Moral Outrage
Whew! God help us!

US drone warfare up close and personal

Imagine if, an hour from now, a robot-plane 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 your street, and so barbecues your family and your neighbors until there is nothing left to bury but a few charred slops.

Why? —They refuse to comment. They don’t even admit the robot-planes belong to them. But they tell the Pakistani newspapers back home it is because one of you was planning to attack Pakistan. How do they know? —Somebody told them. Who? —You don’t know, and there are no appeals against the robot.

Now imagine it doesn’t end there: these attacks are happening every week somewhere in your country. They blow up funerals and family dinners and children. The number of robot-planes in the sky is increasing every week. You discover they are named “Predators”, or “Reapers” – after the Grim Reaper. No matter how much you plead, no matter how much you make it clear you are a peaceful civilian getting on with your life, it won’t stop. What do you do? If there was a group arguing that Pakistan was an evil nation that deserved to be violently attacked, would you now start to listen?

This sounds like a sketch for the next James Cameron movie – but it is in fact an accurate description of life in much of Pakistan today, with the sides flipped.

The Predators and Reapers are being sent by Barack Obama’s CIA, with the support of other Western governments, and they killed more than 700 civilians in 2009 alone.

Over the next decade, spending on drones is set to increase by 700 per cent.

[The Independent]


2 Responses to “US drone warfare up close and personal”

  1. I realy dont have a problem with being responsible for Pakistani`s killing their own people. As a matter of Fact I`m prettyy damned Proud of it maybe they will destroy Bin Laden after a little target practice on their sympathizers. The Taliban and al-Qaeda Operations will be destroyed by a litteral Act of Impunity on the Part of Our WesternAlliances that is literaly the greatest terrorist enemy and that is a moderate Muslim. God BLESS.

    • Firstly, I will disregard your comment that “Pakistanis are killing their own people”, as these are American-controlled drones killing Pakistani citizens.

      Secondly, as for “Taliban and al-Qaeda being destroyed”, at best only 2 per cent of the people killed by drone attacks in Pakistan are jihadis. This is according to David Kilcullen, a counter-insurgency expert who worked for General Petraeus and now advises the State Department.

      The western press routinely publicize the Pentagon brag about “senior al-Qaeda commanders being killed”. But some people within the CIA admit how arbitrary their choice of targets is. One of their senior figures told The New Yorker: “Sometimes you’re dealing with tribal chiefs. Often they say an enemy of theirs is al-Qaeda because they want to get rid of somebody, or they made crap up because they wanted to prove they were valuable so they could make money.”

      This is yet one more factor that contributes to the fact that 98% of deaths caused by drones may be innocent civilians.

      True, the drone program has killed some real jihadis. But the evidence suggests it is creating far more jihadis than it kills – who now will be attacking American troops, and/or you or me in a terrorist attack. Professor of Middle Eastern history Juan Cole puts it bluntly: “When you bomb people and kill their family, it pisses them off. They form lifelong grudges… This is not rocket science. If they were not sympathetic to the Taliban and al-Qaeda before, after you bomb the shit out of them, they will be.”

      Last, a comment on Bin Laden who you refer to: All the people who have been captured or defected from Osama Bin Laden’s circle, from his bodyguard to his son, say the same: Bin Laden is delighted when Western governments recklessly kill Muslims.

      In short, Osama Bin Laden is delighted, as with each new killing or destruction of a home by a US drone, a new jihadist is created to join his cause. Even the 2004 report commissioned by Donald Rumsfeld said that “American direct intervention in the Muslim world” was the primary reason for jihadism.

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