Malala to Obama: US use of drones is 'fueling terrorism'



She’s just a courageous individual no matter which way you look at it. I wish her a long and healthy life.


Thank you Xeni for focusing in your title on her principled and important criticism of U.S. drones, instead of her victimization at the hands of the Taliban. The latter is all too easy to criticize, and the former is all too rarely criticized (in the U.S., that is).


I think Obama should give his peace prize to her.


US use of drones is terrorism.


Is the Nobel Committee just trolling at this point? Their recent choices of prize seem to focus on the establishment and ridiculously optimistic or one-sided views about the results of someone’s actions. Al Gore was chosen because “wouldn’t it be nice if everyone was more environmentally responsible?” Obama because “wouldn’t it be nice if governments all just got along?”. The OPCW because “we are now in a situation in which we can do away with a whole category of weapons of mass destruction,” It would be nice to see a more realistic appraisal of what people actually do, as this sort of hyperbole and attempt to influence world governments through the prize is getting tiresome.


I will respectfully disagree. The peace prize means nothing now. It was handed out with no merit and basically no history of leadership at that point. Although you may consider peace to be an intangible, you still don’t hand out a reward as a bribe, hoping it is a self-fulfilling prophesy. If it is difficult to quantify with world leaders, then don’t hand it out to world leaders. Hand it out to people like Gandhi, or even the little people who actually strive for peace. Know what I mean?


I actually don’t think that this year’s choice was a bad one. This is a group that has done and is doing important work to promote peace. They also show courage and commitment by working in environments that are very dangerous. However, it’s the way that continuing efforts are almost seen as a single handed and completed mission. The organisation supposedly “defined the use of chemical weapons as a taboo under international law”, while chemical weapons have already been taboo for almost a century. They certainly defended the taboo and should be commended for that, but we are not in a situation where we can do away with chemical weapons as a category of weapons of mass destruction, in that chemical weapons were used as recently as a couple of months ago, and nothing is really stopping another country from using them again either. This is even more true for Al Gore and Obama - we might want to support a trend that is promoted by a famous person, but we should expect them to prove their commitment to peace under pressure before we put them on display as heroes of peace. On the other hand, if all we want to do is express our wish for a better future, giving a prize to a specific person is more of a distraction, especially if they prove to be a disappointment in the future…



It’s like Bizzaro world that he got it in the first place.


I mantain tht while Obama deserved a nomination as a feel good thing he had done nothing by that point to deserve the actual award/prize. Any actions after that point are not up for discussio nbecause at that point in time… Nothing.

This woman. She has gone through victimization, assualt/attempted murder to try bringing forward education and enlightenment of world issues people might not be aware of. I am in the ‘obama needs to give her his medal in a public ceramony’ camp.


In spite of “her” fight is extremely lovable and needed in the Swat region, we should not be blind of the machinery behind Malala. This started a few years ago with a BBC local office looking for a blogger to write over the Swat region and her father appeared there proposing his daughter when she was eight I believe. I want to believe those first blog posing was hers indeed.

Nonetheless, it is hard to believe that a girl from the SWAT has such a strong dominion of English (rarely used in Swat) not to mention that an 8 yrs old is truly conscious of that. But what I find inexplicable is that a father, knowing of the high risk, allows his daughter acquire such a high antagonistic profile while living there. Finally, she was probably not shot for “advocating education for girls", that many people do in Pakistan, but most likely for being a frequent the spearhead of meetings organized by the Pakistani army and foreign agencies alike around these areas. As a parent, even for this needed cause, I would not let my young child take that risk, let alone let her being used by the army, would you?

Oh sorry, our signals got crossed, I was talking specifically about Obama receiving the award.

I believe it is possible. Read the other article about the 9 year old supervisor in a sweat shop. Life can make you mature way beyond your years depending on circumstances.


I’d like to see people start replacing “drones” in their articles with words like assassination, or, like you said, terrorism. For some reason the media prefers to vilify military technology rather than policy.

Really, what’s the difference between using a drone, a cruise missile, or a manned aircraft? Not much other than how much it costs to kill your target, and how much risk your operator is at.


Since when does anyone not directly involved know who was nominated?

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Sadly I think there hasn’t been anyone truly deserving of a peace prize for years so they just gave them to the runners up

Sadly the mindset in the US is “Use some super-duper SEAL team to get the top bad guy and everything will be fine and we won’t have to confront our own issues or engage anyone.” Seems like every other week we’ve murdered or kidnapped someone who supposedly is the boss of the bad guys.

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Good on her. Stewart is one of the worst neoliberal warhawks on television.


First, her initial writing was apparently in Urdu, starting when she was ten or eleven. That’s plenty old enough to write in your own language. That’s also the age when English becomes more prominent in education generally.

You need to understand the social stratification in the subcontinent - I think it’s the same in India as well as Pakistan. For the middle and upper middle classes, which Malala’s family definitely belongs to, knowledge of English is a prized possession. We get sent to schools where the medium of instruction is English, even as we learn our mother tongue at home, or as a second language at school. Many of us are bilingual, quite a few even trilingual, and most of us are more comfortable writing in English. Don’t forget, her father is a school principal - hardly a case of an illiterate tribesman’s daughter.

Let’s not try to create false equivalence - shooting a thirteen year old for saying something you don’t like is still shooting a thirteen year old for saying something you don’t like. Whatever other issues there are, the Taliban have once more revealed themselves to be a bunch of craven assholes who can only bully people into submission, not debate with them. There may be other issues with her backing or funding, but no conspiracy by any theory ever justifies shooting a child in cold blood.


Think of it as the “Nobel Neutrality Prize”, or maybe the “Nobel Status Quo Prize” and it starts making sense. It’s given out only to people who are part of the global structure, not to those who would really make waves.

The list of those who didn’t get it includes Gandhi. The list of those who did includes Henry Kissinger (on the basis that if he hadn’t stopped bombing Vietnam, we’d be in even worse shape). Apparently, the prize has been seen as this since it was established!