Posts tagged Drones
If so, ok–I’ll respect that based upon an apparently objective process of arithmetic.
Terrorists – Dead Terrorists = Less Terrorists.
May I offer some other objective data points?
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism recently concluded that from June 2004 to September 2012, between 2562 and 3325 people were killed by drone strikes in Pakistan.
Of those, The BIJ estimates that 474-881 were civilians, and 176 were children; however given ease with which we can classify someone as a “militant” I am very skeptical of the low number of civilians in that quote.
What would you do if your friends, family members or loved ones were wrongly killed in a terrorist attack? Would you retaliate?
General David Petraeus’ former advisor describes the tendency of Muslims to do exactly that.
“Every one of these dead noncombatants represents an alienated family, a new desire for revenge, and more recruits for a militant movement…” -David Kilcullen, fomer advisor to Gen David Petreaus.
Just how insane have we become?! What kind of propaganda have we fallen for? Why have we accepted it so WILLINGLY?!
Our military is destroying lives, ruining our credibility and stoking the fires of war relentlessly around the world by killing these innocent people and all we can think to say in response is, “Well, they shouldn’t be hangin’ around with no damn terrorists then!”
The number of high-level targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low—estimated at just 2%. - Peter Bergen & Megan Braun, CNN
The below mini-documentary Living Under Drones is a superb and heart-rendering piece of journalism from Professor James Cavallaro of Stanford Law School’s International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic, and Professor Sarah Knuckey of the Global Justice Clinic at NYU School of Law.
Their recently released report with the same title is available for free download here; it is shocking and an absolute must-read, must-spread far and wide piece of journalism.
This disaster of humanity is ours to end.
Among many interesting topics, Ron and Lew Rockwell discuss Romney’s geography gaffe about Syria being Iran’s only route to the sea, the “No way, I’M more pro-war than you” contest between the candidates, and the hypocritical critique of China being a major currency manipulator while we are running The Federal Reserve?! EH??? As the cool kids now say, “SMH.”
Judge Napolitano: “The first American to shoot down a drone will be an American Hero!”
Well I can’t say that’s the Christ-like thing to do but I appreciate the sentiment and think these &^%* robots are an abomination.
You want to spy on me? Get a search warrant!
If we will force ourselves to look at the hard and ugly evidence proving that we are killing, maiming and terrorizing exponentially more innocent people (and causing their families to become hard-nail terrorists) than we are eliminating real terrorists, we will see that our profoundly sick foreign policy masquerading as logic is a massive shame upon us and needs to be ended now.
For more, read former Chalmers Johnson’s definite text: “Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire.”
You can also check out more articles on blowback here.
In a New York Times Op-Ed yesterday, international human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith describes a meeting he had in Pakistan with residents from the Afghan-Pakistani border region that has been relentlessly bombed by American drones; if I had one political wish this week, it would be that everyone who supports (or acquiesces to) President Obama’s wildly accelerated drone attacks would read this:
The meeting had been organized so that Pashtun tribal elders who lived along the Pakistani-Afghan frontier could meet with Westerners for the first time to offer their perspectives on the shadowy drone war being waged by the Central Intelligence Agency in their region. Twenty men came to air their views; some brought their young sons along to experience this rare interaction with Americans. In all, 60 villagers made the journey. . . .
On the night before the meeting, we had a dinner, to break the ice. During the meal, I met a boy named Tariq Aziz. He was 16. As we ate, the stern, bearded faces all around me slowly melted into smiles. Tariq smiled much sooner; he was too young to boast much facial hair, and too young to have learned to hate.
The next day, the jirga lasted several hours. I had a translator, but the gist of each man’s speech was clear. American drones would circle their homes all day before unleashing Hellfire missiles, often in the dark hours between midnight and dawn. Death lurked everywhere around them. . . .
On Monday, [Tariq] was killed by a C.I.A. drone strike, along with his 12-year-old cousin, Waheed Khan. The two of them had been dispatched, with Tariq driving, to pick up their aunt and bring her home to the village of Norak, when their short lives were ended by a Hellfire missile.
My mistake had been to see the drone war in Waziristan in terms of abstract legal theory — as a blatantly illegal invasion of Pakistan’s sovereignty, akin to President Richard M. Nixon’s bombing of Cambodia in 1970.
But now, the issue has suddenly become very real and personal. Tariq was a good kid, and courageous. My warm hand recently touched his in friendship; yet, within three days, his would be cold in death, the rigor mortis inflicted by my government.
And Tariq’s extended family, so recently hoping to be our allies for peace, has now been ripped apart by an American missile — most likely making any effort we make at reconciliation futile.
This tragedy repeats itself over and over. After I linked to this Op-Ed yesterday on Twitter — by writing that “every American who cheers for drone strikes should confront the victims of their aggression” — I was predictably deluged with responses justifying Obama’s drone attacks on the ground that they are necessary to kill The Terrorists. Reading the responses, I could clearly discern the mentality driving them: I have never heard of 99% of the people my government kills with drones, nor have I ever seen any evidence about them, but I am sure they are Terrorists. That is the drone mentality in both senses of the word; it’s that combination of pure ignorance and blind faith in government authorities that you will inevitably hear from anyone defending President Obama’s militarism. As Jonathan Schwarz observed after the U.S. unveiled the dastardly Iranian plot to hire a failed used car salesman to kill America’s close friend, the Saudi Ambassador: “I’d bet the Saudi ambassador to the U.S. has closer ‘ties’ to Al Qaeda than 90% of the people we’ve killed with drones.”