Moral Low Ground

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U.S. Drone Strike Kills 5 Women & 4 Children in Pakistan

Yesterday, Pakistan’s top army general, Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, sat down with Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and told him that American drone strikes in Pakistan were complicating Pakistan’s fight against Islamic militants. Today, an American unmanned aerial drone attack has killed at least 25 Pakistanis, including five women and four children.

According to the BBC, the attack occurred in the town of Spinwam, located in the largely lawless tribal region of North Waziristan, a longtime haven for al-Qaeda and Taliban militants. But the four missiles fired by the pilotless US aircraft struck a family home as well as a compound housing suspected militants, and nine civilians were killed. Several other people were injured in the attack.

The latest slaughter of innocent Pakistanis is sure to enrage a nation already at the end of its rope with America. While US drone strikes have killed some senior militants, far more civilians– well over 700— have died as a result of the attacks. Since taking office, US President Barack Obama has significantly increased the number of drone strikes in Pakistan, resulting in a sentiment among that country’s people that Washington is running roughshod over their sovereignty.

Accidents like this one also contribute to the popular belief that the United States doesn’t value Muslim lives the same as it does American ones. A series of particularly deadly  strikes this year, like the March 17th attack on a tribal meeting that massacred 40 innocent people and a February helicopter attack that killed 9 children, ages 8 to 14, only adds fuel to the fire of Pakistani outrage.

US-Pakistani relations have also been strained by the release of CIA contractor Raymond Davis, who was arrested in Pakistan after he shot dead two men on a Lahore street in January, and by Admiral Mullen’s allegation that the ISI, Pakistan’s spy agency, has links to Islamic militants who are killing US troops in neighboring Afghanistan.

Death from above, courtesy of US taxpayers.

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