‘Suspected Militants’

By Craig Considine

Why does it seem these days that every bomb dropped and every missile strike kills ’suspected militants’?  It is either a great coincidence that the targets are real militants or governments, like the US and Pakistan, are applying the label to try to cover up killing innocent civilians. 
Along the Afghan border today in Parachinar, Pakistan, the Pakistani military killed 61 ’suspected militants’, including dozens at a seminary where Taliban commanders were believed to be meeting.  The seminary is in the Mamuzai tribal area of Orakzai
Two intelligence officials said the seminary was a main center for Tableeghi Jamaat, a non-violent, pacifist Islamic missionary group.  Unfortunately, its members had to pay the maximum price for being in the wrong place at the wrong time. 
And yet Pakistani officials claim that all 61 people were ’suspected militants’? 
There is no such thing as ‘accurate’ death toll counts in the tribal areas because access there is restricted.  People reading news releases and official statements are thus more or less forced to trust the word of the Pakistani government.  The words ‘trust’ and ‘government’ do not seem compatible, at least in my opinion.
Locals in the area later conceded that a great many of those killed were actually innocent civilians.  Not unbelievable considering the target was a place of worship for a non-violent, pacifist missionary group.   
Pakistan is pulling the same tricks as the US in attempting to cover up killing innocent civilians.  Drop the ’suspected militants’ bomb and everything is A-OK. 
Suspected’ is the most ambiguous of terms, is it not?  It is quite easy to drop this label on the dead, considering there is no chance their guilt or innocence will ever be proven or dismissed in a court of law.   
The truth is the US and Pakistani governments have no consideration for the potential loss of civilian life when targeting the ‘bad guys’.  Both have selfishly been willing to kill a handful of civilians to kill one ’suspected militant’ or a group of them. 
Both governments are also destructively involved in a vicious cycle of taking out enemies but creating dozens more in doing so.  
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