Editorial - American contempt - Sunday, March 20, 2011

Source : http://thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=37216&Cat=8

The human operator of the drone which fired the missiles which killed about 44 people in North Waziristan would have watched the event on a live video feed. He or she would have been far away, perhaps somewhere in Afghanistan or in the CIA HQ at Langley, Virginia, or even somewhere here in Pakistan. The operator would be flying the mission on the basis of real-time intelligence either electronic or human or a combination of both; and would have reconnoitred the site before pressing the ‘fire’ button. They would have known what they were firing at, how many people were present in the target area and what the outcome would be - missiles fired from drones very rarely miss what they are aimed at. There are reports that the target was a vehicle which just happened to be passing a house where there was a jirga meeting to resolve a dispute over the operating rights of a chromite mine; and the deaths of 44 men is just another piece of collateral damage which has blasted yet another hole in American credibility in the eyes of the people. It is unusual to have such a large number of fatal casualties in a single incident, and equally unusual that the strongest possible condemnation has come not only from senior political figures but from Chief of Army Staff General Kayani. Coming as it does so close to the release of Raymond Davis, it is hard not to see this as a blatant contempt by America for us and our sovereignty. Incidents such as this are the best recruiting sergeants the extremists could ever have, and the drone attacks drive a steady stream of young and very angry people straight into the arms of those who are more than happy to train and equip them. Is it any wonder that extremism thrives like the poisonous plant that it is when it is fed a daily diet of Hellfire missiles? We add our voice to those condemning this despicable piece of casual brutality. This country is not a free-fire zone for America or its proxies. US Ambassador Cameron Munter was called in to the Foreign Office on Friday afternoon for a conversation unlikely to have been comfortable, and we have withdrawn from the trilateral talks on Afghanistan to be held in Brussels on March 26. The tribesmen of the area have now collectively declared war on America and there is a sense that this truly was a drone strike too far. Actions have consequences. And the extremists will be looking at the body count with a cynical satisfaction, knowing the recruits will come knocking on their doors in the days to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment