Afghan Journal

Lifting the veil on conflict, culture and politics

Drone strikes are police work, not an act of war?

July 5, 2011

Launching an air strike in another nation would normally be considered an act of aggression. But advocates of America’s rapidly expanding unmanned drone programme don’t see it that way.

They are arguing, as Tom Ricks writes on his blog The Best Defense over at Foreign Policy, that the campaign to kill militants with missile strikes from these unmanned aircraft, is more like police action in a tough neighbourhood than a military conflict.

These raids conducted by sinister-looking Predator or Reaper aircraft in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen – and since last month in Somalia - should not be seen as a challenge to states and their authority. Instead they are meant to supplement the power of governments that are either unable to or unwilling to fight the militants operating from their territories.

They are precise, limited, strikes aimed at taking down specific individuals, and in that sense are more like the police going after criminals, rather than a full-on military assault. Ricks writes: 

“Police work involves small arms used precisely. Drones aren’t pistols, but firing one Hellfire at a Land Rover is more like a police action than it is like a large-scale military offensive with artillery barrages, armored columns, and infantry assaults.”

It is a bit of a stretch, though, to compare a police action in a rough part of town with the kind of devastation that the laser-guided Hellfire missile can rain down when fired from unmanned aircraft as scores of Pakistani civilians in the troubled northwest region  discovered in the initial days of the programme launched by the Bush administration.

Civilian casualties have dropped off since then as ground intelligence improves and drone controllers, whether they are sitting in the CIA headquarters in Langley or out in air-conditioned trailers in Nevada, acquire more experience in this type of warfare which outgoing CIA director Leon Panetta once said was the “only game in town”with regard to disrupting and destroying al Qaeda in Pakistan.

Under the Obama administration there has not only been a surge in strikes since it came to office in January 2009 but there has also been a diversification of the targets of the missile attacks as reported out of Pakistan.

Under President George W. Bush, the drone attacks were largely directed against al Qaeda and its associates, including the Afghan Taliban. Under Obama, they have also been targeting the Pakistani Taliban and its associates — particularly after their involvement in the killing of CIA officers in a suicide bombing in Khost area of Afghanistan in December, 2009. The pace of strikes against the Pakistani Taliban picked up further after it was found to have given training to Faisal Shahzad, a US citizen of Pakistani origin, to carry out a strike in New York’s Times Square last May. The car bomb failed, and Shahzad is serving a life sentence.

The idea that the United States can arrogate to itself the right of life and death of people around the world can set off a dangerous precedent.  What happens if India decides to do a bit of police action of its own in next door Pakistan. Unlike the CIA, India has actually built up a legal case against the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafeez Sayeed, for involvement in the November 2008 attacks on Mumbai. Given the lack of action by Pakistani authorities, should India take the law into its hands and target Sayeed and his associates for the assault ?

Or as Greg Scoblete says in the Real World Compass blog, what if Iran develops the capability to fly drones of its own and blows up the suburban Virginia home of a CIA official that is suspects is  instigating violence in Iran, how will America react ? 

Surely it is not going to say this is police action, but an act of war, or at the very least a terrorist strike on the homeland.

The U.S. leads the world in the use of unmanned aircraft for warfare by a distance, but it can’t be very long before other nations scale up their capabilities in unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) as they are also  known.

The drone technology may be sophisticated, but it can be reverse-engineered and replicated (the Chinese are reportedly already doing it). Forty countries already have UAVs in their arsenals, as do reportedly non-state actors such as Hezbollah. Today the U.S.  is able to fly its drones over Waziristan and Yemen, but it is not inconceivable that in the future others too might be able to fly their drones over New York and Washington.

Indeed, Pakistan – which has taken the highest number of drone strikes in recent years – is itself asking for these aircraft both for surveillance and to carry out covert warfare.  America has so far refused.


Ofcourse Drones are merely a police action. Those who went to New York thought that passenger aircrafts are absolutely non violent machines and can be ligitimately used for a ploice actions. And not to ignore NATO ntrusion into Libya is to protect civilians, simply because Col Gaddafi refused to buy the french aeroplanes. Poor civilians are going to use unarmed ships with peace loving activists to break the Gaza embargo. All these actions are to maintain peace and should be classified as police actions. The only problem is that in the process innocent civilians are the casualties. When are we going to witness the next soft police action from almighty God? Earthquakes, psunamis and floods are some to think of. Any forecast areas so that the tourists can take precautions and avoid them? Watch CNN.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

India cannot launch drone actions inside Pakistan. Others might be able to do it and get away with it. But India is very special for Pakistan. Even if a crow flies from India over Pakistan, they are ready to launch their nukes which are gathering dust. And the US cannot run the drones without getting co-operation from Pakistan to use its own bases. These are short range planes and cannot fly from bases afar. They can be shot down very easily by any air force. The fact that the US is able to do what it does inside Pakistan, sometimes killing its citizens is because Pakistan has allowed it for financial and military aid. In the long run, as they see it, they get to gain. The US must be allowed to do something. This way big assets can be protected while the US gets to satisfy its public that it is doing something successful. If drones are not allowed in Pakistan, there is the danger of US going to direct war with Pakistan. And Pakistan wants to fight only India and no one else. Four wars and defeats have not convinced them that they can’t win any war with anyone.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

“What happens if India decides to do a bit of police action of its own in next door Pakistan. Unlike the CIA, India has actually built up a legal case against the founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba, Hafeez Sayeed, for involvement in the November 2008 attacks on Mumbai. Given the lack of action by Pakistani authorities, should India take the law into its hands and target Sayeed and his associates for the assault ?”

