The arrest of Faisal Shahzad for planting the Times Square car bomb has forced America to confront the bloody conflict in Pakistan that inspired his actions. The West has ignored this war for too long, writes Patrick Cockburn
The Independent/UK, May 10, 2010
MATTHEW LEMIEUX / AFP / GETTY
Blowback: US marines test an unmanned drone, their preferred weapon in Pakistan’s tribal areas
It has been a hidden war ignored by the outside world. Up to last week nobody paid much attention to the fighting in north-west Pakistan, though more soldiers and civilians have probably been dying there over the last year than in Iraq or Afghanistan.
In reality, this corner of Pakistan along the Afghan border is the latest in a series of wars originally generated by the US response to 9/11. The first was the war in Afghanistan when the Taliban were overthrown in 2001, the second in Iraq after the invasion of 2003, and the third the renewed war in Afghanistan from about 2006. The fourth conflict is the present one in Pakistan and is as vicious as any of its predecessors, though so far the intensity of the violence has not been appreciated by the outside world.