Drones strikes and Obama, two things I'm not voting for this year
After what seems like a quick four years, elections are only a month away in the United States and the two candidates are Mitt Romney of the Republican Party and the current President who is up for re-election, Barack Obama. Whether the American citizens like it or not, Pakistan is a strategic ally in the so-called ‘war on terror’ and relations with Pakistan have never been so important.
Pakistan also has its share of issues and dissatisfaction and hatred for the United States is definitely one of them. Of course, this year election year is important not only for American citizens but for a majority of the countries in the world. Being President of the United States is by far the most important job on earth and the foreign decisions taken by the United States affect the entire world.
Relations with Pakistan for the United States under the Obama administration have not been strong over the past couple of years. Initially, the United States cut nearly $800 million in aid after the United States secretly went into Pakistan in a raid that killed al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. This raised many doubts in the Obama administration about the trust issues Pakistan was having with it.
In November of 2011, NATO attacked a post in Pakistan that killed 24 soldiers, which the US government recently apologised for. With that being said and terrorism spreading like wildfire from Afghanistan to Pakistan, a question that we all ask is, can Pakistan really handle another four years of Barack Obama?
Remember when everyone commended Barack Obama on winning the Nobel Peace Prize after his inauguration?
What about that time that the liberals believed Obama to be a pacifist due to his opposition to the Iraq War?
President Obama is actually one of the most aggressive military presidents of our time. Forget invading Iraq and Afghanistan by Bush, we do have to move forward from the past. Obama has increased the troop size in Afghanistan by three fold and he uses drone attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia that kills innocent citizens and has them living in fear.
The problem is that the American citizens won't hear about the drone attacks, they're secretly authorised by Obama. Who cares if a few kids in a Pakistani village die?
The news will always state ‘14 killed in drone strike’ but we don't know who the victims really are.
The irony here is that the Pakistani citizens are tired of the so-called ‘drone war’ waged by the Obama administration, but the Pakistani government has secretly also authorised the US to use their own air bases for attacks. Both countries obviously need to work on bilateral ties but I also believe that once America leaves Pakistan alone, the anti-American sentiment will decrease.
How would the American citizens feel about Pakistan if there were ISI and Army members killing innocent citizens in New York City?
We as Pakistanis tend to blame Bush for a lot of problems in Pakistan. In reality, Bush ordered 52 drone strikes in eight years as president; Obama has ordered 294 in four years.
Imagine trying to sleep with your family at night but not being able to because of the drones in the sky. You hear the humming, buzzing and noise in the air; not knowing when or where a missile will land.
American citizens, remember how terrible 9/11 was?
In parts of Pakistan, everyday is 9/11. I'm not saying that Mitt Romney will or won't order drone attacks in Pakistan, but I'm willing to take that chance because I can't vote for a president for re-election if he's going to wage a secret war on the country where my family lives, and I hope other Pakistanis living abroad feel the same way.
2012 will be the first year that I'll be voting and it definitely won't be democrat.
Read more by Ahsan here or follow him on Twitter @ahsandaredia
Join us on Facebook for blog updates and more!
Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.
For more information, please see our Comments FAQ