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Offline Optimus

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http://route24.freehost10.com/index.php/world-at-war/pakistan/suspected-us-missile-strike-kills-10-in-pakistan.html


Suspected US missile strike kills 10 in Pakistan

By MUNIR AHMAD – Jan. 23, 2009

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — Missiles fired from a suspected U.S. spy plane killed 10 people Friday in Pakistan just east of the Afghan border, security officials said, the first such strike since the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

At least five of the dead were identified as foreign militants, an intelligence officer said.

The missile strike on the lawless region where al-Qaida militants are known to hide out is the latest in a barrage of more than 30 since the middle of last year.

Pakistan's pro-U.S. leaders had expressed hope Obama would halt the attacks, which have reportedly killed several top al-Qaida operatives but triggered anger at the government by nationalist and Muslim critics.

Islamabad routinely protests the strikes in the northwest as a violation of the country's sovereignty, but most observers speculate it has an unwritten agreement allowing them to take place, noting it would be highly damaging to be seen as colluding with Washington in attacks on its people.

One drone fired three missiles into the village of Zharki in North Waziristan, hitting two buildings over the space of 10 minutes, the security officials said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

At least 10 people were killed, they said. Their names were not released.

The United States rarely acknowledges firing the missiles, which are mostly fired from drones believed launched from neighboring Afghanistan, but there is little doubt it is responsible.

Washington is pressing Pakistan to crackdown on militants in the border, which it blames for rising attacks on Western troops in Afghanistan as well as violence within Pakistan.

Earlier Friday, a suicide attack and a roadside bomb killed two soldiers and three civilians in the Swat Valley, a one-time tourist destination close to the border region, officials said.

Pakistan has launched military offensives in parts of the northwest, but insurgents are making inroads Swat, blowing up schools, killing police and soldiers and calling for the imposition of a hardline interpretation of Islamic law.

Militancy in Swat is seen as especially dangerous for Pakistan because the valley lies away from the areas where al-Qaida and the Taliban have traditionally operated.

An indication of the difficulties facing the government, more than 1,000 hard-liners demonstrated in the capital, saying there would only be peace in Swat and other frontier regions if the government severs its ties with the United States.

"The lawlessness cannot end until the end of the pro-America policy," one speaker told the crowd gathered close to the Parliament building in Islamabad.


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http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hkiMxbHNH0BqgpWA2ZG6VD6wVTmAD95SUIO00

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Offline Optimus

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http://route24.freehost10.com/index.php/world-at-war/pakistan/at-least-20-killed-in-twin-us-attacks-in-waziristan.html


At Least 20 Killed in Twin US Attacks in Waziristan

Several Others Injured in First Obama-era Attack
Posted January 23, 2009

A pair of missile strikes from American drones into Pakistan’s North and South Waziristan Agencies have killed at least 20 people, and injured an unknown number of others. This marks the first cross-border attack by US forces since President Obama took office on Tuesday.

Three missiles were fired at a house and another nearby building in Zera, North Waziristan killing 10 people and injuring many others. At least five of those killed in this incident were described by Pakistani officials as “foreign militants.”

Later, two other missiles were fired at a house in Wana, South Waziristan, also killing at least ten people. The identities of those killed was not readily apparent.

President Obama was a long time advocate of strikes into Pakistani territory, but the Pakistani government, which has publicly protested against such attacks, had expressed hope that the new administration might halt the attacks. The drone strikes have killed hundreds of people over the past several months, both militants and civilians. The United States rarely publicly admits to the attacks, part of what some in the media have dubbed a “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” understanding between them and Pakistan’s civilian government.


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http://news.antiwar.com/2009/01/23/at-least-20-killed-in-twin-us-attacks-in-waziristan/

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Offline Optimus

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as Obama orders more attacks
« Reply #2 on: January 23, 2009, 12:25:58 pm »
January 23, 2009

President Obama 'orders Pakistan drone attacks'
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article5575883.ece


(US Air Force/EPA)
A Predator drone

Tim Reid in Washington

Missiles fired from suspected US drones killed at least 15 people inside Pakistan today, the first such strikes since Barack Obama became president and a clear sign that the controversial military policy begun by George W Bush has not changed.

Security officials said the strikes, which saw up to five missiles slam into houses in separate villages, killed seven "foreigners" - a term that usually means al-Qaeda - but locals also said that three children lost their lives.

Dozens of similar strikes since August on northwest Pakistan, a hotbed of Taleban and al-Qaeda militancy, have sparked angry government criticism of the US, which is targeting the area with missiles launched from unmanned CIA aircraft controlled from operation rooms inside the US.

The operations were stepped up last year after frustration inside the Bush administration over a perceived failure by Islamabad to stem the flow of Taleban and al-Qaeda fighters from the tribal regions into Afghanistan. Mr Obama has made Afghanistan his top foreign policy priority and said during his presidential campaign that he would consider military action inside Pakistan if the government there was unable or unwilling to take on the militants.

The strikes come just a day after Mr Obama appointed Richard Holbrooke, a former UN ambassador, as a special envoy for the region.

Eight people died when missiles hit a compound near Mir Ali, an al-Qaeda hub in Pakistan's North Waziristan region. Seven more died when hours later two missiles hit a house in Wana, in South Waziristan. Local officials said the target in Wana was a guest house owned by a pro-Taleban tribesman. One said that as well as three children, the tribesman's relatives were killed in the blast.

Pakistan has objected to such attacks, saying they are a violation of its territory that undermines its efforts to tackle militants. Since September, the US is estimated to have carried out about 30 such attacks, killing more than 220 people.
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people,
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Offline Treseler

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as Obama orders more attacks
« Reply #3 on: January 23, 2009, 11:15:39 pm »
Wowzaz.. Tell all the people that are up Obaaamas rear to read this. Theres your hope for change..

As Darth Vader always said.. "Hope... Hope..."

Offline Biggs

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as Obama orders more attacks
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2009, 07:59:10 am »
U.S. bombs Pakistan, 18 reported dead
 
http://www.thestar.com/News/World/article/576172
 
Air strikes against suspected Al Qaeda hideouts are first since Obama sworn in
Jan 23, 2009 02:04 PM
Comments on this story  (29)
Chris Brummitt
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS



ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Suspected U.S. missiles killed 18 people on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border today in the first such attacks on the militant stronghold since President Barack Obama took office, Pakistani officials said.

At least five foreign militants were among those killed in the strikes by unmanned aircraft in two parts of the frontier region, an intelligence official said without naming them. There was no information on the identities of the others.

Pakistan's leaders had expressed hope Obama might halt the strikes, but few observers expected he would end a tactic that U.S. officials claim has killed several top al-Qaida operatives and is denying the group a safe haven on the Pakistani side.

The United States has staged more than 30 missile strikes inside Pakistan since August – a barrage seen as a sign of frustration in Washington over Islamabad's failed efforts to curb militants it blames for violence in Afghanistan.

Pakistan publicly protests the strikes in the northwest as violations of its sovereignty that often kill civilians and undermine its own campaign against insurgents also accused of launching bloody attacks on targets inside Pakistan.

But many observers believe the government secretly agrees with the tactic and may provide intelligence on the targets, noting that Islamabad's admitting to assisting the attacks would be politically damaging.

The first attack today took place in the village of Zharki in North Waziristan, when a single drone fired three missiles in the space of 10 minutes, the security officials said.

The missiles destroyed two buildings, killing 10 people, at least five of whom were foreign militants, the officials said on condition of anonymity.

Hours later, a second missile struck a house in South Waziristan, killing eight people, the officials said, giving no more details.

The United States does not acknowledge firing the missiles, which are believed to be mostly fired from drones operated by the CIA and launched from neighbouring Afghanistan.

According to an AP tally based on accounts from Pakistani security officials, at least 263 people – most of them alleged militants – have been killed in the strikes since last August.

A U.S. strike on New Years Eve killed two Kenyans said to be among al-Qaida's top operatives on the FBI's most-wanted terrorist list, an American official said recently.

Gen. David Petraeus, the U.S. military commander in charge of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, told The AP late last year that at least three top insurgent leaders had been killed in recent months due to the missile strikes.

Pakistan's government has little control over the border region, which is considered a likely hiding place for al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden and other terror leaders.

Obama is making the war in Afghanistan and the intertwined al-Qaida fight in Pakistan his top foreign policy priority. He has not commented on the missile strike policy, but struck a hawkish tone during his election campaign.

On Thursday, he named former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke a special envoy to both countries, an appointment welcomed by Pakistan's government.

In a statement, the country's foreign office said it "looked forward to enhanced and fruitful engagement with the special envoy to further the cause of peace and stability of the region."

Earlier today, a suicide attack and a roadside bomb killed two soldiers and three civilians in the Swat Valley, a one-time tourist destination close to the border region, officials said.

Pakistan has launched military offensives in parts of the northwest, but insurgents are making inroads in Swat, blowing up schools, killing police and soldiers and calling for the imposition of a hard line interpretation of Islamic law.

Militancy in Swat is seen as especially dangerous for Pakistan because the valley lies away from the areas where al-Qaida and the Taliban have traditionally operated.

An indication of the difficulties facing the government, more than 1,000 hardliners demonstrated in the capital today, saying there would only be peace in Swat and other frontier regions if the government severs its ties with the United States.

"The lawlessness cannot end until the end of the pro-America policy," one speaker told the crowd gathered close to the Parliament building in the capital.
STOP THE KILLING NOW
END THE CRIMINAL SIEGE OF GAZA - FREE PALESTINE!!!!!!!

Offline Optimus

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2009, 09:07:18 am »
2 U.S. Airstrikes Offer a Concrete Sign of Obama's Pakistan Policy
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/23/AR2009012304189.html
By R. Jeffrey Smith, Candace Rondeaux and Joby Warrick
Washington Post Staff Writers
Saturday, January 24, 2009; Page A01

Two remote U.S. missile strikes that killed at least 20 people at suspected terrorist hideouts in northwestern Pakistan yesterday offered the first tangible sign of President Obama's commitment to sustained military pressure on the terrorist groups there, even though Pakistanis broadly oppose such unilateral U.S. actions.

The shaky Pakistani government of Asif Ali Zardari has expressed hopes for warm relations with Obama, but members of Obama's new national security team have already telegraphed their intention to make firmer demands of Islamabad than the Bush administration, and to back up those demands with a threatened curtailment of the plentiful military aid that has been at the heart of U.S.-Pakistani ties for the past three decades.

