On the NATO/US Military Strike on Pakistan
A correspondent wrote me yesterday, "what [is]our government and military doing attacking a Pakistani military base? Pakistan is supposed to be our ally in this ten years old crazy war in Afghanistan." NATO Airstrike Kills 24 Pakistani Soldiers.
Pakistan had a military government over decades, supported by every US administration. There's a large base in Pakistan for Islamic fundamentalism, which has deeply penetrated the Pakistani military, which is itself an utterly corrupt institution deeply involved in owning land and business (like Egypt's US-funded military is).
The US wants a compliant ally; they don't have it in Pakistan, as the ruling class there has its own regional interests v. India. Pakistan has nukes. Pakistan is "this close" to its own civil war, and the US is doing nothing to avoid that by provoking deep unrest with drone attacks from and within Pakistani territory.
There is much we don't, and probably won't, know about the NATO/US strike on a Pakistani base Saturday. The U.S. claims the Afghan government called for the attack, and has now apologized, sayingit was a tragic "mistake," though it went on for two hours. Pakistan shut its border to U.S. supplies, yet the Pentagon says the "war effort" in Afghanistan will go on, despite being told by Pakistan to give up its drone base in Shamsi.
Glenn Greenwald, on Democracy Now this morning:
There’s no formal war in Pakistan. There’s never been a debate about whether we should be engaged in military action in Pakistan. The drone program, which is the crux of what we do in Pakistan, is in fact so secret that officials in the government won’t even confirm exists, even though everybody knows that it does. So, all of this is shrouded in secrecy. We will probably never learn what has happened. The U.S. government routinely claims when it kills civilians, or in this case, Pakistani troops, that either it was because they chased insurgents and used civilians as a shield or that the civilians themselves engaged in hostilities, and many times, that proves to be false. The U.S. government and military have been caught lying so many times about what has happened...
We may never know what happened here for certain. That is part of the problem because it is shrouded in secrecy in the fog of war. But, what is clear is that the endless war that the United States has been engaged in since 9/11 doesn’t seem to be in sight of ending. Quite the contrary, it seems to be escalating by the week, almost.
by Debra Sweet, National Director, World Can't Wait