Posts Tagged 'drones'

CONFIRMED: ‘Shamsi is a FARCE’

A little truth confirming what I have been saying is creeping out (but of course not from our military or civilian leadership):

‘Shamsi base is nice, but not crucial for drone attacks’

WASHINGTON: US drone raids targeting militants in Pakistan will not be jeopardized if Islamabad does indeed expel Americans from a key air base, officials and a former intelligence officer said Monday.

Angered over a Nato air attack on Saturday that left 24 Pakistani soldiers dead, Islamabad has shut off supply routes to US-led forces in Afghanistan and ordered Americans out of the Shamsi air base used by the CIA’s fleet of unmanned aircraft.

Even if the Pakistanis make good on their threat over Shamsi, US officials and analysts say the move would be largely symbolic as Washington could fly Predator and Reaper drones out of air fields in neighboring Afghanistan.

[Here is the little lie/spin in this. Having admitted the threat over Shamsi is largely symbolic, they say Washington “COULD” fly drones out of Afghanistan. Remember “COULD” doesn’t mean “WOULD”. Remember, as previously shown, drones already DO NOT fly from Shamsi any more (hence described as ‘symbolic’) but from OTHER AIRBASES/AIRSTRIPS IN PAKISTAN and they “WOULD” CONTINUE as I stated earlier.]

“Shamsi is a nice thing to have, but it’s not critical to drone operations. They can be carried out from bases in Afghanistan,” said Bruce Reidel, a former CIA officer and fellow at the Brookings Institution think tank.

The remote Shamsi air base in the country’s southwest is particularly useful for flights hampered by poor weather conditions, he said.

[Again, read this carefully. Hidden here is the admission that MOSTLY DO NOT FLY FROM SHAMSI! Keep in mind another fact mentioned in my earlier post: Shamsi is over 500 miles away from North/South Waziristan where all of the drone strikes are taking place and to think they are flying all that way from Shamsi is plain ridiculous!]

A senior US official said the facility was not a make-or-break link for the robotic planes that have proved an effective weapon against Al-Qaeda and Taliban extremists.

“The real issue isn’t Shamsi, it’s air space,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

[And NO ONE IS TALKING TAKING AWAY AIRSPACE (or the other real drone bases):]

So far there was no sign that Islamabad would bar the US aircraft from flying over Pakistan, and its announcement on Shamsi appeared designed to placate a domestic audience in Pakistan, officials said.

The Shamsi base reflects the contradictions in the uneasy partnership between the two countries, with Islamabad reluctant to publicly acknowledge its tacit cooperation with US counter-terror efforts, which many Pakistanis see as a violation of their country’s sovereignty.

[ALL Pakistanis (and foreigners) see it as violation of their country’s sovereignty (except our military and civilian leadership; in fact THEY KNOW IT TOO, THAT IS WHY ALL THE LIES!) for IT IS THAT WITHOUT QUESTION]

“You have to have jet fuel delivered to Shamsi,” Reidel said. “The Pakistani public has the impression of a base that operates extraterritorially but in reality it operates because the Pakistani army helps it to operate.

Shortly after Saturday’s air attack on the border by Nato forces, Pakistan’s cabinet ministers and military chiefs demanded the United States clear out of the Shamsi air field within 15 days.

Pakistan previously called for the Americans to leave the air base in June but later backed off.

Although President Barack Obama’s administration was working on a response to a number of demands from Pakistan, there were no plans to pull back on the drone raids, which intelligence officials have credited with weakening the Al-Qaeda network.

“Pakistan remains a critical counter-terrorism partner, and we do not anticipate significant changes in that relationship,” another US official said.

A more serious problem for the United States and Nato allies is Pakistan’s decision to close its border to convoys ferrying fuel and supplies to coalition troops in landlocked Afghanistan.

[Oh but you can be DAMN SURE that “closure” is ONLY TEMPORARY]

Nearly half of all cargo bound for Nato-led forces runs through Pakistan. Roughly 140,000 foreign troops, including about 97,000 Americans, rely on supplies from outside Afghanistan for the ten-year-old war effort.

Pakistan has shut off the border over previous incidents, partly to allay popular outrage, and US officials said they expected the latest closure would be temporary….

[Ah, so the US  agrees…. ]

Q.E.D.!

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ISPR Spokesperson: "Drones? What Drones? Those Paki officers must have been photoshopped in!"

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Enemy Within: An Open Letter to Roedad Khan

I fully agree with your main argument from today’s article titled The Enemy Within:

Pakistan’s greatest enemy today is the enemy within. “Ameer,” Quaid-e-Azam told Raja Sahib of Mahmudabad in 1948, “You have no idea of the situation here. I am surrounded by traitors”. The situation we face today is much worse. Traitors and foreign agents have captured political power with foreign support.

