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US/Pakistan's Toxic Alliance

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US/Pakistan's Toxic Alliance - by Stephen Lendman

America is all take and no give.

Partnering with America has a price. Pakistan's paid dearly. Post-9/11, it's been harmed economically, politically, and strategically. Has its military now had enough and want out? More on that below.

At issue is the latest November 26 incident involving NATO forces killing 24 Pakistani soldiers and injuring 13 others in two remote posts along Afghanistan's border.

Army spokesman General Athar Abbas called the attack "unprovoked and indiscriminate. There was no reason for it. Map references of all our border posts have been passed to NATO a number of time."

General Ishfaq Nadeem called them unprovoked blatant aggression, adding that attacking border checkposts deliberately violates coordination procedures.

Internal calls for investigating these type incidents usually follow. Not this time, except, of course, by NATO to whitewash its responsibility.

Abbas said NATO strikes killed 72 Pakistani troops since 2009. Another 250 were injured. Calling them accidental doesn't wash. Pakistan's Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) denied NATO's claim about responding to live fire on Pakistan's side of the border.

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NATO's attack lasted two hours. Senior officers in Peshawar regional headquarters and GHQ Rawalpindi were informed when it started. They immediately asked NATO to stop, saying army troops were targeted. The request was denied.

Following the attack, rage gripped Pakistan. Thousands protested outside Washington's Karachi consulate. People shouted "Down with America." Effigies of Obama were burned. So were US flags.

Protests continue. The Azad Kashmir Legislative Assembly adopted a unanimous resolution condemning the attack.

In Peshawar, so did tribal elders, government workers, lawyers, students, journalists, and others. Pakistan's been on the boil for years over drone civilian killings. Hundreds have died. In 2010 alone, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan estimated 957. Many more were injured. Thousands overall may have perished and countless others hurt and maimed. 

Through July 2011, another 443 died. NATO claims only militants are targeted. Reports show about 50 civilian deaths for each combatant. Western media scoundrels say nothing. Cheerleading, not condemning, imperial wars is their stock and trade.

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Russia's anger over America's planned offensive missile defense systems near its borders suggests retaliatory measures. President Dmitry Medvedev calls them "advanced offensive weapon systems" targeting Russia, not Iran or other Middle East states. 

Moreover, Russia is deeply concerned about Western intervention in Syria. Its valued Tartus naval base is affected. Protecting it may be prioritized.

Besides strengthening its own military capability, it may cut NATO ties and block Russian supply routes to Afghanistan. Following Washington/Moscow's reset, NATO began transshipping through Russia in 2009. Since then, it's become an important route, now more than ever with strained US/Pakistan relations.

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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