The separate strikes on two compounds, coming three hours apart and involving five missiles fired from Afghanistan-based Predator drone aircraft, were the first high-profile hostile military actions taken under Obama's four-day-old presidency. A Pakistani security official said in Islamabad that the strikes appeared to have killed at least 10 insurgents, including five foreign nationals and possibly even "a high-value target" such as a senior al-Qaeda or Taliban official.

It remained unclear yesterday whether Obama personally authorized the strike or was involved in its final planning, but military officials have previously said the White House is routinely briefed about such attacks in advance.

At his daily White House briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs declined to answer questions about the strikes, saying, "I'm not going to get into these matters." Obama convened his first National Security Council meeting on Pakistan and Afghanistan yesterday afternoon, after the strike.

The Pakistani government, which has loudly protested some earlier strikes, was quiet yesterday. In September, U.S. and Pakistani officials reached a tacit agreement to allow such attacks to continue without Pakistani involvement, according to senior officials in both countries.

But some Pakistanis have said they expect a possibly bumpy diplomatic stretch ahead.

"Pakistan hopes that Obama will be more patient while dealing with Pakistan," Husain Haqqani, Pakistan's ambassador to Washington, said in an interview Wednesday with Pakistan's Geo television network. "We will review all options if Obama does not adopt a positive policy towards us." He urged Obama to "hear us out."

At least 132 people have been killed in 38 suspected U.S. missile strikes inside Pakistan since August, all conducted by the CIA, in a ramped-up effort by the outgoing Bush administration.

Obama's August 2007 statement -- that he favored taking direct action in Pakistan against potential threats to U.S. security if Pakistani security forces do not act -- made him less popular in Pakistan than in any other Muslim nation polled before the election.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton indicated during her Senate confirmation hearing that the new administration will not relent in holding Pakistan to account for any shortfalls in the continuing battle against extremists.

Linking Pakistan with neighboring Afghanistan "on the front line of our global counterterrorism efforts," Clinton told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "we will use all the elements of our powers -- diplomacy, development and defense -- to work with those . . . who want to root out al-Qaeda, the Taliban and other violent extremists." She also said those in Pakistan who do not join the effort will pay a price, adding a distinctly new element to the long-standing U.S. effort to lure Pakistan closer to the West.

In blunt terms in her written answers to the committee's questions, Clinton pledged that Washington will "condition" future U.S. military aid on Pakistan's efforts to close down terrorist training camps and evict foreign fighters. She also demanded that Pakistan "prevent" the continued use of its historically lawless northern territories as a sanctuary by either the Taliban or al-Qaeda. And she promised that Washington would provide all the support Pakistan needs if it specifically goes after targets such as Osama bin Laden, who is believed to be using Pakistani mountains as a hideout.

At the same time, Clinton pledged to triple nonmilitary aid to Pakistan, long dwarfed by the more than $6 billion funneled to Pakistani military forces under President George W. Bush through the Pentagon's counterterrorism office in Islamabad.

"The conditioning of military aid is substantially different," as is the planned boost of economic aid, said Daniel Markey, a Council on Foreign Relations senior fellow who handled South Asian matters on the State Department's policy planning staff from 2003 to 2007.

Bush's focus on military aid to a Pakistani government that was led by an army general until August eventually drew complaints in both countries that much of the funding was spent without accountability or, instead of being used to root out terrorists, was diverted to forces intended for a potential conflict with India.

A study in 2007 by the Center for Strategic and International Studies reported that economic, humanitarian and development assistance under Bush amounted to no more than a quarter of all aid, less than in most countries.

The criticism helped provoke a group of senators who now have powerful new roles -- Joseph R. Biden Jr., Clinton and Obama -- to co-sponsor legislation last July requiring that more aid be targeted at political pluralism, the rule of law, human and civil rights, and schools, public health and agriculture.

It also would have allowed U.S. weapons sales and other military aid only if the secretary of state certified that Pakistani military forces were making "concerted efforts" to undermine al-Qaeda and the Taliban. In her confirmation statement, Clinton reiterated her support for such a legislative restructuring of the aid program, while reaffirming that she opposed any "blank check."

Some Pakistanis have been encouraged by indications that Obama intends to increase aid to the impoverished country, said Shuja Nawaz, a Pakistani who directs the South Asia Center of the Washington-based Atlantic Council of the United States. Nawaz said Pakistanis may be willing to overlook an occasional missile lobbed at foreign terrorists if Obama makes a sincere attempt to improve conditions in Pakistan.

"He can't just focus on military achievements; he has to win over the people," Nawaz said. "Relying on military strikes will not do the trick." Attaching conditions to the aid is wise, Nawaz said, because "people are more cognizant of the need for accountability -- for 'tough love.' "
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xfahctor

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as Obama orders more attacks
« Reply #6 on: January 24, 2009, 09:30:42 am »
Wowzaz.. Tell all the people that are up Obaaamas rear to read this. Theres your hope for change..

As Darth Vader always said.. "Hope... Hope..."
Bizzarely eough (or maybe not so bizzare) is that there is nearly ZERO coverage by the msm of protests in the middle east over this attack. Normaly we would be inundated on the news by hoards of people chanting death to the usa, etc, etc. Now, they are strangely silent on this coverage.

Offline Triadtropz

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #7 on: January 24, 2009, 09:42:16 am »
these drones carry only 2 missles,..wheres all the firepower coming from?..and what makes you think they check with obama?.. :o
one man with courage makes a majority..TJ

xfahctor

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2009, 09:46:37 am »
these drones carry only 2 missles,..wheres all the firepower coming from?.. :o
youd be suprised how much firepower is packed in to those 2 missles.

Offline Optimus

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #9 on: January 24, 2009, 09:58:38 am »
these drones carry only 2 missles,..wheres all the firepower coming from?..and what makes you think they check with obama?.. :o


From the last article I posted
Quote
It remained unclear yesterday whether Obama personally authorized the strike or was involved in its final planning, but military officials have previously said the White House is routinely briefed about such attacks in advance.

Obama probably doesn't order each individual strike personaly, but it is his policy to continue attacking Pakistan. As Commander-in-chief of the military, he can either put a stop to the attacks or let them continue and also gets briefed on military operations. But being a puppet, he has his orders from his handlers as well.
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people,
it's an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” – Patrick Henry

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Offline Optimus

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2009, 02:13:34 pm »
Obama endorses missile attacks
http://www.dawn.com/2009/01/25/top3.htm
By Anwar Iqbal

WASHINGTON, Jan 24: Hours after US missiles killed 22 people in Fata, President Barack Obama convened a meeting of his top national security advisers and endorsed the decision to continue drone strikes into Pakistan.

The US media, quoting unidentified official sources, reported that the first meeting of Mr Obama’s National Security Council focused on Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The New York Times reported on Saturday that the decision to attack alleged terrorist targets in Fata on Friday “dispelled for the moment any notion that Mr Obama would rein in the Predator attacks.”

The Washington Post noted that the strikes “offered the first tangible sign of President Obama’s commitment to sustained military pressure on the terrorist groups” in Fata.

At his daily White House briefing, press secretary Robert Gibbs declined to answer questions about the strikes, saying: “I’m not going to get into these matters.”

Remotely piloted Predator drones operated by the Central Intelligence Agency have carried out 28 missile attacks in Fata since last summer, killing at least 132 people.

The NYT, quoting Pakistani officials, reported that as many as 100 of them were civilians.

Although US and Pakistani officials insist that the missiles targeted Al Qaeda and Taliban suspects, many civilians were also killed in the attacks, making it harder for the country’s shaky government to win support for its decision to join the US-led war against terror.

After Friday’s strikes, a Pakistani security official said in Islamabad that at least 10 insurgents, including five foreign nationals and possibly a high-value target such as a senior Al Qaeda or Taliban official, were among the 22 killed.

But US officials told NYT in Washington that “there were no immediate signs that the strikes had killed any senior Qaeda leaders.”

Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, however, said that Islamabad “hopes President Obama will be more patient while dealing with Pakistan”.

Appealing to the new US administration to “hear us out,” Mr Haqqani said: “We will review all options if Obama does not adopt a positive policy towards us.”

Meanwhile, the US media reported that President Obama and his top national security team are likely in the coming days to review other counterterrorism measures put in place by the Bush administration. These include former President George W. Bush’s decision to send US Special Operations forces to Fata in July to carry out ground attacks without the approval of the Pakistan government.

The Washington Post noted that the ‘shaky’ Zardari government had hoped for warm relations with the Obama administration, “but members of Mr Obama’s new national security team have already telegraphed their intention to make firmer demands of Islamabad than the Bush administration.”

The Obama administration, the report said, backed up those demands with a threatened curtailment of the plentiful military aid that has been at the heart of US-Pakistan ties for the past three decades.

In August 2007, Mr Obama had declared that he favoured taking direct action in Pakistan against potential threats to US security if Pakistani security forces do not act.

Islamabad, however, had hoped that Mr Obama will tone down his rhetoric after the election.

But his Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton indicated during her Senate confirmation hearing that the new administration will not relent in holding Pakistan to account for any shortfalls in the continuing battle against extremists.

In her written answers to the lawmakers’ questions, published in the US media on Saturday, Secretary Clinton pledged that Washington will “condition” future US military aid on Pakistan’s efforts to close down terrorist training camps and evict foreign fighters.

She also demanded that Pakistan “prevent” the continued use of its historically lawless northern territories as a sanctuary by either the Taliban or Al Qaeda. And she promised that Washington would provide all the support Pakistan needs if it specifically goes after targets such as Osama bin Laden, who is believed to be using Pakistani mountains as a hideout.

At the same time, Ms Clinton pledged to triple non-military aid to Pakistan, long dwarfed by the more than $6 billion funnelled to Pakistani military forces under President George W. Bush through the Pentagon’s counterterrorism office in Islamabad.

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Offline bigron

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2009, 04:59:20 am »
Report: Obama gives green light to Pak attacks 


25/01/2009 11:34:00 PM GMT
http://aljazeera.com/news/articles/34/Report_Obama_gives_green_light_to_Pak_attacks_.html
 
US commanders say they had consulted President Barack Obama before launching recent drone attacks on Pakistan's tribal belt near the Afghan border.


US commanders say they had consulted President Barack Obama before launching recent drone attacks on Pakistan's tribal belt near the Afghan border.

"Four days after assuming the presidency, he (Obama) was consulted by US commanders before they launched the two attacks," Guardian said Sunday.

The report comes after 22 people were killed in two separate US missile strikes on the Waziristan region bordering Afghanistan, on Friday.