-Pakistan Air Force F-16 shot down an Israeli made Indian UAV back during 2001-02 border standoff as it breached the Pakistani airspace from the east. If India does it again, PAF will retaliate.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

Call it a police action, a military action or something else, the bottom line is that if a country is unwilling or unable to control the elements which threaten other nations, don’t expect the threatened nations to sit back & do nothing. It’s quite clear that Pakistan is not only unwilling & unable to reign in the terrorism emanating from it’s soil, it also willingly supports most of it. It’s no secret that the intelligence agencies of most countries consider the ISI as a rogue entity which is more dangerous than most terrorist organizations in the world. If the Pakistanis are not willing to mend their ways, they should expect more drone strikes & operations of the kind which killed Bin Laden. As far as the drones are concerned, they have proven to be a very effective weapons & claimed the lives of many high value targets, including the likes of Baitullah Mehsud.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

The Author is right that many States and non States actors are experimenting the technology, which is not realy a great tecnology, any student of aeronotics can design it and have it proTo use theduced in a metal factory. But when one makes use of Hegel’s logic of speculation one finds only two actors namely Israel and Pakistan are testing their use in carrying nuclear devices! Are Indian scientists also on this path?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Personally I think it is an act of war. In fact Tom Ricks in his piece after putting forth the point that their use is akin to police action then goes on, in the very next para, to state “We all understand that drone aircraft have changed warfare,…..”

A police force operates within a very limited local space or neighbourhood not in other countries. The justification being made here to call it police action is that the drones are against individuals and not part of wider action. Perhaps but then, as I see it, all actions in war are not always broad based and are at times targeted against individuals sometimes covertly – they still remain acts of war.

Posted by DaraIndia | Report as abusive

One feels, with some inevitability, that those Americans who put this argument forward are precisely the ones who would most energetically pursue technical arguments over “due process” to get themselves off if they found themselves arrested, charged and sent for trial.

By all means regard this as police action. But follow due process while doing so. Police action outside one’s areas of jurisdiction is governed by international treaty and requires appropriate and valid warrants. Get these warrants, and nobody will have a problem with this. Ignore them, and the correct word for what you do becomes “thuggery”, and will ultimately harm your own security interests.

Posted by Ian_Kemmish | Report as abusive

My concern with this article/blog is in the initial impression it gives which is: Americans are arguing that drone strikes are police action and not war. If you go to the blog referenced and read the comments section, you will see that the majority of commenters disagree that this is a police action. Personally I think you can only see it as a police action if the country where the drone is working has asked for this kind of assistance (and maybe doesn’t have the tech or resources). But if we are using drones in areas where these kind of agreements are not in place, then (to me) it is warfare. The drone is just a tool and how/why it is used is the determining factor in my mind.

Posted by TheIndependent | Report as abusive

Bombing sovereign countries and killing people equals war no matter what kind of happy, smiley spin someone tries to put on it.

6 wars we are in. Great. Don’t believe the anti-terror, pro-democracy hype. These wars are about the same as the others, money and power. I love how the anti-war movement dried up when President Obama got elected.

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence agst. foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

James Madison

Posted by FugginMorons | Report as abusive

police action or not is a technical question. The point is something needs to be done about this rogue nation. The ends justify the means.

Posted by rrdas | Report as abusive

The US doesn’t trust these tools in the hands of Pakistan and knows that Pakistan is not capable of refusing their aid. It would be an act of war if Pakistan was in a position to declare it as such. But they aren’t – so they can’t and whether the ends justify the means doesn’t mean nearly as much as the fortunes riding on the game.
Drones and all volunteer career war has been the world order of the last ten years.

Even this apparently superior and precise weapon can be copied by enemies and at an even smaller scale. They are essentially model airplanes. I’m sure we would be considering it and attack – wherever it came from – if it happened here.

It should be sobering to realize that with all the technical advantages at the disposal of this country – the insurgency or defense (and it is very hard to tell any more who is whom) of both Afghanistan and Pakistan are more elusive than even this insect weapon.
But a lot of people can make a living making them until they can’t. If they are on the receiving end someday (who knows?) they can argue about the legitimacy of whatever killer evolves from this thing.

But I don’t recall that the UN or any group of allied nations believes that the US has the right to decide when or wherever they choose to attack. Police in this country do not generally open fire in crowded public places, and rarely in remote places for that matter. There seem to be less exciting ways of dealing with domestic disturbances. And I don’t think anyone is in a position to claim that they solve more problems then they create. The media here spends so much more time on freak murder trials than it does on the deaths of civilians caught in police or war actions. That is a sign of brain damage on the part of most of our own population.

