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Polio Eradication Program Suspended In Pakistan After Aid Workers Shot 223

Posted by Soulskill
from the got-to-be-kidding-me dept.
Hugh Pickens writes "Jamal Khan reports that the United Nations has suspended its polio vaccination drive in Pakistan after eight people involved in the effort were shot dead in the past few days. The killings dealt a grave blow to the drive to bring an end to the scourge of polio in Pakistan, one of only three countries where the crippling disease still survives. Militants accuse health workers of acting as spies for the U.S. and claim the vaccine makes children sterile. Taliban commanders in the troubled northwest tribal region have also said vaccinations can't go forward until the U.S. stops drone strikes in the country. Insurgent opposition to the campaign grew last year after it was revealed that a Pakistani doctor ran a fake polio vaccination program to help the CIA track down and kill Osama bin Laden, who was hiding in the town of Abbottabad in the country's northwest. The Pakistani government has condemned the attacks against aid workers, saying they deprive Pakistan's most vulnerable populations — specifically children — of basic life-saving health interventions. A total of 56 polio cases have been reported in Pakistan during 2012, down from 190 the previous year, according to the U.N. Most of the new cases in Pakistan are in the northwest, where the presence of militants makes it difficult to reach children. Clerics and tribal elders were recruited to support polio vaccinations in an attempt to open up areas previously inaccessible to health workers. 'This is undoubtedly a tragic setback,' says UNICEF spokeswoman Sarah Crowe, 'but the campaign to eradicate polio will and must continue.'"
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Polio Eradication Program Suspended In Pakistan After Aid Workers Shot

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:09PM (#42363271)

    Seems like every backward region I've ever been too has been awash in conspiracy theories, urban legends, and superstitious horseshit. Worked down in South America, where every illiterate countryside hick seems to think Americans are trying to steal their organs (resulting in shit like this [nwsource.com]). Worked in India, where half the hicks think that clean water is just a ruse to poison them. Even worked in a ghetto, where the rumor was that whitey was putting chemicals in menthol cigarettes to make black men sterile.

    So it doesn't surprise me that backwater Pakistanis believe that Christians are out to give their kids drugs to make them hate Mohammad (or whatever other crazy crap runs through those heads), disguised as these things called "vaccines." Combine that with a CIA sleight-of-hand and a Taliban which is happy to use any excuse to show it's still relevant, and you get a lot of kids who are now going to die from a disease the rest of the world eradicated long ago.

    Fuck, just look at this idiot [salon.com] as the perfect example of what happens when you mix base stupidity with just enough knowledge to be dangerous.

    It's all well and good until said hillbillies start killing people or getting them killed.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:13PM (#42363325)

      Your sentiment is not lost on me, but that is why we must remember we cannot force our ways or our means of producing a safe and poductive society on others. This is a bit of case for the prime directive.

      There's no way to win this issue without completely destroying these peoples autonomy. Whats worse 100,000 cases of polio or cultural eradication?

      Thats not to say we shouldnt freely provide information, or allow people to ask us for help, that contradicts there beliefs, but we should be careful how we do it.

      • In almost all cases national governments are in favor of these programs. What Pakistan should be doing is giving the workers armed escorts.

        • by Sir_Sri (199544)

          What Pakistan should be doing is giving the workers armed escorts.

          That would be like sending in the army to end racism in the south so that you can hand out bottled water.

          The civilized areas of pakistan don't particularly need the UN to go in an help people, they have hospitals and roads and all that stuff already. Yes, there are poor people who need help being vaccinated, but they in karachi for example this a detail management problem, and they in a broad sense need money.

          In the tribal areas the pakistani central government is not welcome. At all. They've been basica

          • by alexander_686 (957440) on Friday December 21, 2012 @05:14PM (#42364037)

            That would be like sending in the army to end racism in the south so that you can hand out bottled water.

            Well, sometimes you do need to send in the 101 Airborne.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rock_Nine#Armed_escort [wikipedia.org]

            Not saying that this is the case here – but it’s not something you want to dismiss outright.

            • by Sir_Sri (199544)

              I actually made comparison for that reason specifically.

              Is it worth starting a war over, or can you get what you want some other way? If the south had revolted against the army being used as an escort it would have been a big fight. The tribal areas in pakistan *are* fighting a war with the government already, this would just make it worse.

