US Transferring The War Into Pakistan

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THE Chief of the Taleban movement in Pakistan Hakimullah Mehsud yesterday blamed the US firm Blackwater, that had an army of mercenaries operating in Iraq, for the bomb blast in Peshawar which killed 108 men, women and children and injured 150.

The Taleban leader said that since the Taleban is able to carry out attacks on the military command in Islamabad and occupied its headquarters for over a day, it has no need to target non-military targets, especially innocent men, women and children.

Mehsud blamed the American security company Blackwater plus the Pakistani intelligence services for the ongoing slaughter of civilians.

He said murdering civilians was the international hallmark of American imperialism. They had slaughtered civilians in Iraq, were doing it in Afghanistan and were now doing it in Pakistan. In the latter case it was an attempt to discredit the Taleban movement.

He said: ‘Our war is against the government and the security forces and not against the people. We are not involved in these blasts.’

Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani yesterday expressed their grief over the loss of innocent lives in the Peshawar bomb blast.

However, tens of thousands of people have lost their homes and hundreds have already lost their lives in the Pakistani army offensives into Swat and into Wazirstan. These offensives were and are being carried out on the orders of the United States government.

In fact, the Blackwater company and the role that it plays in organising thousands of mercenaries to do the dirty work for American imperialism is well known, and is under the spotlight as far as its operations in Iraq are concerned.

A US federal judge has just refused to dismiss five war crimes cases brought by the relatives of alleged Iraqi victims of the company.

Blackwater is fighting to have the charges thrown out. They have argued that they, as a company, can’t be sued, that it would violate the rights of the President of the United States to make battlefield decisions, and if Blackwater was prosecuted, that would infringe upon the President’s rights.

The judge however ruled that private individuals or companies are liable to face war crimes charges.

It is being alleged that Blackwater, which had up to 100,000 mercenaries fighting in Iraq, under contract to the US government killed thousands of Iraqis, without being called to account.

Now with the transference of the war from Afghanistan to Pakistan by the United States, Blackwater and its contracted forces will transfer to Pakistan as well.

At the moment, every day, drones are being used to attack houses and compounds in towns along the border with Afghanistan, killing hundreds of civilians.

Already the US military and its special forces are operating in Pakistan, advising and aiding the Pakistani military in its various military offensives against the Pakistani people.

The lesson of the Iraqi campaign is that where US imperialism goes their mercenary organisers, such as Blackwater, follow, where they are given the especially dirty work of imperialism.

They were renowned for their lack of respect for the lives of the Iraqi people, killing tens of thousands in the years after the removal of Saddam in April 2003.

Faced with the expansion of the Afghan war into Pakistan the British trade unions must take action.

Pakistan with a population of some 200 million people will be a graveyard for US and UK imperialism.

The TUC must launch a national campaign in support of the Pakistani people. At its centre must be the demand that all UK troops are withdrawn from Iraq, Afghanistan, and now Pakistan, at once.