New US drone regime

Frontier Post Editorial

Our people’s lives are very dear to us. Our tribal children are no less lovely than the American children.

The CIA’s new rules for its illegal and audacious drone attacks in Pakistan in reality represent no whittling down in its arrogant adventurism against a sovereign independent state, as has it projected to be by the American media. It just reflects an outcome of a heated inter-agency wrangling of America, specifically a triumph of sorts of US secretary of state Hillary Clinton’s doctrine of “smart power”. For furthering the US interests abroad, she has been pressing for lesser reliance on its brute power projection and more on diplomatic and development assistance initiatives, with the state department playing the central role in the entire gamut of America’s foreign domain. By using her immense stature, clout and status, she has already wrested a pivotal position for the state department in interacting with Iraq after the withdrawal of all the US troops by this year’s end. And the new CIA drone attack regime manifests she has secured a more decisive voice of her department in the conduct of the assaults as well.

But will that be of any real significance or consolation to this country, whose sovereignty and territorial sanctity is trashed by this spy service of a heady superpower so brazenly and whose innocent civilians are killed and maimed in these unlawful drone attacks so tragically? No sensible person would say it would. The new rules may have invested the state department with greater say in deciding the attacks. These may have also stipulated advance warning of attacks to the Pakistani authorities. So what? The infringement of our sovereignty would continue with impunity. More woefully, the slaughter of our innocent, including our children and women, would keep going on blithely. Whether it is the “smart power” or the “brutish power”, it is all the same. The carnage of our children, women and even the elderly would see no real let-up in it. But who cares in those high places in Washington?

They may be killing some terrorists in the drone attacks. But it is the innocent civilians who are bearing almost all the brunt of this state banditry. The murderers nonetheless are not contrite. They instead are in denial, as they are in Afghanistan where in the night raids on family compounds their Special Forces commandoes have been palpably killing the innocent, including sleeping babies. Yet, they deny, claiming impudently killing only the resistance commanders and fighters in the face of general outcry of the locals all around that they are massacring the innocent with no links whatsoever with the insurgents. And so they do here. They cheekily insist their drones are so discerning that they take out neatly the terrorist leaving unharmed a child sitting or sleeping just close by.

But why would they be any bothered when it is only the American life that counts to them for all and any other life comes to them as dirt cheap? Don’t they blare day in and day out that for securing the American life and the American street they would do whatever they want to do anywhere in the world? To them, a toddler of our tribal region could be no more than a rubber toy, a tribal woman no more than a robot and a sturdy tribesman no more than a clay pigeon whose demise is not worth a tear. But those are living human beings who leave all the hearts and the whole tribe grieving their heart-rending tragic demise mournfully.

And it would be great blunder of our rulers if they too continue sitting idly by, watching this horrific massacre of our innocent compatriots listlessly, particularly when they have also been caught by the WikiLeaks cables of consenting the CIA’s drone attacks. They must understand that sooner than later the American adventurists will be gone from Afghanistan, leaving behind an incensed populace in our strategic tribal region, simmering with boiling anger against the Pakistani state on account of these rulers who because of the WikiLeaks the tribal people know are also complicit to their massacre. They must get out of their churlish chant of the drone attacks being counterproductive or a catalyst to the spread of anti-Americanism in this country. Who cares for such insignificancies when at stake is this nation’s very solidarity, cohesion and unity? They must think out how to put paid to this daylight banditry of American adventurists and act. We have had enough of their “brutish power”. And we have no stomach whatsoever now for their “smart power”.

Our people’s lives are very dear to us. Our tribal children are no less lovely than the American children. Our tribal sisters live in no lesser respect in our hearts. And we value the lives of our innocent tribal men pricelessly. The rulers too must learn to love, respect and value them. And it is their bounden responsibility to protect and preserve their lives, even if the killers are the Americans’ drones. Spectacularly, they have failed to do it so far. The innocent tribal blood is thus as much on their hands as on the American butchers’.

Published here:


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