Saturday, December 24, 2011
Pakistan received an early Christmas gift from President Barack Obama with the announcement the U.S. will suspend CIA drone attacks on low-ranking militants believed to be involved in on U.S. troops and facilities in Afghanistan.
The undeclared halt in CIA attacks, now in its sixth week, is seen as an effort to stop the worsening relationship between the U.S. and Pakistan. Drone attacks on ordered by President Obama have gone awry in recent months, resulting in a series of deadly incidents, including the mistaken attack that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers last month.
The New America Foundation, a think tank in Washington, estimates CIA drones have killed at least 1,717 people, including 1,424 militants but other estimates run considerably higher.
This means hundreds of innocent Pakistanis have been killed by U.S. drones.
A November 26th drone which killed the 24 Pakistani soldiers, caused a near rupture in relations between the U.S. and Pakistan. After the raid, Islamabad ordered the United States to vacate the Shamsi Airbase in southwest Pakistan, which the CIA had used to stage lethal drone flights.
Do you guys watch the excellent Showtime series “Homeland”? They borrowed a storyline from an actual even involving U.S. drones “accidentally” bombing an elementary school. More than a 100 grade school children were slaughtered. The U.S. initially denied it happened. Finally, the Bush administration admitted the event happened. This is not the way to sow the seeds of good will in a country already deeply distrustful of America. I think suspending CIA drone attacks is a positive first step to restoring our relationship with Pakistan.
but the HIGH ranking ones ?? still open season??
The drone campaign needs to target the real threat to the USA: the Mexican drug cartels.
Knowing the Zetas and the Gas Pipeline gangs are waging a war that is spilling over in American cities like Chula Vista, San Diego, Tucson, Phoenix, Las Cruses and Brownsville, has me more than a little nervous.
You mean to tell me the Obama administration finally admitted it was operating a covert, lethal drone operation targeting militants in Pakistan? This means they’ve opened themselves up to claims for financial compensation from parents of children killed in that school in Islamabad and members of the wedding party killed in the drone attack near Lahore. This could get costly.
This is a positive step to improving relations with Pakistan.
Sigh…this is giving me voter’s remorse. But, then again, the other option in ’08 was no dream ticket either.
Merry Christopher Christopher. Keep up the good work here.