The attacks were the first since President Barack Obama took office Tuesday.

Obama has said that he is prepared to bomb inside Pakistan if he gets relevant intelligence about the whereabouts of al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden.

Obama earlier hinted at increased operations in Pakistan, saying he thought George W. Bush had made a mistake in switching to Iraq before completing the job against al-Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Meanwhile Pakistan's foreign ministry said Saturday that it had told US that the attacks by unmanned aircraft were of its 'great concern'.

"We maintain that these attacks are counterproductive and should be discontinued," it said in a statement.

President Obama has not commented on the missile strikes.

However, he has made the war in Afghanistan and the intertwined fight with al-Qaeda in Pakistan a foreign policy priority.

Obama has emphasized that Pakistan and Afghanistan are the central front in the US so-called war against terrorism.

"Afghanistan and Pakistan are the central front in the America's war against terrorism and the deteriorating situation in the region poses a grave threat to the global security. It's an international challenge of the highest order. That's why we are pursuing a careful review of our policy," Obama said on Thursday.

The tribal regions along the shared border between Pakistan and Afghanistan have become a safe haven for militants after a US-led invasion in late 2001 toppled Taliban in Afghanistan and sent insurgents to border areas with Pakistan.

The US and its western allies have accused Pakistan of 'not doing enough' to prevent attacks on supply routes as well as cross-border operations carried out by insurgents against foreign troops in Afghanistan.

Pentagon has used the allegation as a pretext to launch drone attacks on Pakistan's tribal regions -- a move that has increased tension between Islamabad and Washington and has triggered anti-American sentiments among the Pakistani people.

Over 500 people -- suspected militants as well as civilians -- have been killed in such attacks, which started under the Bush administration.

Pakistan says that the drone attacks undermine the country's sovereignty and trigger public anger.




-- Press TV

 

Offline Triadtropz

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2009, 05:08:12 am »
same old same old...obama likes the power of killing, he's right at home...
one man with courage makes a majority..TJ

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2009, 05:09:49 am »
Thousands attend funeral of drone victims

By Mushtaq Yusufzai, Malik Mumtaz & Irfan Burki

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m51198&hd=&size=1&l=e

Sunday, January 25, 2009


PESHAWAR/MIRAMSHAH/WANA: Thousands of tribesmen on Saturday attended the funeral prayers of the victims of Friday’s drone attacks in the North and South Waziristan Agencies. They condemned the killings and asked US President Barack Obama to spend the money on the welfare of the tribal people instead of killing them with sophisticated weapons.

Hundreds of tribesmen thronged Zyaraki village of North Waziristan Agency (NWA) to attend the funeral prayers of those killed in the drone attack.

Tribal militants and religious scholars present on the occasion were critical of the reporting of the international wire agencies and the national electronic media which, they said, reported that al-Qaeda operatives were killed in the CIA-operated spy-plane attack.

Religious scholars, including former MNA Maulana Deendar, Maulana Muhammad Alam and others, addressed a sizeable gathering of mourners at Zyaraki village of the Mirali subdivision and condemned air strikes by the US planes on the tribal villages.

They claimed that all those killed in the attack were innocent and local villagers, who had nothing to do with militancy or Taliban.

The CIA-operated spy plane on Friday evening fired three Hellfire missiles on the outhouse (Hujra) of Haji Khalil Dawar, killing 10 people and injuring several others.

There were also reports that four among the dead were Arabs, probably Egyptians, and one hailed from the Punjab, sources close to the militants confirmed. There were also rumours that a low-level Al-Qaeda operative — Mustafa al-Misri — was also among the dead.

However, relatives of Khalil Dawar and residents of Zyaraki village denied the killing of foreign nationals in the attack.

Agencies add: The death toll from two suspected US missile attacks on al-Qaeda bases has risen to 22, officials and residents said on Saturday. Eight suspected foreign militants were among the dead. A senior security official said authorities were trying to determine the seniority of an Egyptian al-Qaeda militant believed to have been killed.




 

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2009, 05:43:22 am »
January 26, 2009

The Blood on Holbrooke's Hands

 
by Joshua Frank


In the wee morning hours on Friday, Jan. 23, a U.S. spy plane killed at least 15 in Pakistan near the Afghanistan border. It was Barack Obama's first blood and the U.S.' first violation of Pakistan's sovereignty under the new administration. The attack was an early sign that the newly minted president may not be overhauling the War on Terror this week, or even next.

As the U.S. government fired upon alleged terrorists in the rugged outback of Pakistan, Obama was back in Washington appointing Richard Holbrooke as a special U.S. representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan. Unfortunately, like the remote-control bombing that claimed human life, Obama's vision for the region, in the embodiment of Holbrooke, may not be a drastic departure from the failed Bush doctrine.

"[Holbrooke] is one of the most talented diplomats of his generation," Obama said during a Jan. 22 press conference at the State Department. In his speech Obama declared that both Afghanistan and Pakistan will be the "central front" in the War on Terror. "There, as in the Middle East, we must understand that we cannot deal with our problems in isolation," he said.

Despite Obama's insistence that Holbrooke is qualified to lead new efforts in the War on Terror, history seems to disagree.

In 1975, during Gerald Ford's administration, Indonesia invaded East Timor and slaughtered 200,000 indigenous Timorese. The Indonesian invasion of East Timor set the stage for a long and bloody occupation that recently ended after an international peacekeeping force was introduced in 1999.

Transcripts of meetings among Indonesian dictator Mohamed Suharto, Ford, and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger have shown conclusively that Kissinger and Ford authorized and encouraged Suharto's murderous actions. "We will understand and will not press you on the issue [of East Timor]," said President Ford in a meeting with Suharto and Kissinger in early December 1975, days before Suharto's bloodbath. "We understand the problem and the intentions you have," he added.

Henry Kissinger also stressed at the meeting that "the use of U.S.-made arms could create problems," but then added, "It depends on how we construe it; whether it is in self-defense or is a foreign operation." Thus, Kissinger's concern was not about whether U.S. arms would be used offensively, but whether the act could be interpreted as illegal. Kissinger went on: "It is important that whatever you do succeeds quickly."

After Ford's loss and Jimmy Carter's ascent to the White House in 1976, Indonesia requested additional arms to continue its brutal occupation, even though there was a supposed ban on arms transfers to Suharto's government. It was Carter's appointee to the Department of State's Bureau of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, Richard Holbrooke, who authorized additional arms shipments to Indonesia during this supposed blockade. Many scholars have noted that this was the period when the Indonesian suppression of the Timorese reached genocidal levels.

During his testimony before Congress in February 1978, Professor Benedict Anderson cited a report that proved there was never a U.S. arms ban, and that during the period of the alleged ban the U.S. initiated new offers of military weaponry to the Indonesians:

"If we are curious as to why the Indonesians never felt the force of the U.S. government's 'anguish,' the answer is quite simple. In flat contradiction to express statements by Gen. Fish, Mr. Oakley, and Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Richard Holbrooke, at least four separate offers of military equipment were made to the Indonesian government during the January-June 1976 'administrative suspension.' This equipment consisted mainly of supplies and parts for OV-10 Broncos, Vietnam War-era planes designed for counterinsurgency operations against adversaries without effective anti-aircraft weapons, and wholly useless for defending Indonesia from a foreign enemy. The policy of supplying the Indonesian regime with Broncos, as well as other counterinsurgency-related equipment, has continued without substantial change from the Ford through the present Carter administrations."

The disturbing symbiosis between Holbrooke and figures like überhawk Paul Wolfowitz is startling.

"In an unguarded moment just before the 2000 election, Richard Holbrooke opened a foreign policy speech with a fawning tribute to his host, Paul Wolfowitz, who was then the dean of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies in Washington," reported Tim Shorrock following the terrorist attacks in 2001.

Shorrock continued: "Holbrooke, a senior adviser to Al Gore, was acutely aware that either he or Wolfowitz would be playing important roles in the next administration. Looking perhaps to assure the world of the continuity of U.S. foreign policy, he told his audience that Wolfowitz's 'recent activities illustrate something that's very important about American foreign policy in an election year, and that is the degree to which there are still common themes between the parties.' The example he chose to illustrate his point was East Timor, which was invaded and occupied in 1975 by Indonesia with U.S. weapons – a security policy backed and partly shaped by Holbrooke and Wolfowitz. 'Paul and I,' he said, 'have been in frequent touch to make sure that we keep [East Timor] out of the presidential campaign, where it would do no good to American or Indonesian interests.'"

In sum, Holbrooke has worked vigorously to keep his bloody campaign silent, and it appears to have paid off. In chilling words, Holbrooke described the motivations behind his support of Indonesia's genocidal actions:

"The situation in East Timor is one of the number of very important concerns of the United States in Indonesia. Indonesia, with a population of 150 million people, is the fifth largest nation in the world, is a moderate member of the Non-Aligned Movement, is an important oil producer – which plays a moderate role within OPEC – and occupies a strategic position astride the sea lanes between the Pacific and Indian Oceans. … We highly value our cooperative relationship with Indonesia."

If his bloody history in East Timor is anything, it's a sign that Richard Holbrooke is not qualified to lead the U.S. in a new direction in today's Middle East, a region that has been brutalized by the War on Terror.
 

 
 
 
 

 
Find this article at:
http://www.antiwar.com/frank/?articleid=14137 
 

Offline Triadtropz

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2009, 05:49:49 am »
Ron alot of this is pro-taliban propoganda....those terrorists in nw pakistan hate you...and if they had a chance they would kill you...think about that.
one man with courage makes a majority..TJ

Offline Geolibertarian

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2009, 06:04:04 am »
Ron alot of this is pro-taliban al-CIA-duh propoganda....

Fixed.
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Offline Triadtropz

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2009, 06:20:17 am »
Fixed.

thx..the CIA is the largest terrorist org on earth, they have a hand in every mess..they create the evil then fight it..it's an old playbook...ancient.
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Offline Biggs

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2009, 05:56:36 am »
The Drone War
Pakistan: a New Cambodia?
M. REZA PIRBAHI

http://www.uruknet.info/?p=m51355&hd=&size=1&l=e

January 29, 2009



Twenty-two people – 8 to 10 alleged Al-Qaeda and Taliban members, the rest civilians, including children - were killed on January 23, 2009, when Predator drones operated by the US Central Intelligence Agency fired missiles at houses in Pakistan’s 'Federally Administered Tribal Areas.’ About 30 such missile attacks are on record since the summer of 2008, invariably directed at homes and schools in populated centers, rather than hide outs and bases in the wild. As a result, the total verifiable ratio of civilian to alleged combatant deaths to civilian deaths is approximately 1 in 4. As for the identities of the alleged combatants killed, both Pakistani and US media outlets have reported that, according to official US sources, 'there were no immediate signs that the strikes had killed any senior Qaeda leaders.’

