Pakistani reaction to friendly fire incident over the top
Of course, you would expect the nationalist and Islamist parties to try and gin up outrage at America over a tragic border incident caused by Pakistan's lack of communication with the American military in Afghanistan.(Pakistan failed to tell us about the new border crossings when they built them a few days ago.)
But the government and military appear perfectly willing to go along with the Islamists in going over the top in their condemnation of America and NATO.
Hundreds of enraged Pakistanis took to the streets across the country Sunday, burning an effigy of President Barack Obama and setting fire to US flags after 24 soldiers died in NATO air strikes.
The rallies were organised by opposition and right-wing Islamist groups in major cities of the nuclear-armed country of 167 million people, where opposition to the government's US alliance is rampant.
In Karachi, the port city used by the United States to ship supplies to troops fighting in Afghanistan, more than 700 people gathered outside the US consulate, an AFP photographer said.
They shouted: "down with America, stay away Americans, Pakistan is ours, we stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our army", while Pakistani riot police were deployed near the consulate.
Outside the press club in Karachi, dozens of political activists burnt an effigy of President Obama, an AFP photographer added.
In the central city of Multan, more than 300 activists loyal to the former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, as well as local traders took to the streets, burning US and NATO flags.
They carried placards and banners, and shouted: "down with America," "down with NATO," "Yankees go back", "vacate Afghanistan and Pakistan" and "stop drone attacks" -- a reference to a CIA drone war against Islamist militants.
Pakistani politicians have referred to this incident as an "attack on Pakistani sovereignty." Really? If America wanted to attack Pakistan's sovereignty, one would hope that we would choose a target besides two little border outposts along the Afghanistan border.
This was an accident. A horrible, wasteful tragedy. It might even be a criminally negligent tragedy. But we don't know what happened. And the fact that Pakistani politicians and the usual aggrieved adherents to the religion of perpetual outrage have made their own illogical, unreasonable judgments about this incident says more about their own virulent anti-American bias than it does about finding out what really happened.