East meets west. By K. Kalame


People of Pakistan and people of the US operate in such different contexts that it is hard to imagine that their fates are somehow linked.
The people of Pakistan standing up to restore their chief justice was a history changing event. This reference point for people power, publicized properly, has the potential to snow ball. Remember the restoration of Hugo Chavez in Venezuela by the people. It bloodied the nose of the elite and superpower alike.
The people of the US may rise up against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan with force, like they did against Vietnam . If they do it can have a profound impact on the people of Pakistan .
But why would they do such a thing ?
They may do this out of plain self interest. According to the Linda Bilmes and Joseph Stiglitz in the Washington Post, the war in Iraq alone will end up costing the American tax payer about US$3 trillion dollars.
To get to the end point, they may have to go back to the starting point, i.e., the event that created the excuse for America to go to war.
Like the Pakistani people got their victory by sticking to the truth of the accusations levelled on Nov 3, the American people can have theirs by revisiting 911.
911 is the basis for the 2nd largest military offensive the US has ever embarked upon, supposedly to punish the culprits responsible for those events. This offensive resulted in killing of 1.3 million Iraqis, Afghanis and Pakistanis. Therefore, who is actually responsible for 911 is a matter of some significance.
When a country with the most advanced military in the world gets ready to wipe out a million beings of human origin, or in other words their next of kin, it had better make sure that this does not turn out to be a holocaust of mistaken identity.
However, such precautions were not taken. Only US$15 million were spent to investigate 911 and put together the 911 commission report. In comparison about US$65 million were spent to investigate president Clinton about possibly inaccurate statements involving the creative use of a cigar and some real estate deals.
Eight years later, after the murder of 1.3 million human beings, the question remains as relevant as it was on Sept 12 2001, if not more.
Who ?
There has been a disturbing amount of evidence pointing towards a massive cover up relating to 911. Even more disturbing is the strengthening suspicion that the bald eagle is holding the smoking gun.
Professor Naom Chomsky believes it is entirely irrelevent as to who is responsible for 911. Furthermore, according to him, "Even if it [i.e., the US government is responsible for 911 and not foreigh terrorists], were true which is extremely unlikely, who cares ! " His view about who is responsible for JFK assasination is "who knows" and furthemore "who cares".
I agree with his statement to the extent that 1.3 million people would still be dead whether the US government was responsible for 911 or Al Qaeda.
In that context "who" is not the relevent question. That the US public is fine with declaring war on countries in response to perceived attacks by a non state player of diffuse origin, is puzzling.
The alternate explanation is that American public never agreed with it. They just never objected strongly enough. Who would have thought, there would be such a dear price to pay for not objecting strongly enough. US$3 trillion dollars for them, 1.3 million lives for the Iraqis.
I further agree with Naom Chomsky's statement relating to JFK to the extent that JFK would still be dead whether it was a deranged man who killed him or the US government.
However, a reasonable and objective person would admit the possibility that had JFK escaped assasination, he may not have allowed an invasion of Vietnam , which Lyndon Johnson actively precipitated. Also, the US invading Afghanistan or Iraq without blaming them both for 911 may not have been sellable at home and an invasion may never had taken place.
In short, history of the world would have been different. I believe most people care who was responsible for 911 and most people would like to know who killed JFK, if it changes history.
Should the truth relating to 911 come out in the open, the current US adventure in Afghanistan and Iraq may have to end abrubtly due to mass protests at home, and withdrawal of international support. This is good reason to care, not just for US people but also of Pakistan , Iraq , Afghanistan and the world at large.

That the people of the US can take a cue from the people of Pakistan in getting the will of the people recognized is ironic. But it is reality. When a sleeping nation awakens such ironies become fact.
Now that the US is raising its military presence in Afghanistan by 50% and even contemplating carpet bombing of Balochistan, the interests of the people of Pakistan and US are more aligned than ever. Both peoples can avoid bankruptcy in the financial and moral sense by exposing the facts relating to 911, a day that shall live in infamy in the annals of history.
As for the lawlessness in Pakistan 's backyard, no one should be naïve enough to think that American departure will make it all go away overnight. However, strict law enforcement with justice and development is the answer not military operation.
To that extent, the Pakistani people and the American people want the same thing.

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