It's time to grow up

May 8th, 2010 | By | Category: Conspiracy Theories

Okay, this must be the biggest mess of a conspiracy theory I’ve seen in some time. Kamran Khan and Talat Hussain may have been first out of the gate on this one, but it is spreading like a wild fire, and it threatens to burn up any credibility left in our media. Today, Mohammad Jamil spends far too long drawing out this nonsense about Faisal Shahzad case being a plot to put Pakistan under pressure. Let’s take a look at Jamil’s piece in full, and hopefully put this nonsense to rest.

Jamil begins by saying that there is a bias in Western media by referring to Faisal Shahzad as a Pakistani and not an American. This is just silliness. For one thing, do we deny that he was Pakistani? More importantly, though, a search of Google News for ‘Faisal Shahzad Pakistani-American’ shows almost 2,000 articles. A search of Google News for ‘Faisal Shahzad American Citizen’ found over 3,000 articles. All the media – including American and Western media are very open about his being American. 

Next, Jamil jumps straight to his point:

If one glances through the reports by Reuters and other news agencies, it is not difficult to conclude that this is a gimmick to keep Pakistan under pressure and push it to go after the Haqqani network in North Waziristan.

Actually, I think it’s pretty difficult to come to that conclusion. In fact, I think you have to throw logic and reason out the door in order to come to that conclusion. Consider Jamil’s logic:

The Reuters report said, “Any links between Pakistan’s Taliban and a failed bombing in New York’s Times Square could put the country under renewed US pressure to open risky new fronts against Islamic militants.” US agencies and investigators are trying to find a link between him and Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), who reportedly accepted responsibility. Many security experts are sceptical about the ability of the TTP to stage terrorist attacks outside Pakistan. In April 2009, Baitullah Mehsud had claimed responsibility for being behind the attack by a US immigrant of Vietnamese origin who went on a murderous rampage killing 13 people. However, his claim was dismissed by Pakistani security officials and US investigators as rubbish. From his statement to the police, it appears that he is not at all a trained terrorist. His statement about changing of cars, forgetting the keys and use of firecrackers sounds intriguing. 

In order for Jamil’s article to make any sense, you have to believe that TTP is conspiring to put more pressure on Pakistan to expand the war on TTP. How do you even begin to respond to something this silly?

Jamil then says that “The US has repeatedly called on Pakistan to do more.” While it may be true that some Americans have said this, he conveniently ignores the chorus of high-ranking American officials who have been very grateful to Pakistan.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates offered strong praise Friday for Pakistan’s efforts to root out extremist militants amid concern about potential links between the failed Times Square car bombing and Pakistan-based Taliban forces.”The Pakistanis have been doing so much more than 18 months or two years ago any of us would have expected,” Gates told reporters traveling with him from Washington to this Army post on the banks of the Missouri River. He referred to Pakistani Army offensives, dating to spring 2009, against Taliban extremists in areas near the Afghan border, including in south Waziristan.

Gates said the Obama administration is sticking to its policy of offering to do as much training and other military activity inside Pakistan as the Pakistani government is willing to accept.

“It’s their country,” Gates said. “They remain in the driver’s seat, and they have their foot on the accelerator.”

Robert Gates is the Defence Minister of the US and he is hardly being disrespectful here. Actually, he is full of praise. So, what’s the problem?

Jamil then makes a turn for the truly bizarre:

 It should be borne in mind that an act by a Pakistani does not mean that Pakistan as a state is involved.

Who has ever said this? Does anyone truly believe that the Pakistani state was involved? Why would you even write such a thing?

Immediately after this sentence, Jamil contradicts everything he has written so far.

There is a perception that it could be part of a conspiracy to neutralise the goodwill Pakistan has earned by decimating the terrorists’ infrastructure and strongholds. And it seems to be an artifice to de-track the US government, which has decided to help Pakistan to overcome its economic difficulties and also to equip the Pakistan Army to effectively take on the militants.

This is the first thing he’s written that makes some sense – after all, wouldn’t Faisal (even if he wasn’t working with TTP) have wanted to de-track the growing Pakistan-US partnership? Okay, but that completely contradicts Jamil’s conspiracy theory! What is he thinking?

Okay, so now he has contradicted himself. But Jamil is not satisfied with merely making a fool of himself – he wants to be the biggest fool of all. Look at what he writes next:

Having said that, the US government should strive every nerve to ensure protection for Americans of Pakistani origin, who have to face the brunt after every botched attempt or real terrorist act. There are many questions: how was the suspect able to drive the car all the way to Times Square, and why had agencies failed to check the car on the way? And if, at all, the suspect had been able to reach the ‘destination’, what stopped him from carrying out the blast? 

Jamil says the American government should do everything to protect the rights of Pakistani-Americans. I agree 100%. Then he wonders why the American police didn’t stop this Pakistani-American from driving and why weren’t the American intelligence agencies following him. WHAT!?! Does he truly believe that FBI should be stopping all Pakistanis to question them? Faisal was able to drive to New York and park his car without being checked by some intelligence agency because he was treated with respect. FAISAL is the one who spit in the face of those who were trusting him not to be an idiot.

Jamil then goes on to list other people who have tried to attack America: Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, Nidal Hasan and David Headley. He says that these are all people who were educated in America, so America must be the problem! Here is what he writes:

The moot question is, what is wrong with the US system?

I will not suggest that there is nothing wrong with the US system. After all, certainly there are idiots in America like Columbine killers and Timothy McVeigh. But does Jamil dare to look in that mirror himself? What will he see? If America is to blame for the acts of Americans, who is to blame for the acts of Pakistanis? After all, it is our own fellow Pakistanis who are blowing themselves up in Karachi and Peshawar, killing our own children across the country. Why can we not admit that there are idiots here, too?

Jamil does make one point that I think is difficult to understand, but we must if we are ever going to move beyond this tit-for-tat killing.

In fact, the US has made many enemies by bombing other countries. It also has the reputation of hatching conspiracies that were responsible for the assassination of Lumumba, overthrowing Dr Mossadaq and the removal of President Soekarno. And the US had reportedly played its role in stoking the Iran-Iraq war, Arab-Israel conflict and support for the Contra saboteurs against the revolutionary government of Nicaragua. The list of its interferences, subversions, control and overthrowing of Third World governments is too long to be elaborated. 

This is true, certainly. But we must remember that a son should not bear the crimes of a father. Zardari is not Zia, and Obama is not Bush. If we are ever to see an end to the senseless killing, we must be able to overcome history. We should never forget the past, but we must learn to heal and move on. Otherwise, we are doomed.

Ultimately, Jamil concludes his awful column by saying that America and Germany were responsible for 9/11. This is just stupid. Actually, this is so stupid that I do not know why anyone would ever let this man write for their newspaper again. 

I don’t know how many times I can say this. There is a real world here. It is not some B-movie drama. Yes, I like to make some jokes about the sub-par Bollywood scripts that our news resembles. But this is no joke. Mohammad Jamil is a grown man, and yet he is writing silly stories for children. In the real world, there are some true idiots that are killing people in Peshawar, Islamabad, Karachi, New York, Mumbai, London, Gaza etc. Some of these people are from US, some are from Israel, some are from India, and…guess what? Some are from right here in Pakistan. 

It’s time to grow up and face the truth.

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