United Nations, Escaped Goats and War Hysteria

Sep 30th, 2011 | By | Category: Conspiracy Theories, Dunya, Geo TV, Jang, The Nation, The News

On 22 September, American Admiral Mike Mullen famously appeared before the Senate Armed Services Committee of the US Congress and delivered remarks that shocked Pak-US relations. A few days later, The Washington Post reported that senior Pentagon officials criticised his remarks saying he overstated the case. Asked about the controversial statements, the White House refused to endorse Adm. Mullen’s views. Though the American establishment is divided on its message about Pakistan, our own media is standing united in their messages about America. In fact, this past week’s media has been so united, more cynical bloggers might even think it was scripted.

We knew it was going to be a special week in Pakistan media when we were treated to a special edition of Hamid Mir talking about whether the Americans were preparing to launch surgical strikes against Pakistan.

Alarmed by the possibility of being caught in an American strike, we began searching for the source of this threat. We were unable to find any American officials making any such threats. If there could be any good reason to invent the threat of surgical strikes, though, Hamid Mir knew just what it was. US pressurisation had finally united the nation. No longer were there any divisions in Pakistan as everyone had joined hands in a shared commitment to ‘Crush America’.

Hamid Mir’s jubilation was shared by his Jang Group colleague Ansar Abbasi who termed US criticism ‘a blessing in disguise for Pakistan‘ and maked a claim identical to Hamid Mir, that anti-Americanism is uniting the nation.

One is indebted to the Yankees for hurling the latest charge sheet against Pakistan at a time when we direly needed unity. It is now for the Pakistani leadership to exploit the American aggression in the best possible manner to eliminate terrorism, suicide bombings and extremism within Pakistan.

Actually, it was not just Jang Group that was convinced that US pressure had united the nation behind Army and ISI, also on Dunya on the same day’s Khari Baat, Mubahshir Luqman, Maleeha Lodhi and Hamid Gul made exactly the same statements.

As the week progressed, media headlines were filled with defiant statements about ‘fierce resistance‘, ‘severe responses‘ and ‘lead walls‘ to protect from the invading Americans. Editorial pages screamed about ‘unity for national defence’ and some media groups even reported ‘Fatwa for Jihad against America’.

Not only was the nation united against American threats, but all media voices reported in unison that the American threats were just a devious scheme to make Pakistan the scapegoat for America’s failure in Afghanistan.

This was reported not only by the guests of Hamid Mir and Mubashir Luqman’s shows above, but by retired brigadiers. And the same line even appeared in such respected publications as Pakistan Observer, where experts like “Dr Raja Muhammad Khan” warned the Americans to ‘accept harsh reality’. Media ‘think tanks’ published warnings to Americans complete with photos of missile tests and the reminder that Pakistan is a nuclear nation that should not be tested.

Opinion-Maker's warning to USA

Recent tensions in US-Pakistan relations have even resurrected Zaid Hamid’s media career as ARY invited him to explain his disappointment in the All Parties Conference failure to declare martial law.

Though media did a commendable job of saying on a united message, in the future their handlers should do a better job of explaining the meaning of the talking points before allowing our respected TV anchor sahibs to make fools of themselves by mistakenly translating ‘scapegoat’ as ‘bhagi hui bakri’. Obviously some of the more famous talking heads may not understand the talking points they’re parroting, but they should at least know the right words to use.

As the week draws to an end, we look back at the headlines and talk shows and the headline in Jang reports that we will now ‘give peace a chance’. And so in the course of seven days, our media invented a war, fought bravely on the front (head)lines, and then quietly resolved the conflict without losing one single soldier. In fact, our media managed this war so effectively that the American media is not even mentioning their defeat.

It’s like the Americans are trying to pretend that there was never a war at all.

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