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THE KILLING CONTINUES . . . May 14, 2011

Posted by wmmbb in South West Asia.
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To the surprise of none, the killing continues following the execution of bin Laden. Violence begets violence. How can violence and unnecessary killing be stopped?

Does it make any of us safer as claimed? Who it not be better to address grievance and remove injustice? We live in a global community, do we not?

Firstly, the suicide bombing that resulted in the deaths of 80 people in Shaqadar, Pakistan are been claimed as revenge for the killing of bin Laden. Such a claim would appear to be contrary to the conclusions of Robert Pape’s study on suicide bombing, but nonetheless provides a framing for the story that can be spun both ways and does not address the issue of the asymmetrical violence.

The Independent carries the PA report:

A pair of suicide bombers attacked recruits leaving a paramilitary training center in Pakistan today, killing 80 people in the first retaliation for the killing of Osama bin Laden by American commandos last week.

The blasts in the northwest were a reminder of the savagery of al-Qaida-linked militants in Pakistan. They occurred even as the country faces international suspicion that elements within its security forces may have been harboring bin Laden, who was killed in a raid in Abbottabad, about a three hours’ drive from the scene of the bombing.

“We have done this to avenge the Abbottabad incident,” Ahsanullah Ahsan, a spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, told The Associated Press in a phone call. He warned that the group was also planning attacks on Americans living inside Pakistan. The bombers blew themselves up in Shabqadar at the main gate of the facility for the Frontier Constabulary, a poorly equipped but front-line force in the battle against al-Qaida and allied Islamist groups like the Pakistani Taliban close to the Afghan border. Like other branches of Pakistan’s security forces, it has received U.S. funding to try to sharpen its skills. At least 80 people were killed, including 66 recruits, and around 120 people were wounded, said police officer Liaqat Ali Khan. Around 900 young men were leaving the center after spending six months of training there. They were in high spirits and looking forward to seeing their families, for which some had brought gifts, a survivor said. Some people were sitting inside public minivans and others were loading luggage atop the vehicles when the bombers struck, witnesses said. “We were heading toward a van when the first blast took place and we fell on the ground and then there was another blast,” said 21-year-old Rehmanullah Khan. “We enjoyed our time together, all the good and bad weather and I cannot forget the cries of my friends before they died.” The scene was littered with shards of glass mixed with blood and flesh. The explosions destroyed at least 10 vans.

It was the first major militant attack in Pakistan since bin Laden’s death on May 2, and the deadliest this year. Militants had pledged to avenge the killing and launch reprisal strikes in Pakistan. The Taliban spokesman also suggested the attack was aimed as punishment against Pakistani authorities for failing to stop the unilateral U.S. raid that killed bin Laden, something that has sparked popular nationalist and Islamist anger. “The Pakistani army has failed to protect its land,” Ahsan said.

Not to be outdone the Americans continue to press on with drone missile attacks. The Independent also carried the report:

Pakistani intelligence officials say a US missile strike has killed three people near the Afghan border. Four missiles struck a vehicle in the Doga Madakhel village of North Waziristan tribal region. North Waziristan is home to many militant groups dedicated to attacking Western troops in Afghanistan.

The two officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to media. They did not know the exact identities of the dead.

The strike comes amid tensions between the U.S. and Pakistan over the May 2 American raid that killed al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden on Pakistani soil. The U.S. relies heavily on the covert, CIA-run missile program to kill Taliban and al-Qaida militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas.

Four missiles striking a vehicle is similar to two bullets striking bin Laden as reported in his murder.

ELSEWHERE:

At al Jazeera, Kamal Hyder, provides an account of bin Laden’s stay in South West Asia concluding that while his capture and killing was a great success for the Americans, it was humiliation for Pakistan. What does that matter?

Douglas Lummis at Counter Point identifies that the war on terror doctrine allows suspects to be killed in contrast to the rules of war and criminal law. This behavior by the US has does done and is doing fundamental damage to International Law. I think we have to regard ourselves as members of local communities, national communities and the global community. We need rules of conduct, the ability to address grievances and to seek justice with the recognition that we must live together on this planet. This is a practical proposal, not an idealistic one, although seeking justice much as seeking truth are ideals that must be striven for.

An interview with Judge Baltasar Garzon on Democracy Now illustrates the problematic nature of international jurisdiction.

Peter Drysdale for East Asia Forum, via Blogtariat, discusses the changed relationship between the US and the Pakistan following the execution of Osama bin Laden and the invasion of Pakistan sovereignty.

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