Thursday, September 11, 2008


Eric Schmitt and Mark Mazzetti write in today's The New York Times that President Bush has given secret orders allowing American incursions and attacks on the tribal areas in northwestern Pakistan.

This is outrageous and another example of Bush's flouting of principles of international law. Bush may have the authorization under American law by virtue of the AUMF passed in October 2001, but it is an affront to the rule of law in Pakistan, and will have the certain effect of creating even more animosity of Pakistanis towards Americans.

Report Schmitt and Mazzetti:

"The classified orders signal a watershed for the Bush administration after nearly seven years of trying to work with Pakistan to combat the Taliban and Al Qaeda, and after months of high-level stalemate about how to challenge the militants’ increasingly secure base in Pakistan’s tribal areas. "

No country is allowed to enter another sovereign country without permission or conduct military raids against nationals living in that country. I don't care whether it is done for a good purpose or not. This simply violates all the provisions of international law and the rules of the United Nations.

The alternative is the dark world of Bush and Cheney where everything goes and international law evaporates into just another meaningless platitude. And no, the argument that the world is different after September 11 is not sufficient to create a lawless violent world where the "forces of good" are aligned against the "forces of evil, and the "good guys" can do anything they want outside the realm of law to the "bad guys."

Mazzetti and Schmitt write:

"Pakistan’s top army officer said Wednesday that his forces would not tolerate American incursions like the one that took place last week and that the army would defend the country’s sovereignty “at all costs.” . . ."

"Unilateral action by the American forces does not help the war against terror because it only enrages public opinion,” said Husain Haqqani, Pakistan’s ambassador to Washington, during a speech on Friday. “In this particular incident, nothing was gained by the action of the troops.”"

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