Saturday, March 19, 2011

The Universal 007 with a license to kill

I come from a generation that grew up watching Hollywood’s WW-II war movies in which the Germans and the Japanese were shown as the savages, brutally killing the civilians of the countries they invaded and the atrocities they committed against the captured Allied soldiers. The films also showed the garlanding of the Allied soldiers by the people liberated from the clutches of the Germans and Japanese. No film ever showed what the Allied forces did to their enemies, both military and civilians as there was a complete blanket on such activities to show to the world the rather friendly faces of the allied forces.

And we grew up cursing everyone other than the Allied countries for being rude and brute. Then times came when media got its liberty from the clutches of the controlled media policies of the “controlling” centers and started to show that all was not well as for the friendly Allied forces were concerned. The inhuman treatment by the US forces at the Abu Gharib prison is a case in point. The stripping of Iraqis and subjecting them to extremes of inhuman treatment and torture started to show the “Dr Jekyll” face of otherwise well dressed Mr Hyde. Ever wondered had the same treatment meted out to the US soldiers, then what would have been the reaction of the US and the free “peaceful” world?

And then came the so called war of terror to Afghanistan. Since the presence of the ISAF forces in Afghanistan, unknown quantities of ordnance have been dropped on the Afghan people, mostly civilians including children under the garb of killing the “enemy.” Recently over 60 civilians including women and children were killed in Afghanistan in a drone attack. While the Americans claimed it a big success, the independent world media showed the truth that those killed were innocent civilians and were not Taliban or Al Qaeda. Even the puppet president of Afghanistan protested to the US president and asked for an apology. But why would the US president do so as he is the universal 007 with a license to kill. And this incident is just one of the many such incidents when the civilians were “mistaken” for Al Qaeda or Taliban and killed by the Predator drones with Hellfire missiles.

A few words about Pakistan. Since this “War of Error” came to Afghanistan and Pakistan was coerced to support to US forces operating in the area, Pakistan’s peace and stability has suffered a heavy blow. There have been more number of casualties in Pakistan than in Afghanistan in this ensuing nonsense war. As per a data available at Wikipedia, as shown below, beginning 2004, some 234 drone attacks have been launched against Pakistan, killing almost 1500-2500 people. Although each time a success claim has been issued by the USA of targeting. See the photos of the innocent children above, whose bodies have been charred and burnt in a previous drone attack in Pakistan. Ever wondered if a single American child gets killed this way by a Taliban, what would be the reaction of the free world?

Number of Drone Strikes
Number Killed (Min)
Number Killed (Max)

The above data does not contain the latest attack this Friday when over 40 civilians attending a gathering to sort out a local mining royalty matter came under the drone attack. The drone was in fact chasing a car, suspected of carrying militants. The panicked driver took the car near the place where this gathering was taking place in Datta Khel located 25 km west of Miranshah, North Waziristan. While the drone did get hold of the car, the operator flying the drone when saw this gathering, thought of emptying the Predator of the remaining four missiles. The attack killed over 40 civilians, mostly elders of the area.  Now what do you call this - Killing enemies or making enemies?

Let me also narrate yet another high headedness of the Americans. When Dr Afia Siddiqui was charged with “attempting to kill” a US soldier, the court awarded her 86 years of imprisonment despite the fact there was very weak evidence against her. But when it came to dealing with a case of an undercover CIA agent Raymond Davis in Pakistan who killed two Pakistan at point blank range, whom “he thought were going to rob him”, even the US president called upon Pakistan in a  stern warning to release the agent being a US diplomat. Everyone knew he wasn’t a diplomat and the CIA even made fool of its president to claim him to be so in order to get his release. The shady release deal has raised many a eyebrows. And what is more astonishing is that the CIA agent has been released under a bargain of blood money, Diyat according to Islamic Shariah – the same Shariah that abhors US and the West and for which they have taken up arms against Al Qaeda and Taliban as these two factions call for implementation of Shariah, the Islamic was of life and justice. Isn’t it ironic?

