[Marxism] Drones, US Propaganda, and Imperial Hubris

Dennis Brasky dmozart1756 at gmail.com
Fri Feb 8 09:32:58 MST 2013

*Drones, US Propaganda and Imperial Hubris *

by Sarah Waheed <http://www.merip.org/author/sarah-waheed> | published
January 25, 2013 - 10:38am

clip -

Pakistanis should be more supportive of having their national sovereignty
violated by Americans, according to US-based political scientists who favor
drone strikes in Pakistan. I am trying hard not make this sound like an *
Onion* article, even though it does.

In a January 23
*The Atlantic*, professors Christine Fair, Karl Kaltenthaler and William J.
Miller argue that Pakistani opposition to drone strikes is not as
widespread as previously claimed, and that the US government should take
steps to convert Pakistanis to the official US view on drone strikes:

*[The US] must draw to its side the large swath of the population that
doesn’t even know about the program. This may mean using radio, non-cable
TV (including local Pakistani networks) or even hyper-local media such as
SMS -- and it means doing so in Urdu and perhaps other vernacular languages.

This is some of the most propagandistic writing in support of President
Barack Obama’s targeted kill
lists<http://www.aclu.org/national-security/targeted-killings>to date.
It takes a serious level of arrogance to suggest inserting a US
policy stance into the output of another country’s media. It apparently
also requires misrepresenting
to the numbers of Pakistanis who support drone strikes and using
faulty methodology<http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/01/yes-pakistanis-really-do-hate-americas-killer-drones/272468/>

The truth is that the majority of Pakistanis do not support having the
sovereignty of Pakistan violated. Even the Pakistani government objects.
Maybe that is because, to borrow Obama’s
“There’s no country on earth that would tolerate missiles raining down on
its citizens from outside its borders.” Without even once trying to
the use of drones in Pakistan is necessary, the
*Atlantic* article basically claims that Pakistanis want drone attacks, but
that not enough Pakistanis want them badly enough.

According to Fair et al, this is because not enough Pakistanis know that
having their children, their houses and their funeral processions blown up
by US drone strikes is actually a good thing for them. The reason they
don’t know is because they don’t know English:

*In a developing country like Pakistan, the greater the level of education,
the more likely they would be able to read English and have the wealth and
knowledge to access the Internet and other sources of electronic media….
The average Pakistani…only has access to Urdu-language media.... There is a
pervasive anti-drone discourse in Pakistan’s boisterous Urdu-language
media, which tends to be more jingoistic. More educated Pakistanis have
access to more nuanced reporting about the drones and the terrorism issue
in Pakistan. While the reporting on drones may still be relatively
negative, there is some positive commentary in the English-language press
in Pakistan. The more educated are also more likely to read stories in
sources that address the terrorism problem arising from the tribal areas.
Drones in those sources are presented not just as a reason many Pakistanis
are killed, but also as one possible tool to fight a very serious security

Note the slippage between “more educated,” “English-language press,”
“access to the Internet” and “more nuanced reporting.” This passage implies
that Pakistanis who rely on the Urdu-language press are dumb and getting
dumber, but that people who read English are inherently more critical
thinkers. Why? Because the English media in Pakistan at times includes
positive commentary about drone strikes! Congratulations: You just won the
critical thinker award in Pakistan, for being uncritical of US drone strike

full article - http://www.merip.org/drones-us-propaganda-imperial-hubris

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