Saturday, November 8, 2008

U.S. steps up raids inside Pakistan

U.S. steps up raids inside Pakistan

By Sara Flounders

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The Pakistani government warned Gen. David Petraeus, now head of the U.S. Central Command running the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, that frequent missile strikes on its territory risk inflaming anti-American sentiment. (AP, Nov. 3)

There is no evidence Washington will listen. On Oct. 26, the same day U.S. Special Forces attacked Syria, the Pentagon bombed a village in Pakistan from an aircraft drone. The attack killed 20 civilians.

In a further insult to Pakistan’s sovereignty on Nov. 2, the U.S. military staged two more attacks, killing 29 civilians in two Pakistani villages in the province of Waziristan, close to the Afghan border. The same day Petraeus arrived in Pakistan for talks with government and military officials.

This was the 17th U.S. bombing attack on Pakistan in the last three months. National outrage at the increased frequency of the strikes has badly strained the U.S. alliance with the corrupt Pakistani regime.

Pakistan’s economy is hit hard by the global capitalist crisis. The government has been forced to accept onerous International Monetary Fund conditions that will cut essential subsidies and services in order to pay for past foreign loans that enriched only a small ruling clique and the top generals. The government is wracked by division and instability and faces growing ferment from below.

The justification of pursuing “terrorists” was used for the attacks in Pakistan. However, the government has not strongly protested this obvious assault on Pakistani national sovereignty, a sign of its collaboration.

But U.S. imperialist forces have no right to be on either side of the Afghan-Pakistan border. In both countries, U.S. intervention has brought only underdevelopment and growing poverty.

Now the U.S. is frantically trying to blame neighboring countries for the storm of mass opposition that the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan have unleashed.

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