Posted by paintcan | Report as abusive

There is something serious brewing. The US has suspended 800 million dollars of military aid to Pakistan. This is after Pakistan sent off US trainers and the Shamsi air base drone operation tussle. Pakistan can retaliate by suspending all NATO supply facilities. Things are going from bad to worse. I won’t be surprised if direct clashes start between NATO and Pakistani forces soon. Things are not falling in place for Obama as Pakistan is not complying. This is the time for the Pakistani civilian government to step up and assert its authority over the military. They should order their military to launch into North Waziristan where most of the militants are concentrated. If they did that, they can avoid direct war with the US. If such a war erupts, drones won’t be the major topic of discussion.

Posted by KPSingh | Report as abusive

Pakistan army press release:
INTER-SERVICES PUBLIC RELATIONS t-week_view&id=1789#wv_link1789

No PR160/2011-ISPR Dated: Saturday, July 9, 2011

Responding to a question during an interview with a foreign news agency about a series of unsubstantiated news reports published by the New York Times, DG ISPR and Military Spokesman Major General Athar Abbas rejected the allegations leveled against the Army and ISI, and described them as baseless and mischievous. Major General Athar Abbas said in recent weeks the New York Times has continued to publish wild claims presented as news stories on the basis on information supposedly provided by unnamed US officials. He said in most cases such news reports have quoted anonymous US sources, bringing the veracity of their reporting into question.
Recalling NYT’s apology of March 2004 about some of its coverage of the Iraq war, General Abbas said at that time the newspaper had this to say: ‘In some cases, information that was controversial then, and seems questionable now, was insufficiently qualified or allowed to stand unchallenged. Looking back, we wish we had been more aggressive in reexamining the claims as new evidence emerged-or failed to emerge’.
The Military Spokesman further said: “if the newspaper continues with its vilifying campaign without any concrete evidence, I am afraid at some point it may end up expressing its deep regret the way it did in the case of its Iraq coverage.

-The rank and file of Pakistan armed forces have welcomed the suspension of $800 million much of which was on account of CSF-Coalition support funds for troops fighting in the FATA region. Infact, the Army knows it can live without the dollars but not risk disunity among its ranks. Pakistan government will step in to fill the gap and provide the military everything it needs. While Pakistan Army is carrying out intense operations in the area, Mr. Panetta has come up with another one that AQ leader Al-Zwahiri is in Pakistan. On the other hand Pakistan Army has officially stated it expects intelligence sharing and targeted operations by Pakistan Army ONLY. Lets see which way it goes, for now it seems Pakistan and America both hate to work together, but have absolutely no other option either.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

“While Pakistan Army is carrying out intense operations in the area, Mr. Panetta has come up with another one that AQ leader Al-Zwahiri is in Pakistan.”

Americans said the same about Osama Bin Laden and Pakistan denied it over and over again. When the Americans raided deep into Pakistan and took away Bin Laden’s body, it was an extremely shameful occasion for the army. For a week no one could even say anything about it from Pakistan’s army or the ISI.

So when the Americans say Zawahiri is inside Pakistan, they probably have laid all the ground work to hit him and are waiting for an opportune time. They probably have all details of his whereabouts and are making the army nervous again. So the army will try to move the criminal to some other safe place and that too might be watched by the CIA moles. Pakistan might as well come forward and hand over all the criminals associated with global terrorism. At least they can avoid further aid cuts.

The Govt of Pakistan is broke and cannot fill in any gap for the military.

Posted by KPSingh01 | Report as abusive

When a lone deranged madman “declares war” on a government, a people, a religion, or institution, it is a matter for the police.

When a group of people who espouse a vile, deranged ideology but who are otherwise sane declare war on any of the above categories, it is a matter for the military.

A nation or people are at war either when they initiate hostilities or hostilities are initiated against them. Bin Laden declared war against the US. But the first attack against the WTC in 1993 was treated as a police affair, incorrectly as history shows. The fact that Al-Qeuda and it’s brethren organizations are non-state actors (for the most part, the Taliban controlled Afghanistan of the ’90s being an exception) does not give them immunity from having a retaliatory war waged against them.

Europeans, who collectively and individually have no coherent understanding of the hard truths about war, who have never shown the understanding nor ability to independently project power to prevent or end war, who couldn’t even properly deal with the Balkan Wars INSIDE Europe, believe that war is indistinguishable from police work. They have their proud International Criminal Court which serves as a sort of life sentence for the accused due to the ridiculous length of the trials, yet they don’t even store enough ammunition to maintain an moderate bombing campaign against tiny Libya for more than a few weeks.

Pakistan, who perhaps should be more properly thought of in terms of tribal groupings rather than as a nation, are similarly confused but for vastly different reasons. Pakistan is currently fighting a civil war, a regional war against Afghanistan, a regional war against Kashmir, a cold war against India, and a proxy war against the US. The elements of these wars are hopelessly confused along tribal, ethnic, religious, and state organization fault lines. So the difference between police actions, military actions, secret service intelligence actions, and proxy religious and ethnic militant actions are hopelessly intertwined so that the reality of the situation, that Pakistan is truly at war and not just suffering from a high degree of lawlessness, is not well understood neither domestically nor abroad.

This confusion of whether a nation is at war or engaged in a police action also exists in the US, albeit to a somewhat lesser extent as the lines between the combatants are a bit less muddy. The US also has a history of mislabeling wars as police actions, e.g. Korea and Vietnam…both true wars which were never officially called such during their prosecution. Likewise, we are clearly at war with Libya, and have been to some degree ever since Gaddafi blew up the Pan Am flight over Scotland. Yet we don’t label it as such, further adding to the confusion.

