Saturday, October 31, 2009

Clinton Faces Pakistani Anger at Drone Attacks.

Why is it that politicians of both political stripes in the US appear to find this so hard to understand?

Clinton put her case directly to the public Friday in televised appearances in Islamabad, the Pakistani capital, fielding angry questions about the alleged activities of U.S. contractor Blackwater in Pakistan, the tough conditions that came with a $1.5 billion-a-year American aid package and alleged U.S. favoritism toward Pakistan's archenemy, India.

One tribesman bluntly told her: "Your presence in the region is not good for peace."

"We are fighting a war that is imposed on us. It's not our war. It is your war," journalist Asma Shirazi told Clinton during the women's meeting. "You had one 9-11. We are having daily 9-11s in Pakistan."

Large swathes of the Pakistani public do not support the war on terror and it's things like this which don't help:

One woman asked Clinton how she would define terrorism.

''Is it the killing of people in drone attacks?'' the woman asked. Then she asked if Clinton considered both the U.S. missile strikes and militant bombings like the one that killed more than 100 civilians in the city of Peshawar earlier in the week as acts of terrorism.

''No, I do not,'' Clinton replied.
If drone attacks were taking place in New York City or in London, then I am sure there are few of us who have any doubt what Clinton would refer to them as. Why is it so different if the attacks are taking place in Pakistan?

This Israeli inspired argument that the fact that terrorists "hide amongst the civilian population" somehow removes any moral obligation from the people firing rockets to avoid civilian casualties at all costs is simply repugnant nonsense. Indeed, it is that very attitude which has people demanding that war crimes charges be brought against the IDF.

The killing of innocents anywhere is to be condemned, whether it is caused by a Palestinian rocket, an Israeli bomb or an American drone. And Clinton's flippant dismissal of the deaths of so many innocent Pakistanis will hardly win many round to her cause.

Click here for full article.

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