In her UN speech on July this year, the young girl said:
“Thousands of people have been killed by the terrorists and millions have been injured. I am just one of them. So here I stand, one girl among many. I speak not for myself, but so those without a voice can be heard. Those who have fought for their rights. Their right to live in peace. Their right to be treated with dignity. Their right to equality of opportunity. Their right to be educated.”
If only she had said that the Taliban kill children, so do the Americans, the Brits and other western forces, her speech would have got universal applause. Perhaps, her speechwriters or those who are coaching this teenage international celebrity apparently did not want her to tarnish the West. If she could speak of child labour in India, closure of schools in Nigeria, poverty, child marriage and other social injustices, surely she could have also spoken of the hundreds of children who had been killed in US drone attacks in her own country and that too close to her home district, Swat. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, more than 200 children, including girls, have been killed in US drone attacks in Pakistan and Yemen. In neighbouring Afghanistan, 4.8 children are killed every day in violence linked to the US occupation of the country.
She said the Taliban bomb schools, but she should know that invading American troops also had little respect for schools in Iraq. How can Malala or her speechwriters ignore the fact that the War in Fallujah, Iraq had its origins in a protest launched by parents demanding that some 900 US troops who had been occupying Al- Qaid primary school vacate the premises and let the children go to school? The American troops killed seventeen Iraqi parents who were fighting for their children’s right to education – a cause Malala is now championing.
Malala should also know that in Swat and other Taliban-infested areas, children are born, they grow up, they play and they reach adulthood, education or no education. But in Fallujah, every other child is born with a birth defect. This is because the Americans used bombs containing cancer-causing depleted uranium and white phosphorous to repress the freedom struggle there. An Iraqi doctor says it’s common now in Fallujah for newborns to come out with massive multiple systemic defects, immune problems, massive central nervous system problems, massive heart problems, skeletal disorders … babies being born with two heads, babies being born with half of their internal organs outside of their bodies, cyclops babies literally with one eye – “really, really, really horrific nightmarish types of birth defects”.
The Pakistani teenager can be excused for not knowing what the US-led foreign troops did in Iraq in their war for oil. She was just a six year old child when the Americans launched their illegal war on Iraq. Malala was just a nine-year-old girl when in 2006, 14-year-old Abeer Qassim Hamza al-Janabi was gang-raped by five US soldiers in Mahmudiyah, Iraq before she and her parents and her six-year- old sister were killed by them. Evil has many manifestations. The TTP horror is one. The horrors committed by those who go fight the TTP are another. Yet the evil that triumphs presents itself as the paragon of all virtues. In this deception, injustice is seen as justice, invasion as liberation and robbery as charity. She was born at a time when hundreds of thousands of Iraqi children had died or were dying due to crippling economic sanctions which the UN Security Council had slapped on Iraq at the behest of countries which now want to take Malala to all the amusement parks in the world.