Saturday, November 22, 2008


Candace Rondeaux reports today on The Washington Post website that the U.S. has killed five more people in the eastern tribal areas of Pakistan by means of missiles fired from unmanned drones.

One of them appears to be an Al Qaeda type wanted in a conspiracy to blow up a British jetliner. But the identity of the others is uncertain. The question is, what if they were civilians, women, children, ordinary villagers? Would this U.S. incursion into Pakistan and the killings be justified under international or even American law?

My argument is that when any other civilians are killed, there is no proportionality. This means that I believe the attacks are unjustified. I don't care that the U.S. argues that its strike killed a dangerous Al Qaeda member. Such air strikes are bound to kill innocent people who just happen to be in the vicinity. I mean the wife and kids of the terrorist as well as neighbors. Whoever in the CIA pulled the trigger had to know that the missiles would annihilate standers by and innocent others. Given such knowledge, the attack cannot be justified.

I call upon president elect Obama to put an end to any strikes from the air, whether manned or unmanned. The act of firing a missile or dropping a bomb is reprehensible and inhumane because it does irreversible damage to the non-fighters.

Imagine what a fertile source of future insurgents from those who survive the attack and see the injustice perpetrated by the U.S. government in killing their friends and neighbors. This is why Pakistani authorities have strenuously complained to American authorities that these attacks should come to an end.

Writes Rondeaux:

"The recent series of cross border drone attacks have also drawn criticism from Pakistan's top military officer, Gen. Ashfaq Pervez Kayani. Earlier this week, Kayani, who formerly headed the ISI, urged NATO officials to halt the missile strikes during a two-day visit to the military organization's headquarters in Brussels. Kayani and other top Pakistani officials have said that collateral damage and civilian deaths from the missile strikes could stir rising anti-American sentiment in Pakistan, a key ally in the U.S.-led war against Islamist insurgents in Afghanistan."

No comments:

Post a Comment