The Tragedy of Malala 109


There is no doubt Malala Yousufzai is a remarkable girl; and that the bigots responsible for her shooting are appalling. But that is only one aspect of Malala’s multi-faceted tragedy.

Here in Accra I have been watching the re-broadcast of the BBC World TV documentary about her, made two years ago. Here is a very revealing and deeply disturbing excerpt that casts a grim light on young Malala’s fate. She is twelve years old in this exchange:

Malala: “I want to ba a doctor but my father told me you have to be a politician. But I don’t like politics.”
Father: “My daughter can be better than a doctor.”

This was the most interesting part of the entire documentary, and the North American accented presenter completely failed to pick up on it. Poor Malala; her desire for an education was genuine and highly commendable; but she was thrust into the firing line by an ambitious father and an ambitious documentary maker apparently unconcerned by her direct statement that she was being manipulated against her will.

Her father’s political ambitions centre around a party representing Swat’s rapacious feudal landlord class (Alice Albinia’s Empires of the Indus is an excellent and highly readable account for some basic background). The Taliban are an extremely nasty manifestation of ancient hatreds and social structures, but their emergence as a potent force could not have happened without genuine grievances to be exploited; it is hard to think of a more egregious grievance than the feudal landlord system.

Having been shot, Malala is now receiving world class treatment in Birmingham. I most anxiously hope she recovers fully and goes on to a happy and fulfilled life as a doctor. I only wish that more of the children badly injured in the war, including the hundreds of children younger than Malala injured in US drone strikes, received the same level of care and treatment. They don’t. They are left to struggle on and, frequently, die.

Because the truth is that she is not getting this treatment because that is what is done for children shot or blown up in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Plainly that is not the case. She is getting this treatment because she became, and remains, an exploited propaganda symbol. If they really cared about her as a child , they would give the same level of medical care and of publicity to the many, many children injured by “our” side. But we are not to be shown those.


109 thoughts on “The Tragedy of Malala

1 2 3 4
  • Oliver Crow

    Exactly
    .
    Of course, “we” have more powerful and destructive weapons than a man with a gun. We don’t even know, when Obama murders a child (eg 16 yr old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki) was that child the intended victim? Or did he just have the bad luck to be in the vicinity of someone Barry took a dislike to? Or was the missile aimed at “young men in a certain area” who are therefore assumed to deserve death? Or, in the case of young Awlaki, is Barry taking out the families too, like they used to, in case the child grows up to avenge his father?
    .
    All we know is that he was blown to bits by Barry.

  • Michael Stephenson

    I would be interested to know precisely what mechanism is behind BBC’s propaganda pieces. Does the BBC think it all up themselves or do they receive instructions from the foreign office/security services?

  • Jay

    what we have with The Western World and their democracy is the stubborness to see thr aspirations of other people.

    This obviously is reflected through the Ages with their refusal to communicate with “others.”

    What we are finding is that aswell as global expansion of western culture also forced degeneration on western tradditional systems.

    To coin a phrase this “dumbing down” of people is wanten fot the coming slave master class,

    This is nothing new in respect of focusing our emotions on single events. Its how the system works by keeping us ilinformed.

    No answers to any of these problems until we expand our own agenda into the lives of the wanton.

  • Michael Stephenson

    Good decision on Gary McKinnon, although somehow she came to the conclusion that our one sided extradition treaty with the US is “largely sound”. No surprise there then.

  • Mary

    @Michael Stephenson Good decision on Gary McKinnon, although somehow she came to the conclusion that our one sided extradition treaty with the US is “largely sound”. No surprise there then.

    She was just scared of having a corpse on her hands in case he committed suicide.

  • Komodo

    Sorry, I’d comment on-topic, but what can possibly be said? Set against it the court-martial of five Marines, as far as I can work out for killing an unarmed prisoner…ah, I see what the Beeb has done there.

  • Mary

    Grieve is busy today. Perhaps he could order an inquest for Dr David Kelly while he’s at it.

