Skip to content


Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word

Dissident Voice Article

By Kim Petersen

On 26 November, a clash occurred between American and Pakistani troops on the Pakistan border with Afghanistan. In the ensuing combat, 24 Pakistani troops became, in Pentagon parlance, collateral damage. Pakistan’s military said the attack was intentional and the Pakistani government demanded an apology. This sounds exceedingly strange: someone kills 24 of your country’s troops in an intentional attack and your government demands an apology?

The United States could manage an expression of condolences but balked at apologizing. Meanwhile the US corporate media obfuscated the matter by reporting it as a NATO mistake.1 If it was a NATO mistake, then why should the US apologize? Is that any way to treat your allies?

The US insisted on an investigation. Why was NATO not insisting on an investigation and carrying it out?

The Pentagon issued the investigation’s report on 22 December; it stated both sides were to blame. One side was cited as US forces (not NATO), and the other side was Pakistani forces. There was no apology.2

Pakistan called the report “short on facts.”

The Pentagon did “express sincere condolences to the Pakistani people, to the Pakistani government and, most importantly, to the families of the Pakistani soldiers who were killed or wounded.”

Liberal Media Take

Democracy Now! (DN) turned to New York Times senior reporter Eric Schmitt for analysis of the US killing of 24 Pakistani troops, and they got imperialist talk. Take, for example, Schmitt’s statement “… despite the important relationship that the U.S. and Pakistan has not only over counterterrorism priorities, but also given that Pakistan is a nuclear state, and there’s a lot of concern if those nuclear weapons or any nuclear material were ever to fall into militant hands.” DN host Amy Goodman let the statement stand unchallenged.

One might naturally surmise, therefore, that Amy Goodman and DN accept the premises of the US’s “war on terror” and that the terrorists are not the US (even though the US is owning up to killings in Pakistan, and, as part of the NATO contingent, to civilian killings in Libya.)3

One might further assume that DN holds that the US has a right to nuclear weapons and the Pakistanis do not because, supposedly, there are either no militants in the US or Pakistan cannot safeguard its nuclear weapons as well as the US. The US, by the way, is a country which has lost — as in never recovered — 11 nuclear weapons.4

DN is a puzzling media. It claims, “We don’t take money from corporate advertisers. We rely on donations from our global audience — people like you — to maintain our editorial independence.”

“And with the corporate-owned media for sale to the highest bidder, the need for independent news has never been this urgent,” says DN.

Some criticize DN and see its independence as compromised by being in receipt of Ford and Rockefeller Foundation money.5 DN does not acknowledge receipt of foundation money on its donation appeal page.

At best DN can be called liberal media; nonetheless, as with any media (including this one) open-minded skepticism serves media consumers best. DN’s progressivist credentials are questionable considering its open support for the imperialist attack on Libya and its proclivity for eschewing corporate media but turning to corporate media figures as experts. In the present case DN turned to the New York Times, a newspaper that frequent DN guest Noam Chomsky calls a “masochistic exercise” in reading.

The Etiquette of Apology

If I pass by someone in close quarters, and my shoulder nudges that person, I should hope that I would immediately respond with an apology. Little incidents like that can occur in crowded confines or when one is not paying sufficient attention. A simple sorry usually smooths the situation over.

Etiquette is the art of decency; it is an essential part of the social fabric providing a set of rules/guidelines for human-human interaction. Common etiquette requires that when you wrong someone that you acknowledge that wrong by apologizing for it.

Furthermore, an apology should be forthcoming without prodding because an important element of the apology is sincerity. A genuine apology cannot be coerced. It is quite difficult to coerce hyperempire, and closing a border and a drone base will not cajole an apology.

Reparations would be another important element of an apology. When, through one’s wrongdoing, damage is caused, that damage should be atoned for, in an as meaningfully as possible manner, by financial compensation or other satisfactory (to the aggrieved party) compensatory manner.

Many tributaries, very tricky to navigate, flow from this main current of public avowals and disavowals; not least, must an apology lead to reparation, if it is to be to be at all meaningful? That is, without a subsequent act of reparation or restitution, can it be fully constituted as an apology? Or is the performance of a speech act something that itself makes change?6

Eight days had passed before US president Barack Obama called the president of Pakistan to express regret for the killing of 24 Pakistani troops by NATO forces.7

In his refusal to apologize, Obama fits into the company of George H.W. Bush who while vice-president said, “I will never apologize for the United States, ever. I don’t care what the facts are.”8

  1. See Elise Labott, “Pakistan military insists NATO attack was deliberate,” CNN, 16 December 2011.
  2. News Release, “Department of Defense Statement Regarding Investigation Results into Pakistan Cross-Border Incident,” U.S. Department of Defense, 22 December 2001.
  3. See “U.S. Admits Fault in Fatal Bombing that Killed 24 Pakistani Troops,” Democracy Now!, 22 December 2011. “NATO Forced to Admit Air Strikes Killed Dozens of Libyan Civilians, Contradicting Initial Denials,” Democracy Now!, 22 December 2011.
  4. See No. 44, “50 Facts About U.S. Nuclear Weapons,” Brookings. See also Kim Petersen, “Nuclear Tragedy; The Struggle against Colonialism and Imperialism in Kalaallit Nunaat: Part 2,” Dissident Voice, 7 May 2007 for a nuclear explosion that occurred near the US military base in Thule, Kalaallit Nunaat (Greenland) in 1968. It was also denied by the Pentagon.
  5. See bob feldman, “Alternative Media Censorship: Sponsored by CIA’s Ford Foundation?questions, questions…
  6. Marina Warner, “Sorry: the present state of apology,” Open Democracy, 7 November 2002.
  7. Richard Wolf, “Obama regrets Pakistani troop deaths but doesn’t apologize,” USA Today, 4 December 2011.
  8. Quoted in “Perspectives,” Newsweek (15 August 1988): 15.

