U.S. missile strikes on Pakistan : more of the same under Obama or worse to come?

January 26, 2009

The first U.S. missiles have struck Pakistan since U.S. President Barack Obama  took office, dispelling any possibility that he might relent on these raids that have so angered Pakistanis, many of whom think it only engenders reprisal attacks from militants on their cities.

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari protested to the U.S. ambassador over Friday’s twin raids in South and North Waziristan and  newspaper editorialists and commentators are worried this is just a foretaste of things to come. The strikes, the first since Jan 2, have led the Dawn newspaper to recall Obama’s statements during the presidential camapaign when he repeatedly said he would “take out high value terrorist targets” inside Pakistan if it was unable or unwilling to do so.

“Three days into Obama’s presidency, we have the first evidence of how his promise will translate into action. Drone attacks in South and North Waziristan have killed at least 14 people, including what the media now routinely refers to as ‘foreign militants’, ” the newspaper said.

Early signs from Washington suggest that it will continue military action on Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), considered to be place where al Qaeda has reconstituted itself, the newspaper said.  At the same time it will demand that Pakistan do more against the militants, tying aid to the armed forces with achieving concrete results.

The News wrote that the ‘rather optimistic assurance” given by Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani earlier on that the Predator drone attacks would stop once Obama took charge had been dashed. And it added that it wasn’t clear why or how Gilani made such a statement when he was in no position to issue a guarantee on behalf of the Americans.

The missile attacks, and there have been around 30 over the past year, have caused both physical and psychological damage in Pakistan, it said. But what is the way out? Islamabad must somehow persuade the Americans that fighting the militants on its soil was something best left to Pakistani forces. ”The U.S. decision-makers need to be persuaded of the damage caused by the drone attacks and how they contribute to the growth of militancy,” it said.

Juan Cole writing in Salon.com said that for Obama to bomb Pakistan territory in his very first week in office after promising a civilian-friendly policy focused on human development was ominous.

“This resort to violence from the skies even before Obama had initiated discussions with Islamabad is a bad sign. It is not clear if Obama really believes that the fractious tribes of the Pakistani northwest can be subdued with some airstrikes and if he really believes that U.S. security depends on what happens in Waziristan,” Cole writes in the piece headlined “Obama’s Vietnam?”

 ”If he thinks the drone attacks on FATA are a painless way to signal to the world that he is no wimp, he may find, as Lyndon Johnson did, that such military operations take on a momentum of their own, and produce popular discontents that can prove deadly to the military mission.”

[Photos of a protest in Karachi against U.S. missile strikes, U.S.President Barack Obama and Richard Holbrooke, envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan, and coffins of a victims of a missile attack in northwest Pakistan]

Comments

This one From punjabiyaar to @Umair is real good one:

pakistan ordered a couple of jets from china.

paki: so how do u fly this?
chinese: u just push the red button, this is left lever, this is right one.

paki:Muaf kijiye (I beg your pardon)
chinese: u just push the red button, this is left lever, this is right one.

paki:Muaf kijiye (I beg your pardon)
chinese: What the hell, you dont understand anything,look everything is in instructional manual under your seat.

paki: Oops its in English ?
chinese: Turn other way around Its in both English and Urdu, You idiots, good for nothing, Fehh pooh ping pong don konk shai sha feng choo………………………..

paki (After reading it): oh ok ! landing page is missing,How do you land it ?
chinese: ohhh……..dont worry…….Indians will take it down.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

Umair said: “Pakistan in the year 2015 will most likely be the largest Muslim country in the world, and by then Islam will have become the second largest religion in the US.”

Someone needs to explain this # game. How does it matter? To me, quality of a person does matter. As long as your fellows are in plenty, it is alright. Producing more does not mean producing better. It is the country where you come from and the system there mattters, Indians of all religions have made name–all religions of course including Muslims. All these guys don’t stress upon religion as the reason for their success. Ask Freed Zakaria and Sulman Rushdie; they will not owe their success to to their religion- if they practice-but to their hardwork. More the better is a common logic in Islam. A guys from Lahore at my work said the same thing. Well then cockroaches might be superior to humans, since they are more in #. This # game is a trouble since the conversions are carried out by bribery and force. This is the root cause of many problems too (spread islam all over the world).

