24 January 2009

Obama Continues Drone Strikes in Pakistan, Civilian Deaths

The New York Times reports:

Two missile attacks launched from remotely piloted American aircraft killed at least 15 people in western Pakistan on Friday. The strikes suggested that the use of drones to kill militants within Pakistan’s borders would continue under President Obama.


American officials in Washington said there were no immediate signs that the strikes on Friday had killed any senior Qaeda leaders. They said the attacks had dispelled for the moment any notion that Mr. Obama would rein in the Predator attacks.


In the second attack, missiles struck a house near the village of Wana in South Waziristan, killing seven people, according to local accounts and Pakistani news reports. The reports said three of the dead were children.
So the first civilian deaths on Obama's watch... What does the administration have to say about this? Here's today's press briefing, via TPM:
Q ...Then, on Pakistan, was he consulted before the strike, or did he consult with Pakistan on that?

MR. GIBBS: Well, let me take your Pakistan question first. As you know, I'm not going to comment on those matters. On creating jobs --

Q You took the question, sir. (Laughter.) You took the question, and that's it.

Q What do you mean by that, Robert? You will never speak of any operational action taken by the United States military, is that what you're saying?

MR. GIBBS: I'm not going to speak about these matters today.

Q Okay, I'm just a little confused because you took the question and then --

MR. GIBBS: And I gave you my answer.

Q Okay, second question --

MR. GIBBS: My answer was, I wasn't going to talk about that.
I don't know about you, but that's a little less than satisfying for me.


Anonymous said...

[Offtopic] Buster, what's your personal opinion of modern Russian poetry? In particular, D. Bykov's "Eighteenth ballad"


Thank you.


Anonymous said...

About the topic, we stay away from the region. That's all we can do for peace there.

Note Medvedev's proposal for cooperation over Afghanistan issues.


Obama can be wise enough to take the proposal, to diminish the need of applying military force in Pakistan (I remind you, the problem is the NATO military convoys are being attacked in Pakistan, what causes retaliatory attacks of the American troops).


Anonymous said...

Or you can of course continue the "good guy/bad guy" Bush'es sort of policy.

In that case -- as a brilliant Chechen bard Mutsurayev put it -- "You are awaited for. Welcome to the Hell!"


Anonymous said...

Forgot to sign -- Evgeny.