No Really, South Asians Against Obama ;-)

In stark contrast to Anna’s picts of pro-Obama Pakistani kids, Reuters recently published some picts of less than happy Pakistani adults –

Obama! Keep Your Hands off my “Tribs”!

Supporters of the Pakistani Islamist party Jamat-e-Islami protest in Karachi, January 25, 2009. The protest was organised by Jamat-e-Islami party against military operations and drone attacks in tribal areas. U.S. drones fired missiles into Pakistan late on Friday killing 17 people, intelligence officials and residents said, in the first such strike since Barack Obama became U.S. president. REUTERS/Athar Hussain (PAKISTAN)

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The dude in the middle has impressively red hair & beard –

I suppose it’s proof that you can’t please all of the people all of the time. ABC news has some of the details of this particular operation with a more over-the-top-than-usual headline –
Obama to CIA: Bombs Away! No Let Up in US Drone Attacks

New President Approves Continued Attacks That Have Killed 8 of al Qaeda’s Top 20

The CIA’s bombing campaign against al Qaeda leadership in Pakistan continued with two more attacks today, an indication, senior officials say, that President Barack Obama has approved the U.S. strategy that has killed at least eight of al Qaeda’s top 20 leaders since July 2008.

The two attacks today in Pakistan were the first since President Obama took office on Tuesday.

Asked about it at his daily press briefing, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said, “I’m not going to discuss that matter.”

During the campaign, Obama called for cross-border attacks against high-value al Qaeda targets in Pakistan, even before the CIA campaign began.

And so it appears that at least one of Election ’08′s promises is being kept.

92 thoughts on “No Really, South Asians Against Obama ;-)

  1. Dude, am getting tired of your antic.

    antic? Are you not serious about progress? Don’t you want a civilized pakistan? Don’t you want love your country?

  2. am getting tired

    Peace takes hard work, it doesn’t come esay. I thought you were serious, because that essay will make you THINK!

  3. “Please tell me how? What are your sources?”

    The culture of assimilation as the islamic regimes demand is what Hindutva crowd wants in India too. If hindus don’t want to kill cows that is ok, but i love my beef. Heard of a concept called ‘Hindurashtra’? Know why Gandhi was killed? Who Sawarkar was? Why he admired Nazis? These are fractured memories from my past reading.

    Google is your friend. If you can’t still find it, send me an email, i will find the material for you. As for Ambedkar, read ‘Worshipping false gods’ by Arun Shourie.

  4. 50 · Kiran P said

    and I am proud of it and unfortunately
    Can you share that Rajiv’s essay with 100 people in Pakistan and ask them to respond to a poll with options ‘Agree’ and ‘Disagree’. I am curious to know how they will respond.

    I do tend to agree with Rajiv Malhotra about a lot of things and all but you know how they say “Beware the man of only one book?”

  5. “Don’t you want love your country?”

    there you go, one with a muslim name, you should be from pakistan – speaks volumes about your presumption.

    if you had your way, we would have had a hindu republic. Everything you detest about Pakistan and the islamic regimes is what is espoused by your party in India – so you know how the rest of the world perceives you.

  6. culture of assimilation

    Absolutely. You can’t have loyalties for Pakistan and indulge in terrorism against the very country you live in: SIMI and milion terror modules in the making. You can have the beef. Gandhi’s killing was necessary I guess after his loyalties switched to pakistan in the name of peace, he imposed his personal ideology over national security. Nation comes first and then father of the nation I should say. Anyway that’s what Godse thought. I love Gandhi but not at at cost of nation. I don’t care much about Savarkar. See unlike pakistan Hindus are thinkers, they are a rational bunch and will do what’s right for their nation. We don’t derive hate from our scriptures. Instead reasoning and enquiry are the tenets. In fact there’s no single entity called Hindutva. There are several schools of thought. It’s your choice to believe in the definition you want to believe in. To be frank if Islamic terrorism and Evangelical Terrorism leave India even your definition of Hindutva whatever that is will cease to exist. If you want to term the reactionary forces countering these two forms of Terrorism as Hindutva then all Indian citizens with allegiance to India first ( not Vatican, not Mecca ) like me can be called Hindutva folks. Ambedkar: I have no problem. Such minor issues will not gain traction.

