U.S. Consulate attacked in Karachi, Pakistan.
June 14, 2002 6:39 AM   Subscribe

U.S. Consulate attacked in Karachi, Pakistan. No one has claimed responsibility for the car bombing that has left 8 dead and another 40+ injured.
posted by catatonic (21 comments total)
Home of most terrorists:
Pakistan and Saudi Arabia

Not on the official list of Axles of Evil, too important to the oil industry profits.

Latest terrorist actually prosecuted: Bobby Cherry at long last. They grow 'em by the dozens in the good ole US too.
posted by nofundy at 6:45 AM on June 14, 2002

nofundy: Well, what are we supposed to do if the governments of those countries support us? I mean, seriously, how smootly would this 'war or terror' go if we were calling SA or pakistan 'terrorist nations'?

Not that i support calling any country part of an 'axis of evil' bush is a moron for spouting that.
posted by delmoi at 7:00 AM on June 14, 2002

nofundy, since when is Pakistan "important to oil industry profits"? Do you even think about these statements before robotically repeating them?

Of course we have a problem if a country is supporting us at the government level while some of its citizens are waging war against us. Surely the solution isn't to declare the government our enemy. That would probably involve, you know, bombing and stuff.

And I'm not even going to try to analyze the cognitive dissonance in your statement "home of most terrorists" while trying to pull the lib'ral bait-and-switch "we've got'em here too". Your point being? Are we supposed to look at countries with terrorists in them, or not? Or maybe we happen to live in a messy world that sometimes requires messy solutions to messy problems, rather than simplistic moralizing.

The death toll has risen to 11. Karachi is a den of distrust for Westerners: this is the same city where the French technicians (who were working on a submarine for the Pak navy) were blown to bits. And where Danny Pearl was kidnapped.
posted by dhartung at 8:46 AM on June 14, 2002

Let's not yell or scream. We can do that tomorrow.
This is very sad.
posted by hackly_fracture at 8:57 AM on June 14, 2002

Karachi is also the home to several murders of Western and US executives and workers through the years. Pakistan is also the country that had the most distrust and dislike of Americans in the (now somewhat discredited) poll of Islamic Nations after September 11th. A very poor country with many fanatics, it will be a long time and take a lot of work to 'clean up' the country.
posted by cell divide at 9:02 AM on June 14, 2002

Do you even think about these statements before robotically repeating them?

posted by rushmc at 9:28 AM on June 14, 2002

The White House on Friday called the attack a "deplorable act of terror" and a "vivid reminder that our nation is at war."

Congress: Hey! We didn't declare no war!
White House: Shut the fuck up, you assclowns!
posted by Marquis at 9:33 AM on June 14, 2002

Of course we have a problem if a country is supporting us at the government level while some of its citizens are waging war against us.

A bigger problem, and one that the US is blithely avoiding, is when a country is providing support from the mouth of the head of state, but the security agencies have a rather different agenda; and, further, that the relationship between the two is rather complex, given that each is important to the other's survival. But those kinds of nuance are now, apparently, only the domain of soft Europeans who have inexplicable problems with the whole Axis of Evil thing and the way that it pisses over the idea that countries may be something other than 'all good' or 'all evil'.

What are the odds that the ISI backed this latest attack, in order to blame it on India? It's quite feasible: after all, it's strange that the kind of plausibly deniable loose-cannon operations that are so typically attributed to Arafat could never, if you believe certain pols and pundits, happen in Musharraf's Pakistan.
posted by riviera at 9:41 AM on June 14, 2002

It's official. Metafilter is dead. :(
posted by catatonic at 9:46 AM on June 14, 2002

This IS Karachi we're talking about, folks. Stuff like this has been going on there for years, and it's only news now because everyone's sensitized to it. It'll still be going on there when we've all lost interest. They kill *each other* like crazy down there. I mean, it's not like any white people were killed in this latest incident. (Note sarcasm.)

Metafilter is mostly dead, a torso without limbs.
posted by artifex at 9:52 AM on June 14, 2002

And many heads, I should add.
posted by artifex at 9:53 AM on June 14, 2002

I honestly don't know how our foreign policy can proceed with an ally like Pakistan. I suppose we are playing the game of keeping our friends close and our enemies closer. After all, the easiest way for al Qaeda to obtain nuclear weapons and information is through the Pakistan.

After Daniel Pearl, the murder of the French workers and now this bombing, I wonder how hard it is going to be for the US government to keep a straight face when presenting our foreign policy to the world.
posted by rks404 at 10:11 AM on June 14, 2002

rks404, if it weren't for "an ally like Pakistan," we couldn't have mounted the Afghan campaign in the first place. You people need to get a grip. By that token, you could also say "I don't know how our foreign policy can proceed with an ally like Israel," which would be an equally absurd statement. Like dhartung said, nothing's clear-cut. Jeez. Is Friday rash-generalization day?
posted by artifex at 10:21 AM on June 14, 2002

"I don't know how our foreign policy can proceed with an ally like Israel," which would be an equally absurd statement.

