WASHINGTON – US and Pakistani officials are celebrating the fact that a recent American drone strike achieved the rare feat of killing it’s intended target when Hakimullah Meshud, the leader of the Pakistani Taliban, was cut down in the mountainous tribal region along the Afghan-Pakistan border.
In Washington, Defense Department Spokesman Ken Ingalls related the triumphant news to reporters. “We got him,” Ingalls told the assembled press corps. “Who’d a thought? This high value target had been on our radar since [predecessor] Baitullah Meshud [no relation] was eliminated in 2009. But thanks to our drone warfare program operating as intended for once, we can catch a breather before we spend the next few years re-bombing the same area looking for his successor.”
Ingalls then told reporters that at this juncture he could relay the details of collateral damage in the attack – including women and children who were killed or maimed – or they could end the press conference now and head to a champagne and caviar reception where each reporter would be given a gift bag including a flak jacket with their name stenciled in, several Tom Clancy novels, and a copy of Call of Duty: Ghosts for xBox. The press conference was adjourned by unanimous vote.
Since drone warfare became a central aspect in the War on Terror in 2008, it is estimated that over 800 civilians have been killed in attacks, more than 150 of them children. “The tribal areas are incredibly rugged and sparsely populated, so it is difficult to acquire targets accurately,” said Harrison Painter, a professor of remote control warfare at the Naval War College. “But the Pentagon understands that if you just start bombing whatever human beings are found in the region, eventually you will get your man. As today’s news shows, it’s hard to argue with results.”
“This is a day of rejoicing,” said local herder Faroush Nekkur, whose wife, two sons, seven goats and leg have been classified as “collateral damage in the War on Terror” by the Department of Defense. “For now the fire from above will pause while the Taliban figures out who their next leader will be, and the Americans try to guess who it is.”
“Then it’s back of the merry-go-round of death,” he added with a sigh.
While the Pakistani government has said it will continue to applaud the elimination of the Taliban that threatens it while also condemning drone strikes in its air space, the US said it will continue to give arms and money to the repressive Pakistani government while ostensibly working toward spreading democracy – as stipulated in the Have It Both Ways Accord that the two nations signed in 2001.