    My suggestion to you is this. For your own good, for pakistani good you should encourage more introspection among your people so that peace can prevail. Having imaginary enemies to justify your fears and terrors is no way to go forward.

  7. Google is your friend. If you can’t still find it, send me an email, i will find the material for you. As for Ambedkar, read ‘Worshipping false gods’ by Arun Shourie.

    It’s easy for people in the thick of political fights to let their emotions get heated. I don’t have any ill will to Ambedkar but we shouldn’t idolize him. He did make some mistakes in drafting the Constitution. I would accuse him of being too myopic and backwards looking, drawing up a constitution to serve the needs of India at the specific moment of independence rather than a constitution to serve the test of time. The backwards looking nature is also what led him to focus the constitution so heavily on righting current wrongs rather than acknowledging that there may be future challenges to a democratic India that he does not see or did not foresee.

    Of course this is me being a Monday morning quarterback. Who knew what the pressures were like back then? At the end we can conclude that maybe Ambedkar was a man for his time and his time is now past?

    The culture of assimilation as the islamic regimes demand is what Hindutva crowd wants in India too. If hindus don’t want to kill cows that is ok, but i love my beef. Heard of a concept called ‘Hindurashtra’? Know why Gandhi was killed? Who Sawarkar was? Why he admired Nazis? These are fractured memories from my past reading.

    Do these necessarily make them all bad things? I mean, the RSS is a huge movement. Are you willing to believe that they are all bad people? Maybe some among them had noble intentions for joining up and participating? Maybe by engaging with them honestly we can actually work to moderate them and mold them into a force for good all the time rather than only some of the time? The Sangh is potentially an extremely useful resource. You have a virtual army of volunteers who all unabashedly love their country. Imagine what you could do if you could tap that energy for constructive uses! We already see glimpses of it when they deploy volunteers to administer disaster relief or assist in funding effective and well mannered charity organizations.

    Demonizing and marginalizing them, and worse yet assuming that anyone who shows any religious or national pride must automatically endorse every one of their excesses, only serves to radicalize the movement and polarize the political debate.

  8. See unlike pakistan Hindus are thinkers, they are a rational bunch and will do what’s right for their nation.

    Did you really just say that?

    For your own good, for pakistani good you should encourage more introspection among your people so that peace can prevail. Having imaginary enemies to justify your fears and terrors is no way to go forward.

    You realize that being named Najeeb doesn’t automatically make him Pakistani right?

  9. Having imaginary enemies to justify your fears and terrors is no way to go forward.

    I said the above. I should have added this after that: I can understand you get all that hate filled material going through Islamicised Pakistan Education system. So it’s not easy to undo the brainwashing. But nothing is impossible if you put your heart into it. May be you can start a web site countering all that nonsence and ask pakistanis to login after school hours to read your corrected material. Somewhere a start has to be made. I can help if needed.

  10. NV,

    Did you really just say that?

    OK, let me qualify that by saying “relatively speaking”

    You realize that being named Najeeb doesn’t automatically make him Pakistani right

    We got introduced just 3 days back on SM. See, in all my talks online I haven’t been able to distinguish between Indian and Pakistani muslims. Apologies if my assumption is wrong.

  11. Kiran.P doesn’t need any response, I assume. I should have read the bold letters – “Please don’t feed the trolls”.

    Wherever there is Kiran.P, there is NV I suppose :) there is no harm there. I do understand the broad brush I am using when I talk about Hindutva, but the discussion is at that level. There are no distinctions that youa re making among the islamists groups either. All I am trying to point out is that there are crazy elements in most countries and in India that award goes to the Hindutva(BJP/VHP/BajrangDal/RSS crowd) and it is funny for me to see you guys bashing the right wingers across the border. This is a universal solidarity between the left across the world, but that will never happen for the right wingers – if you move to Iran, you are going to be a left winger there, much like many of you are democrats here. Anyways, i will never see eye to eye with you guys, so this is a waste of public space. will sign off now.

  12. OK, let me qualify that by saying “relatively speaking”

    What is wrong with the following sentence? “Relatively speaking, you should never trust a Jew with your money.”

    If you answered “Adding relatively to a really offensive statement doesn’t make it any less offensive” you win no-prize.

    I say this with no malice directed at you, but that was kind of an arrogant thing to say and I think you should apologize, because for some odd reason people tend to let their feelings get hurt over the internet.

