Sunday, January 15, 2006

The good fight

The Pakistan government has complained to the US government due to an alleged unauthorised military attack conducted inside its borders. It appears that the CIA have tried to kill Ayman al-Zawahiri, al-Qaeda's "second-in-command", but have instead killed at least 18 other people. The US government are currently denying knowledge of the attack.

The Sunday Telegraph:
American television networks initially reported the attack as a successful CIA strike, citing unnamed American intelligence officials who claimed that al-Zawahiri was likely to have been at the compound.
No doubt the media just made up these mystery intelligence officials. Or perhaps the United States government is just not prepared to admit that it has killed children in their homes this week.

The CIA discovers that a high profile al-Qaeda leader is secretly visiting the UK. An informant learns of his location, he's in Lemmington Spa (but is expected to be leaving soon), and passes this information on to the spooks. The CIA contacts the US airforce and are pleased to hear that a fully armed aircraft can be there in eight minutes. They give the go ahead. Three houses are destroyed in Lemmington Spa. Eighteen people are killed including five women and five children. Legitimate use of violence? For most people, whether they'd killed al-Zawahiri or not would be an irrelevance. For the record, it appears that they did not.

But perhaps these foreign people's lives are not worth quite so much as those of the residents of Lemmington Spa? Maybe it doesn't matter if the US military kills a few foreign people in the "war" on terror. After all, the terrorists take the lives of important people, not just some random Muslims in some shitty village no-one's ever heard of.

The moral high ground occupied by the Bush administration is a strange and mystifying place. Masters of the understatement, the Sunday Times opine that "to miss him [al-Zawahiri] again is an embarrassment for Washington". An embarrassment? Yeah, I hate killing children, it's just soooooooo embarrassing.

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