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US Commits Atrocity in Pakistan, NYT Deflects

category southern asia | imperialism / war | news report author Saturday January 20, 2007 04:11author by Jeff McMahan - TheAnarchistauthor email editor at theanarchist dot org Report this post to the editors

Villagers Discover Unexploded US Missile

Pakistani military officials claim to have had no help from the US in attacking a small tribal village in Pakistan, but the evidence shows that the US actually committed the atrocity.

Reuters is now reporting that a supposedly Pakistani operation against Al Qaeda in a tribal area of Pakistan “may have been” carried out by the US, and that Pakistani helicopters (which a Reuters reporter saw leaving prior to the attack) were only sent to allow the Pakistani military to cover for US actions that appear to have been atrocious and illegal.

The attack is claimed by Pakistani officials to have killed 20 Al Qaeda, but Reuters has spoken with the villagers, who say that in fact just eight bodies were discovered, all of whom were workers in a village woodshop. The villagers deny that there ever was any Al Qaeda compound and, most interestingly, have proven that the raid was not actually of Pakistani making. They led reporters to a missile that failed to detonate, which bears clearly American markings. One villager supposes a US military plane launched the missiles, which actually wrought the bulk of the destruction, and explained that the Pakistani helicopters arrived a short while after, firing rockets.

This is indicative of what appears to be a larger trend in the Middle East, and in Pakistan in particular, where many villagers claim that the US has been actively involved in direct, unprovoked attacks against them. No well-read commentator would doubt the truth of these claims given the evidence, not to mention the historical precedent for secret US terror campaigns. In South Vietnam, for instance, the US defoliated the landscape, created huge free-fire zones, and bombed villages mercilessly to force mass urbanization and the loss of the independent spirit of the Vietnamese farmers; in Loas the US built a massive army of mercenaries to terrorize the country, and secretly bombed it out; in Cambodia the US killed tens of thousands in secret bombing campaigns and denied that any of it ever happened. It seems naïve to think that, while most of the US military is in the Middle East, it isn’t trying to terrorize native populations into accepting the presence of the US by the usual means. If we look back, the record shows that these are the standard procedures to “win the hearts and minds.”

Orwell would have appreciated the New York Times take on all of this. The report’s second section is titled, “Unreliable Witnesses?” and in it, the Times wonders whether “their story” adds up, and notes what it thinks to be an inconsistency in the evidence. If this were an honest attempt to scrutinize the reports coming in, the criticism would be directed the US and Pakistan, not at the devastated villagers who have nothing to gain by blaming a Pakistani atrocity on an innocent US government. But, in typical establishment media fashion, the villagers are treated as though they found an old US missile and brought it to the village to fool everyone into thinking that the US was involved – the sheer idiocy of this reporting is striking. The article explains of the missile, “its casing looked far more weathered than the U.S. missile fragments found after past attacks in Waziristan.” So clearly, the bombed Pakistani village is full of liars, trying to embarrass the US for no reason. One wonders where a group of Pakistani villagers might simply “find” the US missile which has been used to foist this elaborate hoax. No more evidence in support this absurd conclusion is offered, but none will be needed since the assumption from the start is in favor of the official US-Pakistani lie.

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author by Paul Wolfpublication date Sun Jan 21, 2007 02:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Al Jazeera took a photo showing the US markings on the bomb. You can google it and find their photo. The reporters claiming it's old and weathered, and just a set up by dishonest tribesmen - where is their photo?

Now Pakistan is changing its story and claiming it bombed the village with its own planes, and sent in helicopters later.

How pathetic.

Interesting point about the attack being illegal. Can the President of Pakistan ignore it when a foreign country bombs Pakistan? Maybe the Pakistani president can allow the US to bomb and invade his country. Is it an act of aggression if the Pakistanis agree to it? An interesting legal question.

author by Jeff McMahan - TheAnarchistpublication date Sun Jan 21, 2007 09:45author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Now, this comes from someone not well versed in international law, but as far as I am aware, it would be illegal to for any nation's military to slaughter any person not enlisted in another nation's military (perhaps, given the US' recent troubles, "combatants" may be covered also).

In this basic sense, I understand the US actions as having been illegal. It makes little difference whether or not Pakistani military officials okayed the US attack, so long as the US attacked (with military personnel and equipment) innocent, unarmed civilians. That is clearly what they did.

The Geneva Conventions, of which the US is a signatory, forbids such actions and the standards set forth by the Geneva conventions are considered binding international law, and other nations have paid the price for violating them. Not only this, but the UN Declaration on Human Rights obviously precludes the possibilty that these sorts of atrocities can move forward unchallenged by international law. (Not that international law presents the US much of a challenge.)

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