  13. 57 · Kiran P said

    See unlike pakistan Hindus are thinkers, they are a rational bunch and will do what’s right for their nation

    57 · Kiran P said

    Gandhi’s killing was necessary I guess after his loyalties switched to pakistan in the name of peace, he imposed his personal ideology over national security

    61 · Kiran P said

    See, in all my talks online I haven’t been able to distinguish between Indian and Pakistani muslims

    Awww, now I feel sorry about my lack of “compassion” for this sweetie… i am glad that people’s sympathies are in the right place.

  14. 62 · najeeb said

    but that will never happen for the right wingers

    and it’s a real pity given the level of similarity in their value systems. unfortunately “the inability to appreciate the viewpoint of the other” doesn’t seem conducive to a unity theme.

  15. 62 · najeeb said

    nd in India that award goes to the Hindutva(BJP/VHP/BajrangDal/RSS crowd)

    nooo!!!! hindutva is GOOD. as long as everybody in india is hindu, there will be no problems! that is so different from pakistan which wants everybody to be muslim! why is that so hard to understand?

  16. 62 · najeeb said

    I do understand the broad brush I am using when I talk about Hindutva, but the discussion is at that level. There are no distinctions that youa re making among the islamists groups either.

    but.. but.. islamists do not love their own countries unabashedly and all of them endorse all the excesses committed by any one of them. that is exactly why there is no need to be subtle about islamists! we all know how the islamic organizations do not engage in any disaster relief, be it in kashmir, or lebanon, or palestine. demonizing and marginalizing them, and better yet, assume that anyone who shows any religious or national pride is the only appropriate response to these people.

  17. najeeb said

    This is a universal solidarity between the left across the world

    Yes. Amartya Sen and Chomsky, Mao and Stalin- All them Reds are the same, innit?

  18. stand up said

    62 · najeeb said but that will never happen for the right wingers and it’s a real pity given the level of similarity in their value systems. unfortunately “the inability to appreciate the viewpoint of the other” doesn’t seem conducive to a unity theme.

    Aah! the beauty of dividing the world into neat little wings. Angels and Demons. Devas and Asuras. Laurel and Hardy.

  19. I didn’t see them protesting after the Mumbai attacks. As far as i am concerend the U.S.A. should keep on bombing taliban/al-qaeda targets in Pakistan. If some civilians get killed than so be it.

  20. 72 · Han said

    As far as i am concerend the U.S.A. should keep on bombing taliban/al-qaeda targets in Pakistan. If some civilians get killed than so be it.



    I hate to quote myself (not really) but I wrote a play in 2002 called “Eat the Kitsch, or How the Left Was Won” and I’m going to share one line (paraphrased for context) with you:

    We split the world into Us vs. Them and denied all those THEMS the chance to join in our liberation and community, and we denied OURSELVES whatever wisdom THEY might have had…But worst of all, since we never really got to know “them,” we couldn’t tell when we BECAME them…

    If you replaced “Taliban/Al-Qaeda” with “American/infidel,” comment #72 could have come straight from Osama bin Laden’s mouth.

  21. Kiran.P doesn’t need any response, I assume.

    You can assume that. And you can also assume that drones will keep hitting Pakistan.

  22. If you answered “Adding relatively to a really offensive statement doesn’t make it any less offensive” you win no-prize.

    Let me clarify. When I said “See unlike pakistan Hindus are thinkers, they are a rational bunch and will do what’s right for their nation” and added “relatively speaking” what I meant was Hindus ( i.e broad definition of Hindu not Eurocentric construct ) will make sure the ideology of radical elements within them will not get traction in the direction or polity of the nation. As they say -1 is not -1,000,000 they are both negative, but the degree of negativity varies by a million. That’s what I meant when I say “relatively speaking”. We have a good countering force within oursleves unlike Pakistan which has gone from bad to worse where the miliatary and Islamist parties have a common ideology of “war of thousand cuts” against India. This was even espoused by so called democratic leader of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto. Zia or Bhutto they are all the same.

    Parsing my statements to highlight simple errors won’t stop drones hitting Pakistan. If Obama is also approving this then there must be stronger reason compared to collateral damage that you are complaining about. Though I don’t like this drone business sometimes war is the only way to everlasting peace especially if the enemy is so two timing as Pakistan is.