Only two differences between the latest attack and those conducted earlier can be noted: 1) this was the first incident under the presidency of Barack Obama, rather than George W. Bush; and, 2) this was the first occasion on which the US government publicly acknowledged the policy of missile strikes on the territory of its 'ally,’ Pakistan. As Bush’s former and Obama’s current Defense Secretary, Robert Gates, recently reported to the Senate Armed Services Committee, 'both President Bush and President Obama have made clear that we will go after Al Qaeda wherever Al Qaeda is and we will continue to pursue them,’ adding that the Government of Pakistan had been duly apprised.

The illegality of such missile strikes is beyond doubt, if civilian life is still considered inviolable according to international law, but its efficacy as part of the US’ and NATO’s military strategy in the 'War on Terror’ remains a matter of debate. From the perspective of the Obama administration, not surprisingly like that of its predecessor given Gates’ reappointment, the growing Afghan insurgency and the Pakistan military’s inability or unwillingness to curb the flow of 'terrorists’ from Pakistan into Afghanistan, requires the US to take matters into its own hands. In other words, the US contends that Pakistan is 'not doing enough.’ Of course, the Government of Pakistan’s perspective differs. Following the latest round of missile attacks, Pakistani officials argued, much as they have since the summer of 2008, that these actions were violations of Pakistani sovereignty and catalysts for growing resentment towards the Pakistan government and the US among the Pakistani population. And what is the Government of Pakistan going to do about the missiles strikes? In the words of Pakistan’s ambassador in Washington, Husain Haqqani, Islamabad "hopes President Obama will be more patient [than Bush] while dealing with Pakistan."

In the face of mounting violations of Pakistani sovereignty and civilian casualties, the response of the Government of Pakistan is tantamount to an invitation for more missile strikes and, perhaps, even ground incursions, as occurred in the summer of 2008. At no point has an objection been raised at the United Nations, nor have independent human rights organizations been invited to take up the cause. No public call has been heard for the cancellation of US and NATO forces’ 'lease’ of at least 3 Pakistani military bases since hostilities in Afghanistan began. No threat to halt the use of Pakistani airspace and land routes for the supply of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan has been issued. No limit on the cooperation of Pakistani intelligence agencies or their role in the extra-judicial detainment and extraordinary rendition or extradition of Pakistani and non-Pakistani citizens suspected of ties to Al-Qaeda has come to light. And finally, no end to the deployment of tens of thousands of Pakistani troops in the border regions with Afghanistan since hostilities over the border began has been signaled, despite the loss of more than 1,000 Pakistani soldiers, the destruction of numerous villages, displacement of more than 300,000 residents and the deaths of uncounted numbers of civilians. In short, no aspect of the considerable 'aid’ that successive governments in Pakistan have provided US and NATO forces has been employed to curb US and NATO accusations of 'not doing enough,’ let alone ending missile strikes. It is, therefore, quite clear that the remittance of $6 billion in mostly military assistance during the Bush era and the promise of more in non-military assistance under Obama, has purchased the Government of Pakistan’s 'patience’ with regard to US and NATO unilateralism.

Of course, this is not the first occasion on which US administrations have bombed the territory of an 'ally,’ resulting in mostly civilian deaths and suffering, with the government of the latter remaining virtually silent, if not complicit. The most pertinent example is the campaign against Cambodia during the Vietnam War. That war, having consumed the Democratic Party presidency of Lyndon Johnson, brought to power the Republican Party under Richard Nixon on the promise of change in war policy. Within months of assuming office in 1969, Nixon approved the 'secret’ bombing of North Vietnamese and National Liberation Front (Viet Cong) 'sanctuaries’ on Cambodian soil. A year later, ground assaults against the same targets were publicly announced. Meanwhile, the fact that the Government of Cambodia, ruled by Prime Minister (and future President) Lon Nol, was officially neutral when bombing began and pro-US/anti-communist once Nol declared himself President after a coup in 1972, does not appear to have entered into the equation. Nor was it apparently considered to give time to Cambodian government efforts to combat the North Vietnamese, Viet Cong and the local Khmer Rouge presence within Cambodia with the direct military assistance the Nixon administration began funding in 1970. Yet, no pertinent objections to the bombings and ground incursions issued from the Government of Cambodia. The efficacy of the campaign is still debated, but there is little doubt that it resulted in the displacement of approximately two million and the deaths of uncounted numbers of Cambodian civilians.

The uncanny similarities between the circumstances of the bombing of Cambodia and that of Pakistan (excepting such apparently inconsequential details as the switch from Republican to Democratic leadership in the more recent case), should raise alarms among any current policy-makers and observers aware of the aftermath of the Cambodian debacle. Most Cambodia specialists agree that Nixon’s Cambodia policy drove large numbers of peasants into the arms of the Khmer Rouge, just as Pakistan observers and officials argue the US air assaults and threats of ground incursions, coupled with the Pakistan military’s use of force in the border regions with Afghanistan, is whipping up anti-government and anti-US/NATO sentiment among common Pakistanis.

Furthermore, as David P. Chandler – a former US Foreign Service officer in Phnom Penh and one of the foremost historians of Cambodia - suggests, Nixon’s policy provided all the psychological and social scars necessary to fuel a violent and vengeful revolution, culminating in Pol Pot’s infamous 'killing fields.’ That the Taliban movement in general already represents much the same, needs little reaffirmation after the example of the Afghani Taliban’s rule, but one example from Pakistan is worth bringing to light. In the still picturesque, but no longer peaceful mountain valley of Swat (North West Frontier Province), the local chapter of the Pakistani Taliban has fought the military to a stand still and begun pushing its 'revolutionary’ agenda in the areas it controls. Hundred of girls’ schools have been destroyed and families ordered not to send their daughters to those that remain. As many police officers and government supporters have been beheaded or shot. Shops selling movies and music, cable TV subscribers and anyone shaving their beards, singing or dancing have been ordered to desist under threat of death, although all such decrees are affronts to the Islamic tradition in whose name this group is acting. Thus, it is exceedingly significant that this group’s ultimate goal is to violently impose such measures on all Pakistan, and that all sources confirm that in the last year their insurgency has grown from strength to strength, reaching beyond the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and the North-West Frontier Province into the country’s major urban centers, bringing bombings and assassinations that have cost the lives of hundreds more Pakistani civilians.

For a president brought to power on the promise of change, it is disconcerting, to say the least, that Obama has not only signaled the continuation of Bush’s policies toward Pakistan with the latest missile strikes, but is pursuing a broader military strategy that dates back at least as far as Nixon’s bombardment of his 'ally,’ Cambodia. The irony is that as successive Pakistani governments have abdicated their responsibility to protect the lives and property of their citizens, the only hope for change lies with the US. Most indications suggest that this is a hope against hope, but the fact remains that unless Obama reformulates his policies in the light of the lessons of history, 'staying the course’ will most likely not meet US/NATO objectives to stabilize Afghanistan, let alone convince Pakistani Muslims that 'America is not their enemy.’ The current course is particularly shortsighted, given that alternatives to actions that sacrifice the lives of Pakistani civilians are available for consideration.

The promise of increased non-military aid is encouraging, but remains fraught with the very real possibility that Pakistan’s ruling military and civilian classes will divert funds into their own coffers before they can reach the Pakistani people for whom they are intended. Thus, financial aid must be accompanied by the strengthening of institutions that more directly and immediately empower the Pakistani people. One possibility is the attachment of funds to guarantees that President Asif Ali Zardari do away with constitutional amendments instituted by his predecessor, General Musharraf, that make a mockery of the democratic process in Pakistan by endowing the President with the authority to dissolve the National Assembly. Another option is the reappointment of Supreme Court justices summarily dismissed by Musharraf when they showed signs of pursuing judicial autonomy. Pressing Zardari to make such changes would not only show US support for extremely popular causes in Pakistan, they would hold Zardari to promises that he himself made when his political party was running for office. As civil society would be reinforced in process, Pakistan’s endemically corrupt political culture would also be dealt a resounding blow, allowing more financial aid to reach the people. Zardari may not survive such policies, but a more democratic Pakistani state would be the reward.

There are also international issues of concern to the Pakistani people that would greatly enhance the US’ standing if the Obama administration plays an impartial role. The announcement of 'Gitmo’s’ closure, a timetable of sorts for withdrawal from Iraq and the appointment of special envoys for South Asia and the Middle East are encouraging steps, only if the US roundly condemns and acts against human rights violations committed by all sides, including itself. Also, the governments of India, Afghanistan and Israel must be persuaded to make concessions that none have been willing (or allowed) to make thus far; i.e., peace processes that involve and work to accommodate all parties in the Indo-Pakistani, Afghan and Arab-Israeli conflicts. That means the inclusion of Kashmiri separatists in the first case, the Taliban in the second, and Hamas, Hezbullah and Syria in the last. Regarding South Asia in particular, another contentious issue that US diplomacy can work to quiet, is the refusal by all governments in Afghanistan since 1949, to publicly accept the current boundary between it and Pakistan (i.e., the 'Durand Line’) as a permanent border. An open and sincere attempt to address such issues, let alone their resolution, would provide incentives for the Pakistani people to cooperate with the US, while also pulling the rug of righteous indignation from under such groups as Al-Qaida and Taliban, far more effectively than killing Pakistani civilians with Predator drones.

Of course, this article is not the first to make such suggestions, and there is some evidence that similar initiatives are on the table in Washington. Droves of opponents, however, are by no means exiled from town since Obama’s inauguration and, judging by his administration’s absolute silence on Israeli actions termed 'war crimes’ by Amnesty International, as well as the early resort to missile strikes on Pakistani villages, opposition to change is still not without influence in the White House. By beginning his term in office by first ignoring Israeli violations of human rights, then endorsing deadly missile strikes on Pakistan, rather than reaching out with a more conciliatory hand in actions, not merely words, not only lessens the impact of closing Gitmo and moving to withdraw from Iraq, but shoots down the support and trust of the Pakistani people necessary for more far-reaching and efficacious US policy in South Asia before it gets off the ground. Thus, the only possible outcome of continuing the bombardment of Pakistani territory in an environment that already condones the killing of Muslim civilians in other areas, is the rise of anti-Americanism to dangerously new heights, and the further positioning of the already suffering people of Pakistan to endure a future as horrific as that which the people of Cambodia faced some thirty years ago.