Perhaps there is a case to be made for such mislabeling. Perhaps it is sometimes easier to keep the fighting from spreading if a declaration of war is absent. Yet the price we pay as a world society is extreme myopia regarding what exactly a military exists for. Soldiers aren’t cops. Cops aren’t soldiers. Whenever those lines are blurred, the security of civil society is weakened.

In summation, there is de facto war happening in South Asia, not simple lawlessness. We should all stop pretending otherwise. The title of this collection of articles on Reuters is “Pakistan, Now or Never”.

It is beginning to look like “Never”. And that is tragic.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive


Pakistan has been pushed beyond the limits of normal endurance, unfortunatley the people here and armed forces and intelligence services feel Pakistan has been pushed around way too far, used and betrayed time and again. A country in mourning, thousands of officers and soldiers martyred, termendous sacrifices in man and material and monetary losses, reputation tarnished. US has definitely some role in this, i agree where the fault lies within, Pakistan is a complex country to begin with. A nation born out of turmoil in 1947, survived despite the odds. Still, I would never say die, Pakistan has its problems like any other country, can show persistently failing symptoms yet remarkably show the tendency to come back from the brink each time. Its real strength is the sheer potential of its people with a will to persevere. While one day Karachi can burn with riots, or a town in north west gets badly shaken with deadly bombings, still it is the courage of its people to pick up the pieces and rebuild. I have seen it time and again and will never loose faith in this nation. we will work hard, fix the problems, correct what is wrong, confront any agressor, strive for peace, pull ourselves together with dignity in difficult times, eliminate the enemy within.

Posted by Umairpk | Report as abusive

As always Umairpk, you have my most fervent hope for success and my deepest sympathy for your horrifying situation. Unfortunately, I am pessimistic about the ability of all humans on the planet to find their way out of ignorance and violence toward others. My own country is teetering on the edge of financial collapse because the legions of the bigoted and ignorant are enabling truly evil politicians and captains of industry to accumulate wealth and power at the expense of the suffering poor and middle class. As bad as things are now in the global economy, I sadly believe it is about to get much much worse.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive


I just wanted to add that of all the people posting here, your comments are the most genuine. Not only are you one of the few who are posting from within Pakistan, but you have shown time and again that you are patriotic but not jingoistic, proud but aware of your country’s problems, anguished but not driven over the edge to extremism.

Bin Laden accomplished one of his goals brilliantly; he understood that conflict polarizes societies, forcing otherwise moderate people to choose one extreme or the other. The incompetent GWB played right into it, perhaps because of his inherent lack of intelligence but also because at heart he was also an extremist and benefited politically, at least for a while.

Polarization during the second intifada demolished the liberal secular peace coalition of Israel that had reached it’s zenith in the ’90s. It seems both Hamas and the Orthodox settlers are quite happy with endless conflict, and there is no room left in either society for those who would disagree. Prior to 9-11, American muslims were not subjected to widespread harassment. Now with every passing year the vitriol from our Christian fundamentalists becomes more vile.

In the cauldron that is Pakistan today, I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you to maintain such an even temperament. I’m an open minded liberal (some might even say, a hippie lol). Yet after 9-11 I became enraged and, I’m ashamed to say, rather bellicose towards Islam. Ironically, a few months later I fell in love with a woman from the Middle East and we have been married 9 years. She and I are both agnostic, but her family are secular leaning Muslims and I was accepted by them without reservation. Neither her country nor mine has seen much war since then within our respective borders, but we both dread another terrorist attack, and we fear what will happen if a terrorist from her country were to try an attack on the US, i.e. such as the Times Square bomber from Pakistan. When the madman shot my congresswoman and those others six months ago, we were praying (agnostics praying?!) that he wasn’t from her country, and we felt relief when we learned he wasn’t even Muslim.

So I am somewhat amazed and very impressed that you have managed to keep such a clear head given what is going on around you. You are obviously passionate, as you have every right to be, but you haven’t been sucked into blind hatred of the other, which is a natural and only human response to such horror.

I just wanted to commend you and express my admiration for your consistent level headed advocacy for justice and peace amid a naturally polarizing environment. I know other posters here have also recognized your contributions to the rational discussion.


Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

The current American President has overplayed his hand in the Afghan war, first the decision for a surge followed by the appintmentment of Gen Petros and now the order to get out. NATO Govts are following suit, the spin is to make the retreat for the American public as palatable as possible so that the re-election campaign is smooth. The clintonians headed by Mr Panetta have been given the task to organise the orderly exit from the so called taliban land. The strategists have in the meantime identified the weakness in the Pakistan army cadre as well as the civilian Govt. which is currently run by a bunch of thugs and criminals, who are prepared to do anything for the Americans to further their personal fortunes. Hence, this story about the info the Americans now have about the key AQ operatives residing in the tribal territory of Pakistan. Ofcourse, the records they supposedly obtained from the Abbotabad operation showed the names with the addresses and the locations on a 3D map. The story for the birds but they are confident that Pakistan army brass is likely to buy. What a farce, while citizens are complaining about the rising food prices, while Pakistan army pays a salary of a General to their Press spokesman and provides him with a bullet prof BMW for his protection.
This spin is to prolong the presence of the Americans presence in some form in Pakistan after the withdrawl from Afghanistan. Good luck, perhaps the USA is going to learn to know the same enemy on Pakisan side of the border as well.