  23. 73 · Harbeer said

    72 · Han said
    As far as i am concerend the U.S.A. should keep on bombing taliban/al-qaeda targets in Pakistan. If some civilians get killed than so be it.
    I hate to quote myself (not really) but I wrote a play in 2002 called “Eat the Kitsch, or How the Left Was Won” and I’m going to share one line (paraphrased for context) with you:
    We split the world into Us vs. Them and denied all those THEMS the chance to join in our liberation and community, and we denied OURSELVES whatever wisdom THEY might have had…But worst of all, since we never really got to know “them,” we couldn’t tell when we BECAME them…
    If you replaced “Taliban/Al-Qaeda” with “American/infidel,” comment #72 could have come straight from Osama bin Laden’s mouth.

    I’ve got one for you from Mill: “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

  24. “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”

    Excellent. That was how Gandhi thought. That’s where Gandhi diverged from Gita!

  25. This is a universal solidarity between the left across the world

    Wrong. Indian leftists are a special breed. Mostly they are communists. And in Kerala and West Bengal they are almost terrorists.

  26. “If you replaced “Taliban/Al-Qaeda” with “American/infidel,” comment #72 could have come straight from Osama bin Laden’s mouth.”

    @ Harbeer # 73,

    I don’t think you know what your talking about. But than again that seems to be the case for more lefties. You see the U.S.A. is NOT dropping bombs with the intend of killing as much civilians as possible. Their MAIN TARGETS are Taliban/al-qaeda operatives. Those Taliban/al qaeda operatives like to hide and take shelter among the civilian population, so if the U.S. strikes at those operatives than civilians will also be killed. That is called collateral damage. The difference with the Taliban/Al Qaeda is that the Taliban/Al Qaeda kill civilians because killing as much ‘infidel’ civilians as possible is their intend. ‘ínfidel’Civilians are among their targets. So Harbeer equating the U.S.A airstrikes with the Taliban/Al qaeda suicide bombers/ terrorist attacks is not only WRONG it is also IDIOTIC. But than again you lefties just love to equate things that can’t be equated. Bye bye Harbeer good luck with finding a properly working brain.

  27. 80 · Han said

    That is called collateral damage.

    Collateral damage seems fine with you until the day it is your mother/brother/best friend lying dead in the streets for having bad luck. Then, I’m sure it will be an outrage.

  28. “War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.”
    Excellent. That was how Gandhi thought. That’s where Gandhi diverged from Gita!

    That is unfortunately not how Gandhi thought. That is where he diverged from the Gita. Gandhi was a fundamentalist regarding non-violence. The Gita says you need to fight for your dharma.

  29. At times, I feel, the hindu fundamentalists whom i have come across in India (that was 10 years ago) are not as staunch as the ones I come across in this forum. Involvement in Gandhi’s killing is something they do not like to discuss generally, let alone condone it and somehow create a notion that Gandhi was at fault; the notion that Gandhi went against Gita and thus deserve punishment seems very close to the view of muslim fundamentalists like Taliban. Every word that comes out of certain people in this forum further emphasizes my own view that all they are trying to do is to drag India closer to failed theocracies like Pakistan, and i wonder, in the course of time, whether the American hindu fundies have gotten worse than the home grown ones. May be detached from the reality of what happens in everyday India, they don’t realize the threat of culture or loss of identity aren’t the biggest issues in contemporary India?

    “Collateral damage seems fine with you until the day it is your mother/brother/best friend lying dead in the streets for having bad luck. Then, I’m sure it will be an outrage.”

    I agree. Often times, well ahead, we know what the collateral damage is going to be.

  30. 83 · najeeb said

    May be detached from the reality of what happens in everyday India, they don’t realize the threat of culture or loss of identity aren’t the biggest issues in contemporary India?

    it is much more convenient to sponsor loonies remotely while taking advantage of the same values that you destroy.

    najeeb, i think you are being too harsh on kiran. he’s not playing with a full deck, and consequently, at least he’s more honest than the rest.

  31. Involvement in Gandhi’s killing is something they do not like to discuss generally, let alone condone it and somehow create a notion that Gandhi was at fault; the notion that Gandhi went against Gita and thus deserve punishment seems very close to the view of muslim fundamentalists like Taliban.

