Thursday, September 18, 2008

U.S. "Tickles" Pakistan

Not funny. Not funny at all.

"CIA Chief Speaks of Trying to Provoke Terrorists as Latest Drone Strike Kills Seven in South Waziristan

Speaking at the Air Force Association’s annual conference, CIA Director Michael Hayden suggested that his agency is trying to “tickle” militant groups with missile strikes in an attempt to provoke a reaction. He said there was much his agency could learn from the way in which the groups respond.

It is unclear what if any reaction all this “tickling” has provoked from militant groups, but there are plenty of other more visible reactions to examine. Besides the negative comments from the ruling coalition, Pakistan’s military has demanded an end to the US attacks, and reportedly opened fire on US helicopters attempting to cross the border earlier this week. Major opposition figures have called for Pakistan to pull out of America’s war on terror entirely, and supply lines through Pakistan for NATO troops stationed in Afghanistan were briefly severed.

Civilians living in the tribal area have reacted to the attacks as well with an increasing number of anti-US protests, and an important tribal faction in South Waziristan has threatened to abandon its long-standing peace deal with the Pakistani government if the government does not do something to halt US attacks.

What the CIA Director hopes to learn from terrorist reactions is unclear. What the United States can learn from the rest of Pakistan’s reaction to the attacks is not nearly so elusive however. Neither Pakistan’s populace nor its polity is responding to the CIA’s “tickles” with much patience, and with US strikes continuing seemingly unabated over these objections, it appears to be only a question of which breaks first: President Zardari’s promise to “stand with the United States,” or his government’s hold on power.



"You have GOT to be flipping kidding me: Hayden is quoted as saying the CIA is trying to "..."tickle" enemy groups to provoke a reaction, often with missile strikes targeting just an individual.

"We use military operations to excite the enemy, prompting him to respond. In that response we learn so much," said Hayden, a retired Air Force general who has led the CIA since 2006."

That Hayden could even use the word "tickle" to describe the death and injuries to non-combatants hit in CIA-orchestrated strikes is sickening. Maybe, he thinks they die laughing?!?

And what do we "learn", Michael Hayden, from the responses of these militants, when they are left alive? I can tell you, sir, and I don't have to be a military analyst to understand this.

They grieve at the loss of their mothers, their sisters, brothers, their children, and their friends you have murdered. And you have radicalized them even further against both the US and the current Pakistani government.

And by the way: you and Admiral Mullen need to have a conversation (if in fact he is still speaking to you) about the fact that ordering a strike against militants in a country, when you know he's in a country assuring its leadership we will respect its territorial integrity, destroys any last microscopic shred of US integrity accredited to it by the rest of the world." -- Webmaster of Wake the Flock Up