On 20 December 2010, the New York Times reported (Mark Mazzetti and Dexter Filkins, “U.S. Military Seeks to Expand Raids in Pakistan”): “Senior American military commanders in Afghanistan are pushing for an expanded campaign of Special Operations ground raids across the border into Pakistan’s tribal areas. . . . Now, American military officers appear confident that a shift in policy could allow for more routine incursions.” The interviews below respond to that report. — Ed.
Mike Ferner: If these reports are actually true, it’s very disturbing. We’ve heard bits and pieces of reports earlier suggesting that special forces operations may have been going on in Pakistan but this is the first time a media outlet like the New York Times has said so. This is extremely serious. I hope the American public sees it as that. We should remember that, when Richard Nixon was president, he secretly invaded and bombed Cambodia without any knowledge on the part of the Congress and that was one of the charges brought up to impeach him. That was extremely serious then and it’s exactly the same situation now — secret bombings with drones and a secret invasion.”
Kathy Kelly: Even now, the effect of the horrific floods that left one fifth of Pakistan under water is still having a terrible impact on the people of Pakistan and the Pakistani government can’t continue to ignore the cries and pleas of its own people. They’ve already been bullied by World Bank measures, by IMF measures. . . . Pakistan is a country where every single day you can see hunger strikes and demonstrations and people are taking terrific risks to say to their government: This can’t continue, we want relief from the suffering. If the United States is then giving the green light to enter into Pakistan with night raids and death squads and assassinations by joint special operations forces, it’s hard to imagine that the Pakistani government could withstand the outrage that can be predicted on the part of the Pakistani public.
Mike Ferner is the president of Veterans for Peace and author of Inside the Red Zone: A Veteran for Peace Reports from Iraq. Kathy Kelly is the coordinator of Voices for Creative Nonviolence. Michael Marceau is a member of Veterans for Peace. Ann Wright, a former United States Army colonel, is one of the three State Department officials who publicly resigned in protest of the Iraq War. The interviews above were broadcast by Russia Today on 21 December 2010. The quotations above are excerpts from the interviews.