And also imagine had a similar incident had happened in the USA by a Pakistani diplomat and then what would have been the reaction of the USA – I am sure the US would have asked immediate revoking of the diplomatic immunity of the “murderer” and he would have then rotten for his entire life in some dirty US prison. Remember on two different incidents in the past involving a Georgian and Pakistani diplomat, the US had respective governments for revoking their diplomatic immunity, and shamelessly both governments obliged. Also the media would have labeled the act as the act of terrorism rather than a simple looting incident as was dramatized by Raymond Davis. But in case of Raymond Davis, the matter did not figure our prominently in US media as it involved exposing of a CIA agent – the premiere US intelligence agency, who could not handle a simple situation which cost him and the US government so much of embarrassment.

Often the Americans lament that they are not generally liked by the people around the world and wonder why. I think it is attributed to their naivety as they probably believe that giving aid to others should win hearts. If you give an aid of a few billions , that in turn incur losses of dozens of billions besides loss of precious lives and property for no good justification, who would like such a country. The flawed US policy and strategy in Vietnam ultimately compelled the US to extricate from Vietnam after killing countless Vietnamese fighting for their freedom from the foreign occupation forces of the USA, which the USA then labeled as enemy. Now a similar mistake is being committed by supporting a minority non-Pashtun government over the majority Pashtun people by killing them. I wonder how come these Pashtuns become enemy of the USA when they in their own country want to live according to their wishes, aspirations and culture rather than that of the minority non Pashtuns. It would have been much prudent for the much enlightened US people and the government to find a peaceful solution to Afghan problem by winning the hearts and minds of the majority of the Afghan people, rather than killing them and making them their enemies.

Even killing the Pashtuns across the Afghan border inside Pakistan in the North and South Waziristans, they are nurturing enemies than making more friends. The Friday drone attack has had a very serious and strong fallout as the families of the slain have vowed to take a revenge. And this will also add to the law and security situation inside Pakistan as more suicide attacks would follow on innocent civilians in Pakistan who have nothing to do with this War of (T)error.

When would sanity prevail in USA, I do not know. But this much I am certain that longer the USA takes to realize its follies and flawed policy, the more difficult it would be for it to extricate from Afghanistan. And there would be no face saving this time.

The US involvement in Libya these days is yet another dangerous trend. It would be no wonder if one day we find the US forces landing in Libya, just like they did in Iraq and Afghanistan, and taking over this oil rich Arab country on the pretext of liberating the Libyan people from the tyranny of their president. In fact the US is eyeing the oil reserves of Libya, as it did of Iraq and attacked it under the garb of destroying the WMD, which later proved out to be a hoax. This is time it would be Libya on the pretext of liberty from a tyrant and then drilling out billions of barrels of oil fr free before leaving Libya in a state of quandary as it has done in case of Iraq.

The recent drone attack just a day after the release of Raymond Davis has provoked countrywide protests. The people of Pakistan had hardly digested the shady deal that resulted in the release of the CIA agent when this deadly drone attack came. Many consider it as a revenge of catching the agent of the mightiest nation of the world. Even the otherwise dormant Chief of the Army Staff has shown his strong reaction to the incident as a major fallout of this attack will be against the Pakistan Army which is engaged in the Waziristan area fighting the militants.

It’s high time now to stop playing as a universal 007 and that of a cowboy and stop killing innocent people on account of a self perceived false strategy of security of USA or the US interests around the world.

Related Links:
Abu Gharib abuse photos (Viewers discretion is requested to see the torture photos)


A very well written article. You have expressed almost everybody's point of view including me. Let us join hand in taking such measures which would pressurize American to stop such brutalities.
Zaffar Iqbal Durrani

very well said...there is violence and pollution all over the world making it an unhealthy place to dwell in.There is a need to stop and think fora moment how best we could change the jersey dryer vent cleaning

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