Suicide Attack in Pakistan?

There has been what’s being characterized as a “suicide attack” in Pakistan:

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – A suicide attacker detonated a bomb that ripped through a crowded hotel restaurant in the northwestern city of Peshawar on Tuesday, killing at least 24 people and wounding 25, police said.

The blast deepened instability in Pakistan, still reeling from bloody political riots during the weekend in its commercial capital, Karachi. The attack appeared unrelated to that unrest.

Provincial police chief Sharif Virk said investigators had found the legs of the suspected suicide bomber, with a message taped to one leg that spies for America would meet such a fate.

Several things struck me about this incident. First, I wonder how this incident jibes with Robert Pape’s hypothesis of the connection between suicide attacks and military occupation. Who is occupying Pakistan? Surely not the United States. If what we’re doing in Pakistan is occupation, is every U. S. embassy an occupation, too?

But I also wondered if this weren’t an instance of something I’ve heard called “assisted suicide bombing” i.e. strapping explosives to an unwilling victim’s body and forcing him (or, presumably, her) into the area being subjected to attack. Cheap. Easy. Effective.

The note makes me wonder if the “attacker” might have been suspected of being a U. S. informant.

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Dave Schuler
About Dave Schuler
Over the years Dave Schuler has worked as a martial arts instructor, a handyman, a musician, a cook, and a translator. He's owned his own company for the last thirty years and has a post-graduate degree in his field. He comes from a family of politicians, teachers, and vaudeville entertainers. All-in-all a pretty good preparation for blogging. He has contributed to OTB since November 2006 but mostly writes at his own blog, The Glittering Eye, which he started in March 2004.

Comments

  1. legion says:

    I suspect it’s not so much the occupation of Pakistan, per se, but the occupation of neighboring Afghanistan that leads to these incidents. Pointing the blame is best left to another thread, but the Taliban & the warlords have regained enough strength in AFG that Karzai & Musharraf no longer have real control in their own nominal countries (if, indeed, they ever did).

    The question is whether the people staging attacks in PAK are doing so because they see it as a chance to attack the US by proxy, or whether they simply want to further destabilize the region, allowing Taliban influence to spread further. My bet is on the latter.

  2. but the Taliban & the warlords have regained enough strength in AFG that Karzai & Musharraf no longer have real control in their own nominal countries (if, indeed, they ever did)

    Do you think we need more troops in Afghanistan?

  3. Tlaloc says:

    Several things struck me about this incident. First, I wonder how this incident jibes with Robert Pape’s hypothesis of the connection between suicide attacks and military occupation. Who is occupying Pakistan?

    Uh… you are aware that Pakistan is basically a military dictatorship, right? They might not be under a foriegn occupation (although that’s debatable depending how you want to define the country- Ireland wasn’t under foreign occupation technically since they and Englad were part of Great Britain) but they are most certainly under military rule.

  4. legion says:

    Kent,
    It becomes clearer each day that we shouldn’t have transferred our forces to Iraq. Even if invading Iraq was warranted (and I certainly don’t hold that opinion), the move was made long before the Afghanistan campaign was properly finished.

  5. Dave Schuler says:

    Ireland wasn’t under foreign occupation technically since they and Englad were part of Great Britain

    Have you ever met an Irishman, Tlaloc?

    Pape’s conjecture isn’t about militarism, military dictatorship, or any of a thousand other possibilities. It’s about occupation. Period. And Pakistan doesn’t fit the definition.

  6. Eric J says:

    If you believe the rightful ruler of your land is the Caliphate, isn’t any secular government effectively an occupying force?

  7. Tlaloc says:

    Have you ever met an Irishman, Tlaloc?

    Uh yeah. My work has a big site in Ireland and they come here for seed training. And your point is?

    Pape’s conjecture isn’t about militarism, military dictatorship, or any of a thousand other possibilities. It’s about occupation. Period. And Pakistan doesn’t fit the definition.

    Then neither did Ireland. That’s all I’m saying. If you want to take such a narrow definition of occupation then of course it will break down.

    Quick question: is Chechnya currently occupied by a foreign power? Well it depends on who you ask. A Russian may say no while a Chechnyan may say yes. Because “foreign” is a term that can mean more than official boundaries.

  8. Even if invading Iraq was warranted (and I certainly don’t hold that opinion), the move was made long before the Afghanistan campaign was properly finished.

    Is that a “yes”?