By James Cogan:
US drone attacks provoke fury in Pakistan
26 January 2011
Thousands of people rallied on Sunday in Mir Ali, a town in Pakistan’s North Waziristan tribal agency, and in Peshawar, the capital of the country’s north-west Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province, in furious protest against a wave of US Predator missile strikes on homes and vehicles inside Pakistan.
Hundreds of Pashtun tribesmen spontaneously assembled for the Mir Ali demonstration. Just hours before, a Predator had stalked a car allegedly carrying four anti-US militants and incinerated it with Hellfire missiles when it parked in the village of Doga Madakhel. All the occupants were killed.
Two other Predator strikes followed. A motorcycle rider and two others were killed not far from Doga Madakhel, then at least six people were killed by another missile strike on a house near Miranshah, the largest town in North Waziristan.
Sunday’s demonstration in Peshawar highlighted the growing fury in Pakistan over the US operations inside the country—which are gross violations of Pakistani sovereignty and war crimes under the Geneva Convention, which bans extrajudicial assassinations and the targeting of civilian housing and vehicles.
A Pakistani court ordered the government on Tuesday not to release an American official arrested in the shooting deaths of two Pakistanis despite US insistence that he has diplomatic immunity and has been detained illegally: here.
An ongoing US-backed Pakistani offensive against tribes near the Afghan border has forced over 22,000 people to flee their homes, a government administrator reported today: here.
Andrew J. Bacevich, TomDispatch: “In defense circles, ‘cutting’ the Pentagon budget has once again become a topic of conversation. Americans should not confuse that talk with reality. Any cuts exacted will at most reduce the rate of growth. The essential facts remain: US military outlays today equal that of every other nation on the planet combined, a situation without precedent in modern history”: here.
Matt Southworth, Of Peace And Politics: “As the US war in Afghanistan spreads toward Pakistan and the strategy drifts to Counter Terrorism (CT), there is no deescalation in sight. In fact, it is increasingly clear that the White House has little intention to significantly draw down troops in July of this year, as promised in President Obama’s West Point speech”: here.
The Obama administration will step up its illegal assassination campaign against people in foreign countries deemed to threaten “national security,” the White House announced on Wednesday: here.