Now, this doesn't seem to make a lick of sense.
ISLAMABAD, Aug. 15 (Xinhua) -- A total of 13 suspected militants were killed during a U.S. drone attack launched Saturday night in northwest Pakistan, reported local media Express on Sunday.
According to the report, the U.S. drone fired three missiles at a village near Mirali in Pakistan's northwest tribal area of North Waziristan late Saturday night.
Initial reports said that the drone strikes killed eight people and injured five others, and one of the missiles fired hit a house of a tribal man.
Saturday's U.S. drone strikes coincided with Pakistan's Independence Day and this could seriously hurt the feelings of the Pakistani people as many of the people killed in the past drone attacks are reportedly innocent civilians.
The fasting month of Ramadan began yesterday in sorrow for 14 million Pakistanis, as one fifth of the nation is underwater from the worst monsoon-related floods in living memory.
When I was watching the teevee this morning, I overheard Savannah Guthrie gnashing her teeth on MSNBC, fretting over the risk of TERRORISTS getting their hands on a NUCLEAR WEAPON. The majority of Pakistan's civilians, Tariq Ali writes, are "poor, illiterate or semi-literate." That is the true threat to stability in the region. Mix in a climate catastrophe and a wildly inept, corrupt, unfeeling leader, and the Taliban has a wide window of opportunity to step in and play the roles of benevolent saviors.
I suppose it would be a bit like arguing with a ficus plant to point out that this kind of climate disaster will happen again, and indeed it is the greatest threat to global security. It's a greater threat than the Taliban, and Al-Qaeda, combined. But admitting that much entails confessing that our climate is changing, and we all know Al Gore is fat, so that's not going to happen.
The World Health Organization has now asked Pakistan to investigate reports of cholera cases in the northwest Swat Valley, a region the Taliban successfully captured in 2008. I doubt the Taliban has the tools to successfully contain a cholera outbreak, but even if they offer meager aid and services in the vacuum left by Zardari, they will forever buy the allegiance of his abandoned people.
And the U.S. solution to the environmental disaster appears to be to a cocktail of aid and drone attacks.
This is a bad omen, considering the U.S. can't even get the aid part right. It's been five years since Katrina, and here is the latest report from the Kaiser Family Foundation on how the recovery effort is going.
Five years after Hurricane Katrina, an increasing majority of the city's residents says the rebuilding process is going well, but substantial majorities still report that the city has not recovered and feel the nation has forgotten them.
What's happening in Pakistan is far worse than Katrina, and the Taliban is the only on-location support for millions of people. If the extremists feed them, and the US bombs their destroyed villages, it doesn't take a foreign policy expert to predict with whom the majority of Pakistanis' will ultimately ally themselves.
According to the Pew Research Center, only one-in-five Pakistanis express a positive view of President Asif Ali Zardari, down from 64% just two years ago. The good news is, at least for the time being, 65% give the Taliban an unfavorable rating and 53% feel this way about al Qaeda. The bad news is only 17% have a favorable view of the U.S. About 59% of Pakistanis describe the U.S. as an enemy, while just 11% say it is a partner. Additionally, President Barack Obama is unpopular - "only 8% of Pakistanis express confidence that he will do the right thing in world affairs, his lowest rating among the 22 nations."
There is a vacuum in Pakistan right now. To Pakistanis, the Taliban sucks, but so does the U.S., and now it's a race to see who helps the most civilians the quickest. The U.S. is at a marked disadvantage here due to its policies of drone strikes and shadow wars where it freely invades whatever country it desires in the pursuit of an amorphous enemy. Perhaps, it's time to set aside terrorizing civilians and start handing out aid.
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