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Rex, I have some reading for you. Refer to The Dunning–Kruger Effect. It is a theory of cognitive bias in which unskilled people make poor decisions and reach erroneous conclusions, but their incompetence denies them the metacognitive ability to appreciate their mistakes. The idea has been around for a long time.

The Dunning-Kruger Effect was empirically proven in 1999 by psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger in their report “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments”.

Kruger and Dunning proposed that, for a given skill, incompetent people will:

-tend to overestimate their own level of skill
-fail to recognize genuine skill in others
-fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy

Kruger and Dunning performed a study in which participants took tests of their logical reasoning skills, grammatical skills, and humor, and then estimated their own abilities in those subjects.

Those participants who scored in the bottom quartile grossly overestimated their own abilities. Those in the 12th percentile had estimated themselves to be in the 62nd percentile.

Overall, Dunning and Kruger found that incompetent people overestimate their own skill level, fail to recognize the skill of other people and fail to recognize their own inadequacy.

Dunning has since drawn an analogy to anosognosia, a certain condition in which a person who suffers a brain injury seems unaware of or denies the existence of the disability, even for dramatic impairments such as blindness or paralysis. See also an extended essay Errol Morris wrote for the New York Times which explores the phenomenon in great depth.

Dunning, Kruger, and coauthors’ latest paper on this subject comes to qualitatively similar conclusions to their original work, after making some attempt to test alternative explanations. They conclude that the root cause is that, in contrast to high performers, “poor performers do not learn from feedback suggesting a need to improve.”

“Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge”-Charles Darwin

“One of the painful things about our time is that those who feel certainty are stupid, and those with any imagination and understanding are filled with doubt and indecision”-Bertrand Russell

Perhaps you see where I’m going with this, but the paradox is that it only proves you will be simply unable to apply this analysis to yourself.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

@Mr Arizona
Sanjiv miglani would not like your historical details of your illness which can be adequately treated in a Psychiatric clinic even in Arizona. No wonder your wife does not want you to spend your time with PC. The Zooligist Darwin also in his later life had to undergo a Psychiatric treatment when he realised that his parents were biologicaly not fully developed as humans.

Rex Minors

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

Minor Rex,

Your every post confirms your anosognosia.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

you are going crackers. keep away from this blog to avoid high blood pressure. Drone strike is relatively painless!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

I think I touched a nerve, oui?

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

Just unbelievable unacceptable to say that drone attacks are not act of war but police job.
Trying to create a loop whole and extend that loop whole and not create international law about usage of drones.
It means other countries with a drones can do the same to USA any time. Or act of revenge might be similar to drone attacks or if they do not have a drones they might choose other ways to to do a police job to other countries.
What a crap to justify the drone killings. And we all suppose to swallow?
Revenge for drone killings it might take a while I guess but it will happen.

Posted by cepelli | Report as abusive

Police action…what police action…since when Police is allowed to KILL??? I have a very straight logic of distinguishing between Police action and military action…Policing is primarily NOT meant to KILL while military is AUTHORISED to KILL. Is US going to use Drones inside US for policing??

And by the way who authorised US to police South Asia??

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive


Who authorized US to police South Asia? No one. Who authorized the US to go to war in South Asia? Mullah Omar, Osama Bin Laden, and others.

You fail to understand that 9-11 was an act of war. We were attacked by individuals who used Afghanistan and then Pakistan as a safe haven to launch and plan further attacks. Now they are using Yemen the same, and we are attacking them there as well. We don’t need any more wake up calls. We’re awake now.

You’re still sleeping.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

Edit to the above post: I said we were attacked by “individuals”. I should have said “organizations”. Semantics but sloppy wording like that is part of the reason people are confused between police work and warfare. See my first above post where I elucidate the difference more thoroughly.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive


“What a crap to justify the drone killings. And we all suppose to swallow?
Revenge for drone killings it might take a while I guess but it will happen.”

The justification for the drone killings are the same as any war. They want us all dead or converted to their system of thought. We wish to remain alive and free. Ergo, in order to remain alive and free, we must stop those who want us all dead or converted. If they insist on hiding in mountains where we are unable to send troops, if they insist on continuing to kill/convert us, there is only one way to stop them. That’s to kill them back.

To suggest that these drone strikes are somehow unprovoked, and thus deserving “revenge”, is to reveal your own willful ignorance. What possible justification can there be for 9-11, the London bombings, Bali, and thousands more targeted mass murders of civilians?

We no longer need to worry about angering these people once they’ve already shown an insatiable thirst for innocent blood.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

Another word on the semantics of police vs. war.

These are just words. When I was a teenager, my first boss would tell me to go to the parking lot and “police the area”. It was a big joke for us. He didn’t mean to keep the peace and arrest wrongdoers. He meant, go pick up the trash from the previous day’s revelers. Our weapons were trash bags and pointy sticks. Just because we were “policing the area” did not mean we were engaged in police work.

