Americaâ€™s right to kill
22 January, 2007
By Mazhar Arif
Last week, US forces unleashed air strikes in southern Somalia apparently "to eliminate suspected Al Qaeda fighters" hiding there. A Somali parliamentarian claimed 31 civilians, including two newly-weds, died in one incident of airstrike by two US helicopters near Afmadow, a town in an area of forested hills close to the Kenyan border.
Unashamedly, President Abdullahi Yusuf, head of Somalia’s UN-backed transitional government, told journalists in Mogadishu that the US "has a right to bombard terrorist suspects" in his country.
Earlier, on October 30, 2006, a missile strike killed 82 persons, including teenagers, at a religious school in Bajaur, a tribal hilly area close to Afghanistan. The strike was based on US intelligence reports that the school was being used as a training site for Islamic extremists. Pakistani military claimed that they had bombed the site. Many people, however, say they believe it was actually carried out by a US Predator drone.
The US has already been "granted" right to kill in Afghanistan and Iraq by the puppet governments. More than 650,000 persons have been killed in Iraq since the US invasion three years back. Hundreds of people have been killed by NATO forces in Afghanistan. President George Bush has indicated in his "surge" speech last week that "elements" in Iran and Syria could also be targeted, meaning that Iran and Syria will also be bombarded by American forces.
According to William Blum, "from 1945 to 2003, the United States attempted to overthrow more than 40 foreign governments, and to crush more than 30 populist-nationalist governments fighting against intolerable regimes. In the process, the US bombed some 25 countries, caused the end of life for several million people, and condemned many millions more to a life of agony and despair."
As it is said "a great war leaves the country with three armies-an army of cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves." America’s great war against sovereign states and peoples during the past more than half a century has left great armies of cripples, mourners, widows, orphans, and resultantly armies of thieves throughout the three continents of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Gore Vidal says, "As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate, action: You liberate a city by destroying it." US is destroying the cities and killing innocent people to establish democracies in the ravaged countries. The "democratic" governments in Afghanistan and Iraq are glaring examples where puppet regimes, protected by US army, have been established to occupy the natural resources, and oil in many cases.
After the US retreat from many South American countries in the wake of popular upsurge against the capitalism and its related institutions, the US and its capitalist allies have started directly occupying, by its armies, the natural resources, particularly in Gulf and South-West Asia. The CIA has vast experience spread over decades in finding its stooges in the poor third world countries to protect US interests, and those who are more than willing to give American forces the "right to kill" their own peoples.
The Somali president’s statement in this regard must not be seen in isolation. Some South-West Asian, coward, corrupt and autocratic regimes which are there by the US support, overtly and covertly, have already given the right to kill to occupying forces.
In Pakistani context, the missile strike at school in Bajaur reflects the fears of a regime, which lacks courage to say ‘NO’ when they are asked to kill its own people.
Washington Post quotes Pakistani military and intelligence officials who said: "A refusal to act would have badly damaged their relations with the United States."
A senior intelligence official said: "We thought about other options, but Americans were not ready to take any chances. We were caught between the devil and the deep sea."
The US does not seem satisfied by the role of Pakistani military regime in "war on terror", even now. This week, the US National Intelligence’s Director Negroponte’s testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee, in which he described Pakistan as haven for extremists, must be very much alarming for the military rulers. The US is very much confident about the ability of Pakistan army, but now Americans are getting disappointed. The question is whether Richard Boucher’s recent visit was to seek the "right to kill" the Pakistani citizens and bombard Pakistani areas directly by the US forces (to eliminate the extremists)?