On the contrary, I think that's an equally FAIR statement to make. Certainly, relations between governments are frequently complex and multi-layered, unlike the "with us or against us" rhetoric which we are spoonfed on tv. However, making value judgements about the behavior of those we choose to deem allies and holding them to certain standards of behavior and consistency is not only valid, it's necessary if we wish to maintain any moral standing of our own. It's also extremely pragmatic, in that it allows us to assess the other party's level of commitment to the relationship and gauge how far we can trust them, and under which circumstances.
posted by rushmc at 10:32 AM on June 14, 2002

artifex,Thanks for telling me that I (actually "you people") need to get a grip. My people and I have been wondering what was missing in our lives. Was that you complaining about the death of Metafilter a few posts ago?

Yes, nothing is clear-cut. That is exactly why we need to have very clear reasons for doing the things that we do and making allies that we do. Yes, we are a pragmatic nation and very results focused. That does not mean that we should do things without consideration or without looking at larger implications. Anything less would be laziness. Moral clarity isn't usually a bad thing.

I don't know why you are trying to make my post sound anti-Israeli, especially since I didn't mention it at all and you don't know what my views of Israel are.
posted by rks404 at 10:41 AM on June 14, 2002

Let me see if I've got this foreign policy thing correct.

Terrorist country with dictator = ally
Non-terrosist country with dictator= evil
Democracies = not relevant
Democracies with government supported terrorism = strong ally

Probably too broad a stroke but still relevant.
posted by nofundy at 11:48 AM on June 14, 2002

From American Crusade 2001+ Trading Cards. Hopefully I didn't muck up the formatting to badly.
posted by euphorb at 2:35 PM on June 14, 2002

I love those cards. Tonally perfect.
posted by artifex at 3:19 PM on June 14, 2002

riviera, what proof do you have that America is "blithely avoiding", in your wording, this problem? How would having a diplomatic face and concurrent silent action be different, in front-page presentation, from what we have now? Indeed, just last month meetings in Washington sealed an anti-terror cooperation deal between the two countries. This won't be easy, there will be setbacks, and the end result is not guaranteed.

(Meanwhile, Blame India? Whatever they served you at the pub, it's gone bad. Almost any scenario you can write for this bombing involves a step near the end labeled Washington splits with Islamabad, inshallah.)

The world is messy. Solution X does not always work with Problem A as well as it did with Problem B. I can live with that, even if it means certain people get the chance to sit on the sidelines and throw tomatoes yelling out "The ref's not consistent! Get him outta there!" This is, after all, war -- and I'd rather be inconsistent and alive, than the alternative.

And naturally, the mere fact that we are allied with Pakistan demonstrates that we are not, nofundy and rks this means you, dividing the world into "clear-cut" divisions.

In any case, ally is not a synonym for friend. And even friends can have their own agenda.
posted by dhartung at 4:04 PM on June 14, 2002

From the nytimes:

With today's deadly strike against the American consulate in Karachi, the prediction of Pakistani intelligence appears to have materialized. Pakistani officials suspect that the attack was carried out by a freshly minted coalition of militant organizations drawn from the remnants of extremist groups scattered during a crackdown General Musharraf ordered earlier this year.

The new coalition of militant groups is called Lashkar-e-Omar, formed by guerrilla fighters in January after leaders of several extremist groups had been arrested. Officials said the members of the coalition share a doctrinaire vision of Islam, a hatred of the West and, often, the common bond of having trained and fought in Afghanistan.

According to the Pakistani officials, Lashkar-e-Omar was formed by the survivors of three militant Islamic groups targeted by General Musharraf: Lashkar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad and the Sunni Muslim group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi. While this last group is known for its sectarian attacks on Shiite Muslim groups, Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Muhammad are committed to waging a holy war against non-Muslims.

The officials said the three Islamic groups, as well as stragglers from other militant organizations, reached an "operational agreement" to pool their resources and launch joint attacks.

posted by homunculus at 11:11 PM on June 14, 2002

And naturally, the mere fact that we are allied with Pakistan demonstrates that we are not, nofundy and rks this means you, dividing the world into "clear-cut" divisions

Where did I mention anything about clear-cut divisions? Oh that's right, it's a lot easier to attack a straw man than an actual position. In my original post, I speculated that it might be advantageous for the US to remain allied with Pakistan due to their possession of nuclear weapons and that our alliance with them might allow us to ensure that nuclear technology doesn't fall into the hands of Al-Qaeda. I didn't say that we shouldn't be allied with Pakistan, all I said is that our alliance with Pakistan is problematic. The fact that we are still discussing this seems to supports that statement. So yes, the world isn't clear-cut. In my second post I even said, "Yes, nothing is clear-cut". It seems like saying it again would be belaboring the obvious.
posted by rks404 at 11:36 PM on June 14, 2002

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