Friday, June 28, 2013

Horror On Nanga Parbat

My article on the massacre on Nanga Parbat, presumably to avenge the death of a Taliban leader by a drone strike, went up today on CounterPunch:

An extract from it:

On the night of Saturday, June 22, 11 men were slaughtered on Nanga Parbat’s base camp by a group of militants. In order to reach the camp at 4300m, the militants forced two local men to guide them. Even the trek to the camp is a treacherous one; it has one of the fastest elevation gains in the world, is encased in melting glaciers that hide deep crevices, requires crossing streams that can be high and bitterly cold, and maneuvering narrow paths bordered by giant boulders and ice walls. It is not a walk that can be taken without somber awareness of the smallness of human size. Unless you think your mission is greater. So great that local men with a level of skill and expertise that is in fact a kind of greatness should be threatened into playing a part in it. Before Saturday night, never had a murder been committed against foreigners here, let alone one in which local inhabitants had been made complicit. In bloodying their mountain, and their hands, an entire history and culture has been defiled.
What no self-appointed avenger of the US-led war has ever said is that these attacks primarily hurt Pakistanis. And on every level: through murder, the sacrilege of a land, the dishonoring of a culture that for centuries has survived peacefully on the land, as well as through the destruction of a tenuous economy... Add to this the toll the war has taken on other parts of the country and around 52,000 Pakistanis (have been) killed since 3,000 Americans were killed on 9/11. Or 17. 3 Pakistani corpses for every 1 American corpse.