Geography Archives: Pakistan

  • China Wins Struggle for Pipelinestan

      A common explanation for the US presence in Afghanistan is Washington’s interest in Central Asian fuel sources — natural gas in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and petroleum in Kazakhstan.  The idea of Zalmay Khalilzad and others was to bring a gas pipeline down through Afghanistan and Pakistan to energy-hungry India.  Turkmenistan became independent of Moscow […]

  • Why Are We in Afghanistan?

    Take a look at the map.  Afghanistan is next to or near Iran, Russia, China, Pakistan, and India.  These are all countries that are vitally important to the United States as key allies or enemies, and as potential economic and political competitors.  Afghanistan is also next to Turkmenistan and other Central Asian Republics that are […]

  • The Crisis of Identity in the Postcolonial State

      Farzana Shaikh.  Making Sense of Pakistan.  New York: Columbia University Press, 2009.  ix + 274 pp.  $24.95 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-231-14962-4. Farzana Shaikh offers a scholarly and erudite study of the competition to define and establish a “national” identity for Pakistan.  The author argues that contested visions of the religious nature of the postcolonial state […]

  • The Impact of the Crisis on Women in Developing Asia

    Introduction: As developing Asia is the most “globalised” region of the world in terms of both trade flows and financial flows, it was expected that the global crisis would adversely affect the region.  However, while the impact has indeed been strong, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth has, as of yet, not been negative; rather, the […]

  • Index: The Privatized War in Afghanistan

      Additional number of American troops President Obama plans to deploy to Afghanistan: 30,000 Total number of U.S. troops that will be there after the deployment: 98,000 Number of private contractors working for the U.S. in Afghanistan as of September 2009: 104,101 Percent by which that number grew between June and September: 40 Percent of […]

  • Electoral Gore: Warlord Violence, Oligarchic Decay, and US Neocolonial Domination in the Philippines

    The mass slaughter of 57 civilians in Maguindanao, the Philippines, on November 23 by a local warlord may seem a minor incident compared with the much more heinous destruction of whole villages in Afghanistan and Pakistan by US drones.  In the Philippines, however, it acquires symbolic density by the resonance of contextual historic factors linked […]

  • West Point March and Rally Protests Obama’s War Plan

    Over 300 antiwar protesters took part in a demonstration at the gates to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point Dec. 1 as President Barack Obama sought to justify his decision to send 30,000 more troops to Afghanistan. Facing police and soldiers at the Highland Falls gate to the Academy, demonstrators repeatedly chanted, “30,000 more! […]

  • Native Orientalists at the Daily Times

    “The more a ruling class is able to assimilate the foremost minds of the ruled class, the more stable and dangerous becomes its rule.” — Karl Marx A few days back, I received a ‘Dear friends’ email from Mr. Najam Sethi, ex editor-in-chief of Daily Times, Pakistan, announcing that he, together with several of his […]

  • The Arrest and Torture of Syed Hashmi: An Interview with Jeanne Theoharis

    Jeanne Theoharis is the author of an April 2009 article in The Nation, entitled “Guantanamo at Home,” which focuses on the arrest, prosecution, and imprisonment of US citizen Syed Hashmi in a New York City prison with Guantanamo-like conditions.  Theoharis holds the endowed chair in women’s studies and is an associate professor of political science […]

  • IMF: Back from the Dead

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has definitely had a very good crisis.  Just over a year ago, it was an institution on life support: ignored by most developing countries; derided for its failure to predict most crises in emerging markets and its often counterproductive responses to such crises; even called to book by its auditors […]

  • Sugarcoating Military Escalation

    Recent press reports suggest that President Obama is likely to try to sugarcoat his announcement next week of a major military escalation in Afghanistan with talk of “exit ramps”: opportunities in the future to evaluate and possibly reduce the U.S. military commitment.  That’s supposed to make opponents of military escalation feel better, the media suggests. […]

  • The Demise of the Death Penalty in the USA: The Politics of Capital Punishment and the Question of Innocence

    The Killing Continues Since the suspension of the death penalty in Japan in September of 2009, the US is the only developed nation in the world that continues to execute its citizens — but, perhaps, not for long.  The unmasking of the political agenda behind state-sanctioned killing during the past 25 years and the growing […]

  • Open Letter to Amnesty International’s London and Belfast Offices, on the Occasion of Noam Chomsky’s Belfast Festival Lecture, October 30, 20091

    In his wild and slanderous “Open Letter to Amnesty International” (signed, fittingly, “Yours, in disgust and despair”),2 The Guardian-Observer‘s veteran reporter Ed Vulliamy explains that two “main concerns” motivated him to draft his repudiation of AI’s choice of Noam Chomsky to deliver this 2009 Stand Up for Justice lecture: One is that the “pain” individuals […]

  • Report on the Revolutionary Struggle for Civilian Supremacy, Democracy and Peace in Nepal

    What started as a focus on protests against military supremacy has silently led to a focus on support for civilian supremacy.  The retirement of Rookmangud Katawal, the ex-military chief and the main person who triggered the present crisis, has de facto diverted the attention of the United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) to support civil […]

  • Green Shoots, Profits, and Great Depressions (or Recessions)

    In the months following the outbreak of the financial crisis in late 2007, the general climate among economists and economic commentators was kind of a stupor.  Mainstream economists and conservative politicians — who had clamored for decades for the government to keep its hands off the economy, for balanced budgets, and for taxes as low […]

  • “Obama’s Foreign Policy Report Card”: Juan Cole Grades His President — and Very Positively 

    Juan Cole’s very positive report card for President Barack Obama’s foreign policy is a bit shocking, given his knowledge and frequent enlightening comments.  (“Obama’s Foreign Policy Report Card,” Salon, October 27, 2009.1)  “[Obama] receives his lowest grade for his failure to force America’s chattering classes to take notice,” Cole judges — policy issues resolve into […]

  • Interview with Tariq Ali: “We Suffer from the Worst of Every World”

    Tariq Ali, a co-editor of New Left Review, is the author of The Duel: Pakistan on the Flight Path of American Power as well as more than a dozen other books. Raza Naeem: Given that much of your recent writing has focused exclusively on Latin America and the Middle East, why this sudden motivation to […]

  • Peace Movement Blues

    Where is the U.S. peace movement when the White House is preparing to escalate the Afghanistan war for the second time since President Barack Obama took office over 10 months ago? The Bush era antiwar movement has ebbed and flowed a few times since it abruptly materialized just after 9/11 and then exploded into a […]

  • The Democrats’ War in Afghanistan

    Part 1: Eight Years and Counting The United States invasion and occupation of Afghanistan entered its ninth year in October, and the majority of Americans now tell opinion polls they want it to end.  So far the war has failed to achieve U.S. objectives, and it is likely the Obama Administration’s expansion of the fighting […]

  • The Lures and Perils of Gender Activism in Afghanistan

      The Anthony Hyman Memorial Lecture, School of Oriental and African Studies University of London, 2009 I feel both honoured and gratified to be offering the 7th Anthony Hyman Memorial Lecture.  This gives me the opportunity to acknowledge my debt of gratitude to Tony for his unwavering support and friendship over the years.  When I […]