Tuesday, May 5, 2009

What's Pashto For "Git Ready, Cuz The Shit's Gonna Hit The Fan"?

ZP Heller, on OpenLeft, has grim tidings from the East:
The situation in Pakistan is deteriorating by the hour. This nuclear-armed nation already plagued by political and economic turmoil now faces a massive humanitarian crisis, as 500,000 people flee the Swat valley in the face of armed conflict between Pakistani authorities and Taliban extremists who have taken control. As President Obama prepares to meet with Pakistani President Asif Zardari and Afghan President Hamid Karzai tomorrow, the question becomes what the U.S. can do to prevent all-out war in Pakistan.
One could imagine that firing missiles with deadly effect into the homes of sleeping villagers from low-flying drones piloted by remote control from Pasadena or Las Vegas might count for something. I wonder if "thePrez" has thought of that? Cuz there seems to be some agreement that that's at least part of the problem:
An article in The New York Times today presents three potential strategies for the Obama administration to pursue in the coming weeks: 1) hasten the long-term strategy of retraining the Pakistani army to fight the counterinsurgency while upping nation-building efforts; 2) rely on more Predator drone strikes and covert ground attacks; and 3) make sure Pakistan's nuclear arsenal is secure from the extremist threat. While it's clear the Obama administration has its back against the wall, authorizing more Predator drone attacks is a disastrous option that must be avoided at all cost.

As David Kilcullen, the counterinsurgency expert who designed Gen. Petraeus's Iraqi surge, recently told the House Armed Services Committee, "We need to call off the drones." This covert plan, first approved by Bush (and continued by Obama) to skirt Pakistan's refusal to allow U.S. troops into the country, uses unmanned aircraft remotely controlled by the CIA to hunt down suspected terrorists and insurgents. But as Kilcullen claimed, it's backfiring, prompting more Taliban extremists to take up arms against the U.S.-backed Pakistani government and driving them deeper into the country.
At least 700 Pakistanis have died under the drone onslaught. Hundreds of thousands have been made refugees from the dorne attacks and the Taliban activities the drones are supposed to attack.
In addition to the 700 innocent Pakistani civilians killed, the UN estimates drone strikes have displaced hundreds of thousands more people. One can only imagine the inordinate amount of chaos and devastation caused by more drone strikes, as they become a recruiting tool for Islamic militants spurred into action against the Pakistani government and U.S. interests.
Robot warriors RAWK! They are the one reliable way to the hearts and minds of your opponents' supporters, fer sher.

Well, that and converting the locals from their demon religion and welcoming them to Jesus' love.

Just in time for 'em to join the blessed martyrs to the one, true faith, at the hands of their former friends and families. Christians flat LUV them some kinda martyrs...

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