US air strikes carried out on the 13th of January 2006, on the remote Pakistani village of Damadola was a clear act of terrorism. Out of the 18 civilians killed, 10 were women and children. It seems US terrorism inside Pakistan is becoming routine, earlier on the 7th of January 2006 at least eight civilians were killed by the US helicopters attack. To be precise, such acts are state-terrorism or primary-terrorism as opposed to the usual: secondary-terrorism of individuals or groups! The bombings were indiscriminate and without warning, like the routine bombings of the defenceless Iraqi cities or the Palestinian villages and towns.
Subsequently, the US tried to mitigate the severity of the crime, by claiming that they were targeting al-Qaeda members. Even if the alleged al-Qaeda members were present, that does not automatically give the US right to bomb houses inside a foreign territory, with total disregard for the innocent civilians. Unless, the US is above the law or inflicting collateral damages with impunity is an automatic entitlement for the leader of the free world! The air strike was a clear violation of the sovereignty of Pakistan, according to international law it was an act of war. So where is the UN now? Where is the Morgan Freeman look-alike UN-Muppet, Kofi Annan?
The US decision to bomb the village must have been based on credible ‘intelligence’. In that case, why not surround the area with armed forces, and then give the innocent civilians in the village a safe passage to vacate, and demand the surrender of the alleged al-Qaeda members? For sure the US has more than adequate resources and firepower to take on a small band of men lightly armed. If this route was pursued, the al-Qaeda members would have been taken prisoners or they would have died resisting the US firepower. Taken alive they might have provided valuable information; if they died, that could be argued to have prevented future attacks on the US. Either result would have yielded benefit for the US.
However, instead of attempting to seize the alleged al-Qaeda members, the US decided to kill them by bombing the place. Why did the US opt for the least beneficial route in terms of the “war on terror”? The decision can be explained by the following reasons:
a) The US leadership does not have any interest in taking the al-Qaeda men alive, because they wish to keep the “war on terror” an open-ended war, until their real interests are satisfied. Hence, the invincible and ubiquitous image of al-Qaeda threat persists and continues to grow in their propaganda.
b) An additional reason is: the US forces are largely cowards, as for sure, the high altitude bombing is the easiest option, the risk is minimal for the US soldiers and simultaneously, utmost danger is posed to the Pakistani civilians. Also, the US soldiers may have become the victims of their own propaganda, as al-Qaeda is constantly magnified. Some are wacky enough to believe, that al-Qaeda fighters would somehow transform into giant human (‘suicide’) bombers like some Godzilla figure.
c) Despite possessing huge material advantages, the US preferred to hit from a safe distance, inflicting collateral damages. With slightly greater risk, the US forces could have engaged in close combat to surgically target the al-Qaeda fighters and substantially minimise civilian casualties. Hence, the decision to bomb shows the clear US apathy towards the lives of the ordinary Pakistanis. Iraq is another example of that apathy, where they have murdered 30,000-100,000 civilians looking for those mythical WMDs.
Pervez Musharraf responded by making a nation-wide television address. He defended his collaboration with US foreign policy on the grounds that it was preventing open US aggression against Pakistan. This is the same argument he used at the very beginning, when Afghanistan was attacked but it still has not stopped the Pakistanis and other innocent Muslims being killed by the US firepower.
Even with open assistance from Musharraf, the US continues to arm India favourably, and has allowed the pro-Israeli elements to inspect all the nuclear assets of Pakistan. Such information inexorably will end up with the Israeli intelligence (Mossad), and eventually with the Indian intelligence. Musharraf has excelled in showing subservience to the US, he promised the US that the nuclear weapons are guarded. Such is the absurdity of the situation, instead of using the nuclear weapons to protect the country; the country is protecting the nuclear weapons. Nuclear deterrence has become a nuclear burden for Pakistan!
Therefore, Pakistan’s security has worsened in relative terms, which is serious, as it makes her more vulnerable to an attack. This erosion of security is natural and expected, when a country allows a foreign power to use it as a base. What guarantees have the US provided that it will not attack Pakistan in the future directly or through a proxy like India? The same guarantee their British cousins provided to the rebellious Arabs, who fought against the Ottomans. Instead of independence, the Arabs were made more dependent, by dividing them into weak despotic states, mini-states, some of the oil-fields turned into pathetic micro-states.
The colonial powers consumed the cheap oil, the Arab sheiks and their tribes got fatter than the camels and the West in turn ‘rewarded’ the Arabs collectively with the grand prize of Israel for their obedience (treachery)! Similar division of Iraq is taking place according to the policy of divide and conquer, just look at those people who are rushing to aid the US in this matter. So prepare for the future US-led liberation of Sindh, Balochistan, Punjab, and Kashmir. Then divide these territories further along the sectarian lines of Sunni and Shi’ites.
Mass anti-US demonstrations followed the US bombings, but why exclusively blame the US, when it was Musharraf, who opened up the country for the US forces to use it as a military base. When a paid assassin kills, it is not the assassin or the weapon that should be blamed but the one who paid the assassin – the primary cause. The Americans are like the assassin with a deadly weapon, but it was Musharraf who allowed these assassins to use the country for target practice; and we all knew who the US was going to use for their target practice. Hence, the ultimate blame lies on Parvez Musharraf, the primary cause.
The families should demand compensation for the murder of their loved ones, according to the laws of Pakistan, where the crime was committed. In addition, the masses should call for the removal of US bases from the region to prevent future strikes and to protect the sovereignty of Pakistan. Finally, demand impeachment of Musharraf for treason, and for complicity in the murder of the Muslims in Pakistan and Afghanistan by the US forces. The masses ought to raise questions about the weakening of the security of Pakistan, which is dependent on strength and independence of the nation and its leadership. Certainly, Musharraf as a leader has shown neither strength nor independence. The age-old colonial system inherited and run by the feudal lords continues to bleed the country. It is time to reflect on the fundamental questions: why Pakistan was created, where it is today and where is Pakistan heading towards.