Friday, June 3, 2011

Why Government?


In recent history we have experienced what could possibly be the most incompetent government in the world. We have also had the pleasure of living through multiple martial laws and crackpot democracies. Yet still, like gluttons for punishment, we ask for more. Perhaps a change of face, but more abuse is welcome. The nation as a group suffers from an acute case of short term memory, that doesn't remember more than a year back (at most).

This question might seem preposterous at first. After all, for the last millennium or so, there has not been a single moment, where someone or some entity has not been ruling over us. It is difficult to imagine such a question, because it appears, to the best of our reasoning, an abhorrence to nature itself. As if it were completely natural and utterly necessary for a nation to have a government. But these arguments are not answers. They are merely excuses. To say we need a government, simply because we have had a government since itime immemorial is not a good answer. Nor is the existence of government in most countries of the world a good answer. So lets try to answer the question as logically and as reasonably as possible. Why do we need a government?

We certainly don't need government to simply tax people. Nor do we need it to make a certain class of people richer. While this may be in the interest of the enriched classes, it is most certainly not in the interests of the majority, who are usually left footing the bill. Do we need a government to run an army? Usually that is not the case, and an army can operate independently of the government very easily. True the army needs to be accountable, but for that too a government is not necessary, and the people can hold the army to account through systems of courts. We also don't and should not need government to impose subsidies and tariffs on various products imported or exported.

So should we just remove government, and live in a tax-free, parasite-less world? Would that be possible? Some people seem to think so, and in some places of the world such situations do exist and thrive. An example being the so called Federally Administered Tribal Areas, which are as federally administered as mutton chops involve chicken.

There is a simple reason for the existence of government, and it is the same reason that governments were instituted in the first place. The protection of life, liberty and property of the people. That is all the people really want. The people don't want increases in taxes, nor do they want tariffs on imported goods. They don't want the government to fix prices on oil and electricity. They don't want the government to supply (intermittently) water and electricity to their houses. They desire that their lives, their family's lives, their businesses, their property be protected from usurpation, loss and imposition by
hostile entities. This is the only reason people suffer a government to impose its will upon them. Without these services there is no reason for the existence of a government. Imposing edifices erected to glorify itself and somehow extract feelings of "nationalistic pride" from the citizenry do not matter. They are wastes of taxpayer money in that they are not needed to establish justice.

If these simple requirements are unfulfilled, there is no difference in government and a band of dacoits. They both extract money from the population by force. And yet, some dacoits actually provide protection in exchange for the tax, while our particular government is unable to accomplish even that. Both of them impose their will unquestioningly on the populace. While we may satiate ourselves with the farce of suffrage, upon closer inspection there is very little difference between democracy and dictatorship. The recent revelation of countless votes turning out to be fake, has made not a dent in this regime's incessant howling. Not one "elected" official has been removed or impeached. Not a single step of progress has been made in investigating or meting out justice.

The government, our government, has failed to provide us with these basic rights: the protection of our lives, liberties and properties. By this criteria there is no more legitimacy for this government than there is for dacoits to roam free. And yet they do. And yet we get ready to hold elections for them,time and time again, so they can re-legitimize their tyrannical rule over us, holding us to their whims in a terrible bondage, from which it is becoming extremely difficult to extricate ourselves. There is desperate need for justice in Pakistan, yet these people who call themselves our rulers, are unable to provide it and so hold no legitimacy over us.

So do we need a government? We certainly do not need this government. We certainly do not need any government that would continue this same system of legitimized bullying. What we need is the rule of law and freedom to go about our daily businesses without fear. That is the limit of government action and the only job a government should take. No more, no less.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Osama: Discrepancies Emerge


An article on the Guardian today with the following excerpts

Bin Laden, according to a briefing on Monday, used his wife as a human shield and she was killed. By Tuesday, the White House reversed that: she had not been used as a human shield and she was not dead. The other point of discrepancy was the initial briefings that stated Bin Laden resisted and was killed in a "firefight", which suggests he had been armed. The White House insisted he had resisted, without saying how, but said he had no gun.

Did the Obama administration deliberately suggest he had hidden behind his wife as part of an attempt to portray him as a cowardly figure? Did it want to suggest he was armed to avoid criticism that US forces shot dead an unarmed man? Was it just part of the fog of war, with a clear account only available when those engaged in the mission are fully debriefed?

...

Carney added a crucial detail. "Bin Laden was then shot and killed. He was not armed," Carney disclosed. Asked how he had resisted if he had no gun, Carney declined to specify but said resistance does not require a gun.

Guess not. Shielding your body with your arms might then be construed as resistance right?

Zabihullah Mujahid on Osama Bin Ladin

From one point of view, the Americans did not present sufficient evidence to prove their claim, and from the other point of view, the sources close to Sheikh Usama bin Laden have not announced their position - confirming or denying - what Obama announced about the above-mentioned martyrdom, and therefore, the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan considers discussion about the subject, before the release of an official statement from sources close to the Sheikh, premature.

The Spokesman of Islamic Emirate
Zabihullah Mujahid
03/05/2011

May 02, 2011

Paul Craig Roberts on Osama's Useful Death


Americans are too busy celebrating to think, a capability that seems to have been taken out of their education.

