Old habits die hard for European leftists, especially when it comes to criticising America.
The online edition of Germany’s leftist mainstream publication Der Spiegel (The Mirror) prominently displayed on Monday an account critical of the American drone campaign in Pakistan. The basis of the writer’s dislike for one of the most effective anti-terrorism weapons in the civilized world’s arsenal against al-Qaeda and the Taliban is that the drones are killing civilians. Naturally, in keeping with the story’s anti-American angle, both the Pakistani and American governments are accused of misleading people about the true number of innocent non-combatants who have succumbed to drone attacks in North and South Waziristan.
If it concerned only a small, fringe publication, then one could simply overlook the story’s grave shortcomings and blatant bias. But Der Spiegel is one of Europe’s largest and most influential weekly news magazines with a circulation of more than one million. It is so respected that its English-language edition is the only foreign publication linked to the New York Times website’s international news section where the story can be found.
Accompanying the article were photos taken by its one and only source, Noor Behram, a local employee of al-Jazeera, the Arab language news service. Behram stated in the account he had to first ask tribal elders and Taliban leaders for permission to take the photos. The story’s author, Hasnain Kazim, said it couldn’t be guaranteed that the pictures were genuine, since journalists can’t move about freely in North Waziristan. But the snapshots allegedly concur with the dates and locations of drone attacks.
“The photos are gruesome. One shows a boy with a shattered skull, another a child’s dismembered foot. Yet another shows a dead boy with a bandaged head. Bloody school book appear in another…,” wrote Kazim.
You get the picture. Innocent children killed and schools destroyed by those barbaric Americans. Rather than an informative news story, the article is actually an anti-American propaganda piece, the underlying thrust of which is to get the drone campaign stopped by using emotionally evocative photos of children’s corpses. The message is that the price is obviously too high and too savage for the results obtained, as Behram conveniently confirmed.
“I estimate that for every dead extremist there are some 15 civilian victims,” said Behram, who named his son Osama out of protest against the drone attacks.
Wikileaks, however, tells a different story. These documents confirm the drone attacks have been so highly effective, they were one of two factors (the other being lack of money) that was causing bin Laden and his associates great concern.
“(Al Qaeda) Organisers also complained of the strain on resources being brought by strikes from CIA unmanned aircraft,” stated one report about the Wikileaks revelations. “Bin Laden’s number three, Atiyah abd al-Rahman, said that Al Qaeda fighters were being killed faster than they could be replaced.”
But the Wikileaks statements did not find their way into Kazim’s story. Nor did it mention that drone-related casualties among experienced cadre in al Qaeda’s middle and upper ranks have been so heavy that the terrorist organization’s ability to launch attacks has been severely damaged, thus saving innumerable innocent lives. To pick a good example, Ilyas Kashmiri, the organizer of the 2008 Mumbai attack that saw 164 people perish, was reported killed by a drone attack.
Kashmiri’s death again highlights the drone’s deadly effectiveness on the al Qaeda organization. It came out at a recent terrorist trial in Chicago that Kashmiri was plotting to attack in the United States the head of Lockheed Martin, the company that makes this nightmare-inducing weapon. Instead, the drone paid Kashmiri a visit first – and with heart-stopping results.
Moreover, as far as innocent civilians goes, Kazim does not mention the hundreds of innocent people al Qaeda and the Taliban have murdered in the Waziristans and elsewhere. These include the Sufis and Shiites in Pakistan, who al Qaeda has condemned to death as heretics and has been terrorising. Elders of tribes opposed to al Qaeda and the Taliban have also been brutally murdered, sometimes by suicide bombers at tribal councils. Al Qaeda has been such a murderous, disruptive element in the Waziristans that residents, two of whom were quoted in the New York Times, support the drone campaign’s elimination of the terrorist organizations, “in particular the Arabs.
“If you look at the other guys, the Arabs and the kidnappings and the targeted killings, I would go for the drones,” they said.
There is also no discussion in the Spiegel piece of the locals who are providing the CIA with the whereabouts of the jihadi operatives that make the drone strikes possible. While some are definitely doing this risky business for the money, others see it as a means of revenge for the brutal outrages the Taliban and al Qaeda have inflicted on the local population.
Concerning the photos, no mention was made concerning whether the dead civilians were the terrorists’ wives and children. There was also no questioning whether civilians were ever forced to stay with the terrorists as human shields, or whether the terrorists were deliberately staying near civilians because they know the American military’s Rules of Engagement do not allow missiles to be fired if it is known civilians are present.
Ironically, the Spiegel story appeared the same day as an article in Asia Times, which stated that the drone campaign was accelerating in the Waziristans to kill the white converts. The white jihadists are training there to return and carry out terrorist attacks in their own countries, one of which is Germany.
“The current spike in drone attacks in Mir Ali area is ostensibly meant to target the leadership of the North Waziristan-based white jihadis, which Western intelligence agencies believe have been training and dispatching white men to Europe for carrying out commando-style terrorist raids in the West…,” writes author Amir Mir.
Among the European jihadi contingent, it is believed more than 100 German nationals, headed by two white brothers from Bonn, are currently being trained for terrorist operations in Europe. Their language skills and appearance serve as excellent camouflage and therefore make them highly prized for such operations.
It was the arrest of one of their number in Kabul, a German national of Afghan origin, that sparked the recent targeting of white jihadis. He told his interrogators “small teams of militants were to model their missions in European countries on the pattern of the Mumbai attacks.” The Afghan-German was himself a member of an 11-man cell that was to have executed such an attack with bin Laden’s personal approval.
So while the United States is trying to eliminate these German terrorists and keep Europe and Germany safe, a major German publication publishes a very biased story (also available in the New York Times) intended to rile people up against the very weapon that can save them. But, as has long been known, logic has never been one of the left’s strong points.
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