Apparently, last week we invaded Pakistan. Well, at least in a technical sense in that some of our helicopters flew into Pakistani airspace, gunned down a few of their soldiers and then took off. I guess in a more pragmatic sense this was like a drive-by shooting.

The helicopter pilots are claiming they mistook the Pakistani soldiers for jihadists, which becomes all the more understandable when you hear what these guys were doing. According to BBC News:

“The Isaf report said the helicopter pilots had seen a border guard firing into the air, and had mistaken the soldiers for militants. In a statement, Isaf commander Brig Gen Tim Zadalis said: “We believe the Pakistani border guard was simply firing warning shots after hearing the nearby engagement and hearing the helicopters flying nearby.”

Ms Patterson described it as a “terrible accident” and said she was offering an apology on behalf of the American people.”

I’m not sure at which point during basic military training they get into teaching you how to bring down a helicopter with a rifle. I’m guessing the Pakistani military just shows their recruits Chuck Norris movies and old episodes of the A Team. At any rate, the recent incursion seems to have heightened tensions in the region to a new high. Al Jazeera has a surprisingly reactionary piece about the attack and another one just today in which an unmanned drone killed four people.

“Thursday’s attack followed US and Nato apologies for a September 30 attack that left two Pakistani soldiers dead. The men were killed when Nato helicopters mistook them for insurgents they were pursuing.

Osama bin Javaid, news editor for DawnNews, called the US-Pakistan relationship “very fractured” and told Al Jazeera that the increasing number of drone attacks are “the bone of contention between the two states which are key allies in the war on terror”.

Bin Javaid also said that military analysts in Pakistan feel that the US is trying to find a “trophy piece” before leaving Afghanistan. Pakistan said on Thursday that there was “no justification nor understanding” for US drone strikes on its soil, which have killed about 150 in the past month.

“We believe that they are counter-productive and also a violation of our sovereignty,” Abdul Basit, a foreign ministry spokesman, told reporters. “We hope that the US will revisit its policy.”

Admittedly it is pretty damn cold to follow up an apology for assaulting someone by doing it again. Of course anyone who calls 150 deaths in one month “counter-productive” clearly doesn’t wear their heart on their sleeve either. And what really boggles my mind is the fact that the United States doesn’t officially acknowledge the Predator strikes. Like who the hell else would be doing it?

Likely we are trying to get some kind of trophy before we leave. There’s no way American public opinion can last long enough for us to make any lasting difference in that region. I doubt we’re ever going to get Osama. At least not Bin Laden. The editor of the DawnNews is named Osama. I bet we could take him out pretty easily. I know, it’s not the same Osama. But, only when we stop making those kinds of distinctions will we win this fight.


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