BUT there are a few things I’d like to mention where I don’t think you are going far enough. Good that you mention Zardari and that takes no rocket science to figure out he is one of the main problems. But how did he manage to become the President? Was it not Gen Kiyani negotiated NRO that made his return possible? Was it not your parliamentarians (PPP and “opposition”) voting unanimously to make him President? Has he not had the unwavering support of Gen. Kayani and Nawaz league that has kept him in office? Let’s not forget here that had it not been for the manipulations of both Nawaz and Kayani and Aitzaz Ahsan & Co. he would have been dragged out of the presidency had the Long March made it to Islamabad. We have “Tragedy aplenty: no drinking water, no electricity, no gas, no jobs, no cash, rampant corruption, no hope, and Zardari” because all have colluded to make it so and picking on Zardari is simplistic (let’s not forget the role bureaucracy and “free” judiciary itself has played in getting us here; they are EQUALLY as guilty).
Coming to Memogate, you state:

And to cap it all, the Memogate scandal: a dark, sinister, high-level conspiracy directed at the armed forces, a dastardly, cowardly, despicable criminal conspiracy designed to emasculate and destroy the army as a fighting force, the only shield we have against foreign aggression and the only glue that is keeping the federation together. It was an unsuccessful attempt to undermine the army’s much cherished independence and make significant changes in its decision-making system. The plan was to sweep away the existing system of command and raft of unpalatable generals and merge political and military power.

Agreed it was “a dark, sinister, high-level conspiracy directed at the armed forces, a dastardly, cowardly, despicable criminal conspiracy designed to emasculate and destroy the army as a fighting force” but tell me how is it any different from Haqqani’s previous acts? For an example, how is it any different from what he tried in Kerry-Lugar? Why wasn’t he fired right then and there? And even Kerry-Lugar was no surprise having followed his writings before he was installed Ambassador so I was baffled when the army raised no bones about that appointment. Of course I am sure you are also well aware of the visa-to-foreign-agents-without-background-checks scandal that brought here people like Raymond Davis (and care to tell me WHO was instrumental/which parties were instrumental in getting him out of jail, paying off the families of the victims and disappearing them, and putting him on a plane to US?). Let’s also not forget here the attempt made by Rehman Malik to put ISI under him. Did his head roll?
The talk of “army’s cherished independence” is of course laughable. “Independent” only if you ignore the Mullens, the Panettas, the Hillarys, the Panettas, the Holbrookes, the Pattersons, the Powells, the Munters, the Negrapontes, etc., etc., etc. And did you really forget about that phone call to Gen Musharraf back in 2001 that has directly let us here? And who was it that gave Mush a Guard of Honor and a send-off fit for a king? Isn’t it your army and the government that then covers up for them by claiming all the dead were militants (or ‘miscreants’ — Mushy’s term still popular with your independent army)? Is it not true they told every possible lie they could invent about Shamsi and are doing the same EVEN TODAY? Is it not true they told the “This is our war” lie and used to attack and kill thousands of their fellow citizens (don’t tell me you believe most of the dead are “foreign fighters”)? Have they not been constantly lying about there being “no military operation in Balochistan”?

"Indepent" head of an "independent" army, the "most powerful guy in Pakistan"

While on the subject, let’s not forget the latest calamity to befall your independent army: the NATO attack from a couple of days ago that killed some 28 soldiers. I really fail to understand what is the big deal there. Pakistanis get killed by NATO attacks EVERY DAY and no one sheds a tear. What is so special about these 28? Are they not made of the same ‘khak'(earth)? Is wearing khaki somehow turns them into some special form of humans?
Is it not a FACT that it is your independent army that provides the bases, the logistical support INCLUDING providing intelligence and targets to NATO/ISAF as to where to bomb? Is it not a FACT that the helicopters that strafed them, the fuel they burned, the bullets, the bombs, the missiles they fired, the pilots that flew them, ALL came through or flew over Karachi with the blessings of that very independent army? Is it not a FACT that the top echelon of your Army is whetted by the powers that be in U.S. and guys like Kayani would never make general (let alone COAS) if they don’t get approval from abroad? Isn’t it time we cut the bullshit and pick-and-choose “truths” we want to tell? Aren’t the biggest of lies told by telling half-truths? So either “speak up” the whole truth or shut up “since keeping silent” — and worse — telling half-truths makes you as much an “accomplice” in this sorry state we find ourselves in.
So I hope you understand why this gave me the giggles:

For people would have to speak up, since keeping silent would make them accomplices.