View the original article at dissidentvoice.org

Related Posts with Thumbnails

Posted in Politics, War on terror.

Tagged with , , .


0 Responses

Stay in touch with the conversation, subscribe to the RSS feed for comments on this post.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.

Support #altnews & keep Dark Politricks alive

Remember I told you over 5 years ago that they would be trying to shut down sites and YouTube channels that are not promoting the "Official" view. Well it's all happening now big time. Peoples Channels get no money from YouTube any more and Google is being fishy with their AdSense giving money for some clicks but not others. The time is here, it's not "Obama's Internet Cut Off Switch" it's "Trumps Sell Everyones Internet Dirty Laundry Garage Sale". This site must be on some list at GCHQ/NSA as my AdSense revenue which I rely on has gone down by a third. Either people are not helping out by visiting sponsors sanymore or I am being blackballed like many YouTube sites.

It's not just Google/YouTube defunding altenative chanels (mine was shut), but Facebook is also removing content, shutting pages, profiles and groups and removing funds from #altnews that way as well. I was recently kicked off FB and had a page "unpublished" with no reason given. If you don't know already all Facebooks Private Messages and Secret Groups are still analysed and checked for words related to drugs, sex, war etc against their own TOS. Personally I know there are undercover Irish police moving from group to group cloning peoples accounts and getting people booted. Worse than that I know some people in prison now for the content they had on their "secret private group". Use Telegrams secret chat mode to chat on, or if you prefer Wickr. If you really need to, buy a dumb phone with nothing for the NSA/GCHQ to hack into. Ensure it has no GPS tracking on it and that the battery can be removed. These are usually built for old people to get used to technology storing only a set of numbers to call. However they have no games, applications to install or other ways people can exploit the computer tracking device you carry round with you most of the day - your smart phone. If you are paranoid ensure that you can remove the battery when travelling around and do so to prevent GPS tracking or phone mast triangulation. Even with your phone in Flight mode or turned off, it can be turned on remotely and any features like front or back cameras, microphones and keylogging software can be installed to trace you.

So if your not supporting this site already which brings you news from the Left to the Right (really the same war mongering rubbish) then I could REALLY do with some..

Even if it's just £5 or tick the monthly subscription box and throw a few pound my way each month, it will be much appreciated. Read on to find out why.

Why?

Any support to keep this site would be appreciated. You could set up a monthly subscription for £2 like some people do or you could pay a one off donation as a gift.
I am not asking you to pay me for other people's articles, this is a clearing house as well as place to put my own views out into the world. I am asking for help to write more articles like my recent false flag gas attack to get WWIII started in Syria, and Trump away from Putin. Hopefully a few missiles won't mean a WikiLeaks release of that infamous video Trump apparently made in a Russian bedroom with Prostitutes. Also please note that this article was written just an hour after the papers came out, and I always come back and update them.

If you want to read JUST my own articles then use the top menu I have written hundreds of articles for this site and I host numerous amounts of material that has seen me the victim of hacks, DOS plus I have been kicked off multiple hosting companies, free blogging sites, and I have even had threats to cease and desist from the US armed forces. Therefore I have to pay for my own server which is NOT cheap. The more people who read these article on this site the more it costs me so some support would be much appreciated.

I have backups of removed reports shown, then taken down after pressure, that show collusion between nations and the media. I have the full redacted 28/29 pages from the 9.11 commission on the site which seems to have been forgotten about as we help Saudi Arabia bomb Yemeni kids hiding in the rubble with white phosphorus, an illegal weaapon. One that the Israeli's even used when they bombed the UN compound in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead. We complain about Syrian troops (US Controlled ISIS) using chemical weapons to kill "beautiful babies". I suppose all those babies we kill in Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Syria are just not beautiful enough for Trumps beautiful baby ratio. Plus we kill about 100 times as many as ISIS or the Syrian army have managed by a factor of about 1000 to 1.

I also have a backup of the FOX News series that looked into Israeli connections to 9.11. Obviously FOX removed that as soon as AIPAC, ADL and the rest of the Hasbra brigade protested.

I also have a copy of the the original Liberal Democrats Freedom Bill which was quickly and quietly removed from their site once they enacted and replaced with some watered down rubbish instead once they got into power. No change to police tactics, protesting or our unfair extradition treaty with the USA but we did get a stop to being clamped on private land instead of the mny great ideas in the original.

So ANY support to keep this site running would be much appreciated! I don't have much money after leaving my job and it is a choice between shutting the server or selling the domain or paying a lot of money just so I can show this material.

Material like the FSB Bombings that put Putin in power or the Google no 1 spot when you search for protecting yourself from UK Police with "how to give a no comment interview". If you see any adverts that interest you then please visit them as it helps me without you even needing to give me any money. A few clicks per visit is all it takes to help keep the servers running and tag any tweets with alternative news from the mainstream with the #altnews hashtag I created to keep it alive!

However if you don't want to use the very obvious and cost free ways (to you) to help the site and keep me writing for it then please consider making a small donation. Especially if you have a few quid sitting in your PayPal account doing nothing useful. Why not do a monthly subscription for less money instead. Will you really notice £5 a month?



css.php