              As I say, it will have to come to it eventually when the central government in pakistan wants control over their whole country (just like the US civil war!). Until th

              • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @08:25PM (#42365921)

                You don't get the danger. Most children in the west aren't vaccinated against Polio (makes no sense here and there's a small risk involved to the child), in Africa very few children are vaccinated at all in large areas. I don't know about South America or China, but I doubt the situation is much better. If even one of those tribal children gets out* with the disease, it will kill thousands and maim tens of thousands of children, maybe hundreds of thousands. This has happened before, and it is an absolute certainty it can happen again. This is what happens to ~30% of infected children take a look [un.org].

                Those are the stakes. To be extremely frank, I'm ambivalent on whether it would be moral to nuke this disease out of existence. Nuking this disease would easily help more people than it would hurt, even if it does hurt millions.

                The conspiracy theories of these tribes, killing and sterilizing anyone perceived as different, are simply what they would do themselves if they could. They probably perceive doing that as part of their religion. They may even be right about that, I don't know. Fortunately those aid workers don't share their religion.

                * very sorry to put it that way

                • by AK Marc (707885) on Saturday December 22, 2012 @12:07AM (#42366981)

                  The conspiracy theories of these tribes, killing and sterilizing anyone perceived as different, are simply what they would do themselves if they could.

                  The US performed covert military operations disguised as medical aid with the goal of assassinating people in Pakistan. It's not an irrational conspiracy theory, it's their daily life.

                • by Sir_Sri (199544)

                  Those are the stakes.

                  Indeed, and so perhaps we should go with what works, rather than charging in guns blazing. Clearly the UN did not bribe the right people, and clearly the US should avoid trying to use vaccinations as intelligence gathering tools.

                  I'm ambivalent on whether it would be moral to nuke this disease out of existence. Nuking this disease would easily help more people than it would hurt, even if it does hurt millions.

                  Considering there are 200 million people in pakistan, and they have nukes, and there are only a few thousand cases of polio a year... your solution seems... cowboyish.

                  Most children in the west aren't vaccinated against Polio

                  It's still part of routine vaccinations in the US, canada, china, japan etc. AFAIK. I know for sure you can't go t

          • >That would be like sending in the army to end racism in the south so that you can hand out bottled water.

            That's exactly what we did, so people could drink from the public drinking fountains (and also vote and go to college and such.) It worked.

            • by Sir_Sri (199544)

              Well, the second time. The first time you fought a civil war over it, and then 100 years later *still* had to send in the army to get to the drinking fountains. So it didn't work very well.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by K. S. Kyosuke (729550)

        Whats worse 100,000 cases of polio or cultural eradication?

        There have been cases in history where cultural lobotomy has been a good thing. So, 100k cases of polio win hands down.

        • by TheSync (5291)

          There have been cases in history where cultural lobotomy has been a good thing. So, 100k cases of polio win hands down.

          The problem is that most "cultural lobotomies" have been performed by ethnic discrimination, terror, or simply mass killing.

          • by K. S. Kyosuke (729550) on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:56PM (#42363839)

            The problem is that most "cultural lobotomies" have been performed by ethnic discrimination, terror, or simply mass killing.

            Aye, that is a problem. I guess that it all boils down to the fact that until recently, for a very long period (approximately from the end of the Neolithic), there has been very little value put on a human life. And in many parts of the world, it still is.

            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by firewrought (36952)

              The problem is that most "cultural lobotomies" have been performed by ethnic discrimination, terror, or simply mass killing.

              Aye, that is a problem. I guess that it all boils down to the fact that until recently, for a very long period (approximately from the end of the Neolithic), there has been very little value put on a human life. And in many parts of the world, it still is.

              And, just as counterexample, some "cultural lobotomies" have been relatively bloodless [wikipedia.org]. Some of the changes were subtle, such as adopting a new alphabet so as to separate people from their history. Ninety years later, Turkey's doing better than most of its Islamist cousins. Was it ethical? Probably not, but it turned out better than most ideologically driven changes.

      • by LocalH (28506) on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:36PM (#42363621) Homepage

        Whats worse 100,000 cases of polio or cultural eradication?

        What good is cultural diversity if people are dying left and right and thus unable to enjoy or even preserve it because of ill-informed radicals?

        100k cases of polio, definitely worse.

      • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:57PM (#42363861) Journal

        There's no way to win this issue without completely destroying these peoples autonomy. Whats worse 100,000 cases of polio or cultural eradication?

        Even if one is happy to stand back and let the colorful natives be colorful(either because you'd rather not pick on their culture, or because it's just too much of a pain in the ass), the trouble in this case is that anywhere polio is allowed to remain endemic is a reservoir just waiting for a stroke of bad luck to make it back into the wider population.

        Were the threat to local children some sort of non-contagious local superstition, we'd have the luxury of deciding whether or not to play cultural relativism. With polio, though, the question is whether we hunt it down wherever it hides, incidentally pissing off some locals and saving some babies, or whether we put up with the risk of having a serious outbreak at any time, almost anywhere...

      • by Jartan (219704)

        You must be joking. They're putting everyone at risk by not getting vaccinations. If we actually had a large outbreak of polio there would be a good chance for a dangerous mutation.

        • Rationalizing is a sad disease that affects those that have a tiny tiny tiny voice telling them things ain't right in the world but they don't want to do anything about it because it would involve effort and risks their cosy little lives.

          It is seen as such stuff as people saying child labor ain't so bad because at least it means kids have an income, that slave labor conditions are better then having no job etc etc. And that horrible nasty practices should be preserved because else you are not respecting pe

      • by damienl451 (841528) on Friday December 21, 2012 @05:42PM (#42364331)

        Easy. 100,000 cases of polio is much much worse. The kids didn't ask to be born to parents who have strange ideas and there are many aspects of the local culture (honor killings? Systematic and systemic discrimination against women?) that should disappear. Cultural eradication is a good thing if it means that mistaken beliefs about the world get rooted out, and especially if it causes active harm to others. I won't be shedding any tears if a "culture" that rejects something as innocuous as vaccination disappears.

        That being said, I agree that imperialism is a bad idea, and much of the backlash against "the West" is due to real grievances. For instance, bombing weddings and killing children is not a good way to show how great Western civilization is. Neither can you shove your values down people's throats and expect them to embrace them. But if some cultural practices (genital mutilation for instance) were to be abandoned, I'd be very happy. And, when it involves children whose only mistake was to be born in the wrong part of the world, cultural relativism doesn't seem very appropriate to me.

        Not to forget that appealing to "culture" is often a way for the powerful to cement their privileges and continue to exploit marginalized groups. Thus the various dictators who explain that human rights are a Western construct and that authoritarianism is part of the local culture. Or people who want to keep girls ignorant and submissive because their culture/religion says women are inferior to men.

      • by Shoten (260439)

        Your sentiment is not lost on me, but that is why we must remember we cannot force our ways or our means of producing a safe and poductive society on others. This is a bit of case for the prime directive.

        There's no way to win this issue without completely destroying these peoples autonomy. Whats worse 100,000 cases of polio or cultural eradication?

        Thats not to say we shouldnt freely provide information, or allow people to ask us for help, that contradicts there beliefs, but we should be careful how we do it.

        "Prime Directive?" This is Pakistan, not some fledgling civilization in danger of being contaminated by knowledge of alien life with far superior technology, who might be mistaken for deities upon sighting. It's just Pakistan. Many of their doctors and engineers studied in the West, for fuck's sake...even if there was a question of cultural contamination, that line is waaaaaaaay behind us all.

        Vaccinating people against polio and "cultural eradication," to use your terms, aren't even on the same plane of

      • by dskoll (99328)

        Whats worse 100,000 cases of polio or cultural eradication?

        Unquestionably, the polio.

      • Fuck cultural relativism.
        100 000 cases of polio is worse than backwards cultures being wiped out.

        I do think that many so called backwards cultures are actually not. However, fuck Islam. In fact, fuck Christianity and Judaism and Buddhism as well. Religion is backwards.

      • a guy ready to shoot health workers is not a representative of any culture or set of beliefs. plenty of intelligent and well-adjusted pakistanis are valid representatives of their culture, and they want polio eradicated

        There's no way to win this issue without completely destroying these peoples autonomy.

        oh my god, shut up you moron. giving people polio vaccine does not destroy anyone's culture.

        why do you think this atrocity represents some sort of valid defense of a culture? what other insane lies do you sw

      • by icebike (68054)

        There's no way to win this issue without completely destroying these peoples autonomy. Whats worse 100,000 cases of polio or cultural eradication?

