Did Obama Just ‘Bomb’ Pakistan?

WaPo

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan, Jan. 23 — At least 20 people were killed in northwest Pakistan near the border of Afghanistan on Friday in two suspected U.S. missile strikes, marking the first such attack in Pakistan’s tribal areas since President Obama’s inauguration.

A U.S. Predator drone fired three missiles at a compound about two miles from the town of Mirali in the tribal area of North Waziristan about 5:15 p.m., according to a Pakistani security official and local residents. The precision strike leveled a compound, which was owned by local tribal elder Khalil Malik, killing at least 10 suspected militants, including five foreign nationals, according to the Pakistani security official. The site of the attack is about 30 miles east of the Afghan border.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said Malik was killed along with his brother and nephew. Authorities in North Waziristan, however, said they have been so far unable to identify any of those killed because militants immediately cordoned off the area. “I suspect a high-value target may be among the dead,” the Pakistani security official said.

Raw Story

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs’ second White House press briefing started with a series of questions on economics and the stimulus package, but it wasn’t long before a reporter asked about alleged US missile strikes in Pakistan which reportedly killed 15 early Friday morning.

But Gibbs refused to answer the question by NBC News’ Chuck Todd, saying, “I’m not going to get into this matter.”

All kinds of implications here, and no hard news yet, other than the bare facts. Was it a ‘good strike?’ Or another bloody botch? Was this such a ‘good target’ that he had to take a shot? Did Bushco have this info but not act on it? Perhaps due to the fact that they have SEEMED to be protecting Bin Laden instead of getting him ‘dead or alive’ for the last five years? As well as SEEMING to be overly invested and thus handcuffed by internal Pakistani politics? (A true can of worms due to nukes and the nefarious and odious ISI.)

Is he “announcing his presence with authority?”

More ‘wow’ fer sure. I of course condemn…and have a knee jerk reaction to… any loss of life. But Obama is, unfortunately going to have to be ‘tough’ and kill people, I have resigned myself to that. I just hope that we have stopped bombing weddings, at least. We shall see.

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  1. But this is BIG!

    • Edger on January 23, 2009 at 9:53 pm

    the fake war on terror that creates people retaliating because they don’t like being bombed and killed terrorists is going to keep rollin’ right along now?

    “The events that affected my soul in a direct way started in 1982 when America permitted the Israelis to invade Lebanon and the American Sixth Fleet helped them in that. This bombardment began and many were killed and injured and others were terrorised and displaced.” “I couldn’t forget those moving scenes, blood and severed limbs, women and children sprawled everywhere. Houses destroyed along with their occupants and high rises demolished over their residents, rockets raining down on our home without mercy.” “The situation was like a crocodile meeting a helpless child, powerless except for his screams. Does the crocodile understand a conversation that doesn’t include a weapon? And the whole world saw and heard but it didn’t respond.” “And as I looked at those demolished towers in Lebanon, it entered my mind that we should punish the oppressor in kind and that we should destroy towers in America in order that they taste some of what we tasted and so that they be deterred from killing our women and children.”

  2. waiting for more info on this…

  3. there is any chance this was planned and approved before Tuesday?

  4. and war there will be….

    it will not seem like war….

    just poorly connected events in a chaotic country…..

    but it is an inescapable asymmetrical engagement….

    how will O keep all of those nukes in the basket !?!……

  5. here:

    The second attack was aimed at the house of a Taleban commander about 10km (six miles) from the town of Wanna, local reports said.

    But officials told the BBC that the drone actually hit the house of a pro-government tribal leader, killing him and four members of his family, including a five-year-old child.

  6. a report at Huffington Post points out that:

    Other news outlets are being more cautious about whether the attacks came from the US, citing them as “suspected” missile strikes.

    • Edger on January 23, 2009 at 11:40 pm

    Times Online, October 21, 2008

    Joe Biden, the Democratic vice-presidential nominee, has told Americans to expect a “major international crisis” that will present an early test of a Barack Obama administration.

    His comments were seized upon by the Republican campaign yesterday to raise fresh doubts about the prepared-ness of Mr Obama to be commander-in-chief.

    Speaking at a fundraiser in Seattle on Sunday night, Mr Biden said: “Mark my words, it will not be six months before the world tests Barack Obama like they did John Kennedy. The world is looking. We’re about to elect a brilliant 47-year-old senator president of the United States of America. Remember I said it standing here . . . we’re gonna have an international crisis, a generated crisis, to test the mettle of this guy.”

    He cited Russia and the Middle East as possible places that may cause problems, as well as the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan – “crawling with al-Qaeda” – as being of particular concern.

  7. No official comment. Presented by their Pentagon reporter as routine. Awfully toned down, imo.

    I guess technically I am projecting. I sure would have told ‘them’ to tell me before they killed the first people on my watch. But I guess if he had that agreement in place, he expected it. I would have also used it politically somehow within the P’gon and the Agency as a way to assert control.

    Best case scenario is that it WAS rogue, at least the timing, and he can use it to slap them down a bit.

    It is, I think, a hell of a strong message coming this early in his admin, while he is doing lots of symbolic stuff. Who ever sent it.

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