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As the corporate media gloats over the alleged assassination of yet another terrorist in Pakistan, the illegality of our military action and the justifiable outrage expressed by the people there remains largely ignored. Yet thousands of enraged Pakistanis have taken to the streets in recent days, demanding an end to the Empire’s latest war of aggression:
Once again, Pakistan echoed with high anti-US sentiments when thousands of demonstrators staged a sit-in in the port city of Karachi, the commercial hub of Pakistan.
The event was organized by Pakistan’s largest religious party, Jamat-e-Islami, to protest against US drone attacks in the country. …
The government of Pakistan sees the attacks as a clear violation of the country’s sovereignty. many observers, however, believe Islamabad has tacitly agreed up on the attacks while publicly criticizing it to avoid public backlash. They say Pakistan’s economic dependence is another reason for bowing down before United States.
The US has carried out hundreds of drone attacks in Pakistan’ tribal belt, since august 2008, which have killed over 2,000 people. According to reports by local witnesses, most of those killed in the attacks are innocent civilians, including women and children.
Think about that last paragraph, and what it actually says about American foreign policy. The invasion of Afghanistan – which has subsequently spread to neighboring Pakistan – was supposedly motivated as a response to the events of September 11. While the official narrative is clearly flawed, most Americans appear to believe it, particularly with regard to the war in Afghanistan. The lives of 2,700 Americans were lost on September 11, 2001 – a terrible tragedy, to be sure, but hardly a figure which justifies the mass murder which has taken place at the hands of American forces since that day. It now appears that nearly the same number of American civilians killed on 9/11 have now been killed by American military action in Pakistan, a country with which we are not even formally at war.
We have, in other words, replicated the atrocities of September 11 in another sovereign. The people of Pakistan have done nothing to harm the United States or its citizens, and yet we have, wholly unprovoked, engaged in endless missile strikes that have resulted in the deaths of thousands of civilians. We have become what we abhorred.
Of course, the United States military doesn’t do body counts, to quote the abominable Gen. Tommy Franks. So the above figure of 2,000 dead civilians in Pakistan, deplorable in its own right, fails to take into consideration the hundreds of thousands of civilians left dead in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya. Nearly a decade into our Orwellian War on Terror (perpetrated by, according to all definitions of the word, the world’s greatest terrorist state), that figure has likely exceeded the million mark. One million dead, as a response to 2,700 dead Americans. But the Eastern philosophies have had it pegged for three thousand years: violence cannot appease violence, hatred cannot end hatred.
Returning to Pakistan, we see that although our reprehensible actions there may dwarf in comparison to our war crimes in other countries, enough civilians have now been killed to justify a depth of feeling – hatred, anger, bitterness – equivalent to our darkest moments in the wake of 9/11. And let us not forget that Pakistan is a nuclear armed nation, with a population fervently devoted to the tenets of Islam – a religion which openly promotes the notion of a righteous war against the invading infidel, and preaches that those who die in holy battle will instantly be transported to paradise.
It begs the question: What the hell are we doing in Pakistan? How could any sane, reasonable, rational American support what is taking place there in our name? Where is the outrage on the American side? Why is no one asking the obvious questions, demanding accountability from the warmongers in Washington? How is it possible that American forces are blatantly engaged in yet another war, without even the pretense of approval from the American public or the legislative branch, and we simply accept it without blinking?
I would say take to the streets in protest, but the invasion of Iraq proved that more drastic action is required in the modern age. Corporate power today is more brazen today than it has ever been, and it openly mocks the power of the masses – understanding as it does that most Americans are simply too apathetic, too lazy, too ignorant, to take things as far as they need to go. In the meantime, all anyone can hope to do is play their own small part: boycott the corporate media, ignore the corporate Republicans and Democrats, withdraw any and all financial support from the major banks and other corporate entities, and share the truth to anyone and everyone who will listen.