Ah, the irony of it all! But the sad thing is that was not the only thing. You added:

I realise what storms it is going to stir up, but truth and justice are sovereign over all else, for they alone make a nation great.

Reminded me of the oft-repeated “Let justice be done, may the heavens fall” that is popular with our supreme court justices. Well the heavens have been falling but there has been no sign of justice anywhere. CJ Iftikhar Chaudhry is happy prancing around in his bullet-proof BMW (so what if it costs people their lives) and the VVIP protocol he so much desired. Justice Ramday is happy breaking law, acquiring extensions and plots in Islamabad and is visiting Dehli right now (funny thing is the only “plot” he sees is the “plot to malign judges”. Justice Javaid Iqbal promised decision on “Missing Persons in two weeks” but that was like TWO YEARS AGO! He has since retired and that promised decision has gone missing too (but retired is a misnomer for no one ever leaves does he? He feels no shame in now getting himself installed as the head of the “Judicial Commission for the Recovery of Missing Persons” and feels no shame in stating “Number of missing persons on the rise“, that too after having stated in January that “2011 to be the year of missing persons’ recovery” (His honesty can be well gaged from the fact that before being installed to head this commission, his name was proposed by Zardari to head NAB and it was only the objection of PML-N that it did not happen. (Side Note: Interesting too is the fact that the bench comprising Justice Javaid Iqbal was the one that “disqualified the appointment of Deedar Hussain Shah as the NAB chairman” — maybe he wanted the job for himself :)). And let’s not forget about “Hai, Bhagwandas!” (though “retired” too, I am sure he has been “adjusted” somewhere too. Could be he is still the FPSC chief)
Regards!

A Quickie: Kiyani Gets His Contract Renewed

From US renews bonds with Pak Army this about says it all:

“Partly that’s because the military in Pakistan is a can-do institution, much more so than the civilians,” she said. “This is partly theatrics, but we as a people are magnetically drawn to an institution and a leader who says, ‘Yeah, I can help you with what you really want to get done,’” she said.

What sort of a “LEADER” says “I will follow any order you give me”?

Kiyani: "Boss, Don't I look good in that shiny uniform? I polished it myself!"

US understates civilian casualties in Pakistan, makes no amends
Kiyani: “Hey, they apologized for the three dead soldiers. What more do you want, you bloody civies! >:-$ “

Pakistani victims of U.S. drone strikes speak out in a new report on increasing civilian casualties in the region

Kiyani: “Oh, hogwash! Here’s a study that proves Majority of Pakistanis see US drone attacks “as their liberator”

And speaking of the $2 Billion AIDS infection:
This is less than what Pakistan has already spent: Gilani
Kiyani: “Well the generals and me and not getting short-changed and our Swiss accounts payments are never delayed so who cares? (And why would we care who pays us as long as we get paid in full and in $$$…”

Price of old F-16s, Cobra raised, says Mukhtar
Kiyani: “But if they charged us the right price it would cut into our commissions. We work these contracts on fixed percentages, not fixed amounts.”

P.S. This is not directly related but isn’t this an admission that politically appointed ambassadors (the timing certainly points to Haqqani) are not working for our interests?
No more political ambassadors: PM
AND why not add ‘political ambassadors to be removed with immediate effect’?? If the appointments so far are mistakes, why not correct it??

A Quickie: The Latest Death By Drones Spin

As if ‘1-in-3’ justifies it, today’s papers were filled offering as fact the claim by the New American Foundation report:
One in three killed by US drones in Pakistan is a civilian

One in three? Maybe Dawn ought to look at it’s own report by the same reporter only 20 days ago which states ‘For each Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist killed by US drones, 140 innocent Pakistanis also had to die”; Or it’s own Blog! For additional comparison, let’s see some previous news reports from different sources:

60 drone hits kill 14 al-Qaeda men, 687 civilians
Well that does equal 1 in 3!

Unlawful US drone war kills 140 innocent civilians for 1 CIA-alleged terrorist
Well that does equal 1 in 3!

For each Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist killed by US drones, 140 innocent Pakistanis also had to die,” the newspaper reports. “Over 90 per cent of those killed in the deadly missile strikes were civilians, claim authorities.”
Well that does equal 1 in 3!

NYT: 700 people had been killed in those attacks and 98 per cent of them were civilians, which is 50 civilians for each militant eliminated.
Well that does equal 1 in 3!

Of course the only people who would agree to these numbers are ISPR (according to which not a single civilian has ever been killed by the mercenary forces aka Pakistan Army), the baboos and those in Government, like the Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Hamid Saeed Kazmi. The only thing he felt wrong about all this was:
‘Irresponsible reporting on drone attacks humiliating country’

(Am glad they shot this bastard! I only wish they’d get this one in the head)