11
   

I just heard a rumor...

 
 
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 02:50 pm
...that Obama today authorized some missles to be fired into Pakistan. Something about intelligence on Bin Laden's whereabouts?

Nothing on the news right now.

Anyone hear anything?
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Type: Question • Score: 11 • Views: 2,846 • Replies: 21
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wandeljw
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 02:59 pm
@Frank Apisa,
Quote:
White House no comment on suspect Pakistan strikes
1 hour ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) " The White House Friday refused to comment on Pakistani reports that suspected US drones had fired missiles into presumed militant dens in the northwest tribal belt.

"As you know I am not going to comment on those matters," spokesman Robert Gibbs told reporters despite being repeatedly pressed to discuss the reports.

Pakistani security officials said the missiles fired onto presumed militant dens killed 15 people, including three children and at least four civilians.

The strikes, which pulverised two houses in the northwest tribal belt, were reportedly the first since US President Barack Obama took office and one day after he appointed a brand new special envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 03:07 pm
@Frank Apisa,
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/01/23/AR2009012301220.html?hpid=topnews
Quote:

Suspected U.S. Missile Strikes Kill at Least 20 in Pakistan
Attacks in Northwest Border Province Are First Since Obama's Inauguration



By Candace Rondeaux
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, January 23, 2009; 1:49 PM

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 23 -- At least 20 people were killed in northwest Pakistan near the border of Afghanistan on Friday in two suspected U.S. missile strikes, marking the first such attack in Pakistan's tribal areas since President Obama's inauguration.

A U.S. Predator drone fired three missiles at a compound about two miles from the town of Mirali in the tribal area of North Waziristan about 5:15 p.m., according to a Pakistani security official and local residents. The precision strike leveled a compound, which was owned by local tribal elder Khalil Malik, killing at least 10 suspected militants, including five foreign nationals, according to the Pakistani security official. The site of the attack is about 30 miles east of the Afghan border.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said Malik was killed along with his brother and nephew. Authorities in North Waziristan, however, said they have been so far unable to identify any of those killed because militants immediately cordoned off the area. "I suspect a high-value target may be among the dead," the Pakistani security official said.


It is a 2-page article. More at the link above.
0 Replies
 
Bella Dea
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 03:07 pm
*sigh*
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 03:17 pm
@Bella Dea,
Sigh 2.
0 Replies
 
shewolfnm
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 03:18 pm
Im conditioned at this point to wonder what is going on in america right now that makes us need to look away for a moment.

last time this happened.. homeland security developed..


Now what?
dont look to the west like you are instructed.. pay attention to your home.
0 Replies
 
tenderfoot
 
  -1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 04:32 pm
As the usual mob will now be saying " stop the killing of the innocent's " kinda like they said when those barbaric Palestinians --- oops ! Jews were --killing the innocents.
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Fri 23 Jan, 2009 06:25 pm
@tenderfoot,
tenderfoot wrote:

As the usual mob will now be saying " stop the killing of the innocent's " kinda like they said when those barbaric Palestinians --- oops ! Jews were --killing the innocents.


You mean Israel? Or do you condemn all Jews?
0 Replies
 
tenderfoot
 
  1  
Reply Sat 24 Jan, 2009 04:09 pm
Foofie said--You mean Israel? Or do you condemn all Jews?..

Nope.. just that all the do gooders in society seem to be able to very quickly open their mouths to condemn the opposing forces using human rights and anything else that makes the others look like they are the contemptible one's.. knowing that they will have all the believers on their side looking on in admiration, in other words they have great joy in pointing the finger and speaking in tongues.
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 01:03 am
Well I want to say I'm very saddened & disappointed that the new US government has chosen to endorse this course of action. This has received almost no coverage in the media in my country (Australia) & I'd be very interested to know more ... like why, who (in particular) was targetted, details of casualties, etc ...


Sigh.
MontereyJack
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 01:13 am
On another thread someone said that it was in the news analysis that the military command over there had the power to decide these strikes on their own--that there was no evidence the decision came from Washington, sounds probable since they've been doing it for years, so it's likely just standing orders. Which doesn't mean Obama would necessarily change it one way or another, but that it's just one of those thousands of little land mines left behind by a discredited administration for a new administration to trip over.
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 01:19 am
@MontereyJack,
Quote:
On another thread someone said that it was in the news analysis that the military command over there had the power to decide these strikes on their own--that there was no evidence the decision came from Washington...


On behalf of the US?

