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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Mr.Obama Orders Miltary Action on Pakistan Tsk tsk!!

Barack Obama gave the go-ahead for his first military action yesterday, missile strikes against suspected militants in Pakistan which killed at least 18 people.

Four days after assuming the presidency, he was consulted by US commanders before they launched the two attacks. Although Obama has abandoned many of the “war on terror” policies of George Bush while he was president, he is not retreating from the hunt for Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaida leaders.

Obama has warned that he is prepared to bomb inside Pakistan if he gets relevant intelligence about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. He had also said he would act against militants along the border if the Pakistan government failed to.

The strikes will help Obama portray himself as a leader who, though ready to shift the balance of American power towards diplomacy, is not afraid of military action.

These strikes killed 20 people, and as antiwar.com notes,

The drone strikes have killed hundreds of people over the past several months, both militants and civilians. The United States rarely publicly admits to the attacks, part of what some in the media have dubbed a “don’t-ask-don’t-tell” understanding between them and Pakistan’s civilian government.

And the Obama administration, despite their new call for transparency, is refusing to comment on these attacks,

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Friday refused to comment on reports that two missile attacks from U.S. spy planes killed 18 people on the Pakistan side of the Afghan border. …

“As you know, I am not going to comment on those matters,” Gibbs said when asked about the strikes.

Pressed twice more on the topic, Gibbs said, “I am not going to speak about these matters today,” then later said, “My answer was I was not going to talk about that.” …

Asked how Obama planned to follow up on his inaugural address remark that he wanted to have a new way forward with the Muslim world, Gibbs said he would decline to address that question “until we have something to add to it specifically.”

It seems as if the new Bush Obama Administration is still continuing with not just the same foreign policy, but an even firmer one,

The shaky Pakistani government of Asif Ali Zardari has expressed hopes for warm relations with Obama, but members of Obama’s new national security team have already telegraphed their intention to make firmer demands of Islamabad than the Bush administration, and to back up those demands with a threatened curtailment of the plentiful military aid that has been at the heart of U.S.-Pakistani ties for the past three decades.

The general media outlets are declaring these operations to be somewhat of a success since a handful of suspected militants were killed. At the time of this post, however, I have been unable to find any news article specifically articulating who was killed and targeted. Of course they say it was “Al-Qaeda” militants, but these days that excuse is about as credible as the WMD threat in Iraq.

Lastly, as much as we’d like to celebrate some ‘cautious optimism’ in regards to his symbolic (and positive) gesture of closing Guantanamo, I think it is important to be objective and fair in also assessing the foreign policy ramifications of the new administration for the Muslim world. I was personally a bit hopeful after hearing some of his words about engaging the Muslim world, but actions speak louder than words.

Please make dua for the innocent people who died in these attacks. May Allah(swt) admit them into the highest parts of Paradise.




"Knowledge is best served in Truth"

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