I can tell you the success will not be proportionate to your #. If you do not provide proper eduaction and awareness, this # is useless.

Even now, if you look abroad and compare 2 religions, you would not see far less successful Muslims (no offence). Also what matters is the broader perception of a community/religion.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

I meant:

Even now, if you look abroad and compare 2 religions, you would see far less successful Muslims (no offence). Also what matters is the broader perception of a community/religion.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

OK Guys
Indians cant stand a rebuttal, firstly there is global recession. It is wrong to state that Pakistan is begging money from other countries. Iceland’s economy collapsed recently, UK banking system barely avoided collapse, and despite all this Pakistan got an IMF loan to correct its balance of payment crisis. It is worth mentioning here in last five years Pakistan has seen a boom in banking, telecommunication, car financing sectors. Countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia have offered oil on deffered payment. Now when a country like Canada today passed its budget and it is in deficit till 2013, it is understandable for a country like Pakistan to ask for assistance from friendly countries.

@punjabiyaar
Well I am damn proud despite Pakistan being a global sponsor of terrorism is still a Major Non-NATO ally, a US Ally and better recall David Milliband’s statement in NEW DELHi under the nose of Indian leaders that they need to sort out Kashmir dispute if they want peace.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

@Punjabiyaar
If by your definition Pakistan is a rogue terrorist state, then the whole international community must be very stupid to bestow Pakistan with favors. Why MNNA status with NATO, why IMF cooperation, why not sanctions ?
I would say India is a sponsor of terrorism, what about the fruits of interfering in Sri Lanka and Tamils? Who killed Rajiv Gandhi? You guys need to look at the history of RAW to find out who are the terrorists. And before you accuse of any terrorists in Pakistan, dont forget the world today knows much about Hindu fundamentalists and terrorist organizations and rogue elements in your own country India.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

@Umair,

You should also be proud of the fact that Pakistan is Terrorist Central.

While you brag of Pakistan’s ability to destroy. You can claim nothing for Pakistan’s ability to create, nurture, give rise to new technology, women’s rights, non-muslim rights.

Pakistan did not even develop its own nukes, A.Q. Khan was a very NALAK student and photocopied most of the plans and stole them, selling them to everyone and their dog, who ever would buy them.

Do you even have the faintest idea that Pakistan would ceast to exist, if it used one nuke?

Has Pakistan contributed any new knowledge or development to mankind? I didn’t think so and it never will. But you still have your nukes and hate factories, I am sorry, you call them madrassas!

I have yet to meet one technically and professionally competant educated individual expatriate from Pakistan. Whether they be doctors or engineers, they are not up to par with Western and Indian counterparts. I found they often suffer from social adjustment disorders coming to western countries. I did not find this to be the case with Indians, especially the Punjabis, People from Kerala and Delhi.

So you have lots to be proud about, Mukhtar Mai, an international hero, the madrassas, terrorism, hate against its boogeyman neighbour and overall ineptness to get rid of a few foreign fighters.

Posted by Global Watcher | Report as abusive
 

Iceland’s economy and British banks collapsed because they were very tightly coupled with the US financial market.
Pakistan’s economy is not that tightly coupled. Your economy is crumbling not because of credit crisis but because of weak fundamentals.

What milliband said was stupid and insensitive. that’s why he was dropped by british govt and media like a hot potato.

Everyone wants a stable and responsible pakistan. Nobody wants terrorits making mayhem with Paki nuclear weapons. That is why World is employing carrot in form of aid and stick in the form of drones to bring pakistan to sense.

Your inovcation of LTTE issue shows you lack of knowledge/ brainwashing by paki media. LTTE did had some support from Tamil(not indian as a whole) population and politicians in its early days. That is why India sent its peace keeping force to sri lanka to help sri lanka curb that menace and show solidarity with her. That indian mission was a disaster and IPKF was pulled back. Rajiv Gandhi was killed by LTTE because of sending IPKF to sri lanka.

Hindu fundamentalism is a relatively recent phenomena and a kind of me-too with Muslim fundamentalism. The important thing is that Most of Indian populace do not support fundamentalism unlike Pakistan.