M. Reza Pirbhai is an Assistant Professor of South Asian History at
Louisiana State University. He can be reached at: [email protected]

Notes.

This incident has been widely reported by the media outlets of the world, but for an example of Pakistani reporting that draws from the New York Times and Washington Post, and includes the quote provided, see Anwar Iqbal, "Obama Endorses Missile Strikes," Dawn (January 25, 2009), available online at: http://dawn.com/2009/01/25/top3.htm.

Anwar Iqbal, "Drone Attacks to Continue," Dawn (January 28, 2009), available online at: http://www.dawn.com/2009/01/28/top3.htm.

Iqbal, "Obama Endorses Missile Strikes," online at: http://dawn.com/2009/01/25/top3.htm.

For example, see David P. Chandler, A History of Cambodia (Boulder: Westview Press, 1993).

Such details are reported daily in the Pakistani press, but have recently also been summarized by some US media outlets. For example, see Richard A. Oppel, Jr & Pir Zubair Shah, "In Pakistan, Radio Amplifies Taliban Terror," New York Times (January 24, 2009), available online at: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/25/.
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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2009, 06:29:30 am »
Alright here's what I don't understand.  If we somehow have the right to shove missiles down their throats via predator drones while killing innocents along with it because the supposed terrorists are in populated areas....wouldn't it be better just to go arrest them?

Otherwise it's mindless killing.  There is no top leader of anything in there until someone proves it.  It's probably a school teacher. 

I think the majority of the populace just want to have happy lives...

Offline David Rothscum

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #20 on: January 31, 2009, 06:34:33 am »
Alright here's what I don't understand.  If we somehow have the right to shove missiles down their throats via predator drones while killing innocents along with it because the supposed terrorists are in populated areas....wouldn't it be better just to go arrest them?

Otherwise it's mindless killing.  There is no top leader of anything in there until someone proves it.  It's probably a school teacher. 

I think the majority of the populace just want to have happy lives...
You can't create new terrorists without murdering some innocent people. Israel does it by bombing refugee shelters. We create a  steady supply with our missile strikes in Pakistan and our missile strikes on weddings in Afghanistan.

Offline Triadtropz

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #21 on: January 31, 2009, 06:35:31 am »
Alright here's what I don't understand.  If we somehow have the right to shove missiles down their throats via predator drones while killing innocents along with it because the supposed terrorists are in populated areas....wouldn't it be better just to go arrest them?



Do you have any clue how dangerous these people are?..they are warriors. they sleep with ak47s instead of a wife...all they know is killing and being killed..they are planning the next big attacks in that region...If the pakistanis would clean the area up. their would be no need for the drones...it's lawless.
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Offline ConcordeWarrior

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2009, 06:54:57 am »
O'bomb-ah is no better than W. Bush.
Those who think the opposite are in total illusion.
These two are one and the same.
I bet they're even good buddies in private.
They belong to the same system.

They are both murderers killing these civilian innocents.
They know very well where the true terrorists are
only they are not capable of sending secret squads after them.

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2009, 07:11:32 am »
So here are the two sides I see:

these bombs fall on weddings and funerals killing innocent people because our government is psychotic...

 the area is lawless and the pakistanis need to clean shit up...


Offline Triadtropz

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2009, 07:19:24 am »
So here are the two sides I see:

these bombs fall on weddings and funerals killing innocent people because our government is psychotic...

 the area is lawless and the pakistanis need to clean shit up...



thats basically it..the weddings and stuff are getting hit in afghanistan...those drone attacks have killed mainly foreign fighters in the tribal regions of pakistan...
one man with courage makes a majority..TJ

Offline Biggs

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2009, 07:59:06 am »
thats basically it..the weddings and stuff are getting hit in afghanistan...those drone attacks have killed mainly foreign fighters in the tribal regions of pakistan...

they have also killed many innocent civilians, it is also worth remembering that it was the CIA/MI6 and ISI that made the tribal areas centres for Islamic armed groups during the 1980's,. they spent billions to achieve such a goal.
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Offline Triadtropz

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2009, 08:08:59 am »
they have also killed many innocent civilians, it is also worth remembering that it was the CIA/MI6 and ISI that made the tribal areas centres for Islamic armed groups during the 1980's,. they spent billions to achieve such a goal.

The pakistani govt needs to help those people,..build roads, and schools, and infrastructure....what did they do with the 12 billion a year bush was giving them,..they bought fighter jets and built missles for war, with their neighbors...pakistan has a 600,000 man army, your telling me they cant clean up a region if they tried..
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Offline Biggs

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2009, 09:10:43 am »
The pakistani govt needs to help those people,..build roads, and schools, and infrastructure....what did they do with the 12 billion a year bush was giving them,..they bought fighter jets and built missles for war, with their neighbors...pakistan has a 600,000 man army, your telling me they cant clean up a region if they tried..

they have tried, they have lost thousands of soldiers, thousands more wounded, killed thousands of civilians, wounded thousands more, and have not succeeded.

What you, much like the US government, is asking for is a full scale civil war in Pakistan, because that is what would occur with a full scale assualt on these areas, a full scale civil war in Pakistan is the worst case scenario up alongside a war with iran

how can you think such a thing is a good idea, anyway, what right does the US/NATO or even the Pakistani government have to tell these people how to live.
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Offline Optimus

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #28 on: March 01, 2009, 11:22:24 am »
US missiles suspected in northwest Pakistan strike
http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hkiMxbHNH0BqgpWA2ZG6VD6wVTmAD96L9J380
By ISHTIAQ MAHSUD and SHERIN ZADA – 2 hours ago

DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan (AP) — A suspected U.S. missile killed seven people in a Taliban stronghold in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday, officials said, while a hard-line cleric rattled peace efforts elsewhere by demanding the government launch Islamic courts within two weeks.

The developments showed the mercurial state of the fight against insurgents in Pakistan's regions bordering Afghanistan, where the country is pursuing both peace talks and military offensives, and where the Obama administration appears more than willing to flex U.S. muscle despite official Pakistani protests.

The missiles landed in Murghiban village in the South Waziristan tribal region and also wounded three people, two Pakistani intelligence officials said. At least four of the dead were believed to be foreign militants, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media.

They said that drones believed to be used by the U.S. were seen in the air ahead of the strike and that Taliban fighters surrounded the damaged center afterward. The compound was allegedly a militant training facility, the officials said, citing field informants.

South Waziristan is the main stronghold of Baitullah Mehsud, the top leader of the Pakistani Taliban.

The U.S. has dramatically stepped up its missile attacks on al-Qaida and Taliban targets in Pakistan's northwest since mid-2008, a policy that has not changed under new President Barack Obama and which officials say has killed several key al-Qaida figures.

Pakistan has condemned the strikes, saying they inflame anti-American sentiment especially when they kill civilians, but many analysts speculate the two countries have a secret deal allowing the attacks.

Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Sunday that he would not talk about the specifics of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan or Pakistan when asked about the alleged strike on Fox News Sunday. He said, however, that the military overall was "carrying out guidance from President Obama" in the region.

Muslim-majority Pakistan has also turned to peace talks to try pacifying the insurgency in its northwest — much to the dismay of Washington and other Western capitals.

Last month, Pakistan agreed to implement Islamic law in the Swat Valley, a former tourist haven where militants have gained tremendous sway. The Swat Taliban and the military also agreed to a cease-fire, halting months of fighting that has killed hundreds and displaced up to one-third of the valley's 1.5 million residents.

American and European officials worry that the talks could turn Swat into a sanctuary for Taliban fighters. Swat lies less than 100 miles from Pakistan's capital, Islamabad. It also is near tribal regions where al-Qaida and the Taliban have strongholds, but where the Pakistani military is waging separate offensives.

The provincial government in northwestern Pakistan made the pledge to establish Islamic courts in Swat and surrounding areas to Sufi Muhammad, a pro-Taliban cleric who agreed to then negotiate with the Swat Taliban. Muhammad's son-in-law heads the Swat Taliban, and he himself heads a movement that has long agitated for Islamic law.

He said Sunday that it did not appear the government was holding up its end of the bargain.

"I'm not seeing any practical steps for the implementation of the peace agreement, except for ministers visiting Swat and uttering words," the elderly cleric told reporters in the valley's main city of Mingora.

Muhammad set a March 15 deadline for the Islamic courts to start running. Muhammad also said that the Taliban and the government should release each other's prisoners by the same date and that both sides should immediately abide by an agreement that includes no public displays of weapons.

Pakistani officials have been vague on whether at any point the Taliban would be ordered to give up their weapons, which many would probably consider a major test of whether the government can re-establish its authority in the valley.

Muhammad said that if the deadline was not met, his followers would stage peaceful protests throughout the region.

The province's information minister promised that the government would "implement the justice system at the earliest" but would not directly commit to meeting the mid-March deadline.

"We have great respect for Sufi Muhammad and value his efforts for bringing peace in Swat," Mian Iftikhar Hussain said. "No one should have any doubt about the provincial government's intention. We will remove all his reservations."

Swat Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan said the militants have already released all government prisoners they were holding.

"We don't have any other prisoner in our custody, but the government has not released our men so they should abide by the agreement with Maulana Sufi Mohammad by releasing all prisoners," Khan said.

Past peace deals with militants in Pakistan — including one in Swat last year — have failed, giving the extremists time to regroup and rearm. Western officials have raised this point in questioning whether Pakistan was effectively ceding Swat to the militants.

Pakistan has deflected the criticism, saying it is merely responding to longtime local demands for a more efficient justice system — a desire exploited by militants to gain followers. Officials say their pledge on Islamic law will not include the harsh interpretations adhered to by many Taliban, such as banning girls from getting an education.

The country has taken a more forceful approach to al-Qaida and Taliban fighters in parts of its semiautonomous tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

On Saturday, Pakistani military commanders said they had defeated the militants in Bajur tribal region and were close to victory in neighboring Mohmand tribal area. The U.S. has praised the military actions in those regions, saying they have helped pressure militants who used Pakistan as a base to plan attacks on American and NATO troops in Afghanistan.
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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #29 on: March 09, 2009, 01:44:18 pm »
US to step up attacks on Pakistan as it forces Taliban to talk
The United States is planning to escalate aerial bombing raids on Pakistan's tribal areas in tandem with efforts to force moderate elements of the Taliban to the negotiating table, the Telegraph has learned.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/barackobama/4958601/US-to-step-up-attacks-on-Pakistan-as-it-forces-Taliban-to-talk.html

By Dean Nelson in New Delhi and Ben Farmer in Kabul
Last Updated: 7:35AM GMT 09 Mar 2009

Officials in contact with the State Department said on Sunday that a new offensive would see a dramatic increase in Predator drone attacks on Taliban targets in defiance of Pakistani objections to cross-border attacks.

