Saturday, May 8, 2010

Terror Scare in Times Square

Blowback From Predator Terror in Pakistan

Was the botched terror attack in Times Square retaliation for US terrorism perpetrated by predator drones in Pakistan? Our war in Afghanistan and Pakistan is tremendously more expensive than such amateurish blowback attacks by sympathizers of al Qaeda or the Taliban. We have spent almost $270 billion on the war in Afghanistan. It is a big money bonanza for the US military industrial complex and big oil companies. One of Osama bin Laden’s tactics has been to use relatively inexpensive terror attacks to provoke the US into increasingly expensive military ventures and higher energy costs that bleed our economy.

Pentagon parlance for the war in Afghanistan is “Operation Enduring Freedom” but a more accurate term is 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, those attacked might be striking back. Hakimullah Mehsud, one of the leaders the CIA said they killed in January seems to be 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 saying 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 correspondent 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? Claims by the Taliban group that it was responsible for the failed attempt to detonate the car bomb in Times Square have credibility. Faisel Shahzad, the person arrested for committing the act, is a 30 year old naturalized US citizen originally from Pakistan. He spent much of the past year in Peshawar province of Pakistan, a haven for Taliban activists. Shahzad is reported to have trained with Taliban operatives. Whether or not he acted alone, 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.”

President Obama has been much less reticent than President Bush to increase air strikes on Pakistan and shares 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.”

Shahzad was on board a Dubai-bound flight at Kennedy Airport when FBI agents and New York Police Department detectives arrested him. He lived with his wife and two small children in Shelton, Conn. for three years. After Shazad 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. 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 reported that 7 or 8 people allegedly linked to the Times Square scare have been arrested in Pakistan.

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.

Terrorizing Afghanistan and Pakistan with war brings blowbacks of terror from the terrorized and their sympathizers. War is not the answer.

The two bumper stickers on my car read; War is Terrorism: With a Bigger Budget and Peace on Earth.


  1. Tom, I am a Muslim author/activist promoting Islamic Reform via my books, organizations and conferences. For instance, you my see our next event:

    I have been the target of Sunni and Shiite terrorists since 1986. I lost several of my close friends to the bullets and knives of religious fanatics.

    This sad, I find the US-Inc's so-called "war on terror" an entirely misguided and a counter-productive effort. The biggest terrorists are states and unfortunately, the USA-Inc is by far the number one.

    I command you for your brave and wise voice. Unfortunately, the American government has been hijacked by war profiteers and warmongers who are using fear to manipulate us.

    I would like to send you one of my recent books, Peacemaker's Guide to Warmongers. Please contact me via and let me know an address.

    Edip Yuksel

  2. Thanks, Edip.

    I'll send you my e-mail address because I really would like to read your book. It has a great title.

    You probably know more about internecine conflict among Muslim people than me, but a centuries old tactic of imperial colonialism is to foment strife among sects of indigenous people. I sure wouldn't discount the probability that the US is using divide and conquer tactics with the Shia and Sunni people in Iraq as well as the different tribes in Afghanistan. The European colonials did this among the native Americans after they "discovered" America. It is a essential part of American history.

  3. You are so right, again. I continue to be amazed that there isn't more violence directed at US.

  4. Thanks, Tim.

    I agree. How long can we keep killing innocent people with senseless wars and expect them not to retaliate?

    War itself is very wrong and very stupid, no matter how much it is glorified and romanticized by the media and our rather decadent culture. War and violence sells in our the entertainment industry whether it be violent video games for kids or war movies for adults.

    On TV, if it bleeds, it leads.


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