    Yes, I was pretty shocked when I read what Divya and Kiran P. wrote here. I don’t agree with this at all.

    May be detached from the reality of what happens in everyday India, they don’t realize the threat of culture or loss of identity aren’t the biggest issues in contemporary India?

    That may not be true, since so much of political identity and divying of resources to give to citizens is dependent on religion, caste, blah…In the US we still deal with racial political identities (I was so annoyed how some African Americans were insinuating that I was racist b/c I supported Hilary in the primaries) but we are much, much a modern society here – that is, our identity comes from being an American citizen.

    I want that for India too ….when caste/religious identities melt into an identity that comes from the Indian state, and the cross cutting socioeconomic factors that effect all Indians. I know this is there in India as well, but the more time we are a nation and I think the wealthier we get, this may become stronger. I don’t think India will be dragged into the failed theocracies…I just don’t.

    Thanks for your thoughts Najeeb.

  32. Yes, I was pretty shocked when I read what Divya and Kiran P. wrote here. I don’t agree with this at all.

    Good grief. You think i think that Gandhi deserves punishment for going against the Gita? That’s ridiculous. But that does not stop me from believing that fundamentalism of any kind is wrong, leads to unfortunate consequences, and in Gandhi’s case exacerbated many of the problems he was trying to solve. Just because Gandhi was a fundamentalist for non-violence does not make fundamentalism okay.

  33. I don’t know why it was decided that Jamaat-e-Islami represents Pakistan. That’s like choosing a right-wing party in the US and saying that it represents the views of all Americans. There is no one monolithic Pakistani ideology. There are people who are pro-Obama and people who disagree with his policies. The picture that Vinod chose to highlight represents Pakistan just as much (but not any more) than the picture that Anna chose to highlight. One can always find evidence that supports whatever viewpoint one personally espouses. That said, I don’t think anyone in Pakistan supports the drone attacks (though many probably feel that they are inevitable). And this is not simply a Pakistani concern, as Najeeb stated above, anyone who supports justice would be against the idea of people in the tribal areas being killed simply for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

  34. Najeeb – “At times, I feel, the hindu fundamentalists whom i have come across in India (that was 10 years ago) are not as staunch as the ones I come across in this forum.”

    The day there is a forum, even on the web, where South Asian Muslims can gather and freely [using their real name if they so choose] utter opinions like, “The Quran was probably penned by several human beings over a couple of centuries”, without being threatened with death and rape, you can criticize other forums like Sepia. In my experience, Sepia offers space for all sort of thought, as long as expressed with respect. Indeed, here on Sepia, I have witnessed a preponderance of Leftist and Centrist opinion, with only a sprinkling of Right. Just the way I like it. And to be honest, until we Muslims create similar forums, we will be unable to progress.

  35. Amongst President Obama’s first executive orders was authorizing the bombing of a suspected Al Qaeda safe house in Waziristan, Pakistan. The bombs killed Seventeen Pakistani citizens and Four Arabs. In today’s Washington Post, the Pakistani Prime Minister, Asif Ali Zardari, in an op-ed piece begged President Obama and the American Congress for billions in aid. Now, what sort of a “Sovereign Nation”, which gave the Muslims their first nuclear bomb, no less, begs the very man who just authorized the killing of seventeen of their citizens for a handout. What happened to all that, “we will eat grass if need be, but we will make the nuclear bomb” resolve..

  36. “..you can criticize other forums like Sepia.”

    Zainab, I don’t think I criticized Sepia at all in my comment. I like SM, i link to it in my blog and have followed it for several years now – i think it is an open forum and entertains views from all different angles just like you said. my comments were purely aimed at the commentators, not the forum.

  37. 91 · najeeb said

    my comments were purely aimed at the commentators

    I was just discussing with some others yesterday as to whether the Hindu fundamentalists are actually becoming more open, getting larger, or if I just happen to be running into them more often this days…

    In my past couple years in India I have heard some really shocking racist and/or communalist things uttered openly in public spaces. I suppose, in the U.S. racists and such feel a bit scared (I guess scared??) to say such things openly… I don’t know if it just happens in the particular settings I was in at the time, or if such people really DO feel perfectly OK voicing these opinions out in the open…

    Has anyone read anything regarding this lately? How is the climate changing for fundies in India?