FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Blowback in Times Square

Was the amateurishly botched terror attack in Times Square on May 1 a consequence of high tech US terrorism perpetrated by predator drones in Pakistan? Our war in Afghanistan and Pakistan is terrorism with a much bigger budget than the cost of such blowback attacks by sympathizers of al Qaeda or the Taliban. Credible estimates are that we have spent almost $270 billion on the war in Afghanistan, a big money bonanza for the US military industrial complex. Pentagon parlance calls the war in Afghanistan “Operation Enduring Freedom” but a more accurate term would be Operation Enduring Terror.

According to Pakistan authorities, 44 predator strikes carried out by the CIA in Pakistan in 2009 killed more than 700 innocent civilians and only four of their intended al Qaeda and Taliban targets. As a result, people suffering such atrocities are striking back. The CIA boasted that they had killed 5 key Taliban leaders but it now seems that Hakimullah Mehsud, one of the leaders the CIA said they killed in January is still alive. Mehsud appeared on a video on May 3, threatening attacks on major US cities in acts of retaliation against the US drone attacks on Pakistan. A second video showed Mehsud next to a map of the United States saying that the group’s main targets are now US cities, and that “good news will be heard within some days or weeks.”

Mehsud referred to reports of his death as lies and propaganda in the footage that was apparently recorded in April. The BBC’s M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad said if the video is verified it will end all speculation about his death. US and Pakistani officials had claimed until recently that Mehsud was killed in a US missile attack in the remote tribal region of north-west Pakistan. But last week Pakistani intelligence officials said they believed Mehsud was only wounded.

Is there a link to the failed weekend bomb attack in New York and Mehsud? I don’t think we can dismiss claims by the Taliban group that it was responsible for the failed attempt to detonate the car bomb in Times Square. Retaliation or blowback seems to be the most logical motive for the Times Square scare.

The Dawn newspaper in Pakistan reported, “For each al Qa’eda and Taliban terrorist killed by US drones, 140 innocent Pakistanis also had to die. Over 90 per cent of those killed in the deadly missile strikes were civilians, claim authorities.” An average of 58 civilians were killed every month, 12 persons every week and almost two people every day and the air strikes were made on intelligence reported to be given by Pakistanis and Afghans spying for the US led forces in Afghanistan.

President Obama has been much less reticent than President Bush to increase air strikes on Pakistan and shares much responsibility for the blowback in Times Square. The President doesn’t get it. Obama made a crude and dehumanizing joke at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner. He said his daughters were huge fans of the Jonas Brothers and warned, “but boys, don’t get any ideas. Two words for you: predator drones. You’ll never see it coming.”

Luckily the intended explosion failed. Faisel Shahzad, the person arrested for committing the act, is a 30 year old naturalized US citizen originally from Pakistan.

Shahzad was on board a Dubai-bound flight at Kennedy Airport when FBI agents and New York Police Department detectives arrested him. Shahzad lived with his wife and two small children in Shelton, Conn. for three years. After he became a naturalized U.S. citizen on April 17, 2009, he spent much of the past year in Pakistan where his wife is currently living. On June 2, 2009, Shahzad departed the U.S. for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. He traveled to Pakistan and is believed to have visited Peshawar, a city known as a gateway to the militant-occupied tribal regions of the country. Details of his activities in Pakistan remain speculative, but Shahzad last entered the U.S. on Feb. 3, 2010 after a five-month visit to the country of his birth. The NY Times reports that 7 or 8 people have been arrested in Pakistan as part of the Times Square scare.

In the past two years several people with American citizenship or residency have been accused of terrorism in the U.S. like Maj. Nidal Hasan, a U.S.-born Army psychiatrist of Palestinian descent charged with fatally shooting 13 people at Fort Hood, Texas, and Najibullah Zazi, an airport shuttle driver from Afghanistan, who pled guilty to a bomb plot on New York subways.

When we terrorize Afghanistan and Pakistan with war we should expect blowbacks of terror from the terrorized. War is not the answer. That’s why I write anti-war essays and have a bumper sticker on my car saying War is Terrorism: With a Bigger Budget and another proclaiming Peace on Earth.

TOM TURNIPSEED is an attorney, writer and peace activist in Columbia, SC. His blog is http://tomandjudyonablog.blogspot.com/

WORDS THAT STICK

 

More articles by:
September 18, 2018
Conn Hallinan
Britain: the Anti-Semitism Debate
Tamara Pearson
Why Mexico’s Next President is No Friend of Migrants
Richard Moser
Both the Commune and Revolution
Nick Pemberton
Serena 15, Tennis Love
Binoy Kampmark
Inconvenient Realities: Climate Change and the South Pacific
Martin Billheimer
La Grand’Route: Waiting for the Bus
John Kendall Hawkins
Seymour Hersh: a Life of Adversarial Democracy at Work
Faisal Khan
Is Israel a Democracy?
John Feffer
The GOP Wants Trumpism…Without Trump
Kim Ives
The Roots of Haiti’s Movement for PetroCaribe Transparency
Dave Lindorff
We Already Have a Fake Billionaire President; Why Would We want a Real One Running in 2020?
Gerry Brown
Is China Springing Debt Traps or Throwing a Lifeline to Countries in Distress?
Pete Tucker
The Washington Post Really Wants to Stop Ben Jealous
Dean Baker
Getting It Wrong Again: Consumer Spending and the Great Recession
September 17, 2018
Melvin Goodman
What is to be Done?
Rob Urie
American Fascism
Patrick Cockburn
The Adults in the White House Trying to Save the US From Trump Are Just as Dangerous as He Is
Jeffrey St. Clair - Alexander Cockburn
The Long Fall of Bob Woodward: From Nixon’s Nemesis to Cheney’s Savior
Mairead Maguire
Demonization of Russia in a New Cold War Era
Dean Baker
The Bank Bailout of 2008 was Unnecessary
Wim Laven
Hurricane Trump, Season 2
Yves Engler
Smearing Dimitri Lascaris
Ron Jacobs
From ROTC to Revolution and Beyond
Clark T. Scott
The Cannibals of Horsepower
Binoy Kampmark
A Traditional Right: Jimmie Åkesson and the Sweden Democrats
Laura Flanders
History Markers
Weekend Edition
September 14, 2018
Friday - Sunday
Carl Boggs
Obama’s Imperial Presidency
Joshua Frank
From CO2 to Methane, Trump’s Hurricane of Destruction
Jeffrey St. Clair
Maria’s Missing Dead
Andrew Levine
A Bulwark Against the Idiocy of Conservatives Like Brett Kavanaugh
T.J. Coles
Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Celebrity Salesman for the Military-Industrial-Complex
Jeff Ballinger
Nike and Colin Kaepernick: Fronting the Bigots’ Team
David Rosen
Why Stop at Roe? How “Settled Law” Can be Overturned
Gary Olson
Pope Francis and the Battle Over Cultural Terrain
Nick Pemberton
Donald The Victim: A Product of Post-9/11 America
Ramzy Baroud
The Veiled Danger of the ‘Dead’ Oslo Accords
Kevin Martin
U.S. Support for the Bombing of Yemen to Continue
Robert Fisk
A Murder in Aleppo
Robert Hunziker
The Elite World Order in Jitters
Ben Dangl
After 9/11: The Staggering Economic and Human Cost of the War on Terror
Charles Pierson
Invade The Hague! Bolton vs. the ICC
Robert Fantina
Trump and Palestine
Daniel Warner
Hubris on and Off the Court
John Kendall Hawkins
Boning Up on Eternal Recurrence, Kubrick-style: “2001,” Revisited
Haydar Khan
Set Theory of the Left
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail