Community Organizing, Pakistani Style
Pakistan's high commissioner to Britain has warned the UK that the US attacks on the Taliban and al-Qaeda inside Pakistan are making Britain vulnerable to attack. From The Age:
Wajid Shamsul Hasan said the attacks on Taliban and al-Qaeda suspects were making the streets of Britain less safe and that resentment was mounting among Pakistanis in the country, with community leaders calling for that anger to be "organised".
His remarks followed outrage in Pakistan over five attacks in the past 10 days, including a ground assault in the town of Angoor Adda in which 20 people were killed. US officials said all were supporters of terrorism but Pakistan insists they were civilians, including women and children.
Mr Hasan said: "This will infuriate Muslims in this country and make the streets of London less safe. There are one million Pakistanis in the diaspora here and resentment is mounting."I'm being flooded by text messages from community leaders saying we must organise our anger. The Americans' trigger-happy actions will radicalise young Muslims. They're playing into the hands of the very militants we're supposed to be fighting."
Don't ever fall for thinking that the radicalization of Pakistanis or any other group is the fault of the United States and its war against terrorists in the region. Likewise, don't fall for thinking that all Pakistanis are prey to radicalization. There is a difference between anger and radicalization.
Bottom line: If we feel compelled to go after Taliban and al-Qaeda terrorists inside Pakistan - the same terrorists who also target Pakistanis - and this angers some, even many, this is a consequence we will have to accept.
For the consequences of doing nothing - or relying upon Pakistani forces to continue ineffective actions that amount to nearly nothing - are far worse than the alternative.
UPDATE: In reading the Daily Times of Pakistan, there seems to be mixed messages being sent from Britain. Jack Straw says the UK does not support US atacks in Britain, while Prime Minister Brown has voiced his support.
The United Kingdom does not support [foreign] strikes in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Dawn News quoted UK Secretary for Justice Jack Straw on Monday. In a meeting with Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in Lahore, Straw reiterated the UK’s commitment to stop cross-border movement of terrorists and attacks by US led forces in Pakistan, the channel said. It said Straw’s statement was in contrast with an earlier statement by UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown backing US incursions into Pakistan.
One way or the other, a bit of clarity here, Britain?