Saturday, January 14, 2006

Pakistan: Al-Zawahri Not Killed

Well, Pakistan says we didn't kill Al Qaeda # 2 guy Al-Zawahri with our predator drone missle strikes yesterday and they're pretty pissed about us blowing up a village:

Qaeda No.2 away during attack: Pakistan official

ISLAMABAD/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. airstrike in Pakistan targeted al Qaeda's second-in-command, U.S. sources said, but Ayman al-Zawahri was away at the time, according to a senior Pakistani official on Saturday.

The strike on Friday killed at least 18 people, including women and children, and three houses were destroyed in a village near the Afghan border, residents said.

Pakistan condemned the airstrike and would summon the U.S. ambassador to protest the attack, Information Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmed said. He had no information about Zawahri.

CIA-operated unmanned drones were believed to have been used in the attack on Damadola village, across the border from Kunar province in eastern Afghanistan, the U.S. sources said.

A high-ranking Pakistani official said Zawahri, deputy to al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, was not in the village. The United States has offered $25 million for either Zawahri or bin Laden.

"Al-Zawahri was not there at the time," the Pakistani official told Reuters.

Pakistani intelligence sources said Zawahri was believed to have made visits to the Bajaur area, though on Friday he was not in Damadola, 200 km (125 miles) northwest of Islamabad.


Anger has been building in Pakistan over repeated U.S. intrusions, and on Saturday hundreds of protesters chanted anti-American slogans at Inayat Killi village, near Damadola.


People from Damadola said no foreigners, only local people, were present and were killed in Friday's attack.

"I know all the 18 people killed. There was neither al Zawahri nor any other Arab among them. Rather they were all poor people of the area," Haroon Rashid, the area's National Assembly representative, was quoted as saying by the Afghan Islamic Press, a news agency based in the Pakistani border city of Peshawar.

Rashid, a member of the hardline Islamic Jamaat-i-Islami party, said the bombing site was two km (a mile) from his home and he knew all people of the area.

The incident came days after Pakistan, an important ally in the U.S.-led war on terrorism, lodged a strong protest with U.S.-led forces in Afghanistan, saying cross-border firing in the nearby Waziristan area last weekend killed eight people.

I wonder if these predator drone air strikes aren't like a metaphor for the War on Terror as a whole.

Here we take military action against a man we know is a terrorist and a murderer. If we could get him, we certainly would be hurting the terrorist cause.

And yet, at what cost?

Do we not create more terrorists in the long run by hitting a Pakistani village with missles and killing women and children and cows?

Doesn't this type of behavior by the United States play right into the rhetoric of Bin Laden, Zawahri et al. that Americans are murderous, imperialist infidels who will stop at nothing to to achieve their selfish, colonial aims?

Listen, I don't know what the answer to the problem of terrorism is. I know that the United states must kill enemies like Al-Zawahri and Bin Laden before they strike at us again.

And yet I also know that even if we were to get Bin Laden and Al-Zawahri in the next predator drone missle strike we launch, Al Qaeda will not be destroyed and Islamic terrorism will not stop.

Pat Buchanan, noted commie pinko peacenik and former GOP Presidential candidate, said that Bin Laden and the rest of the Islamic terrorists hate the United States not for who we are, but for what we do in the Islamic world.

I can't imagine the pictures of the destroyed Pakistani village playing on Al Jazeera today is helping us in our cause.

There has to be a better way to fight this War on Terror where we actually destroy terrorists without creating new ones.

Yeah. Wow, same thoughts in many places...
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