    Attorney general vetoes Prince Charles letters publication
    Prince Charles’ letters were sent between September 2004 and April 2005

    When ministers say ‘no’ to FOI requests
    Prince letters to be made public
    The real basis for royal secrecy

    Attorney General Dominic Grieve has blocked the release of private letters the Prince of Wales sent to seven government departments.

    A court ruled last month that the correspondence should be published.

    But Mr Grieve said it was an exceptional case where the letters formed part of the prince’s “preparations for kingship”.

    Publishing the “frank” views would “seriously undermine” his ability to fulfil his duties as King.

    /..

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-19959233

    Wonder what the contents of the letters are.

  • Clark

    “She is getting this treatment because she became, and remains, an exploited propaganda symbol. If they really cared about her as a child, they would give the same level of medical care and of publicity to the many, many children injured by “our” side.”

    Well said, Craig. Well said.

    Michael Stephenson, it’s not just the BBC, it’s nearly the entire corporate media. Consider signing up to Media Lens, who address precisely the question you asked, and campaign for real news to replace and overcome the propaganda:

    http://www.medialens.org/index.php

  • KingofWelshNoir

    What are you talking about? We are the Men in White Hats. We only deploy smart weaponry in ‘surgical’ strikes that can tell the difference between

    Insurgents
    Militants
    Activists
    Extremists
    Terrorists (confirmed and suspected)

    AND

    Normal Folk

    I know this is true because I saw it on the BBC

  • Brian Spencer

    Mary @ 16 Oct, 2012 – 1:28 pm

    Whilst it’s good to see that Grieve is taking the question of a new Hillsborough inquest forward (I think he had little option) you are right in suggesting that he could order an inquest on Dr David Kelly while he’s about it.

    A reminder that Grieve was quite happy with the fact that Hutton didn’t hear evidence under oath yet came to a decision that Dr Kelly committed suicide.

    Amongst other matters it was explained in the clearest possible terms to Grieve that Dr Kelly’s body was moved by a third party after its discovery. This was one of the very good reasons why he was asked to go to the High Court to ask that there be an inquest. Our request was dismissed.

    http://drkellysdeath-timeforthetruth.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/dr-kellys-body-was-moved-after-he-was.html

  • Jay

    Clark.

    People trust the BBC so much. Friends of mine will not listen to anything that is contrary to the BBC and newspapers.

    What can be done to alyer the perception that is held in the MSM.

    What magic does it have that keeps people believing?

  • nevermind

    Is there a link to this documentary Craig is talking about?
    would it be a good idea to hoist it up as a add on to his excellent article?

    This interchange two years ago between the journalists and Malala really turns this propaganda effort into what it is, sad, desperate spin and smeary dust. Her innocent but strong principles to learn and become a doctor really knocks the stuffing out of those who are using her as a lever.

  • doug scorgie

    What a State we live in.

    A few snippets from today’s Guardian:

    More than 3,500 senior military personnel and officials move on to jobs at weapons companies

    The Met police officer who met Rebekah Brooks in 2006 and told her about Scotland Yard’s phone-hacking investigation, in the course of informing her that her own voicemail had been hacked, will not face charges of misconduct in public office, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

    Attorney general blocks disclosure of Prince Charles letters to ministers. Grieve overrides freedom of information tribunal, saying release of letters ‘could damage prince’s ability to perform duties as king’

    With more claims similar to the Mau Mau veterans expected, officials confirm new bill could prevent disclosure of evidence

    Lieutenant General Sir John Kiszely resigns after paper claimed he boasted he could help defence firms access ministers

    Spending cuts and tax rises may have hurt growth more than originally assumed, Office for Budget Responsibility says

    Figures from Trussell Trust show 110,000 were referred for food aid between April and September

    Relatives of six Catholic men killed in Northern Ireland in 1994 allege complicity of security service

    Older people may struggle to cope with soaring food and energy prices in 2013, pensioner representatives say

    Council had secured cash from developers for two new schools but has pulled out after finding they must be outside local authority control

    Arn’t we supposed to be a rich and democratic country? The veil is slipping.