Maybe it was a “War on Litter” though.

I have noticed that the facts of war are most difficult for Europeans to understand, given that they have not had to be responsible for their own security since 1939, with the notable exception of England. Most Americans, myself included, would love to draw down our military and spend the money on ourselves, as Europeans currently do. History tells us that world civilization would suffer dramatically if we did. So we do the dirty work and get spit on by ignoramuses. But it’s better than a return to world wars.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

The lunitic is on the loose again. Te man who spent his teenage life in collecting trash from the car park area is telling us that that the facts of war are most difficult for Europeans to understandgiven that they were not rsponsible for their own security since 1939, with the notable exception of England. Look whois talking, an american whose country have never won a war on their own in living history. Fear and paranoia are evident in Baja’s comments which usualy gives a permanent delusion to the individual and gradualy he becomes sentimental, suspicious, irritable, introverted, depressed, obstinate, jealous. selfish, unsocial and bitter. The guy does not acknowledge his country failures or faults and boasts about wrongs committed by others. He then takes up the role of a victim.

The guy shows no remoarse or regrets for the civilian casualties on accont of merciless bombing of Hiroshima or Nagasaki, Dresden, vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan and tells that world civilisation would suffer dramaticaly if America were to withdraw. There must have been a jail break or the break down of the security in some remote American city? The guy does not probably know where the ww1 and ww2 were fought or the war of thirty years before?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

“You fail to understand that 9-11 was an act of war”

I completely understand that it is war but its the people in your own government who believe drones is police action. And I responded to this notion only that drones can never be called police action and those who call it such are trying to fool the world. And if they are still bent on calling it police action then they definitely do not have any authority for policing south asia.

I do know that these Islamist lunatics won’t stop until every infidel in converted or dead and hence the only way to survive is to strike back. Their dreams of whole world bowing to Islam and raising flags of Islam all around the world are as dangerous and sinister as the world wars were. Being an Indian I have experienced actions of these lunatics who mindlessly kill innocents. But to believe US can defeat them with drones, tomahawks and what not is a farce. First u drop bombs and then send in a army of playboys to control Pashtoons the warrior race that have been defeated and controlled ONLY THRICE in mankind’s history (no Alexander was not one of those three). And dont boast of Laden killing, ur forces have done nothing great, we all know Pakistan was hand-in-glove with US on that one. It was denied by Pak just to calm down its own public.

Sorry mate, but US does not have right people for this job despite having right reasons and right technology.

Posted by 007XXX | Report as abusive

BajaArizona: You are banging your head against a wall. This nut job of a character (minor) does not have the intellectual or moral capacity to indulge in a sane or reasonable dialogue. Just ignore this bigoted troll like the rest of us do. He just wants attention.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Thanks Mortal1 I will take your good advice.


When making a single point on a single topic, it is not possible to cover all the bases. When I read your response I almost find nothing to disagree with. Almost.

I did not previously boast of Bin Laden’s killing, nor did I make any claim to what role, if any, Pakistan may have had. You’re reciting a response to an argument I have not made. Yet…

” And dont boast of Laden killing, ur forces have done nothing great, we all know Pakistan was hand-in-glove with US on that one. It was denied by Pak just to calm down its own public.”

Were you there? I didn’t think so, because I didn’t see you, and I WAS. Ok no I wasn’t.

Seriously, I’m not going to argue whether the events as portrayed by a consensus of reporters from NYT to the BBC to Al Jazeera are true or not. None of us were there, and obviously there is a great deal of information which hasn’t been released.

I will however, boast. That scum MF OBL attacked my people. They died by the thousands, some holding hands as they jumped from a burning skyscraper, their only sin showing up for work that day.

Sec. of Def. Robert Gates, who served under eight presidents, said of Obama, “I worked for a lot of these guys. And this is one of the most courageous calls – decisions — that I think I’ve ever seen a president make,” Gates told CBS”.

There are and have always been plenty of corrupt and stupid politicians and plenty of cowardly acts done in the name of my country to be ashamed of, throughout history. The more power a country has the bigger the abuse of power that can occur. I know history and I know there are more times we’ve fallen short of our ideals than we have met them. But that’s the point of high ideals. It is a goal to strive for. We human beings are generally weak and ignorant. I’m no exception and neither are you. It was terrible watching GWB fail so utterly just as it is terrible to watch the Tea Party plunge us into recession again. Ignorant Americans take my breath away with the harm they do. But for once we elected a man who represents the best in us, and he made a risky and incredibly gutsy call to go ahead with that raid. I’m dam proud of him. Can’t help it.

“Sorry mate, but US does not have right people for this job despite having right reasons and right technology.”

That I have to agree with, not because all of our people are so bad, though many are, but because the job is so impossible. To kill the hydra we have to stop thinking that chopping off a head so two more can grow will do the trick. To begin with, we have to withdraw our troops but still maintain the ability to disrupt any safe haven on the planet. This is mutually exclusive, sadly. Like Alexander we must untie the Gordian knot. (Though perhaps not like he did!)

Yet the situation remains, until we figure out the solution, we have to somehow keep the Hydra at bay. What we are doing isn’t working. Letting them plot in safety is not an option either.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

Did I say something which has woken up the man who escaped from India and found refue in the whiteman#s land but fund no love for the caucasians. He has one now of his kind in the country of heat not very far from the mexico border. Surprise surprise, both characters need socialising!