        You over state the case.
        You need not eradicate culture to protect against polio. That is simplistic nonsense.

      • by couchslug (175151)

        "Whats worse 100,000 cases of polio or cultural eradication?"

        In the case of Islam, cultural eradication would be desirable in terms of human progress, but is impractical, because Superstition is perfectly evolved to resist outside attack.

        Superstition must be seen to fail then fall from within. "Dead" Gods failed to deliver and were abandoned, because even superstitious beast-man can generally "get" it when his religious construct fails.

        I wouldn't lift a finger to provide medical care to such a culture. Let

      • by Xeranar (2029624)

        100, 000 cases of polio. There, I said it. Cultural eradication in this case would be tragic but inevitable. Especially considering they breed a threat to the world over.

      • by ultranova (717540)

        Whats worse 100,000 cases of polio or cultural eradication?

        100,000 cases of polio. "Cultural eradication" doesn't actually harm anyone, but polio does.

      • by Psyborgue (699890)
        In this case, I think cultural eradication would be a plus... unless you think there is some redeeming value to the taliban. Short term discomfort -- long term stability. This is not saying I would actually support such an endeavor. It's far too expensive and we don't have the stomach for the brutality required to accomplish the task. The soviets did, and had we not interfered in Afghanistan, they would have exterminated the religious caste and we would all be better off. No 9/11. No Taliban, etc...
      • by khallow (566160)

        There's no way to win this issue without completely destroying these peoples autonomy. Whats worse 100,000 cases of polio or cultural eradication?

        This problem exists only because the Taliban, known cultural eradicators [wikipedia.org] are willing to inflict a great deal of harm on their victims in the process.

    • by mspohr (589790) on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:23PM (#42363479)

      Judging from your subject heading, I thought you were talking about the USA and as I read your post, I was thinking that everything you say could be applied to the good old USA so I'm not sure what your point is...?
      TFA seems to have the theory that it was the US operation of a fake polio campaign as part of the effort to get Bin Laden that led to the current Taliban violence against polio workers. Probably a reasonable assumption.
      Also... ignorance is never "all well and good"... and simply any group of oppressed (by their govt., the US govt., their feudal landlords, etc.) people "hillbillies" is ignorant.

      • by gtall (79522)

        The Taliban has been against vaccination long before the bin Laden operation. Let's all be multi-culti and let the hicks overrun the civilized people. Any history of Pakistan would show you the only oppressor in the Pakistan tribal regions has been Islam and its upside down view of women, child marriage, education, etc. Let's also not forget that the wonderful cultural heritage of those regions is also the one that cultivates poppies for heroin production.

        • by jythie (914043) on Friday December 21, 2012 @05:09PM (#42363985)
          Well, there is being against something, and then having a high profile example of exactly what you were paranoid about, which resulted in the assassination off a major figure in your organization... it would be like if it came out that the US government actually was spreading mind control chemicals from jet engines or started sending UN troops to secure little backwater towns. Believing in a conspiracy makes people paranoid, but having actual confirmation of that conspiracy, at least in part, can push people over when it comes to action.
    • by Nadaka (224565)

      This is also true of the hillbilly parts of the US by the way.

    • by runeghost (2509522) on Friday December 21, 2012 @05:24PM (#42364137)
      Perhaps the residents of those "backward regions" know their history? It's full of literally centuries of treaty-breaking, double-dealing, resource exploitation, regicide, land grabs, ethnic cleansing, biological warfare, slavery, and cultural destruction at the hands of white Europeans. Why should they trust us? Because, "When we say it's for your own good, we mean it this time, really"? Add in things like the CIA's little Osama-hunting stunt and Obama's chronic missile-lobbing and the only thing that surprises me is that there isn't of this sort of violence.
    • by EdIII (1114411)

      It's all well and good until said hillbillies start killing people or getting them killed.

      I saw this movie once where the hillbillies did a lot worse than kill some guy. Lesson I learned from it? Anytime you hear banjos, PADDLE FASTER.

    • by Yvanhoe (564877)
      Well, I can't help but feel for the people who are on the field, fighting the conspiracy theories and learning one day that one of these crazy conspiracies was actually right. The CIA through its fake operation gave ammo to opponents to vaccination. This was a totally predictable outcome and a very bad thing to do. Was getting Bin Laden worth the delaying on the extermination of polio? I personally think that this is fucked up priorities.
    • The US must be one giant hillbilly country there. Where is Donald "Batshit Insane" Trump from? For that matter, right here on this site you can find plenty of conspiracy theorists.

