Saturday, January 24, 2009

U.S. Strikes Pakistan, Kills 20

As the euphoria of Inauguration Day subsides, the War on Terror continues its rampage throughout the world. Yesterday, a U.S. strike in Pakistan attempting to strike a suspected terrorist hideout killed twenty people.

Covert operations producing missile strikes in the rugged terrain of western Pakistan were a central part of the Bush Administration's terrorist containment policy for the region. It is a highly contested policy that the Pakistan government condemned late last year in November when a U.S. missile strike killed nearly two dozen civilians.

As President Barack Obama plans to double the amount of U.S. forces in Afghanistan from 30,000 to as much as 70,000, relations with Pakistan are highly strained as Pakistan has publicly denounced such U.S. attacks in their borders and have called on the international community for assertion of their autonomy.

But after U.S.-backed dictatorial President Perez Musharraf (who seized power in a 1999 military coup) enacted martial law in 2007 and arrested many political dissidents and intellectuals, Pakistan remains highly suspicious of U.S. motives. Musharraf's reign of terror culminated in the December 2007 assassination of Benazir Bhutto, his head opposition who seemed poise to assume power. Musharraf's role in her assassination still remains dubious.

The continuing missile strikes into Pakistan by the United States contradict President Obama's anti-war rhetoric which attracted many to his campaign. Although only four days into his presidency, it is reported that after the attack, President Obama met with the National Security Council and discussed military operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The Washington Post reports that since August, there has been 38 missile strikes, killing over 130. All of the strikes have been conducted by the CIA.

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