Institutional Gunism

In light of the establishment defence of murder enthusiasts the Metropolitan police it might come as a bit of blow that it turns out not content with raiding and shooting someone once, they really really want to shoot them again-

According to the brothers, one officer emerged from the car carrying a handgun. A second officer allegedly shouted “shoot him, shoot him, put him down.” Mohammed Kahar said that he then replied: “Don’t shoot me, my hands are in the air.”

The brothers say they were manhandled off the motorcycle and one was pushed to the ground while the other was handcuffed. They claim that they were called “Paki”, “tossers” and “wankers”. Mohammed Kahar said he heard one officer say “that’s the two brothers” and another asked “how many millions do you get?” – presumably a reference to compensation to be paid to the men over last year’s raid. Their sister, who was passing by on a bus, intervened and was charged with a public order offence for which she has been issued with a fixed penalty notice.

An independent witness to the incident, who does not want to be named, said in his statement: “I saw an armed officer…holding a black gun about 50 cm long and pointing this at the men on the bike.” He said he had heard a male voice shouting “shoot him, shoot him”. He said he also heard one of the brothers say “are you going to shoot me again?”

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Pakistan In The Cold

Remember the good old days? During the Cold War the West would back any bunch of thugs just as long as they were not remotely communist, or left wing, or concerned with human rights. In fact let’s be honest the West was just a little too keen on backing right wing dictatorships, almost as if the Cold War was a convenient excuse for… Anyways it didn’t work out too well, certainly not for the many tortured and slaughtered victims of the bastards we backed. Happily we have learned from our mistakes and…oh alright I’ll stop right now, the old scam of backing a bastard as long as he was our bastard has yet again fucked up, ooh look I’m all surprised ‘n’ shit, except I’m not-

“Pakistan may well have been pushed into a blind alley and its capacity to come out unscathed is seriously in doubt,” said a commentary in Sunday’s Dawn daily written by noted human rights lawyer I. A. Rehman, 77, who was detained by police later in the day. Musharraf was due to give up his military post this month and usher in a long-promised era of democracy. But, fearful that a defiant Supreme Court would spoil his plans to rule five more years as a civilian, he has resorted to dictatorial measures.

With authorities blocking independent TV networks, it was left to Pakistan’s press to deliver a blistering indictment of Saturday’s declaration of emergency, which many equated with martial law because it left the army chief effectively unchecked. Musharraf fired the Supreme Court’s top judge and authorities quickly rounded up hundreds of the general’s political rivals, lawyers, and even raided the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, where Rehman was picked up with more than 30 others.

Dubbing it “Gen. Musharraf’s second coup,” Dawn juxtaposed pictures of the U.S.-allied leader in his fatigues when he ousted an elected government in 1999 with images of him declaring the emergency on TV in civilian clothes on Saturday, just a little grayer around the temples.

Once again a blurry manichean context is being built around the events in Pakistan, naughty dictator (but at least he isn’t, y’know, one of ‘them’) might embolden crazy Islamists and they’ve got nukes don’t you know. The civil society of Pakistan who are neither apocalypse crazed terrorists or uniform loving fascists must be feeling a bit peeved. When do they get some backing, when is their desire of a democratic Pakistan to be met? Much as in the Cold War the war on terror T.W.A.T. will preclude such non aligned reform and what they are most likely to get is someone not so obviously military dictator-ly but similarly corrupt and a client of the empire. How that emerges from the current crisis remains to be seen but I would bet Bhutto is dusting off her Swiss bank accounts ready for that influx of American ‘support’.