The gruesome murder of at least 126 innocents in Peshawar, Pakistan, including children, by the Pakistani Taliban is a direct result of U.S. foreign policy in the region.
Also known as Tehrik-i-Taliban, the group is an amalgamation of the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda. Both groups were created and nurtured by Pakistani intelligence in collaboration with the CIA.
Tehrik-i-Taliban draws its leadership from Pakistan’s tribal regions where the CIA has conducted a ceaseless drone campaign.
During the Obama presidency, the U.S. has conducted nearly 400 drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, killing more than 2,400 people, at least 273 of them reportedly civilians. The body count is six times higher under Obama than Bush. The number of civilians killed, however, may be far higher because the Defense Department does not report civilian casualties.
In September, the architect of the secret and illegal invasion and bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War, Henry Kissinger, said during a book tour “there were fewer civilian casualties in Cambodia than there have been from American drone attacks.”
Tehrik-i-Taliban is not supported by the notorious S Wing of the ISI, the Pakistani intelligence organization (the Afghan Taliban, the Haqqani network, the Gulbuddin Hekmatyar network, and Lashkar-e-Taiba are all supported by Pakistani intelligence).
Pakistan has attempted to negotiate with Tehrik-i-Taliban, but this effort was derailed by the United States and its drone campaign.
Days before a scheduled meeting, a drone killed the leader of Tehrik-i-Taliban, Hakimullah Mehsud. The government of Pakistan, under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, accused the U.S. of violating an informal agreement to put drone strikes on hold during the discussions.
The massacre in Peshawar, with its horrendous murder of school children, will undoubtedly end any attempt to forge a peace deal between Tehrik-i-Taliban and the Pakistani government.
Soon after the bloody attack, Gen. Raheel Sharif of the Pakistani Army and Pakistan’s Home Department announced airstrikes against Tehrik-i-Taliban:
#PakArmy has launched massive air strikes in Khyber on the intelligence reports.More thn10 air strikes hve been carried out in last 1 hour
— Gen Raheel Sharif (@PakArmyChief) December 16, 2014
Air strike in Khyber Agency- Terrah Valley by #PakArmy forces. 22 terrorists killed.
— Home Department KPK (@htakpk) December 16, 2014
For the U.S. government, the objective is clear — a continuation of the war on terror endeavor that not only realizes geostrategic outcomes, but also enriches the military-industrial complex and its partners invested in the war on terror business model.
“Fueled by vast economic disparities, organized crime, widespread corruption and near economic meltdown, options are limited as ruling elites in Islamabad, Kabul and Washington stagger from crisis to crisis,” Tom Burghardt wrote as the drone campaign transitioned from the Bush to the Obama administration.
“But as in Southeast Asia during the 1960s, Central America during the 1980s and the Middle East today, America’s militarist architects are planning to greatly escalate regional violence through proxy forces and the imperialist army itself as a means to ‘secure’ corporate control over the resource-rich Eurasian heartland.”
Peace with the empire’s designated enemies — most consisting of Frankenstein monsters forged by U.S. intelligence and its collaborators — stands in the way of that objective.