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November 5, 2007

The Islamabad Rockettes

Pakastani-Indian-Border-1

If news is just spectacle, I can understand why WAPO would include this image in their daily photo gallery (#13 out of 21) — of an Indian border guard and a Pakistani Ranger (right) performing a “retreat ceremony” at the border — when the series leads off with a Pakistani plainclothes policeman slamming a lawyer in the head in Lahore.

If it seems a minor thing, it creates a cynical equivalence between the two photos, cheapening and making light of the dire, if hyperkinetic pictures coming out of Pakistan yesterday, in which Pakistani government enforcers were swinging feet and clubs at lawyers and journalists — for real.

As if to doubly (or triply) emphasize this trivialization, take a look at these shots the NYT featured of the Pakistan crackdown.  Notice any similarity with the above?

Lahore-Protest-Lawyers-1

Pakastani-Lawyer-Protest

What is tremendously disturbing, and shamefully unacceptable, is the disconnect (like it’s something new?) between the “testimony” these photos represent and the not-so-hidden evidence of Administration acquiescence.

And then, in failing to connect Musharraf’s suspension of civil rights and Pakistan’s despotic meltdown to the failure of the so-called “War On Terror,” the traditional media reflects its disposition that Washington/Islamabad can get away with near anything — just for kicks.

WAPO photo gallery here.  NYT slideshow hereNYT Day In Pictures (first 5 shots are from Pakistan) here.



(image 1: Narinder Nanu – AFP/Getty Images.  November 4, 2007.  India/Pakistan border.  via washingtonpost.com.  image 2:  Mohsin Raza/Reuters. November 4, 2007.  Lahore, Pakistan.  via nytimes.com.  image 3: Narinder Nanu – AFP/Getty Images. via nytimes.com)

  • seventhcalvarytop

    bushleaguecockaidedstretch

  • Gasho

    WTF ??!!
    What I see is the sheer silliness of our stance towards Pakistan (and lots of Pakistanis being kicked in the balls).
    Here’s how coherent our stance is:
    We’ll make no distinction between the terrorists and those who harbor them.. unless they are in Pakistan, in which case we’ll send them 11 Billion Dollars.
    We will create a new Democratic Middle East or support a dictator that suspends the constitution, makes treaties with the Taliban, and spends our 11 Billion tax dollars on an arms race with our ally, India.
    Things have gotten so absurd. It’s lunacy!! At this point it would take a master diplomat – a true world leader – a man of great courage and honor and sophistication to lead us back from the brink… but instead we have an idiot man-child with zero plan, backed up by a greedy, powerhungry fear mongering lunatic throwing money and troops around like they’re playing Risk on crack.
    This is SO much scarier than the cold war.

  • jtfromBC

    “I believe that a prosperous, democratic Pakistan will be a steadfast partner for America, a peaceful neighbor for India, and a force for freedom and moderation in the Arab world.” (Bush in Islamabad, Pakistan, which is not known for being part of the Arab world, on March 3, 2006)

  • Cactus

    Top photo = Monty Python’s Dept. of Silly Walks

  • tina

    stupid ceremony pictured in top photo (not to mention black coated lawyer elites)–shards of the British Empire, still causing problems today.

  • cenoxo

    There’s several image and video links to the colorful Indo-Pakistani Wagah border ceremony in this May 27, 2007 MetaFilter post.
    Nice hats, snappy uniforms, and a little music and dancing beats war, death, and destruction any day. If only the United Nations had a decent choreographer, its sessions (and outcomes) might be more entertaining and less lethal. Perhaps the Olympics needs to change its focus, too.
    (And is there anyone who’s not all that upset by pictures of attorneys getting arrested?)

  • bruceo

    (top photo:)
    guy with black Headfan: “Oh my Shiva! WHERE did you get that beautiful, red Headfan!?”
    guy with red Headfan: “What; you mean THIS beautiful, red Headfan?”

  • Aliawan1970

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