These attacks must stop. How can we not see that the damage we cause should rule out measures such as drone attacks? We pose as the protectors of freedom in Libya while bombing Pakistani villages. It doesn’t make sense.
U.S. to continue Pakistan strikes despite protests
Alex Rodriguez, Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2011, http://tinyurl.com/5rlrj25
A U.S. missile strike in Pakistan’s North Waziristan region killed at least 25 people Friday, sending a clear sign that Washington’s use of drones against militants along the Afghan border will continue despite rising opposition from Islamabad’s top civilian and military leaders.
The strike in the village of Spinwam came two days after Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, held tense talks with Pakistani army chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani amid a pall of mistrust that has weakened relations between Washington and Islamabad in recent months.
After their session in Islamabad on Wednesday, Kayani repeated Pakistan’s opposition to the use of drones, saying the strikes “not only undermine our national effort against terrorism but turn public support against our efforts.”
Pakistan intensified its criticism of the drone campaign after a March 17 strike killed more than 40 people in the North Waziristan village of Datta Khel. Pakistani military leaders said that missile strike killed civilian tribal elders meeting to discuss a dispute over local mining rights, though the U.S. maintains that the people killed were militants. The Datta Khel strike came a day after the release of Raymond Davis, the CIA contractor whose arrest in connection with the shooting deaths of two Pakistanis brought relations between Washington and Islamabad to one of their lowest points in years.
Officials in North Waziristan said Friday’s strike killed 18 suspected militants, though seven of the dead were civilians – three women and four children. Four missiles were fired, two of which struck a guest house with the suspected militants, the officials said. The other two missiles hit another building where the women and children were.
Washington views drone strikes as one of its most effective tactics against al Qaeda and Taliban militants in Pakistan’s largely ungoverned tribal badlands along the Afghan border.
Most of the strikes have been concentrated on North Waziristan, the only tribal district where the Pakistani army has yet to launch a major military operation. The Haqqani network, an Afghan Taliban wing responsible for many attacks on U.S., NATO and Afghan security forces, relies on North Waziristan as a base.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/04/22/MN921J5V20.DTL#ixzz1KdyvrkmD