President Barack Obama on Sunday admitted that the US military was pushing for talks with the Taliban, but officials consulted on the plans said the military conflict would be raised to new levels of intensity before talks could begin. "There will be talks but the Taliban are going to experience a lot of pain first, on both sides of the border," said one senior Western diplomat.

There are hopes of establishing a "hammer and anvil" encirclement of the Taliban with the Pakistan Army expected to extend its bombardment of terrorist safe havens within the Tribal Area's Bajaur agency.

President Obama told the New York Times that the United States was not winning the war in Afghanistan as he hinted at the possibility of talks with the Taliban insurgents. The US leader said General David Petraeus, one of the key strategists in the war on al-Qaeda and its allies, believed "part of the success in Iraq involved reaching out to people that we would consider to be Islamic fundamentalists.

"At the heart of a new Afghanistan policy is going to be a smarter Pakistan policy," Mr Obama said. "As long as you have got safe havens in these border regions that the Pakistani government can't control or reach in effective ways, we're going to continue to see vulnerability on the Afghan side of the border.

"And so it's very important for us to reach out to the Pakistani government and work with them more effectively."

That new “smarter policy” has been assigned to former US ambassador to the United Nations, Richard Holbrooke, the architect of the Dayton Accord which ended the war in Bosnia. Mr Holbrooke has in turn appointed Afghan policy expert Barnett Rubin, who supports talks with the Taliban to solve the conflict, as his advisor, it was confirmed last night, subject to security clearance.

In an article in Foreign Affairs magazine last December, Mr Rubin proposed a ‘grand bargain’ in which NATO would end military action if the Taliban agreed “to prohibit the use of Afghan (or Pakistani) territory for international terrorism”. Such an agreement would "constitute a strategic defeat for al-Qaeda,” he wrote."

Pakistani officials are braced for more fighting in the border region. Lieutenant-General Talat Masood, an influential retired senior Pakistan Army officer, said: "There will no let up in drone attacks, and no let up on Pakistan to do more on its territory."

Officials plan to augment intensified attacks with a new elite police force drawn from special forces to hold areas cleared of Taliban. There is also a blueprint for training and equipping the paramilitary Frontier Corps to fight an effective counter-insurgency campaign. Funds would be found for a humanitarian package to help tribal groups rebuild homes and villages destroyed in the cross-fire.

An estimated 300,000 people have been displaced by helicopter gunship strikes in Bajuar alone. America will provide much of the resources and officials are developing guidelines to ensure the money does not get siphoned away by American consultancy firms.

Royal Marine Lieutenant General Jim Dutton, deputy commander of Nato-led forces in Afghanistan, said that without a crackdown in Pakistan the Taliban was a much more determined opponent. "When there have been ceasefire deals on the eastern border with Pakistan, it's been easier for insurgents to move freely across the border," he said. "When they have felt they were under pressure from the Pakistani army, that freedom to move has been curtailed."

Afghan President Hamid Karzai, last night welcomed President Obama's hint that dialogue with "moderate" Taliban leaders might be possible: "It is very good news. This is the Afghan government's long stand."
 
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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2009, 08:49:05 am »
U.S. weighs expanded covert war in Pakistan -report
http://www.reuters.com/article/asiaCrisis/idUSSP272952
Wed Mar 18, 2009 2:34am EDT

WASHINGTON, March 17 (Reuters) - President Barack Obama and his national security advisers are considering expanding the covert U.S. war in Pakistan far beyond the tribal areas near the border with Afghanistan, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

Two high-level reports on Pakistan and Afghanistan that have been forwarded to the White House in recent weeks have called for broadening the target area to reach the Taliban and other insurgent groups to a major sanctuary in and around the city of Quetta, the newspaper said on its website, citing senior administration officials.

Missile strikes by Central Intelligence Agency-operated drones have until now been limited to the tribal areas, and never been extended into Baluchistan, a sprawling province under the authority of Pakistan's central government, and which is next to parts of Afghanistan where recent fighting has been fiercest, the newspaper website said.

Some American officials say the missile strikes in the tribal areas have forced some leaders of the Taliban and al Qaeda to flee toward Quetta, making them more vulnerable, the Times said.

Pakistan objects to the missile strikes, saying they are not only a violation of its sovereignty but complicate its efforts to tackle militants.

Pakistan Foreign Office spokesman Abdul Basit said on Wednesday he was aware of the New York Times report.

"As we have been saying all along, we believe such attacks are counter-productive," he said. "They involve collateral damage and they are not helpful in our efforts to win hearts and minds."

Many of Obama's advisers are also urging him to sustain orders issued last summer by former President George W. Bush to continue Predator drone attacks against a wider range of targets in the tribal areas, and to conduct cross-border ground actions, using CIA and Special Operations commandos.

The Times said a spokesman for the National Security Council had declined to provide details, saying only: "We're still working hard to finalise the review on Afghanistan and Pakistan that the president requested."

No other official would talk on the record on the issue, citing the administration's deliberations and the politically volatile nature of strikes into Pakistan's territory, the report said. (Additional reporting by Robert Birsel in Islamabad; Writing by Patricia Zengerle; Editing by Sandra Maler and Jerry Norton)
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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #31 on: March 25, 2009, 01:19:46 pm »
Drone attack reported in Pakistan

 
Pakistani leaders are critical of the US drone tactic

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7963865.stm


Missiles fired by a US drone have killed seven militants in north-west Pakistan, close to the Afghan border, local officials and witnesses say.

They say that the unmanned aircraft fired missiles at two vehicles in the Makin area of South Waziristan.

The missile destroyed both vehicles, the Pakistani sources said.

While officials would not confirm the nationalities of the dead, local residents said most of them were militants of Arab and Uzbek origin.

Makin is located in the north-eastern part of South Waziristan, near its border with North Waziristan.

It is inhabited by the Mahsud tribe and dominated by local warlord Baitullah Mahsud, accused of plotting the 2007 assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

'Priority'

"A predator strike was carried out in Makin area, 12km [eight miles] north-west of Ladha," a security official told the AFP news agency.
 


Correspondents say that more than 35 similar strikes have killed more than 340 people since August 2008, shortly before the election of President Asif Ali Zardari.

The US military routinely does not confirm drone attacks but the armed forces and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) operating in Afghanistan are believed to be the only forces capable of deploying drones in the region.

Wednesday's attack was the seventh missile strike believed to have been carried out by US drones since President Barack Obama came to power.

He has pledged to make the war against the Taleban and al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan a foreign policy priority.

Pakistan is critical of the drone tactic because, it says, civilians are often killed, fuelling support for militants.

Most missile strikes by drones have targeted foreign fighters in the Waziristan region over the past couple of years.

The BBC's Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says the strikes are now also targeting facilities run by local or Afghan Taleban in the lower Kurram region, from where attacks have been launched into the Khost and Paktia provinces of Afghanistan.

The southern parts of the lower Kurram region share borders with Afghanistan's Khost province, where US and coalition forces have major deployments of forces.
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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2009, 12:40:19 pm »
Suspected US drone strike in Pakistan kills 12
Ians
April 1st, 2009

http://blog.taragana.com/n/suspected-us-drone-strike-in-pakistan-kills-12-24259/

ISLAMABAD -
A suspected US missile strike killed 12 Taliban militants Wednesday in Pakistan’s tribal region near the Afghan border, officials said.


Two missiles believed to have been fired by a US drone hit a compound in Khadezai village of the Orakzai Agency, one of seven semi-autonomous tribal districts known to serve as sanctuaries for Al-Qaeda and Taliban rebels.

‘Twelve militants were confirmed dead but the toll could be even higher,’ an intelligence official said on condition of anonymity. At least a dozen more people were also wounded in the drone attack, which was the first one in Orakzai.

Local administrators confirmed the strike, but gave no details.

The compound was allegedly being used as a training centre and also housed quarters for ‘foreigners’, a term used by Pakistani officials to describe militants of Arab and Central Asian origin.

Identities of those killed in the strike were not immediately known, as local insurgents cordoned off the area following the missile attack.

Orakzai, which does not share border with Afghanistan, is the stronghold of a senior aide of rebel commander Baitullah Mehsud, who confirmed Wednesday that his fighters stormed a police training school in the eastern city of Lahore March 30, killing seven recruits and one civilian.

Mehsud told reporters by phone from an undisclosed location that the Lahore assault and two other recent attacks were carried out by his group in revenge for US drone strikes.

Nearly three dozen US airstrikes have targeted suspected militant hideouts in Pakistan’s tribal region since August 2008, killing more than 300 people, including few lower-tier Al-Qaeda and Taliban fighters. Dozens of non-combatants have also been killed in the strikes.

Pakistan has opposed the attacks, calling them counter-productive because they fuel anti-US sentiments and increasing public support for militants in the tribal districts.
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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #33 on: April 04, 2009, 09:24:21 am »
'Deadly air strike' in Pakistan
 
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/7982880.stm

A suspected US missile strike in north-west Pakistan, the second drone attack in four days, has killed 13 people.


Local officials in North Waziristan, near the Afghan border, said the dead included women and children as well as militants - some of them foreigners.

But a Taleban spokesman denied this, saying all those killed were civilians.

The US military does not routinely confirm drone attacks, but US forces in Afghanistan are believed to be the only ones in the region with the capability.

Pakistan is critical of drone use because, it says, civilians are often killed, fuelling support for militants.

Retaliation threatened

Local administration officials say the missiles destroyed part of a house owned by a school teacher in a village near the region's main town of Miranshah.

A number of foreign militants were among those killed in the strike at 0300 local (2200 Friday), security officials said.

But a Taleban spokesman said all the dead were civilians.
Dozens of suspected drone strikes have killed hundreds in recent months


The spokesman said the Taleban held Pakistan responsible for the strike, adding that it should be ready for retaliation.

The latest incident comes only three days after a missile fired by a suspected US drone killed at least 14 people in Pakistan's Orakzai tribal area, near the Afghan border.

Correspondents say that more than 35 suspected drone strikes have killed more than 340 people since August 2008, shortly before the election of President Asif Ali Zardari.

US President Barack Obama has pledged to make the war against the Taleban and al-Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan a foreign policy priority.

Most missile strikes by drones have targeted foreign fighters in the Waziristan region over the past couple of years.

The drone attacks are said to be part of a new US strategy to eliminate the Taleban and al-Qaeda leadership who are reportedly operating from Pakistan's tribal region next to the border with Afghanistan, says the BBC's Shoaib Hasan in Islamabad.
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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #34 on: April 08, 2009, 08:52:09 am »
More Drone Attacks in Pakistan Planned
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/07/world/asia/07drone.html?_r=1&ref=world
By ERIC SCHMITT and CHRISTOPHER DREW
Published: April 6, 2009

WASHINGTON — Despite threats of retaliation from Pakistani militants, senior administration officials said Monday that the United States intended to step up its use of drones to strike militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas and might extend them to a different sanctuary deeper inside the country.

On Sunday, a senior Taliban leader vowed to unleash two suicide attacks a week like one on Saturday in Pakistan’s capital, Islamabad, unless the Central Intelligence Agency stopped firing missiles at militants. Pakistani officials have expressed concerns that the missile strikes from remotely piloted aircraft fuel more violence in the country, and some American officials say they are also concerned about some aspects of the drone strikes.

But as Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Richard C. Holbrooke, the special envoy to the region, arrived in Islamabad on Monday, the administration officials said the plan to intensify missile strikes underscored President Obama’s goal to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat” Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, as well as to strike at other militant groups allied with Al Qaeda.

Officials are also proposing to broaden the missile strikes to Baluchistan, south of the tribal areas, unless Pakistan manages to reduce the incursion of militants there.

Influential American lawmakers have voiced support for the administration’s position.

Senator Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who heads the Armed Services Committee, acknowledged last week that “the price is very heavy” when missile strikes mistakenly kill civilians, but he said the strikes were “an extremely effective tool.”

The plans have met strong resistance from Pakistani officials and have also worried some former American officials and some analysts, who say that strikes create greater risks of civilian casualties and could further destabilize the nuclear-armed nation.

“You will be complicating and compounding anti-Americanism here,” said Talat Masood, a retired Pakistani general and military analyst in Islamabad. “How can you be an ally and at the same time be targeted?”

Some American experts say a crucial change in aerial warfare, in which American forces are now often stalking individuals rather than tanks and other large armaments as in past wars, has raised new legal issues.

A. John Radsan, who worked as a C.I.A. lawyer from 2002 to 2004, argued in a recent scholarly article he wrote with Richard W. Murphy, a fellow law professor, that the United States should follow the lead of the Israeli Supreme Court and require an investigation of “targeted killings” by the C.I.A. to control the practice.

While the notion of remote-control killing may seem chilling, military experts say the drones, which can transmit live video for nearly a day at a time, typically supply the weapons targeting officers with enough information to avoid civilian casualties.

Marc Garlasco, a former military targeting official who now works for Human Rights Watch, the international advocacy group, said the drones had helped limit civilian casualties in Afghanistan and Iraq, where the Air Force uses them to attack people laying roadside bombs and to attack other insurgents.

But in trying to take advantage of what can be fleeting chances to kill top Taliban and Qaeda leaders in Pakistan, the C.I.A. faces a much more difficult task, especially if it follows the targets into more populated areas.

“When you’re operating under very short time frames, like the C.I.A. is in Pakistan, you are exponentially increasing the risk of killing noncombatants,” Mr. Garlasco said.

In Pakistan, the extensive missile strikes have been limited to the tribal areas, and authorities say they have killed 9 of the top 20 Qaeda leaders. American officials say the missile strikes have forced some Taliban and Qaeda leaders to flee south toward Quetta, a city in the province of Baluchistan, which abuts the parts of southern Afghanistan where recent fighting has been the fiercest.

One of the prized attributes of the drones — the Cessna-size Predators and their larger and more heavily armed cousins called the Reapers — is that they can linger over an area day after day, sending back video that can be used to build a “pattern of life” analysis.

Some experts have compared them to mini-satellites that can monitor a suspected terrorist compound for weeks, watching where the people go and with whom they interact, to help confirm that the right people are being singled out for attack.

Experts say the drones also carry laser-guided weapons with small warheads that are precise enough to kill a group of people in a street without damaging nearby buildings.

Like the military services, the C.I.A. uses computer software to assess possible collateral damage, and the fusing on the bombs can be adjusted to limit their impact.

But in Pakistan and Afghanistan, it can also be hard to evaluate tips about the locations of Taliban or Qaeda leaders if there are no troops nearby to help check them out.

While the Air Force operates its drones from military bases in the United States, the C.I.A. controls its fleet of Predators and Reapers from its headquarters in Langley, Va.

The final preparations for strikes in Pakistan take place in a crowded room lined with video screens, where C.I.A. officers work at phone banks and National Security Agency personnel monitor electronic chatter, according to former C.I.A. officials.

The intelligence officers watch scratchy video captured by the drones, which always fly in pairs above potential targets.

According to the former officials, it is generally the head of the C.I.A.’s clandestine service or his deputy who gives the final approval for a strike. The decision about what type of weapon to use depends on the target, according to one former senior intelligence official.

Top national security leaders have approved lists of people who can be attacked, officials say, and the lawyers determine whether each attack can be justified under international law.

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2009, 01:25:30 pm »
POLITICS: Errant Drone Attacks Spur Militants in Pakistan
By Gareth Porter*

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=46511

WASHINGTON, Apr 15 (IPS) -
The U.S. programme of drone aircraft strikes against higher-ranking officials of al Qaeda and allied militant organisations, which has been touted by proponents as having eliminated nine of the 20 top al Qaeda leaders, is actually weakening Pakistan’s defence against the insurgency of the Islamic militants there by killing large numbers of civilians based on faulty intelligence and discrediting the Pakistani military, according to data from the Pakistani government and interviews with senior analysts.

Some evidence indicates, moreover, that the top officials in the Barack Obama administration now see the programme more as an incentive for the Pakistani military to take a more aggressive posture toward the militants rather than as an effective tool against the insurgents.

Although the strikes have been sold to the U.S. public as a way to weaken and disrupt al Qaeda, which is an explicitly counter-terrorist objective, al Qaeda is not actually the main threat to U.S. security emanating from Pakistan, according to some analysts. The real threat comes from the broader, rapidly growing insurgency of Islamic militants against the shaky Pakistani government and military, they observe, and the drone strikes are a strategically inappropriate approach to that problem.

"Al Qaeda has very little to do with the militancy in the tribal areas of Pakistan," said Marvin Weinbaum, former Afghanistan and Pakistan analyst at the Bureau of Intelligence Research at the U.S. Department of State and now scholar-in-residence at the Middle East Institute.

John McCreary, a senior intelligence analyst for the Defence Intelligence Agency until his retirement in 2006, agrees with Weinbaum’s assessment. "The drone programme is supposed to be all about al Qaeda," he told IPS in an interview, but in fact, "the threat is much larger."

McCreary observes that the targets in recent months "have been expanded to include Pakistani Pashtun militants." The administration apparently had dealt with that contradiction by effectively broadening the definition of al Qaeda, according to McCreary

Ambassador James Dobbins, the director of National Security Studies at the Rand Corporation, who maintains contacts with a range of administration national security officials, told IPS in an interview that the drone strikes in Pakistan are aimed "in the short and medium term" at the counter-terrorism objective of preventing attacks on Washington and other capitals.

But as they have shifted to Pakistani Taliban targets, Dobbins said, "To degree the targets are insurgents and are Pakistanis not Arabs it would be correct to assess that they are part of an insurgency." That raises the question, he said, whether the drone programme "is feeding the insurgency and popular support for it."

The drone program cannot even be expected to be a decisive factor in al Qaeda’s ability to operate, according to McCreary. "All you can do with drones is decapitate leadership," McCreary told IPS in a recent interview. "Even in relation to al Qaeda’s organisational dynamics, it has only limited, temporary impact."

McCreary warned that the drone strikes will cause much more serious problems when they increase and expand into new parts of Pakistan as the administration is now seriously considering, according to a New York Times article Apr. 7. "Now al Qaeda is fleeing to other cities, "said McCreary. "The programme is escalating and having ripple effects that are incalculable."

McCreary said one of the longer-term consequences of the attacks is "the public humiliation of the Pakistan Army as a defender of the national patrimony". That effect of striking Pakistani targets with U.S. aircraft is "the least understood dimension of the attacks, the most discounted and most dangerous". McCreary said the attacks’ "ensure that successive generations of Pakistani military officers will be viscerally anti-American."

Administration officials have defended the drone strikes programme as necessary to weaken and disrupt al Qaeda to prevent terrorist attacks, and officials have leaked to the media in recent weeks the fact that the programme has killed nine of 20 top al Qaeda leaders.

But the Pakistani government leaked data last week to The News in Lahore showing that only 10 drone attacks out of 60 carried out from Jan. 29, 2009 to Apr. 8, 2009 actually hit al Qaeda leaders, while 50 other strikes were based on faulty intelligence and killed a total of 537 civilians but no al Qaeda leaders.

The drone strikes have been even less accurate in their targeting in 2009 than they had been from 2006 through 2008, according to the detailed data from Pakistani authorities. Of 14 drone strikes carried out in those 99 days, only one was successful, killing a senior al Qaeda commander in North Waziristan and its external operations chief. The other 13 strikes had killed 152 people without netting a single al Qaeda leader.

Dobbins, speaking to IPS before the Pakistani data on drone strikes was released, said it was difficult for an outsider to evaluate the benefits of the programme but that "we can assess that there is a significant price that is being paid" in terms of the impact on Pakistani opinion toward U.S. efforts to stem the tide of the insurgency.

Dobbins said one of the reasons for the continuing drone attacks, despite the high political price, is that "it is an incentive aimed prodding the Pakistani government." He said he believes the United States would be happy to trade off the strikes in return for a more effective counterinsurgency campaign by the Pakistani government.

Further bolstering that interpretation of the objective of continued drone strikes is a report, in the same story in The News, that the most recent strike took place only hours after U.S. officials had reportedly received a rejection by Pakistani authorities Apr. 8 of a proposal for joint military operations against militant organisations in the tribal areas from U.S. South Asia envoy Richard Holbrooke and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Mike Mullen, who were visiting Islamabad.

Other analysts suggest that the programme has acquired bureaucratic and political momentum because it a politically important symbol that the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan are against al Qaeda and because the United States has no other policy instrument to demonstrate that it is doing something about the growth of Islamic groups that share al Qaeda’s extremist Islamic militancy.

