NOTHING about them is original or indigenous, even the farcical elements are based on some superficial reading of Leo Strauss or some other farcical graft of A onto completely out-of-context B), they dream of the day when the glorious armed forces will take over the country, restore law and order, one folk, one leader, one marching band and one uniform..the whole fascist shebang.
    And they think the jihadis are their weapon in this grand scheme. I personally think they are being extremely foolish and THEY are being used by the Jihadis, but whatever. The point is, their is a small but non-trivial chance that once the US pays for a soft exit and leaves, they may carry out a coup and etablish law and order (probaby behead a few liberals in the stadium to put the fear of god into people).
    They may then have a honeymoon for a brief period. Sort of "Springtime with Islamic Hitler". But the comparison ends there. Pakistan is not Germany, Pakistanis are not Germans (they are hardly even Pakistanis...the confused national identity is not a trivial issue). In this case, Marx was right: History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.
    but a farce with 200 nuclear weapons has the potential to get really ugly..

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    Council Member carl's Avatar
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    Omar:

    What I see in all three, Nazi Germany, Imperial Japan and Pakistan as shepherded by GHQ, is too great a regard for their own power, especially moral, too little regard for opponents will and capacity to resist and a view of the world that blithely disregards reality.

    I think we are saying the same thing in different ways.
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

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    I dont know enough about the demons the imperial Japanese army used to mobilize their people (if they used any) but its interesting that the ISI-media cell has not been too original in their choice of scapegoat...the Jews get star billing. Though there are original and farcical twists at times. Zaid Hamid (see http://www.chapatimystery.com/archiv...aid_hamid.html) frequently refers to "Brahmin Zionists", which nicely wraps the Hindus and Jews into one mega-enemy....

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