A Black Perspective12 012  A14, 201

Page 14

June 9, 2012

America's Double Standard


            When a country refers to itself as, "the world's only indispensible nation", certain truths must be recognized.  First there is a lack of understanding of history.  It was not too long ago that, "all roads led to Rome".  Even more recently, "the sun never set on the British empire".  Second there is a setting apart from the rest of the world that makes the "indispensible" nation, pompous, arrogant, insufferable.  George W. Bush said of U.S. haters, "they hate us for our freedoms".  Perhaps America is hated, not for its freedoms, but for its double standard.

Dr. Shakil Afridi 

Shakil Afridi is a Pakistan doctor who was working with the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in an attempt to establish the location of Osama Bin Laden.  He ran a hepatitis vaccination clinic as a ruse to gather DNA evidence of Bin Laden's family.  This aid to the CIA helped pinpoint Bin Laden's whereabouts and led to his assassination, murder, execution.  The operation was carried out by a U.S. Navy Seal team.  Pakistan was not notified nor informed of the intrusion into Pakistani territory.  As he was aiding a spy organization, operating without permission inside Pakistan, there is no doubt that Afridi was spying for the United States.  Furthermore Afridi admitted to Pakistani officials that he had aided the CIA.  Dr. Shakil Afridi was sentenced by the Pakistani judicial system to 33 years in prison.


The Obama administration was beside itself with anger and frustration.  U.S. Senators  Carl Levin and John McCain berated the Pakistani Court.  They used words such as courageous, heroic and, ironically, patriotic to describe Afridi's aid.  Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta declared that the Pakistani Government had made a real mistake.  He vowed to work behind the scenes to free Afridi.  Congress initially threatened to cut aid to Pakistan by $1,000,000 for each year of the doctor's sentence.

Speaking of the Afridi case the U.S. Government uses the "war on terrorism" as an explanation for all their actions.  They contend that if Pakistan does not bend to their every whim in the fight against Al Qaeda, they are not true allies.  However the question arises, " would true allies operate covert missions in another's sovereign territory without permission nor notification"?  If another country is allied with America, that country is not required to give up  its sovereignty and/or dignity.

Jonathan Pollard

            The strongest ally the United States has is the State of Israel.  The U.S. has consistently used her United Nations Security Council veto to support Israel, whether the Jewish state is right or not.  It would come as no surprise if the U.S. faced or used nuclear weapons to defend Israel.  Yet these allies spy on each other.

Jonathan Pollard was an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Government.  His background of drug use and failure to pass polygraph testing brings into question just how he qualified for his security clearances.  However, he got the clearances and he and his wife, Anne, spied for the Israeli Government.  Pollard was a careless spy and was easily discovered when a coworker saw classified material lying on his desk.  Pollard and his wife claimed that they had moral obligations as Jews to defend the "survival of Israel".  Israel initially claimed that Pollard was working with a rogue agent and had no ties to the Israeli Government.  Pollard was sentenced to life in prison.

In 1998 Israel admitted that Pollard was working for its government.  They provided two attorneys to work on Pollard's appeal.  The Israeli Government officially asked for clemency for Pollard.  An Israeli grassroots movement was formed to get clemency for Pollard.  Their rationale was that as he spied for an ally, his sentence should be mitigated.  Benjamin Netanyahu, Yitzhak Rabin, Ehud Olmert and Shimon Peres are among the Israeli officials who appealed to the United States for Pollard clemency.  His release was even proposed to be part of the Wye River Conference in 1998.  As late as April of 2012 eighty Israeli legislators appealed for his release.  The United States has refused to budge on this issue.

There are similarities with the cases against Dr. Shakil Afridi and Jonathan Pollard. 
They were both convicted of spying on an ally by their native country.  They both claimed extenuating   circumstances,  one, the "war on terrorism", the other, the "survival of Israel".  Both were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.  The ally that was partnered in the espionage went to extreme political measures to gain clemency for the spy.  In cases of such similarities, how can the United States be so adamant about each side of the dilemma?  The answer is that the country operates under a double standard.  America believes that every other nation, ally or not, should subordinate its sovereignty to that of the United States.

Random Thoughts


            As the National Basketball Association (NBA) enters the finals, I find it harder and harder to watch the games.  The referees have literally taken the joy out of the game.  Basketball is perhaps the easiest sport to manipulate by the officiating.  The worst thing that happened to the NBA is that Vince McMahon of World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment made a billion dollars with choreographed sports.  Disgraced NBA referee Ted Donaghy, imprisoned for fixing NBA games and gambling on them, showed how easy it was to cheat.  The subjectivity of the calls makes it easy for a referee or a league to determine a great many outcomes.  The brilliance of the league is that they convinced the public that Donaghy was one bad apple.  I used to tease my son for watching professional wrestling, now he teases me for watching the NBA.
Just asking.....  Can the United States win the war in Afghanistan   without the help of Pakistan?

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