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive

First paragraph has the answer. It’s an act of aggression.

Amazing how the US and its citizens have completely lost their moral compass in spite of the puritanism rampant in the their society, the US is in fact a society of sociopaths, displaying a complete lack of conscience, no sense of guilt for the death and misery and the millions and millions of inncoent men, women and child dead as a result of their mass greed. The US is now in desperate need of some the same medecine they helped dish out to Germany and Japan, who were acting exactly the same way as the US now.

The CIA is the largest terrorist organisation that has ever existed – Al Qaeda pales into insignificance by comparison. All their members should actually be hunted down by all other countries in the world in the same way Al Qaeda is hunted down.

As for the absurd notion that 9/11 was an act of war just shows the mental acrobatics these sociopaths have to go through to justify their world rape. 9/11 was a terrorist action – a large terrorist action – but a terrorist action all the same. It’s the same as when the IRA set off bombs in London in the 1970′s. Or when the Basque terrorists set off bombs in Spanish department stores. These are terrorist acts and reqire police work not wars to solve them. Can we imagine UK forces bombing Dublin or razing Belfast? Can we imagine the Spanish forces bombing Bilbao or razing San Sebastian? Of course not.

No, the US is out of control. It’s become like a serial killer in full ecstacy. Of course, if the majority of the dumbed down population ever really found out what their government has been up to over the last 50 years there would be a massive, violent revolution. But there won’t be. Anyone who poses a threat will be taken care of before thngs get out of hand. Accused of the terrorism, no doubt in exatly the same way the opposition to Latin American dictatorships were called terrorists by their generals.

Posted by Sketchley | Report as abusive


I know I said I wouldn’t feed the trolls, but…just…can’t….help…myself.

I have noticed that when you are breezily gracing us with your “knowledge” your tone has at least a simulcrum of normalcy. On a good day, you might even be taken seriously by a newcomer to this board.

Yet when you get really very agitated at someone, in this case that would be me, your writing becomes increasingly unhinged, meandering, nonsensical. You also start to drop racially questionable remarks, and which finally eventually become outright racist ones.

I knew an old German woman who was 25 during WW2 and had spent the rest of her life in Britain and Arizona. She seemed like a very nice person. Until one day over tea and cookies she mentioned how awful the English and Americans were for bombing German cities. Astounded, I barely got the words out, “But what about the death camps?”

“Jew stories!” she sniffed. Here I was having tea in the home of an unreconstructed Nazi. An actual, non-metaphorical, Nazi. Needless to say we politely excused ourselves and we never saw her or returned her calls again. I don’t care if you’re a nice old lady. I don’t care if you’re in a halfway house somewhere in Germany today with only the Pakistan Now or Never blog to keep you company. After what was done, you just aren’t allowed to be a paranoid racist douche. It’s true of anyone, but that goes double if you happen to be German. Forgetting or ignoring those lessons are not an option.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

“And dont boast of Laden killing, ur forces have done nothing great, we all know Pakistan was hand-in-glove with US on that one. It was denied by Pak just to calm down its own public.” Posted by 007XXX

I really don’t know how you could say that (Pakistan was involved in the OBL raid) after all the information which has surfaced since the event. It’s pretty clear that the Pakistanis had absolutely no idea about the raid & they were in fact protecting OBL. It’s surprising that you’d rather believe in nonsensical conspiracy theories rather than facts on hand.

Posted by Mortal1 | Report as abusive

Yeah Rick, I know what you mean. I was in a “police action” that killed 58k+ of my buddies in Vietnam over a ten year period. Tell them they were in a police action you stooge. “Military kinetic action”? Run that one by me again. I’m a little slow.

Posted by robertsgt40 | Report as abusive

Whether you are an ignostic or a jew or an ignostic jew, and wheather your wife is an ignostic or from a secular leaning muslim, you are in no position to differentiate between right and wrong. You have more in common with the Indian mob or heinas as they earned the name from an australian. You want to save the civilisation under the chairmanship of a son of a Kenyan with the band of clintonians. You live on harmon infested meat and have lost the feelings for the American soldiers who are dying or the Frenchmen who died yesterday or the lads from Britain and Canada and many other countries who are fighting a war with the Pashtoon Afghans, so called talibans, a war which has never been won in history. By the time Soviet Union withdrew its military it was no longer a soviet republic and the USA has already lost its status of a super while it is fighting an unjust war and by the time it finishes, no invester or a country is going to be willing to invest and grant credit to the biggest economy of the world. The imperial Rome wentdown the same route, its legions were still waging a war of attrition in Spain and other parts of Europe, while Rome was on its knees.
You have shown in your earlier comments no character to speak about the death camps or the injustices of WW 1 and 2 after what your Nation has performed in vietnam and Iraq. Your generation is experiencing the pay off for what has been done in your name in most parts of the world. You have the lowest IQ not to differentiate between the Afghans and the Arabs. It was the Arab group which left their education unfinished in Germany to go to the USA, obtain flying training in the county and then went over the skies with their improvised DRONES with passengers to send some sort of message. It was also your President who allowed one of the first flights of the USA which had the entire family and clan of Mr Bin Laden. Now read my comments about the story and then tell me the right you have to judge the experiences of others or their opinions about the world affairs.
Unlike the Europeans, You have no moral grounds to present America as a victim. Your current President announced the closure of Guytanamo Prison camp and torture after taking the office and according to ALjazeera latest, CIA is currently running an underground torture camp in Somalia.

