What was shown here Thursday was simultaneous appearance of an Associated Press story that tells us of an attack in Pakistan, by Pakistan that took out a significantly high 61 militants without one confirmation of identity by local authorities, AND the announcement, within the same hour, of an aid deal the State Department has been working on with Pakistan's foreign minister.
[Blogger's note: I have started to use the "comments" section in order to add commentary to stories without taking them down from the top of the front page. On second assessment, this seems a little unorthodox or unprofessional or some combination of those to the effect I'm not going to do it again. Thanks for being patient through the process with the inchoate online project.]
From the previously referenced article appearing in the Washington Post Thursday, "Pakistan says it is 'satisfied' with U.S. pledges on aid delivery" by Karen De Young ...
"It really has been extraordinary, in my view, seeing what Pakistan has done over the last, really, more than a year," Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said of Pakistan's counterinsurgency efforts targeting Taliban havens in the mountainous region along the Afghanistan border. Gates spoke Wednesday at a separate congressional budget hearing, along with Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
--So what we've got here is Pakistan's foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi visiting D.C. while back home in Pakistan a new offensive is launched by the tormented Pakistani military to the tune of an extraordinary number of dead militants in one strike: 61.
Okay, what's the problem? Pakistan's own military is starting not only to arrest its problem of being shredded by insurgency groups, but also doing the work the U.S. military can't seem to do without crossing the border into Pakistan.
Let's take a look at this AP story about the Pakistani military's air strike: "Alongside the religious seminary, a mosque and a school were targeted, local official Samiullah Orakzai said.
Two intelligence officials said the seminary was a main center for Tableeghi Jamaat, a non-violent Islamic missionary group. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.
The center was targeted because a group of Taliban leaders were believed to be meeting there in the afternoon. Some four dozen people died in the air strikes in and around the seminary, while 13 others were killed in morning strikes at the two other sites.
The officials said all 61 were suspected militants. Independent confirmation of the death toll or the victims' identities was nearly impossible because access to the tribal region is restricted."
--Officials said all 61 were suspected militants? First, that's a huge number compared even with U.S. strikes in recent months. Second, confirmation of the death toll or victims' identities was nearly impossible? And news of this attack broke nearly simultaneously to the announcement of $71 million in U.S. aid ...
Let's not rule out the possibility all of these think tanks' advice has finally reached the Joint Chiefs of Staff: the murder of Pakistani civilians should be left to the Pakistanis.