I find that a little ... um ..... Confused

Thank you anyway, Jack.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 01:51 am
@msolga,
2 U.S. Airstrikes Offer a Concrete Sign of Obama's Pakistan Policy

First Missile Strikes On Pakistan Since Obama Presidency: Reports

Pakistan Urges Obama To Halt Missile Attacks

msolga
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 02:02 am
@Butrflynet,
Thank you, Butrflynet.
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 02:05 am
@Butrflynet,
Obama has made clear that he thinks that Pakistan is a huge problem for humans, that we are likely to see the first nuclear war there, and that it is the most likely place for the militant Islamics to gain access to nuclear terrorism. The experts say that it is only a matter of time, maybe a few years, before civilized earth will be confronted with terrorists in possession of nuclear weapons and at the same time willing to use them.
0 Replies
 
Butrflynet
 
  2  
Reply Sun 25 Jan, 2009 02:40 am
http://media3.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/graphic/2009/01/24/GR2009012400236.gif


Radio Spreads Taliban’s Terror in Pakistani Region


These are a few excerpts. Much more at the link.

Quote:
PESHAWAR, Pakistan " Every night around 8 o’clock, the terrified residents of Swat, a lush and picturesque valley a hundred miles from three of Pakistan’s most important cities, crowd around their radios. They know that failure to listen and learn might lead to a lashing " or a beheading.


Using a portable radio transmitter, a local Taliban leader, Shah Doran, on most nights outlines newly proscribed “un-Islamic” activities in Swat, like selling DVDs, watching cable television, singing and dancing, criticizing the Taliban, shaving beards and allowing girls to attend school. He also reveals names of people the Taliban have recently killed for violating their decrees " and those they plan to kill.


Quote:
Unlike the fringe tribal areas, Swat, a Delaware-size chunk of territory with 1.3 million residents and a rich cultural history, is part of Pakistan proper, within reach of Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Islamabad, the capital.

After more than a year of fighting, virtually all of it is now under Taliban control, marking the militants’ farthest advance eastward into Pakistan’s so-called settled areas, residents and government officials from the region say.

With the increasing consolidation of their power, the Taliban have taken a sizable bite out of the nation. And they are enforcing a strict interpretation of Islam with cruelty, bringing public beheadings, assassinations, social and cultural repression and persecution of women to what was once an independent, relatively secular region, dotted with ski resorts and fruit orchards and known for its dancing girls.

Last year, 70 police officers were beheaded, shot or otherwise slain in Swat, and 150 wounded, said Malik Naveed Khan, the police inspector general for the North-West Frontier Province.

The police have become so afraid that many officers have put advertisements in newspapers renouncing their jobs so the Taliban will not kill them.


Quote:
In the view of analysts, the growing nightmare in Swat is a capsule of the country’s problems: an ineffectual and unresponsive civilian government, coupled with military and security forces that, in the view of furious residents, have willingly allowed the militants to spread terror deep into Pakistan.

The crisis has become a critical test for the government of the civilian president, Asif Ali Zardari, and for a security apparatus whose loyalties, many Pakistanis say, remain in question.

Seeking to deflect blame, Mr. Zardari’s government recently criticized “earlier halfhearted attempts at rooting out extremists from the area” and vowed to fight militants “who are ruthlessly murdering and maiming our citizens.”

But as pressure grows, he has also said in recent days that the government would be willing to talk with militants who accept its authority. Such negotiations would carry serious risks: security officials say a brief peace deal in Swat last spring was a spectacular failure that allowed militants to tighten their hold and take revenge on people who had supported the military.


0 Replies
 
oralloy
 
  1  
Reply Fri 13 Mar, 2009 11:44 pm
@msolga,
msolga wrote:
Well I want to say I'm very saddened & disappointed that the new US government has chosen to endorse this course of action. This has received almost no coverage in the media in my country (Australia) & I'd be very interested to know more ... like why, who (in particular) was targetted, details of casualties, etc ...


Sigh.


The people who are targeted would be the terrorists: al-Qa'ida, the Taliban, HIG, the Jalaluddin Haqqani network, etc.....

Why would you find it disappointing?
0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 12:54 pm
The attacks do seem to be effective ...

Quote:
U.S. missile strikes take heavy toll on Al Qaeda, officials say

Predator drone attacks in northwest Pakistan have increased sharply since Bush last year stopped seeking Pakistan's permission. Obama may keep pace as officials speak of confusion in Al Qaeda ranks.

LA Times
March 22, 2009

An intense, six-month campaign of Predator strikes in Pakistan has taken such a toll on Al Qaeda that militants have begun turning violently on one another out of confusion and distrust, U.S. intelligence and counter-terrorism officials say.