It is not my business to know about others faith, gender, religion or nationality, a civilised discussion that we are used to in Europe is the minimum I expect. I believe that your comments are no more than loud thinking which perhaps are meant for your social circle the those who want to socialise with you.

Rex Minor

PS If you do not some sense in my commentary on the subject article, then just ignore them and move on.

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive


I actually feel sorry for anyone with a mind capable of such a disjointed and hysterical diatribe. It must be confusing and a little scary living in your head with your helter-skelter thoughts.

All of the serious posters here just ignore you. I have mostly attacked your “reasoning” (to be accurate, let’s just call it a chain of randomly firing synapses), which is, I think, widely understood to be the whole point of a forum such as this one. We all have our opinions. Express yours well enough you might change my mind. Post mush and be ridiculed. A thick skin helps. So does sanity.

Although I have often poked fun at you, like saying that you are probably posting from a halfway house somewhere in Germany with only this blog to keep you company, it can’t really be considered satire if it’s true, can it?

You have mostly only attempted to attack me personally. Which I don’t mind, but instead am actually kind of fascinated by, in the way one might be when passing an accident scene involving a moped and a cow, at just the moment when the rescuers are trying to use the jaws of life to remove the victim from the cow’s rear end, with only his thrashing birkenstocks in view whilst the bored cow just stands there chewing its cud. Have you ever been in that situation? Do you drive a moped? I’m just making an educated guess here…

I suppose you want to make me feel bad. You are obviously furious with me. It has never been my intent to hurt your feelings, only the credibility of your statements. This is a free market of ideas and if you can’t handle it, I’ve read that there are now forums for grown men who are fans of My Little Pony. That might be a place where you can find some happiness online.

(Full Disclosure: I am a confident heterosexual and I’m not a fan of My Little Pony. Fuller Disclosure: In college I did once Ride The White Pony, though, and then stayed up all night yammering right back at my oblivious yammering friends. Never Again. And remember kids, Never, Ever, EVER, for God’s Own Sake, Ride The White Horse! Not that I have, it’s just something everyone knows.

Anyone who listened to early ’80s dance/funk knows, that is.)

To return to your problem, if your need to intellectually lord over others isn’t being met here, just try lowering your standards a little. The internet is a big place. I know there’s probably a blog somewhere all about how the United States is secretly behind every misfortune in history where you would fit in perfectly. Because of your brilliant writing they’ll probably elect you as their leader and you can all meet in real life and complain about the hegemony of Mickey Mouse while you paint each other’s toe nails black. You’ll all be pasty overweight middle-aged men with more aggregate expertise with sex dolls than actual women, but at least you won’t be lonely anymore.

Good luck with that, not that you need it.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

My previous comment was overboard. It was late, I was tired and I was venting.

I apologize to anyone who read it.

Posted by BajaArizona | Report as abusive

Mr USA special forces went in with stealth helicopters, which could be seen by a naked eye, to kill a long resident of Abbotabad in Pakistan who happened to be Mr Osama, is another white lie which is being aded to thelies comng from the USA spin specialists. They include JFK murder by a lone Lee Harvey, american astronauts landing on the moon, Saddam Hussain in possession of weapons of mass destruction etc. etc.
The question of our time should be; which powerful group was behind the election of the current President who spent most of his time in the Mafiosi city of Chicago? Never mind about the endless dicussion of the Indians preoccupation with its archenemy Pakistan, the question of our time is that are we coming closer to the time forecast by Tommy Franks when the USA military is likely to take over the USA Govt.?

Rex Minor

Posted by pakistan | Report as abusive


I do not know where you get your information from and I do not care. I would like you to know this; Americans are aware of what their government is doing. We are aware of Vietnam, JFK, Afghanistan and Iraq. We know that we are fed lies and that these things occurred for reasons of profit for others. The situation your average American (myself, friends and family) is in is difficult.

We want to think we have the option of voting these people out of office when they misbehave. The sad fact is that it makes no difference who is in office, they will always be controlled by the same dollars that the multinational corporations filled the last guy’s pockets with. As an average American I find myself unable to buy politicians to change things to a way that would suite me. I can vote my ass off but at the end of the day I know deep inside that it makes no difference what scumbag is in office. He will be bought just the same as the rest. Any politician who thinks otherwise has the Kennedy brothers as fine examples of what happens to guys who don’t play ball.

Americans are not stupid, and we are certainly not bad people. We are in a position where we have no control or influence over the beast that rules us. I don’t understand why people like you make statements about us like we’re dogs. We’re the same as you the only difference is your rotten government is not as rotten as mine.

If you have a suggestion for the American people as to what we are to do about our situation I am certainly listening. If all you have are insults I politely ask that you shut the hell up.

I apologize if my statements offend anyone or if I used poor grammar or punctuation in my short rant.

Posted by dblanke80 | Report as abusive

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