It would seem only natural that the presumed arbiters of the world would see their greetings and congratulations as the natural pinnacle of success for any they deem a global hero. And such is the case of now Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai who has been given an audience with US President Barack Obama (also a Nobel Peace Prize recipient) to be congratulated on for having “inspired people around the world with her determined efforts for girls’ right to education.”
Malala Yousafzai was thrust into headlines when she was attacked and nearly killed in 2012 by Taliban militants in an attempt to stop her advocacy of greater access to education for children, and young girls in particular.
But even as US President Barack Obama offered his empty words of congratulations to the young activist, the United States military and its intelligence agencies were busy along the Afghan-Pakistani border killing “suspected militants” alongside scores of innocent civilians, men, women and children just like Malala Yousafzai herself. In headlines the very same day as President Obama’s meeting with Malala Yousafzai it would be reported that 2 more would be killed in a “suspected US drone attack.”
Killing Civilians in a War Against Militants of America’s Own Creation
Indeed, Malala Yousafzai was set up, because even the story of how she started her career in activism is troublesome. The now 17 year old young woman began writing as an even younger schoolgirl in Paksitan’s troubled Swat Valley, though not on her own, but as a part of a propaganda ploy by British news network, the BBC.
Time Magazine would report in an article titled, “Pakistani Heroine: How Malala Yousafzai Emerged from Anonymity,” that, “in late 2008, when Khan and his colleagues had discussed a novel way of covering the Taliban’s growing influence in Swat: Why not find a schoolgirl to blog anonymously about her life there? Their correspondent in Peshawar, Abdul Hai Kakar, had been in touch with a local schoolteacher, Ziauddin Yousafzai, but couldn’t find any students willing to do it. It was too dangerous, their families said. Finally, Yousafzai suggested his own daughter, 11-year-old Malala.”
Instead of professional journalists simply reporting the facts, the BBC decided to find the most manipulative and emotional means imaginable to sell Western talking points to Pakistani audiences… using a little girl as bait. It is unlikely Malala wrote on her own, and was instead coached by her exploitative, manipulative handlers. These handlers at the BBC were ultimately those responsible for her being attacked and nearly killed several years later, and have used her both to advance their own individual careers as well as the BBC’s reach into Pakistani domestic and expatriate audiences.
Malala Yousafzai is indeed brave, and indeed a remarkable, capable young woman. Unfortunately she has become the centerpiece in a campaign of manipulating Pakistan and neighboring Afghanistan’s ongoing crisis, as well as manipulating global perception of this regional conflict. The very people who set her up, nearly got her killed and are now exploiting her widespread fame upon receiving the Nobel Peace Prize represent the conspirators who have created and are intentionally perpetuating violence on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border. These same people are wantonly killing Malala Yousafzai’s fellow Pakistanis, innocent men, women, and children.
It is unlikely that Malala Yousafzai would have gained the prominence she has achieved today if her crusade was instead exposing the injustice and mass murder of America’s drone campaign against her fellow Pakistanis. It is unlikely she would be holding the Nobel Peace Prize or sitting down with the President of the United States if she had challenged the BBC and other Western media networks in their biased, skewed, and inadequate coverage of American drone strikes on her country.
Indeed, just as the conflict itself is a manifestation of the West’s greed, meddling, depravity and all else that infects the minds of hegemons, the exploitation of Malala Yousafzai is not something to celebrate or congratulate, but rather mourn. Real progress and real issues will fade into the shadows along with the injustice being brought upon Pakistan by years of drones strafing and murdering its civilians, as the West manipulatively makes Malala Yousafzai’s story, rather than the story of hundreds if not thousands of mass murdered civilians, the center of the Pakistan’s narrative.
Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.