Extrajudicial murders [air-] strike terror

PATHRI- It’s Pakistani for a new computer chip/beacon which agents can throw in a window or over a wall to direct precision US missile fire to the domicile. Such that now: “People are sleeping outside the houses, in case somebody has thrown this pathri inside. It’s created fear in the area.” Umm, would that define terrorism? Imagine the fun to be had tossing jump-drives over your shoulder at anyone who’s displeased you, as you tour areas where US drones are known to be marauding!

In Pakistan, the US military reports having taken out an al-Qaeda leader and henchman, causing limited collateral damage, with a drone missile strike deep in Pakistan, so deep, this time it was outside the al-Qaeda controlled area. There is the usual outrage from Pakistanis, but initial Western media reports tell of Pakistani neighbors appreciative of the tidiness of the single-dwelling air-strike. Would those be the same neighbors who threw in the chip?

Who’s to say, post-missile-delivery, exactly what people were in the targeted house? Were they the al-Qaeda fighters the agents say they were? Were they guilty as charged? Oh, sorry, no time to make a case for charges.

If al-Qaeda or Taliban leadership wanted to direct a missile strike to where US military decisions were being made, in the US (as we are alleging is happening in Pakistan), such a retaliation would be denounced by us as a terrorist act. And they wouldn’t even be involving a third party sovereign nation, the US being their declared adversary.

Off the coast of Somalia, an Indian warship reports having blown to smithereens a pirate ship, a pirate mother ship in fact. In the wake of the weekend’s oil tanker capture by pirates, public support would seem to be behind India’s military strike. But what evidence is there that the ship struck was offending anyone? Might it be reasonable to expect rule of law from warships purporting to enforce maritime law?

Whether the Indian warship targeted an authentic pirate ship or not, the strike served its purpose to put everyone on notice that the military means business. That’s state terrorism.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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