Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

Drone warfare is not a Nintendo game

During the first year of the Obama administration, there were 51 drone attacks, compared to 45 drone attacks during President Bush’s two terms in office, according to a report by the Washington-based New America Foundation.

The report also states that the civilian fatality rate has been 32 percent in drone attacks since 2004.

“Drones are currently killing people in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. It should be noted that the United States is not at war with any of those countries, which should mean in a sane world that the killing is illegal under both international law and the US Constitution,” states Philip Girald, a former CIA officer and fellow of the American Conservative Defense Alliance.

Girald’s observation is confirmed by Mary Ellen O’Connell, a Professor of Law at Notre Dame Law School. In a research paper Professor O’Connell says, “The CIA’s intention in using drones is to target and kill individual leaders of al-Qaeda or Taliban militant groups. Drones have rarely, if ever, killed just the intended target.

“By October 2009, the ratio has been about 20 leaders killed for 750-1000 unintended victims. Drones are having a counter-productive impact in Pakistan’s attempt to repress militancy and violence. The use of the drone is, therefore, violating the war-fighting principles of distinction, necessity, proportionality, humanity.”

In the meantime, the U.S. military plans to more than triple its inventory of high-altitude drones. General David Petraeus, head of the U.S. Central Command, which includes both Afghanistan and Iraq, declared in a speech last January, “We can’t get enough drones.”

War, we should sadly acknowledge, is not a Nintendo game. And innocent people’s lives are not expendable. If we don’t admit the tragic dimension of war we will be cursed by its consequences.

[Excerpt of an article by Cesar Chelala, a co-winner of an Overseas Press Club of America award]

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One Response to “Drone warfare is not a Nintendo game”

  1. […] swooped over your house and blasted it to pieces. The plane has no pilot. It is controlled with a joystick from 7,000 miles away, sent by the Pakistani military to kill you. It blows up all the houses in […]


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