Reminder: We’re blowing up people in Pakistan

I’m going to borrow a terrific quote from a commenter over at Chris Floyd’s blog:

“There is no logical way to respond to being attacked from a robot in the sky.”

Now, contrast that quote with the intelligence-insulting meme that we’ve been force fed for the past nine years:

“They hate us for our freedom.”

Now read all about America’s latest death by remote control extravaganza that killed “at least 24 alleged insurgents,” and tell me just how the fuck you would react if one second you were minding your own business, in your own country, and the next, you were watching body parts fly past you, at the behest of some asshole 7,000 miles away.

(Note: the bold in the article below was added by me for emphasis)

Missile attack kills 24
* From correspondents in Parachinar
* From: AP
* May 12, 2010 5:15AM

TWO separate volleys of American missiles slammed into a Taliban sanctuary in Pakistan close to the Afghan border overnight, killing at least 24 alleged insurgents in the latest such strikes since a failed car bombing in New York, officials said.

The first strike in North Waziristan involved up to 18 missiles – an unusually intense bombardment.

They struck cars, homes and tents across a wide area in the Doga area, where insurgents have hideouts and training facilities, killing 14 alleged militants, two intelligence officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Hours later, another pair of missiles hit a compound in the Gorwek area of North Waziristan killing another 10 suspected insurgents, including the brother of a reputed Taliban commander, Maulvi Kalam.

The identities of the rest of the people killed in the attacks were not immediately known.

North Waziristan has been the target of nearly all of the about 30 American missile attacks in Pakistan this year. In recent months it has become a new haven for militants who fled a Pakistani army offensive in their previous stronghold, neighbouring South Waziristan.

The two strikes overnight took to four the number of such attacks since Pakistani-American Faisal Shahzad was arrested after allegedly abandoning a bomb-laden SUV in Times Square. He has reportedly told investigators that he received training in Waziristan and US officials have said evidence showed the Pakistani Taliban played a role in the plot.

Pakistan officially protests the missile strikes on its territory as violations of its sovereignty, but it is believed to aid at least some of them. They have killed hundreds of people, most of them identified by Pakistani officials as alleged insurgents.

Transparent investigations into allegations of civilian casualties sustained in the attacks are not carried out.

The US rarely discusses the strikes fired from unmanned drones, which are part of a covert CIA program, much less who they are targeting and on what grounds. Critics say the attacks may violate international law and amount to extrajudicial killings.

US claims that the Pakistani Taliban were behind the May 1 failed car bombing in Times Square have added pressure on Pakistan’s government to launch an army attack on the militant sanctuaries of North Waziristan, but few expect its stretched army to rush into any operation there.

New calls from Washington could backfire because they would create the impression the force was acting on the orders of America – a perception that would undercut the public support needed for such an operation to be successful.

Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi said overnight relations between the two countries remained sound following the Times Square incident.

“There’s nothing to worry (about), our relationship is smooth and it is moving toward a partnership,” he said.

The Pakistani Taliban, which have previously not conducted attacks on US soil, have been the target of several Pakistani army offensives over the last two years in addition to the scores of American missile strikes. They are allied to al-Qaeda, which has also found sanctuary in the northwest, and the Afghan Taliban just across the border.

The army has not moved into North Waziristan in part because powerful insurgent commanders there have generally not attacked targets in Pakistan. In recent months, however, fleeing fighters and commanders from the Pakistani Taliban – which have launched scores of bloody suicide attacks around the country since 2007 – have moved there.


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