Tag Archives: Sanjeev Bery

US newspapers ignore drone missile critics

The HKS Citizen (Harvard Kennedy School)
October 26, 2010
By Sanjeev Bery

Over the last two months, the US government has dramatically increased drone missile strikes in Pakistan.  Unfortunately, mainstream US newspapers have not shown the inclination to ask tough questions regarding the change in policy.

In a replay of the softball coverage that preceded the second US invasion of Iraq, some of the biggest US newspapers are once again showing how easy it is to embed a pro-government bias in their reporting.   The Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and The New York Times have all covered the news by mostly quoting US officials while ignoring critics.
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Pakistan Foreign Minister Mixes Criticism and Praise of US Foreign Policy

The HKS Citizen (Harvard Kennedy School)
October 26, 2010
By Sanjeev Bery

Photo by Martha Stewart

Alternating between criticism and praise, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi spoke about US-Pakistan relations at the Harvard Kennedy School on Monday, October 18th.  Qureshi was at HKS on the eve of a US-Pakistan strategic dialogue with senior US officials in Washington DC.

In his comments, Qureshi offered blunt criticism of the history of US foreign policy towards Pakistan.  “We see half a century of indisputable, empirical evidence of the US dancing with dictators who subverted human rights, using our people and soldiers as surrogates in proxy wars,” he stated.

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Dollar vs. Dollar: U.S. Consumers Battle U.S. Taxpayers in Global Drug War

The Huffington Post
Posted: February 3, 2010
By Sanjeev Bery

2010-02-03-DEA.jpg Although the reporting has improved in recent years, U.S. media coverage of the “war on drugs” continues to ignore the economic realities of just who is fighting who in the conflict. The drug war is best understood as a battle of dollar versus dollar — a bloody war between the dollars of U.S. taxpayers and the dollars of U.S. consumers.

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Misreading “Anti-Americanism” in Pakistan

militaryincThe latest news on US-Pakistan relations shouldn’t surprise anyone. According to the Associated Press, former Pakistani dictator Pervez Musharraf used billions of dollars in US military aid for everything but the paymasters’ intended purpose: fighting Taliban militias.

None of this news, however, is likely to generate much Pakistani sympathy for American taxpayers. What American officials refer to as “anti-American sentiment” is actually a deep resentment of U.S. government involvement in internal Pakistani politics. It is worth noting that U.S. funding for Musharraf marked the third time we have supported Pakistani dictatorship in the country’s 60 years of history.

It is precisely this past that has come to haunt both Pakistanis and Americans today. The intersection of dictatorship and dollars has resulted in a Pakistani military that does not answer to the country’s civilian leadership. Every time American taxpayers financed an alliance with a Pakistani military dictator, we also forced Pakistani reformers to take a backseat.

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CNN praises a dictator

The Huffington Post
Posted: June 23, 2009
By Sanjeev Bery

It has barely been a day since my last blog post criticizing a CNN commentator’s Iran analysis. But somehow, CNN has already managed to outdo itself.

In a new article linked to its home page as of Monday, CNN.com heavily quotes the son of a former Iranian dictator without once telling the reader about his father’s role in ending Iranian democracy.

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Israel’s Ban on Crayons

The Huffington Post
Posted: June 18, 2009 11:09 AM
By Sanjeev Bery

Israel’s massive blockade of Gaza continues, but it is easy to lose sight of what this really means. As the BBC reports, the blockade is so extensive that the Israeli government even bars musical instruments from entering the territory.

Little is allowed to leave Gaza either. Israel also bans virtually all exports to the outside world, causing Palestinians who live in the territory to suffer unemployment rates of 40%.

On Tuesday, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter highlighted some of the most egregious examples of this policy. In a speech to parents and graduating students at a UN-run Gaza school, Carter stated:

I understand even paper and crayons are treated as “security hazards” and not permitted to enter Gaza. I sought an explanation for this policy in Israel, but did not receive a satisfactory answer – because there is none.

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“Israeli Media Reads the Fine Print”

The Huffington Post
06/06/09
by Sanjeev Bery

In the 48 hours since President Obama’s speech in Cairo, Israeli journalists and pundits have had a lot to say. Their comments offer insights into U.S. foreign policy that many American observers might not get at home.

Some were particularly struck by Obama’s implicit linkage of Palestinian aspirations and other global struggles for freedom. In the liberal newspaper Ha’aretz, journalist Akiva Eldar wrote:

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“Pakistanis Debate Their Future On Facebook”

Sanjeev Bery, The Huffington Post, 05/18/09

As the Pakistani military rains fire down upon villagers and Taliban alike, Pakistanis and members of the diaspora are engaged in numerous online debates about the future of their country. In some cases, they are offering perspectives that the rest of us should listen to.

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Why Deepak Chopra is wrong

The Huffington Post
05/05/09
by Sanjeev Bery, Sahar Shafqat

It is always easy to tell someone else what they need to do. Just point your finger, clear your throat, and boldly offer your advice. Don’t worry about the realities of history — just speak your mind.

In his recent essay, “The Dilemma of the ‘good’ Muslim,” Deepak Chopra is guilty of exactly this. He ignores the complexities of history and blithely proclaims that Muslims should take responsibility for a whole host of enemies: oligarchs, military regimes, anti-Semites, jihadis. Chopra declares: “We — and here I mean the entire world — need the vast majority of Muslims to wake up and then to stand up.”

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More on those pirates…

The Nation magazine (U.S.) has an interesting short read by Richard Pollak on the market incentives for just letting ocean piracy happen.  As it turns out, it is far cheaper for shipping companies to do nothing than to protect their crews:

pirates1No reliable statistics measure the annual cost of piracy, but one likely high estimate of $16 billion represents only .001 percent of the more than $14 trillion in world trade that moved by ship last year…

…for years Maersk and most other shipping firms, large and small, have refused to spend the money it would take to make each vessel more secure. Few, for example, have invested in Secure-Ship, an electrified wire fence that delivers a 9,000-volt nonlethal shock to anyone attempting to climb aboard.

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