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive
 

pakistan is happy making friends with US, but what they dont know is they had already made a death wish by doing that, to realise that see the history of US with pakistan, initially they started on good note with lot of aid to pakistan over decades, but wheel of fortune has changed for them now, they have started experiencing thunder storms by US now on western border which will lead to total tormoil in pakistan with new chapters begining such as BLA rising, fata & swat achieving their own independence, also giving rise to small autonomous states with US neutralising there nuclear arsenal. question will be , would these small states still live with peace, the answer is simple no, analogy with famous ‘kahavat – kutte ki doom’. So, finally india will have to take control of these small lawless states.

Posted by arun | Report as abusive
 

@Umair
“If by your definition Pakistan is a rogue terrorist state”

Here are your answers:

Q: then the whole international community must be very stupid to bestow Pakistan with favors ?
A: Its your geographical location for which you are getting favours from USA and international communities. Otherwise who wants to come in your dirts.

Q: Why MNNA status with NATO, why IMF cooperation, why not sanctions ?
A: Again its your geographical location, coz the only supply route go through you, BUT it will not work for you long enough once NATO and US finds another supply route.

You cant say India is something to do with terrorism in Sri Lanka because India sent peace troops for keeping peace because LTTE was wrong. Just like we send army against PAKISTAN in bangladesh coz Pakistan was wrong and split it. Sorry no hard feelings now, past is past.

Nobody points at RAW for any terrorism activity but everybody even your NATO allies think ISI is involved in terrorism and should be in control of interior ministry. USA said it clearly when you bombed indian embassies in Afghanistan.

There is no Hindu fundamentalism otherwise there would be no pakistan because if we were extremist we would have never let muslim invaders come into our country, establish empires and forcefully convert hindus to Islam. So that AMAR will be not be converted to UMAIR and VIKRAM will be not be converted to AKRAM.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

@Umair,
Well I am damn proud despite Pakistan being a global sponsor of terrorism is still a Major Non-NATO ally…

– You mean Nothing Against Terrorist Organization (NATO)?

Posted by Blogger | Report as abusive
 

… Khud apane chat pe kitne ched hai gin nahin sakte, chale hai gine duniyan ki cheden…

Posted by Blogger | Report as abusive
 

Chirkut wrote;
“Hindu fundamentalism is a relatively recent phenomena and a kind of me-too with Muslim fundamentalism. The important thing is that Most of Indian populace do not support fundamentalism unlike Pakistan.”
So who killed thousands of muslims during partition? who torched and set ablaze the trains carrying muslims into Pakistan, when they arrived in stations, all that was found were burned bodies and an occasional survivors. Who killed Gandhi ji? what about the killing of christains in Orrissa recently? who burnt alive the Australian missionaries years back in India? Who are the VHP-RSS-BJP Bajrang Dal, Col. Purohit, Malegaon blasts, and other rogue elements in Indian Army. Hindu fundamentalism and terrorism is a well established phenomenon in India, these hindu fascists have infiltrated the Indian military and civil government, holding the country hostage. Mumbai attacks were infact a coup attempt to paralyze the Congress led secular government and incite a war with Pakistan. And dont you ever think the world is closing its eyes to all this, India will be exposed more in future. Its secular identity will be replaced by the emerging face of hindu extremists.
However chirkut, I give you credit for accepting the phenomenon of hindu fundamentalist, just one correction it existed way back since India was born. Its real face is emerging and being noticed by the world now.

Posted by Umair | Report as abusive
 

Umair:
As I said previously There is no Hindu fundamentalism otherwise there would be no pakistan because if we were extremist we would have never let muslim invaders come into our country, establish empires and forcefully convert hindus to Islam. So that AMAR will be not be converted to UMAIR and VIKRAM will be not be converted to AKRAM.

Moreover There are more muslims in India than Pakistan, if there was any such extreme hindu elements there, muslims would not be able to survive in India. If riots in 1947 had anything to do with Hindu vs muslims, we could also send the trains full of remaining muslims of India finely chopped. But obviously we did not want that.

Open your eyes Umair, wash them, remove the layer of hatred, try to see and believe the truth. Either you are a fool or trying to pretend one. Pakistan as a state always look for shortcuts. You dont have a long term vision. When you created taliban it served your purpose temporarily. Now its biting you. You created LeT and ZeM it worked well for you but payback is not far.

