Before Barack Hussein Obama took the oath of 44th President of the United States, the government in Islamabad had all the hopes that cross-border incursions and drone attacks would come to an end and a new chapter of friendly atmosphere would develop that would bring an end to the bloodshed and miseries that our tribesmen were suffering at the hands of Bush marauders since September 11, 2001. Pakistan's prime minister who hails from a saintly family hoped for the miracle that did not happen, as missiles fired from unmanned drones struck two targets inside Pakistan on Friday morning (exactly three days after Obama's swearing-in) killing about twenty innocent civilians that included men women and children. As is always the case with such precision attacks, numbers of those butchered were described by US officials as Al-Qaeda members, as against US media reports that the majority of those killed were local residents. These two deadly attacks on North and South Waziristan were the first since Obama took office on Tuesday. How many of the twenty top Al-Qaeda leaders were killed remained a mystery, as their bodies were not found. As many as three missiles were fired at a village Zharki in North Waziristan, killing ten people, of whom five were described as Al-Qaeda militants. A few hours later another missile hit a house in South Waziristan killing as many whose identities were not known. These strikes were the latest in a series of more than two dozen such attacks since last August. The Pentagon officials claimed that the attacks were carried out under the existing authority from the outgoing Bush administration, while keeping the new president informed of the action. In a series of meetings and public appearances on Wednesday and Thursday, and with first drone strikes on Pakistan, President Obama has given a clear signal that he plans intensified bloodshed in Afghanistan and Pakistan as part of US military escalation in Central and South Asia. In his remarks at the State Department rally, Obama reiterated his concern over what he called a "deteriorating situation in both Afghanistan and Pakistan," a region that is "the central front" of the struggle against terrorism. This language, echoing Bush's description of Iraq, underscores the new administration's commitment to military subjugation of Afghan populace and wider attacks on the Pakistani tribal belt to dissipate Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants operating from Pakistani soil. As against Islamabad's silence over the Friday drone attacks in FATA, Afghanistan President Karzai condemned a US operation in which sixteen civilians were killed on Saturday in the Laghman province. Hundred of villagers denounced the US forces in angry protests in Laghman's capital over the massacre of civilians. Karzai took a serious notice and said that the killing of innocent Afghans "is strengthening the terrorists." He lashed out at the occupation forces over the killing of civilians. But the US and top NATO officials, instead, have levelled allegations of corruption and slow pace of progress. Unlike Islamabad, Karzai told his Parliament last week that the US and NATO had not heeded his calls to stop air strikes on civilian populace. Kabul also sent a draft technical agreement to Washington and NATO HQs that calls for full cooperation between Afghan and NATO defence authorities at the highest level. As against that Islamabad limits itself to mild protests and has not so far made any such move at the highest level over the cross-border killings of civilians in FATA. The attacks on sovereign Pakistani territory are blatant violations of international law to which the Pakistan government only protests verbally. Our press notes try to justify the drone attacks without verifying the tragedy at the spot and counting as to how many foreigners were killed and how many were the innocent civilians. And there ends our condemnation. What about the actual number of civilians massacred? The height of callousness is that the US/NATO do not acknowledge civilian fatalities and blame the villagers for making false death claims. What a tragedy, you kill them and then you want them to remain silent? There was a gripping incident when in a battle in August in Azizabad village of Afghanistan; the US high command first claimed no civilians were killed. A day later, it said five, and eventually a more thorough US investigation found that thirty-three civilians were killed. As against that the Afghan government and the UN said that ninety civilians were killed. The same kind of atrocities are being committed on our beleaguered tribesmen across the international frontier and our government is not moved. A lame-duck excuse was put forth that the government is not in a position to stop or down the drone predators as if they have carte blanche to strike and kill citizens of a sovereign state. The issue should have been debated at the UN floor, or in the OIC (Organisation of Islamic Countries) to at least draw the global attention to the blatant trampling of our sovereignty, if at all we have any. At least we wouldn't have been treated as a 'Banana' republic. Bush has left a legacy in which international relations are still based on the rights of the strong, who is allowed to do anything, and no declarations will chill out the determination of a superpower to make the world around insecure and subordinate to its aggressive designs. The defiant ones were to be punished to set an example for others as was done in Iraq and Afghanistan. George W Bush perhaps had a prick of conscience, which I doubt he had, when he admitted that he did make some mistakes. But the fact remains that he projected the US as a nation of barbarians who come to other countries with all the lethal weaponry at its command. It was Bush, who ignored the global public opinion with utter disdain and invaded Iraq. In February 2003, it looked that the whole world stood up against a new war, but Washington accomplished its goal: it destroyed Iraq and killed its leaders. The peace for which Bush vied for so loudly did not come to Iraq till today. Perhaps, President Obama has been wrongly advised by Bush's prodigies in the administration that he wants to pursue the policy of bloodletting in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The recent appointment of Richard Holbrooke as the special representative and not an envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan is a step in that direction. He is not branded an "envoy", because he will not be negotiating with the Taliban - a rebuff to please for such talks by President Karzai, some saner elements in the Taliban and some European countries. The selection of Holbrooke is ill-omened, since he has long served as one of the most ruthless representative of US imperialism in Vietnam. At a time when NATO itself questions the viability mission in Afghanistan, pushing for a solution emphasising social and economic stability over military action. He is not the man for the job, as he has the history of choosing the military solution over the diplomatic finesse. He was also accused of war crimes for the role he played to bring peace in Yugoslavia in 1995. The Dayton Accord stands a testimony to his past aggressive behaviour. This does not bode well for Obama, as it is highly doubtful that Holbrooke would bring anything more to the table than cheerleading. Obama's intentions to increase the size of US military garrison in Afghanistan to forcefully assert US-imposed security through military action in Afghanistan and FATA area of Pakistan is fraught with danger, as it would amount to reinforcing the failure. The British officers who had served in Afghanistan advise that there is no military solution to the mayhem. In fact that had never been in the past. The British recognise that the Taliban is not the problem, but rather part of the solution to what ails Afghanistan and Pakistan's North-western frontier. It also is food for thought for our rulers in Islamabad. The writer is a retired inspector general of police