      Just yesterday the Nazi Pope released another message of hate unto the world, a message most Americans seem to believe. That homosexuals are the end of humanity or some such bull crap. And plenty here believe it.

      Plenty people in the west also are against vaccinations, including Polio and these fucktards are bringing long dead di

    • by khallow (566160)

      Seems like every backward region I've ever been too has been awash in conspiracy theories, urban legends, and superstitious horseshit.

      That's not at all surprising. What would be surprising is if you had actually been to a place that wasn't backward and hillbilly. I don't know of any on Earth, for example.

    • by AK Marc (707885)
      Is it a conspiracy theory when it's proven that the US used fake vaccine programs to assassinate people in Pakistan? Perhaps the issue is that the US should be tried in international court for war crimes for carrying out military operations under the false flag of medical aid. Instead, they are treated as idiots when they shut down similar operations out of fear of further covert military action.
    • 1) While people believe that the vaccination programs are part of a crazy conspiracy, then children will die.
      2) On at least one occasion, (Osama Bin Laden), the USA has used a vaccination program as part of a conspiracy to find the guy they wanted to kill (and some of his family)
      3) Now we need to convince people that all the _other_ conspiracy theories are crazy and would never happen.
      4) Meanwhile in the same region, the USA (and others?) kill men women and children with rockets from their robot drones

      Why d

  • Biological warfare (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:12PM (#42363301)

    I guess the Taliban have obtained biological weapons of mass destruction after all. They didn't need any fancy technology, just a whole lot of stupidity.

    • Are you a moron, Pakistan has been a nuclear nation for decades and are not run by the Taliban.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MightyMartian (840721)

        The problem is that Pakistan isn't run by anyone, or rather there are two parallel governments and much of the country's chaos stems from the friction and competition between the official civil government and the army on one side and the vast labrythine security services on the other.

  • Find the similarities.

  • Pakistan (Score:2, Insightful)

    by arcite (661011)
    Pakistan is a beautiful country, particularly in the North. And their food is fantastic, the people are hospitable. It is tragic that the government there has little desire or ability to keep a lid on these extremist wackos. Pakistan is indeed a dangerous country.
    • I once read it being referred to as "the country that should never have been."

      The partition of the Subcontinent is a tragedy that is still happening.

  • More info (Score:5, Informative)

    by andy1307 (656570) on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:18PM (#42363403)
    The Pakistani taliban were against the polio campaign before the Abbotabad operation.

    Then there's this: Afghan Taliban support polio vaccination campaign [cnn.com]

    So it's not really fair to blame this on the CIA's operation...

    • Re:More info (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jeng (926980) on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:25PM (#42363499)

      Actually I will blame the CIA.

      They went and took an urban legend and made it true.

      Now when the Taliban says "We killed aid workers because they were spying on us." we can't say they are full of shit anymore.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        Ya, blame the CIA the same way you'd blame the police when a bank crook shoots a hostage.

        I was wondering how many posts it would take for someone to twist this to blame the US for not dancing in a way sensitive to dictatorial murderers.

        The only thing I blame the US for is letting the doctor go to jail instead of rescuing him. This is the US fleeing Vietnam and letting all the South Vietnamese who helped us fall into the hands of the North, writ small.

        • Re:More info (Score:4, Insightful)

          by Jeng (926980) on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:55PM (#42363821)

          No.

          Very stupid bad people used a very paranoid conspiracy theory for the justification of killing people.

          The CIA went and made that conspiracy theory true.

          You can't see how that is a very wrong thing to do?

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward

          GP's point is that it's not a "hillbilly conspiracy theory" if the CIA was actually putting agents in among aid workers. If they did that, they are endangering the aid workers by making them a legitimate target of (admittedly informal) counterintelligence.

          I'd bet $20 that you didn't blame the U.S. military for the deaths of Iraqi civilians back when Saddam had placed his military bases in among them,* but blamed Saddam instead. You'd have been justified, but you can't have it both ways.

