Moral Outrage
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Repercussions of Unmanned Drone Warfare, the Weapon of Choice – Present and Future

When a young Pakistani-U.S. national pleaded guilty last week to a failed attempt to detonate explosives packed in a vehicle in the heart of New York City, he was conscious of the fact he would have killed dozens of civilians, including women and children. His justification:

“Well, the (U.S.) drone-hits in Afghanistan and Iraq don’t see children; they don’t see anybody. They kill women, they kill children. They kill everybody. And it’s war,” he said, at his arraignment last week.

The remote-controlled drones, being guided mostly by computers located [in various places throughout the U.S.] are the weapons of the future, say military analysts. Since they are unmanned, they are weapons that the U.S. military can deploy to kill without any risk to its own forces.

The young U.S. citizen of Pakistani background convicted of the aborted Times Square bombing told the judge one of the reasons for his attempted act of terrorism was his anger at the U.S. military for recklessly using drones, which have claimed the lives of scores of innocent civilians, along with suspected insurgents, in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Yemen and in the tribal areas of Pakistan.

The United States calls the inadvertent killing of civilians “collateral damage” while critics describe it as “collateral murder”.

[Read full IPS article]

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