Thursday's landmark decision by the Pakistani high court in Peshawar is a remarkable document: Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan examines the US use of drones against Pakistan's tribal areas and reaches several conclusions that, while obvious to most sensible observers, seem to have eluded American authorities for several years.
The case was filed last year by Shahzad Akbar, of the Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR), a legal charity based in Islamabad. The case was brought by families of victims killed in a US drone strike on 17 March 2011. The strike – one of more than 300 Obama has launched at Pakistan – is infamous: more than 50 people were killed, including many community elders who had gathered to settle a local dispute over a chromite mine. For the locals it was the equivalent of a strike on the high court itself.
The chief justice's first finding is perhaps the most obvious: "[Drone strikes] are absolutely illegal and a blatant violation of sovereignty of the state of Pakistan." The strikes are, he says, international war crimes, given that there is no state of war between the US and its nominal ally, Pakistan.
~ from Will Pakistan Finally Stand Up Against Illegal US Drone Attacks? by Clive Stafford Smith ~
Now that the Chief Justice of the Pakistani Supreme Court has rendered this decision, what difference does it make? It is more than obvious that the Obama administration doesn't give a diddly what Pakistan or any other nation thinks. Heck, the Obama administration doesn't even abide by OUR constitution, so why would they abide by international law!
Does anyone think that this court decision will stop drone attacks? Do you think that even UN condemnation would impact this strategy in the slightest? For the longest time, the US has been a rogue state. Our elected leaders -- from BOTH political parties -- talk about the importance of international agreements, but only in terms of how other nations must follow them. If international law butts head with something we (or the Israelis) desire to do, we simply thumb our nose at them.
I mean, really. Who would try to put us in our place? Who would go toe-to-toe with the best-funded military in the world? Who would want to risk economic annihilation?
Sadly, we are the big ugly bully on the block! We only abide by the rules we want to abide by. The rest? Don't make me