The pace of the Predator attacks has accelerated dramatically since August, when the Bush administration made a previously undisclosed decision to abandon the practice of obtaining permission from the Pakistani government before launching missiles from the unmanned aircraft.

Since Aug. 31, the CIA has carried out at least 38 Predator strikes in northwest Pakistan, compared with 10 reported attacks in 2006 and 2007 combined, in what has become the CIA's most expansive targeted killing program since the Vietnam War.

Because of its success, the Obama administration is set to continue the accelerated campaign despite civilian casualties that have fueled anti-U.S. sentiment and prompted protests from the Pakistani government.

"This last year has been a very hard year for them," a senior U.S. counter-terrorism official said of Al Qaeda militants, whose operations he tracks in northwest Pakistan. "They're losing a bunch of their better leaders. But more importantly, at this point they're wondering who's next."

U.S. intelligence officials said they see clear signs that the Predator strikes are sowing distrust within Al Qaeda. "They have started hunting down people who they think are responsible" for security breaches, the senior U.S. counter-terrorism official said, discussing intelligence assessments on condition of anonymity. "People are showing up dead or disappearing." [..]

The stepped-up Predator campaign has killed at least nine senior Al Qaeda leaders and dozens of lower-ranking operatives, in what U.S. officials described as the most serious disruption of the terrorist network since 2001.

Among those killed since August are Rashid Rauf, the suspected mastermind of an alleged 2006 transatlantic airliner plot; Abu Khabab Masri, who was described as the leader of Al Qaeda's chemical and biological weapons efforts; Khalid Habib, an operations chief allegedly involved in plots against the West; and Usama al-Kini, who allegedly helped orchestrate the September bombing of the Marriott Hotel in the capital, Islamabad. [..]

[O]fficials said that the surge in strikes has less to do with expanded capabilities than with the decision to skip Pakistani approval. "We had the data all along," said a former CIA official who oversaw Predator operations in Pakistan. "Finally we took off the gloves."

The Bush administration's decision to expand the Predator program was driven by growing alarm over Al Qaeda's resurgence in Pakistan's tribal belt.

A 2006 peace agreement between Islamabad and border tribes had allowed the network to shore up its finances, resume training operatives and reestablish connections with satellite groups.

The article continues on page 2 with causes for both encouragement and concern.

On the one hand, "The success of the Predator campaign has prompted some counter-terrorism officials to speak of a post-Al Qaeda era in which its regional affiliates -- in North Africa and elsewhere -- are all that remain after the center collapses."

On the other, ""There's a risk of driving [Al Qaeda and its allies] farther and farther into Pakistan, into cities," said Daniel Byman [..]. Over the last six months, Taliban elements tied to Al Qaeda have carried out increasingly bold attacks, including in Islamabad".


0 Replies
 
nimh
 
  2  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 06:58 pm
Yeah, I dunno. It seems a tough balancing act. If the drone attacks chase militants into the Pakistani cities where they foment armed Islamist groups, that's bad. If the drone attacks kill so many civilian victims, the local population turns in even more determination to radicalism in anger, that's bad. And that's aside from the human cost of civilian victims.

On the other hand, we've been blaming Bush for x years for chasing after his delusions about Iraq, which had nothing to do with 9/11, while letting Osama and his lieutenants get away, even bolstering them indirectly through the outrage over Iraq. And now these drone attacks do actually go after known high-level Al Qaeda operatives, and successfully so. According to this photo report on TNR, they have already taken out:

  • Usama al-Kini, the head of al-Qaeda operations in Pakistan, who allegedly helped orchestrate the September bombing of Islamabad’s Marriott Hotel, and who is also suspected of being involved in an attempted assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.
  • Abu Khabab Masri, al-Qaeda’s resident expert in chemical and biological weapons, who oversaw a training camp in Afghanistan where he provided hands-on instruction in the use of poisons and explosives. According to the FBI, he was also responsible for the training of the shoe bombers Zacarias Moussaoui and Richard Reid.
  • Rashid Rauf, who allegedly helped orchestrate a plot to blow up transatlantic jets in 2006.
  • Khalid Habib, an elusive field commander believed to be the fourth-highest ranking leader of al-Qaeda

Not to sound too bloodthirsty, I can't say I'm sorry to see these people gone ...
Foofie
 
  1  
Reply Mon 23 Mar, 2009 08:00 pm
These drones will likely get more sophisticated as its technology is perfected. I would guess that eventually a drone will be able to knock out a goat walking between two people; both people would remain unharmed. Give the drones a chance to enhance!
 

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