Americans are so enthralled over the death of bin Laden that they do not wonder why information gleamed years ago would take so long to locate a person who was allegedly living in a million-dollar building equipped with all the latest communication equipment next to the Pakistani Military Academy. Allegedly, the "most wanted criminal" was not moving from hide-out to hide-out in desolate mountains, but ensconced in luxury quarters in broad daylight. Nevertheless, despite his obvious location, it took the CIA years to find him after claiming to have gained information of his whereabouts out of captives in secret prisons. This is the image of the CIA as the new Keystone Cops.

...

As the Guardian and European newspapers have revealed, the photo of the dead bin Laden is a fake. As the alleged body has been dumped into the ocean, nothing remains but the word of the US government, which lied about Iraqi weapons of mass destruction and al Qaeda connections, about yellowcake, about Iranian nukes, and, according to thousands of experts, about 9/11. Suddenly the government is telling us the truth about bin Laden’s death? If you believe that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I’ll let you have for a good price.

Read the rest here.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Osama Bin Laden: Questions Left Unanswered


In the wake of today's events, there has been a lot of debate and conjecture. The world it seems, is once again focused on Pakistan, with an evil eye.

He's dead, but the US wants to continue the war. For what reason? I have no idea. I guess the twisted Keynesian concept of war being beneficial to an economy might be used to sell it. The US is so addicted to war that it can't survive without a fix. Its like a drug addict. If it doesn't get war it gets uncomfortable and angry.

Apparently Bin Laden was found in a compound near a Pakistan Army base in Abbottabad. This is supposed to put pressure on Pakistan and its governmental agencies for literally having Osama under their noses for 10 years. (Abbottabad is roughly 30 miles from Islamabad, the capital.)

Read the description of the compound.

A senior US administration official said: "When we saw the compound, we were shocked by what we saw: an extraordinarily unique compound.". The building, about eight times the size of other nearby houses, had walls 4-6 metres (12-18ft) high, topped with barbed wire.

That kind of reminds me of another compound I've seen in Islamabad. Here's a picture.


The photographer was apparently not able to get any closer. You can see an SUV outside to compare the size of the walls. And I can tell you for a fact those walls are topped by razor wire not barbed wire. Guess what that is? The US embassy in Islamabad. Now why would a US official be shocked to see a building like that when he has probably seen this place?

But wait there's more! Here's an old picture of the one in Karachi. This picture shows the embassy under construction but it's done and (probably) occupied now.


By the way. There was a little mosque on that plot of land which they had to demolish. And by "they" I mean the Pakistani government who sold the land. Here's a picture of some our fearless leaders "breaking ground", content that they destroyed the masjid.


So it's really hard to understand how such a compound could possibly be shocking for someone who practically lives in one of them. There's nothing "unique" about it.

There are still a lot of questions left unanswered. The US dumping the body in the sea doesn't help either. Who identified the body? How was it confirmed that it was Bin Laden? Why, with all the world's sophisticated imaging equipment was not even one picture taken and shared with the public? What are they trying to hide? How did they know exactly where to look?

Besides this, where the heck was the Pakistan Army? Were they sleeping while this was happening? Or had they given tacit approval for this to happen? Who is to be held responsible for this obvious breach of sovereignty? Who allowed US Army goons to run amok on Pakistani soil. Osama or no Osama, nothing is an excuse for this breach. What next? Today they came for Bin Laden unchallenged. Tomorrow they will knock down your door.

There's no denying that there are certain "beneficial" results of this action. The US' decade long war, which has been losing popularity among Americans now has a "legitimate" reason. A poll conducted just last week showed that 53% of those polled were dissatisfied with Obama's handling of the war. He was also losing ground with those people who had voted him in office in the first place.

When news broke of Osama's death, out came the champagne in the US. See for yourself. A review of those poll numbers might be in order. No doubt Obama's popularity would improve after this event. His speech announcing the death, stresses that all the leadership actions were taken by him and him alone.

"I directed Leon Panetta,... I met repeatedly with my national security team ... I determined that we had enough intelligence to take action ... "

Give us a big smile Obama. Take a bow. The world is set to give another idiot the chance to play God for four more years.

Obama Announces Osama's Dead


The LA Times online version says

Osama bin Laden, the world's most wanted terrorist, was killed in Pakistan as the result of a U.S. military operation, President Obama announced to the nation Sunday night.

Question 1. Who or what are these US military forces in Pakistan, and what the hell are they doing there?

Question 2. Who is going to confirm that the dead person is indeed Osama bin Laden.

Also from the LA Times

The announcement by Obama from the East Room of the White House came eight years to the day after President Bush announced the end of major combat operations in Iraq, the so-called “Mission Accomplished” speech from the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln.

My spider sense is tingling.

Osama Bin Laden Found Dead in Pakistan


Bin Laden's body was found in Pakistan. Reuters (and others) has the report.

This could become problematic for Pakistan. While Pakistani officials have been stressing that Al Qaeda is not present in Pakistan. Now the US could use this incident to confront Pakistan. This could also be used to put a stamp of credibility on Predator drones even though the UN has renounced them as being too inaccurate and causing too many civilian casualties.

Of course some people have been claiming Osama has been dead for a while.

So, does this mean the end to the "War on Terror"? Does this mean 10 years of fighting, killing, murdering, raping and pillaging in Afghanistan and Pakistan was worth it? Do you really think the US will now withdraw? Don't make me laugh.

There are some reports floating around on Pakistani TV that Pakistanis shot down a helicopter carrying what was termed a "high value target", and Osama's body was in the helicopter's wreckage. Unconfirmed of course.

Obama is supposed to address his nation sometime soon. Let's see what yarn he spins.