Tuesday, April 13, 2010

$55 Per Pakistani Civilian Death a Bargain Compared to Bailouts at Home

The AP is reporting on deaths in the drone and bomber strikes in the rugged remote tribal areas in Pakistan. Reports of militant deaths from the air and in ground battles have come from the U. S. and Pakistani sides without independent press verification. In fact, there have been so many reported militant deaths that I have wondered how many people are left to kill. Here is information from AP that raises the question of how many deaths have in fact been civilians, from Pakistani Airstrike Kills Many Civilians: Official:

Dilla Baz Khan was pulling a woman from the rubble of an air raid when Pakistani jets screamed back into the valley for a second bombing run, killing scores of people in a village locals say had been supportive of army offensives against militants along the Afghan border.

Khan and other survivors said Tuesday at least 68 villagers were killed in the weekend airstrikes, sharply contradicting initial army accounts that the dead were Islamist militants. A local administration official said $125,000 had been paid in compensation to victims. . .

The Pakistani military regularly claims to kill many militants in airstrikes, shelling and ground operations in the northwest, but rarely mentions civilian deaths. It is unclear whether that is because such deaths do not occur, or simply because the army does not report them.

Independent accounts of army operations in the tribal regions are extremely rare. The area is largely out of bounds for reporters and highly dangerous to visit because of the likelihood of being abducted by militants, who still control much of the area. . .

They said most families in the village have sons in the security forces and it had a history of cooperating with the army. He said the owner of the house that was bombed initially, Hamid Khan, has two sons serving in the paramilitary Frontier Corps.

"This house was bombed on absolutely wrong information," said Khanan Gul Khan, a Sara Walla resident who was visiting a relative in the hospital. "This area has nothing to do with militants." . . .

He said an official from the Khyber administration visited him Monday and gave him $220 to compensate for the loss of four relatives, including his brother. "He said, 'We are sorry for this, and we pray for your early recovery,'" he said.

Pakistan has no money for any of this. They are basically doing what they are doing on IMF funds. Thus the U. S. and its IMF poodle are paying $55 per corpse. Somehow one wonders what any semi-educated Pakistani thinks of this, assuming he/she knows at least a little about the bailouts following the global financial crisis.

Does this person think that America has its priorities straight?

America is busily killing Muslims in one of the most strictly Muslim parts of the world, and there is not even any oil there. Any "victory" will be temporary, because they hate us there as infidels and occupiers. Perhaps we will get Mr. bin Laden, assuming he is still alive. Short of that, it is difficult to see the long-term upside from all the resource expenditure there.

Meanwhile, the NFIB report on small business in March continues to show no real improvement. The big guys traded on the stock market are gaining market share from the little guys. Big whoop. The money-printing continues to largely be wasted on current consumption at home and one-use bombs etc. in Asia.

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