We’re supposed to believe that Pakistan is hopping mad over the violation of their sovereignty in the killing of Osama bin Laden (and yes, he’s still dead). They strenuously objected and said that the raid shouldn’t become a precedent.
Less than a week later, here was the response to that from the US government.
At least eight people have been killed in a US drone strike in the troubled Pakistani tribal region of North Waziristan, officials have said.
It is the first such attack since US commandos killed al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden in a fortified compound in the north-western town of Abbottabad.
The raid on Monday heightened tensions between Islamabad and Washington.
The Pakistanis give tacit approval to drone strikes, although in recent weeks they have pressed the United States to limit the program. But they’re so upset about the bin Laden raid that … strike that, it’s business as usual. If Pakistan were legitimately angered by infringements on their sovereignty they wouldn’t let drones attack within four days of the raid.
Meanwhile, the drones have expanded their battlefield to Yemen:
The U.S. military used a drone to strike Thursday at an al-Qaeda target in Yemen, the first such U.S. attack using unmanned aircraft in that country since 2002, according to U.S. and Yemeni officials.
Two al-Qaeda operatives were killed in the attack in the remote, mountainous Yemeni governorate of Shabwa early Thursday, a Yemeni security official said.
I’m a little more surprised by this one because of the unrest in Yemen and the unclear state of the government. I was under the impression that counter-terrorism efforts in Yemen were shut down as a result, which would mean that targeting and intelligence gathering would be difficult to impossible. In addition, it seems pretty volatile to introduce a killing machine from the sky into the combustible mix in Yemen, where the endgame for President Saleh remains unknown.
The larger point is that trifling about legality of raids on bin Laden when the US routinely carries out assassinations from unmanned planes seems a little misplaced.