A just war, via Al Jazeera’s Flickr
After a suicide bombing, northern frontier villagers rioted and killed neighbors in their homes. Military gunships then bombed the civilian area and injured and displaced many. That’s one way too look at it. The New York Times reports “men from surrounding villages began looking for Taliban militants and their supporters, burning houses and killing at least 11 men they identified as Taliban fighters… government officials asked for help from the military, which came in the form of helicopter gunships Tuesday morning. Most missed their marks.” The headline is Attacked, Pakistani Villagers Take On Taliban. I guess terrorism is different when it affects you.
I think Gini Appu is right in that Sri Lanka risks missing our own reflection barking at the moon. But it’s so dumb sometimes. There are literally 3 million displaced in the AfPak war and the Pakistani government sucks more than ours. I mean the latter with all due respect, I think the Pakistani people showed great character and respect after the attack on our cricketers in Lahore. But your government does suck more than ours.
I don’t ask for consistency or moral equivalency or whatever. I don’t even consider hypocrisy an intellectual sin. But it is very difficult to take their coverage seriously sometimes. The New York Times still doesn’t refer to American torture as ‘torture’, it’s enhanced interrogations. The exact same techniques are still called torture when North Korea does it.
Meanwhile Sri Lankan military action against the LTTE must be halted and negotiated and Sri Lankans flying flags in menacing. However, Pakistan villagers rioting and killing their neighbors is “a grass-roots rebellion that underscores the shift in the public mood against the militants and a growing confidence to confront them.”
Well, OK. I guess the Al Qaeda lobby in New York and London isn’t as powerful as the LTTE. And I suppose terrorism is only terrifying when it hits you. Just forgive me if I check out the blogs and take the omniscient narrator in the Times a bit less seriously.