Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari met with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in an effort to persuade American military leaders to cease sending drones to attack suspect militants hiding in tribal regions of northwest Pakistan. A government spokesman said Zardari had tried to get across to the Bush administration, “these drone attacks are unproductive, and they are contributing to alienation as opposed to winning people over.” Missiles are believed to be fired from unmanned planes and there have been a reported 18 such attacks since August. Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahood Qureshi emphasized the attacks invariably cause the death of innocent civilians which creates anger among many in the community and thus aids efforts of al-Qaeda.
President elect Barack Obama said he will discuss these issues with Pakistan. “Because Pakistan is of the view that military means is not the be-all and the end-all.” Hopefully, Obama will listen to the voices of Pakistan and readjust US military strategy.
New Zeland police are very ‘disturbed” by the decision of the Auckland University Students’ Association offer of $5,000 to anyone who would carry out a citizen’s arrest of visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Superintendent Brett England said anyone who attempts to cross police lines during her visit to Auckland this weekend will be stopped. ‘Operational planning for this visit has been in the making for several months and there are highly effective security measures I please, so I would strongly advise the association representatives who’ve put this challenge out, to withdraw it immediately so as to avoid being caught up in something much bigger than they may have anticipated.”
AUSA president David Do said the arrest would be for her role in “overseeing the illegal invasion and continued occupation of Iraq…. Student associations in New Zealand have a long history of being involved in fighting for global justice, dating back to student involvement in the 1981 anti-Springbok tour protests and the US war in Indochina in the 1960s and 1970s.”
Conventional wisdom is to regard this as a showboat activity on the part of students, but whether by design or inadvertently, the students are raising important issues. Should those in the Bush administration who lied to the American people about reasons for invading Iraq be held responsible in a court of law? Does the International Criminal Court have the right to issue warrants for Bush and his fellow conspirators who caused the death of over 4,000 Americans and the deaths of thousands of Iraqis? If a Serbian murderer can be arrested, why not American murderers?