McCreary believes that the programme is related to the fear of the Obama administration that it would be unable to get support for operations in Afghanistan if it didn’t focus on al Qaeda. "I think it was a way to link Afghanistan operations to al Qaeda," he said.

"That suggests to me that the tactic for motivating domestic support is influencing the policy," said McCreary. The former senior DIA analyst added that the drone strike programme "has acquired its own momentum, which is now having immense consequences."

Weinbaum told IPS in an interview that the drone attacks are being continued, "primarily because we’re enormously frustrated, and they represent the only thing we really have."

*Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist specialising in U.S. national security policy. The paperback edition of his latest book, "Perils of Dominance: Imbalance of Power and the Road to War in Vietnam", was published in 2006.

(END/2009)
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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #36 on: May 10, 2009, 10:19:14 am »
Nine Killed In US Drone Attack On Militants

5:01pm UK, Saturday May 09, 2009
Nine people - five of them militants - have reportedly been killed in a suspected US missile attack in northwestern Pakistan.

 CLICK HERE FOR LINK


It is claimed strikes by US drones have killed more than 300 people in the past year


Pakistani officials said the target was a compound used by the Taliban in South Waziristan near the Afghan border.

It is believed at least four missiles were fired at the building, in the village of Sarorogha, by two pilotless US drone aircraft.

"We have reports of at least five militants killed in the missile attack," said an intelligence spokesman. The same figure was given by the Taliban.

However, another intelligence official put the death toll at as high as 20, saying one of the missiles also hit a vehicle carrying militants.

The attack comes after Pakistan's military chiefs asked for more hardware to help them fight the Taliban.

The government has also urged the US to stop drone attacks, saying they violate its sovereignty and deepen resentment among Pakistanis.


The Pakistani army is battling Taliban militants in Pakistan's Swat Valley. They have been strafing the main city and surrounding areas with jet fighters, helicopter gunships and artillery rounds.
Sky News Asia correspondent Alex Crawford


The latest drone strike comes as Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari is visiting the United States.

The attacks have increased in the past year and there has been no let-up since US President Barack Obama took office in January.

America has carried out about 40 drone air strikes since the begining of 2008, most since September.

They have killed more than 300 people, according to a variety of reports.

There have been 15 drone attacks this year, five in April.
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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #37 on: May 10, 2009, 04:12:52 pm »
May 10, 1:36 PM EDT

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/A/AS_PAKISTAN?SITE=TNCHA&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT


Curfew's lift lets more flee Pakistani valley

MINGORA, Pakistan (AP) -- Tens of thousands of civilians, many on foot or donkey-led carts, took advantage of a lifted curfew to flee Pakistan's embattled Swat Valley on Sunday, while the army said it had killed 400 to 500 militants in its battle against the Taliban.

The hemorrhaging of residents from a scenic valley that once attracted hordes of tourists threatened to greatly exacerbate an existing internal refugee crisis for a nuclear-armed nation already facing economic, political and other woes.

The army offensive has garnered praise from the U.S., which wants Pakistan to root out havens on its soil where Taliban militants can plan attacks on American and NATO forces across the border in Afghanistan. In an interview aired Sunday, Pakistan's president urged international support for the fight and insisted the army had enough troops in the northwest to handle the threat.

As they left Swat's main town of Mingora, some residents cursed the situation and condemned the Taliban, while others blamed Pakistani leaders for bowing to the West. "Show our picture to your master America and get money from him," some taunted.

The desperate Swat residents were trying to leave any way they could - on motorbikes, animal-pulled carts, rickshaws or foot. A ban on civilian vehicles entering the valley complicated the exodus for those without cars. Some chided an Associated Press reporter for slowing them down by asking questions.

"We are going out only with our clothes and a few things to eat on the long journey," said Rehmat Alam, a 40-year-old medical technician walking out of Mingora with 18 other relatives. "We just got out relying on God because there is no one else to help us."

Fighter jets and helicopter gunships have pounded Swat and surrounding districts over the past few days after Taliban fighters in the valley moved out and tried to impose their reign in other areas, including a stretch just 60 miles from the capital, Islamabad.

The army's nine-hour suspension of the curfew Sunday could signal a more intense operation now that more civilians have left. Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said 400 to 500 militants had been killed since the operation's launch last week.

Much of the latest fighting occurred along the periphery of Swat and Shangla, a neighboring district, he said, and at least 140 bodies of alleged militants were discovered at a militant training camp in that area.

Reports that militants from Swat had filtered into Shangla came out well before the latest operation, but it also was possible that more insurgents were headed to that district to escape the bombardments in the valley.

In Swat, Mingora was relatively calm, though an army statement said 50 to 60 militants died Sunday in various parts of the valley. Taliban fighters remained visible in Mingora.

Two soldiers also died in the latest fighting, including one who succumbed to injuries suffered Friday, the army said. The death tolls could not be confirmed independently, and some of the army's figures could not immediately be reconciled.

In the northwest district of Mardan, government official Khalid Umerzai said more than 100,000 displaced Pakistanis were expected Sunday, on top of 252,000 already there.

"Vehicles loaded with people are coming down bumper-to-bumper from Swat, and we are expecting a huge crowd of people and organizing two more relief camps in Mardan and Takhtbai," Umerzai said.

Before the latest operation, some 550,000 people were registered as displaced from past offensives in other parts of Pakistan's northwest, including the semi-autonomous tribal belt, according to the United Nations.

The international aid agency World Vision said its relief workers were finding "intolerable" conditions at some camps due to soaring temperatures, overcrowding, inadequate toilets and a lack of electricity.

"Despite the coordinated efforts of the Pakistani authorities, World Vision and other aid agencies on the ground, we may not be able to meet the most basic needs of the refugees as quickly as they are arriving in the camps if it continues at this pace," said Jeff Hall, an official with the aid group.

Many in the northwest have little faith in the weak civilian government's ability to help them, a challenge to Pakistan's leaders because disillusioned refugees could prove fertile recruiting ground for the Taliban. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has directed millions of dollars to help the residents of the region.

In his interview with NBC's "Meet the Press," Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari brushed aside concerns that Pakistan's armed forces are still too focused on a potential threat from longtime rival India. He said the resources devoted to the fight against the Taliban - 135,000 troops in the northwest, he estimated - were "sufficient."

"It's a war of our existence," Zardari said.

Pakistan launched the full-scale offensive Thursday to halt the spread of Taliban, who began moving into districts neighboring Swat despite a much-criticized peace deal in which Pakistani agreed to impose Islamic law in the valley and surrounding areas.

Swat lies near the Afghan border as well as the wild Pakistani tribal areas, where al-Qaida and the Taliban have strongholds and where U.S. officials believe al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden may be hiding.

The army says 12,000 to 15,000 troops in Swat face 4,000 to 5,000 militants, including small numbers of foreigners and hardened fighters from the South Waziristan tribal region. The army has given no details of civilian casualties, though witnesses have reported scores, apparently for fear of a public outcry that could hamper support for the offensive.

---

Associated Press writers Zarar Khan, Asif Shahzad and Nahal Toosi contributed to this report from Islamabad. An AP reporter in Mingora who was not identified for security reasons also contributed.

Offline Biggs

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #38 on: May 18, 2009, 01:55:45 pm »
US drone attack kills 29 in North Waziristan By Dawn Correspondent
Dawn

www.uruknet.info?p=54341


May 16, 2009

MIRAMSHAH:
Twenty-nine people were killed when a US drone fired two missiles at a residential compound in the Mirali tehsil of North Waziristan tribal region here on Saturday.

Residents said that a remotely-piloted US aircraft which was hovering over the area fired two missiles at the house of Hikmat Roshan in the Khaisore village of Mirali at around 8am, killing 29 tribesmen present there. The house was reduced to rubble, while a religious seminary near it was also damaged.

They said that it was the third drone attack on the Khaisore village, about five kilometers to south of Mirali town, since the US forces fighting Taliban in Afghanistan started drone attacks in the Pakistan tribal belt. The village is populated by the Khushali Torikhel clan of Wazir tribe.

In another incident, helicopters gunship shelled houses of suspected militants in the Pir Kalli area, 10 kilometers east of Miramshah on Saturday.

Sources said that the security forces blocked the Bannu-Miramshah road from both sides during the air strikes. A number of houses were damaged in the attack.

Residents said that the shelling was conducted in the area where an army convoy was attacked with an improvised explosive device on Thursday (May 14). Three security personnel were killed and four others were injured in the IED attack.

STOP THE KILLING NOW
END THE CRIMINAL SIEGE OF GAZA - FREE PALESTINE!!!!!!!

Offline Optimus

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Re: No 'change' for Pakistan as O-bomb-ah orders more missile strikes
« Reply #39 on: July 03, 2009, 08:44:43 am »
Suspected Drone Attacks Kills 13 in Pakistan
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/04/world/asia/04pstan.html?ref=global-home
By PIR ZUBAIR SHAH and ALAN COWELL
Published: July 3, 2009

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — At least 13 people were killed Friday in what was suspected to be an attack by an American drone in a remote village stronghold of the Pakistani Taliban, according to two residents reached by telephone.

A Pakistani intelligence official, who asked not to be identified because he was not authorized to talk to reporters, confirmed the attack but declined to give details. The United States routinely withholds comment on suspected drone attacks, of which there have been at least 40 since August.

The residents asked not to be identified by name because of high tensions after the attack. They said three missiles struck in a village called Zamarai Nairai in an area of the lawless South Waziristan tribal region known as a stronghold of militants led by Baitullah Mehsud, the presumed leader of the Pakistani Taliban. He has been blamed by the Pakistani authorities for a string of suicide attacks in many parts of Pakistan.

Residents said the missiles Friday hit a compound in the village that was being used as a base and a training camp.

Some news reports put the death toll at 15.

South Waziristan is mountainous region along Pakistan’s largely porous border with Afghanistan, where the United States and forces from other countries are locked in an escalating war with Taliban insurgents. A column of some 4,000 United States Marines, supported by British and Afghan forces, began a major offensive Thursday in southern Afghanistan.

The Pakistani Army has indicated that it is preparing for an offensive of its own into South Waziristan, but its planners faced a setback this week when another Taliban leader in neighboring North Waziristan decided to pull out of a truce struck in February 2008.

The Associated Press reported Friday that Pakistani warplanes bombed suspected militant hide-outs in North Waziristan, killing four militants and wounding seven others.
“The Constitution is not an instrument for the government to restrain the people,
it's an instrument for the people to restrain the government.” – Patrick Henry

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