September 8, 2008

Attack of the Flying Robots: New Mafia Tools

You are in a remote place with majestic mountains inhabited by people with strong family and community values. Religious faith is very important to the community. You are poor by international standards but rich in family and community traditions. Multi-generational struggles to preserve your traditions are a part of life. People come and go from the sprawling compound that you make your home, some of them are involved in the armed struggle.

One day, with no warning, what you come to learn are two flying robots appear from no where to fire three screaming rockets at two homes and a school. The aftermath is enough to make a seasoned soldier vomit as women and children, clothes blown away, lie in taters, limbs strewn, innards splattered about.

You come to learn that the flying robots, drones, were sent from a nation far away that has a history of trying to control the affairs and natural resources of the region. Those controlling the drones sit in sterile, air conditioned buildings thousands of miles away. To you it seems like horrible science fiction come to life.

You also come to learn that the justification given for the horror you've experienced was to kill an aged man in ill-health named Jalaluddin Haqqani. Uncle Haqqani had an extended family including several "wives" to whom he was committed to care for.

Those killed included one of the several wives of Haqqani, his sister-in-law, a sister, two nieces, eight grandchildren and a male relative. A son-in-law of Haqqani was wounded.

Uncle Haqqani is well known for being a leader in the struggle dating back to the 1980s when he was an ally of the people who sent the flying robots, the Americans. Haqqani was not present when the drones wreaked their terror. Many surviors believe this was not a mistake. They believe the Americans knew Haqqani was not present and were punishing him for not cooperating, sending a message, conducting remote interrogation. The message is clear: "Give us information we are seeking or more of your family will die."

Uncle Haqqani isn't a perfect man. He has had to do things and order others to do horrible things in the struggle to preserve our heritage against the exploitation of foreigners. I wish the invaders would go away and leave us alone.

Sources:

Reuters, U.S. drones kill 23 in missile attack in Pakistan
, Haji Mujtaba, September 8, 2008.

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2 comments:

Worried American said...

I love my country and countrymen. I love and support our troops. BUT I do NOT love members of our government and DOD who wage these unfair, horrible illegal wars. When I was young I believed that America was the good guys; we wore the white hats. Now that I am old, have lived many decades of learning, I am bitterly disillusioned and ashamed. We are NOT the good guys. Our hats are black and stained with blood. I weep for my country and for the future of our children. I weep for the peoples of foreign lands that have suffered unspeakable horrors at our hands.

Horrors may come home to us and punish our innocents.

GDAEman said...

I'm touched by you heart-felt comment. Thank you.