          * (Actually,

        • Re:More info (Score:5, Insightful)

          by timeOday (582209) on Friday December 21, 2012 @06:02PM (#42364551)
          Sorry, but no. This operation was equivalent to painting a red cross on your vehicle so you can get closer to the bad guys before opening fire on them. (In fact it was almost precisely that). In doing so, they painted a target on the backs of medical workers for the next 50 years. It's a nightmare come true for Doctors Without Borders and similar organizations, and they have condemned it.
          • by timeOday (582209)
            By the way, I am not claiming by any means that murdering these health workers was justified. I hope Pakistan is able to track them down and throw them in jail. And the future cases of polio that will now occur are an additional tragedy of ignorance.
      • They went and took an urban legend and made it true.

        It's never been an urban legend. The CIA and other intelligence organizations have been doing this for centuries. The bread and butter of their trade is building legitimate covers for their agents, and recruiting folks who are legitimate, and have access to sensitive data or areas.

        A diplomatic mission will always have a few: just look for the ones who are way more intelligent and clever for their official jobs. Journalists? Hell, their real job is to snoop around in places where they have no business.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:18PM (#42363409)

    The summary is screwed up - the fake program used in searching for bin Laden was for hepatitis B, not polio.

  • By killing the UN workers, they are potentially killing thousands of children.

  • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday December 21, 2012 @04:36PM (#42363623) Journal
    India and Pakistan are basically same culturally. Of course, India is largely Hindu but with substantial Muslim population (actually India has more Muslims than Pakistan!) and Pakistan is mostly Muslim. But apart from the religious division, culturally, linguistically, ethnically they are not far apart and they were the same country till 1947. Theoretically Hindus with their caste divisions are supposed to fare worse than casteless Muslim majority Pakistan. But somehow in the last seventy years they have charted a completely different course. Both had the same judicial system, revenue/governance systems, English language, and railways, armed forces inherited from the Brits.

    Pakistan allied itself to NATO and America, allowed its land to be used freely for US spy planes, Voice of America broadcast stations, bought every bit of military hardware US was allowed to export, from Patton Tanks, to F-16s to E-3 Hawk-eyes to stinger missiles to.... India claimed to be a leader of Non-Aligned movement, but in fact it was leaning towards USSR with MIG-21, MIG-23, Sukai, Hind helicopters and T-72 tanks etc.

    But though both countries were mired in poverty, somehow India's democracy thrived. No one would mistake India for a developed country, with its slums and open sewers and congested roads and perennial power cuts and corrupt politicians and periodical flare up of communal violence. But somehow it is emerging out of it, in fits and starts, cornered the cheap back office white collar market, some good IT companies, decent medical systems, eradicated polio, making good progress on other diseases...

    I don't think the difference is religion. I think the difference is government dominated by the military in Pakistan, and civilians in firm control of the military in India. That I think set a completely different social processes, incentives in the economy etc. I think economists should study how this process happened instead of wasting their time out doing one another in forecasting gloom and doom following the fiscal cliff. More and more the economists are looking like Mayans predicting the end of the world at the end of their long count calender.

    • by gtall (79522)

      India and Pakistan both inherited British bureaucracy. That got them off on the wrong foot. The Muslims, as they seem to do everywhere else, cannot stand living in close proximity to non-Muslims so they up and left to East and West Pakistan. East became Bangladesh when they found they didn't care for the crazy West. Given the wars between India and Pakistan, India (under Indira Gandhi) just had to make it worse by letting off a nuke thus showing the Paks they had big dicks. So Pakistan just had to have thei

    • by Attila Dimedici (1036002) on Friday December 21, 2012 @05:04PM (#42363937)
      There was a study done a few years back that I think is related to what you are trying to get at. It was observed that certain groups from that part of the world assimilated into British society more readily than others. In particular they studied people from a particular region on the subcontinent and observed that the non-Muslims assimilated more readily than the Muslims, yet this was not necessarily true of Muslims from other regions(although it was true of a larger fraction of Muslims than other groups). They attempted to determine what was different.
      When they studied the immigrants from that particular region they discovered that while all of them practiced arranged marriages with cousins, the Muslims from that region practiced patrilineal arranged marriages and the non-Muslims practiced Matrilineal arranged marriages. In addition, the clan structure was patrilineal. The effect was that among the non-Muslims, a young woman left her father's clan and married into the clan her mother came from. This tended to encourage relationships across clan boundaries. On the other hand, among the Muslims a young woman stayed within the clan she grew up in when she got married. This tended to encourage clans to remain divided. As far as I know, the practice of patrilineal arranged marriages is not a doctrine of Islam. However, it appears that most Muslim areas practice it. I wish I could remember the reference for the study because the authors made a compelling case that this practice explained the intractability of many of the cultural pathologies of Muslim countries. In addition, the authors brought in how other cultures with a similar patrilineal marriage pattern had similar pathologies, even when the cultures had few other common elements.
      • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Friday December 21, 2012 @07:18PM (#42365393) Journal
        Patrilineal endogamy [*] is not an Islamic doctrine. It is practiced by Muslims in the regions that were once a part of Ottoman Empire. Endogamy in general is encouraged by societies to conserve the family wealth, and to reduce subdivision of land among the heirs. Most eastern countries allow child of a woman to marry the child of her brother. It is less common but not taboo in Europe. Most aristocrats end up marrying their cousins. Even Einstein married his cousin.