Now you have sold a large chunk of your land to China for GWADAR port, chinese are no one’s friend, they stabbed India once and they will stab you sooner or later. Choose right people in elections and try to do something creative for Pakistan, instead of trying to defend Pakistan on reuters with no matter how much stupidity and lies it takes.

Posted by punjabiyaar | Report as abusive
 

@Umair
Partition events were a reaction to muslim league’s “Direct Action”. Read from some neutral sources what this “Direct Action” was. It was the sick idea of Jinnah to foment riots and force india and britain for a seperate and evil pakistan.

Rest of the things you covered are, as i said, recent phenomena. Col Purohit was tying to do SIMI(Student islamic movement of India) on SIMI. But then this is not pakistan where anyone can walk out clean after mudering innocent civilians and hence he is being convicted for the blasts. Where are you with the Mumbai attackers and there backers in and outside of Paki institution?

Thanks but no thanks for the credit. We know where our failings are and are working on them rather than denying them. Where are you with Terrorism emanating from Pakistan? Unfortunately still in denial mode. Even after acceptance by your govt that the mumbai attackers were pakistani you still think that it was done by Indians themselves. Wake up buddy before your Frankenstein monster make your country rest in peace(RIP) for ever

Posted by chirkut | Report as abusive
 

Interesting post…but no opinions..

 

Why are Indians so happy with these missile strikes? Did these missile strikes stop the Mumbai attacks?

 

Bangash Khan …DUCK… the drones are comin….!!! lol

Posted by Anup | Report as abusive
 

Bloggers:

while several Indian bloggers have strongly condemned the activities of Hindu Fundamentalist (I do too), I have yet to see any Pakistani blogger do the same for LeT, JuD, JeM and other such groups. Am I the only one to feel so? This is the core of the India-Pak animosity.

Posted by rajeev | Report as abusive
 

What is this nonsense I hear about “sovreign nation” and “drones” in FATA??
Hon. President and Commander-In-Chief of the the most powerful Superpower in the Universe is a paying customer of Pakistan (some $20 billion US taxpayers monies, most of which is and was used for nefarious puposes and stolen by your leaders), and as such he or his surrogates, the CIA have every right to bend Pakistan a little and penetrate from behind into Pakistan’s “hot-bed”, FATA, as many times a day as he pleases, as agreed upon by your leaders.

Before Pakistanis start to complain about drones, get sore and uncomfortable, consider this , your own leadership declares every day “we Pakistanis are victims of terrorism” and “US must invest in Pakistan so the hopeless youth stop getting recuited as terrorists”.
After what the terrorists did to your other leader Benazir Bhutto, Pakistanis ought to be thankful to Obama for hitting the bad guys, but instead you are ungrateful? With “allies” like you who needs enemies right?

If you want America to give you unlimited Dollars in aid, then play by Obama’s rules. Its not that hard to understand. How else is America going to trust Pakistan with nukes and all the F22s and F35s you want, when you fail such basic test? Instead you give America a reason for distrust and are backing off from your ‘front-line ally” status already by not standing with USA and fighting shoulder to shoulder. How? By torching USA’s 250 loaded military trucks in Karachi and Peshawar enroute to Afghanistan based US troops. Do you think this is a good way to extract favors or money ot of a very kind friend and Superpower USA. You guys are really getting stupid!

Even Pakistan’s “all weather” and BFF China backed off helping Pakistan after what you guys did in Mumbai, evidence as seen and verfified by the EU and USA as Pakistani supported terror ativity.
Well I hope Almighty give Pakistani people the smarts to choose wisely to avoid disasters in your path, because your so called “leaders” will be enjoying wine with the Sheiks in Dubai when US or one of Pakistan’s neigbor does throw a “game-changer” at you to alter history and geography of Pakistan forever.
I pray to God that day never comes – but as you know some times prayers do get unanswered!

Posted by Nathuram Waghmare | Report as abusive
 

Pakistanis would have indeed been grateful, had the Americans hit the enemies of Pakistan i.e Baitullah Mehsud and other terrorists.

Posted by Muhammad Rizwan Malik | Report as abusive
 

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