Saturday, January 23, 2010

Connecting The Dots

It’s difficult not to connect the dots between two articles published on the same day, one in the New York Times, and the other in the Wall Street Journal. We cannot pretend that either publication is an entirely unbiased and independent reporter of objective news, but it’s unlikely that either has returned to the habits of pre-Iraq-War hype.

From the Journal, a couple of excerpts,

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates is overseeing wars with Sunni militants in Iraq and Taliban fighters in Afghanistan. In Pakistan, he's facing a different foe: the pervasive conspiracy theories that fuel widespread anti-American feelings here.

Mr. Gates acknowledged in his remarks that there was a "very real…trust deficit" separating the U.S. and Pakistan.

And from the Times, emphasis added by me,

Beginning the day after the attack on a C.I.A. base in Khost, Afghanistan, the agency [CIA] has carried out 11 [Predator drone] strikes that have killed about 90 people suspected of being militants, according to Pakistani news reports, which make almost no mention of civilian casualties. The assault has included strikes on a mud fortress in North Waziristan on Jan. 6 that killed 17 people and a volley of missiles on a compound in South Waziristan last Sunday that killed at least 20.

Is it really hard to understand why one nation does not trust another when it is being bombed within its sovereign territory almost daily and is powerless to stop the death and destruction? If England was bombing our small towns several times a week from bases in Canada and killing 20 or 90 people each time, would we “trust” England?

And, aside from extracting revenge and making us feel better because we're killing somebody, is it really doing any good? Is it really “winning the War On Terror”?

“Has the situation stabilized in the past two years?” asked the general, speaking on condition of anonymity. “Are the tribal areas more stable?” Yes, he said, Baitullah Mehsud, founder of the Pakistani Taliban, was killed by a missile last August. “But he’s been replaced and the number of fighters is increasing,” the general said.

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