  • Mary

    Well said Brian Spencer. And all the other commenters.

    There is no irony in the fact that Malala is being treated in the same hospital that contains a special unit to treat those who were sent out to kill her fellow Muslims and who, having survived their injuries, have been repatriated there and then on to Headley Court and the like. It’s Royal of course and is named the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine.

    The QE hospital in Birmingham btw is a PFI that cost £545m for which our children and grandchildren will be paying for decades to come.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Queen_Elizabeth_Hospital_Birmingham

    A new hospital built on partnership. Indeed. }http://www.uhb.nhs.uk/new-hospital-partnerships.htm}

    Note the percentage of single rooms. They call for a high staff ratio and are less easy to manage than the traditional Nightingale ward where a quick glance down the beds establishes what is happening.

    So many single rooms. Just right for privatisation by the likes of Spire Health or Circle Health!

  • Clark

    Jay:

    “What magic does it have that keeps people believing?”

    Oh, all the usual attributes of propaganda:

    # Endless repetition.
    # Keeps the issues “simple”.
    # Reduces issues to unquestioned slogans, eg. “Terrorism”.
    # Agreement across multiple corporate news outlets.
    # Dovetails with the entertainments industry.
    # Appeals to innate prejudice eg. racism: “we” matter more than “them”.
    # Transmission only; viewers don’t get to question or submit comments.
    # Broad distribution creating a false consensus.

    “What can be done to alyer the perception that is held in the MSM?”

    Find one thing that your friend believes strongly, which you know to be provably wrong. Search out the original and most authoritative sources. When you get the chance, point out the distortions to your friend, and refer to the original sources.

    As soon as you’ve made one chip in the marble, the whole façade becomes vulnerable; people don’t like being deceived, and your friend will want more reliable sources of news. Then show your friend some good sources on the Internet. This site here is a good start (but I would say that, eh? :)), and another of my favourites is Media Lens, linked above.

  • harpie

    From the above linked article:

    […] The Independent has the latest medical evidence on the American use of chemical weapons against the Iraqi people. […]

    Now, one month before the World Health Organisation reveals its view on the legacy of the two battles for the town, a new study reports a “staggering rise” in birth defects among Iraqi children conceived in the aftermath of the war.

    […]
    The destruction of Fallujah was like a black hole, where all the evil of the war was sucked in and concentrated with unbreakable force. So I think it’s worth reiterating, once more, the actual context of this atrocity that is now reverberating through the twisted, tormented bodies of children born long after the guns have fallen silent. […]

    [Thanks for printing my comment/link right away!]

  • OldMark

    ‘Plainly that is not the case. She is getting this treatment because she became, and remains, an exploited propaganda symbol.’

    Sadly that is true. One can only hope, for the sake of the poor girl, who has suffered more than enough, that the propaganda element doesn’t return to bite us in the bum via Malala catching an MRSA related infection whilst in the care of QEH Birmingham.

  • wendy

    Timing is key.
    .
    After a successful anti drone mass protest from imran khan .. malala was targeted by the pakistan taliban whose leaders are happily residing in afghanistan supported by usa/uk/india .
    .
    The focus on illegal drone strikes that have largely murdered innocent children mothers and fathers of course has successfully been curtailed .
    .
    Only 2% of targets are conirmed ‘militants’

  • Kempe

    “The Taliban are an extremely nasty manifestation of ancient hatreds and social structures, but their emergence as a potent force could not have happened without genuine grievances to be exploited; it is hard to think of a more egregious grievance than the feudal landlord system.”

    They’d still be trying to take control and impose Sharia law if Pakistan was a model democracy. It’s not as if they have anything better than their own brand of feudalism to offer either.

1 2 3 4

Comments are closed.