        Deleterious (harmful) mutations are lot more common than beneficial mutations. So when the marriage happens between very closely related individuals, the deleterious mutations reduce the fitness of the off spring. But if marriage always happens between very distantly related individuals, the beneficial mutations do not get a chance to take hold. So what is the optimal genetic distance? Jared Diamond mentions that a genetic distance of 1/8 to 1/64 was found to be the optimum. Genetic distance between siblings, parent-child is 0.5. Between first cousins it is 0.125. (0.5 * 0.5 * 0.5). Between second cousins it is 1/64. This was found by genetic analysis of bird populations that are free to choose their mates. The assumption is whatever genetic distance is the most favored or most common would have been the optimum arrived at by millennia of evolution.

        Coming back to the patrilineal endogamy, it explains very well the allegiance of most Iraqis to their sheiks (clan leaders) rather than religion, sect, country. Some people attribute the lack of women's rights in a divorce also sets a completely different social dynamic. But whatever is the root cause, Pakistan is a failed state with nuclear weapons. It can not be left to sort its future out the way we let Angola or Sierra Leon. They got nukes. Either they give up nukes like Ukraine, and other *stans. Or they shape up.

        [*] Patrilineal endogamy: Marriage between children of brothers is allowed. Sometimes encouraged.

        • You confirmed what I believed to be true, that patrilineal endogamy is not an Islamic doctrine. You spent a bit of time explaining the genetic issues with endogamy. My post made the point that societies where a daughter marries the son of her mother's brother (or cousin if her brother does not have a suitable son) have fewer of the social pathologies we often associate with Muslim cultures. On the other hand, societies where a daughter marries the son of her father's brother (or cousin if his brother does n
    • by rgbrenner (317308)

      actually India has more Muslims than Pakistan!

      [citation needed]

      CIA Factbook and Wikipedia disagree with you (160m in India(CIA&wikipedia) VS 180m in pakistan (CIA) or 171m (wikipedia)).

      • OK, so now they have over taken India. Interesting. Some time back, India had the largest muslim population. Then Indonesia overtook it. Now Pakistan too. Thanks for the info. I stand corrected.
    • India is indeed not a simple country and the lack of a Taliban style movement in India amongs it many Muslims is explained by some by the fact that a Muslim in India, despite being among the lowest of the low, STILL has it better then a Muslim in Pakistan. This idea is also present in the Middle East were Muslims in Israel are better off then Muslims in say Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon. Even for the Palestines, you see an unreal connection to Israel, they rely on it for jobs, education, medicine, law and even

  • The font (on OS X Chrome) on this article really makes the headline look like "Pollo Eradication", which I suppose is what they do at "Pollo Campero"!

  • Of COURSE the children are sterile, they havent even reached puberty yet!

    Idiots!

  • look, these people support, and allow their children to succumb to, a toxic disease that criples their prospects and permeates their society. a disease that's been around for a long time, that we've only recently been aware that it's possible to eradicate, and they actively resist attempts to help them rid themselves of it - even killing those that attempt to help.

    and there's also polio.

  • Make sure the locals know that every child crippled or killed by polio is the direct fault of the taliban. They can keep out health workers but not information. The taliban is waging Satan's war against the children of Pakistan. The parents should be actively fighting back. If you know where a taliban lives, kill him in his sleep, poison his food, whatever it takes. His wife will thank you. Shoot them in back. Blow them up with their own bombs. Use your imagination. Every taliban you kill gets you that

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