Sunday, February 05, 2012

Point. Click. Kill. US Drone Strikes Target Civilians in Coward's War.

It's no secret that Nobel Peace laureate, President Obama has increased the frequency of drone strikes well beyond what former President Bush did, as they have been used with regularity, since he took office.  From the battlefields of Iraq, to Afghanistan, well situated for oil and gas pipelines, to tribal areas in Pakistan, from the comfort of their environmentally controlled offices, military forces, and the CIA are employing the use of drones with impunity.  According to the Brookings Institute, the US has 7,000 drones in operation and 12,000 more on the ground.

One military robotics researcher told Peter Singer, the author of Wired for War, “We modeled the controller after the PlayStation because that’s what these eighteen-, nineteen-year-old Marines have been playing with pretty much all of their lives.”

Just one week ago, January 31, President Obama (see video below) made the claim that the drone strikes, under his administration - 260 - have "not caused a huge number of of civilian casualties", and he went on to exalt the exceptional proficiency, and precision of unmanned aircraft, despite massive evidence to the contrary. Since 2009, between 282 and 535 civilians have been credibly reported as killed including more than 175 children. Is that a huge number?  Well, imagine it's American citizens who have died as a result of another country's drone strikes.

However, the huge numbers of civilian casualties, is only part of the story.  According to a recent report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, civilian rescuers are being targeted! At least 50 civilians died as a result of follow-up strikes.

The CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals, an investigation by the Bureau for the Sunday Times has revealed.

The findings are published just days after President Obama claimed that the drone campaign in Pakistan was a “targeted, focused effort” that “has not caused a huge number of civilian casualties”. . . .

A three month investigation including eye witness reports has found evidence that at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims. More than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners. The tactics have been condemned by leading legal experts.

Although the drone attacks were started under the Bush administration in 2004, they have been stepped up enormously under Obama.

There have been 260 attacks by unmanned Predators or Reapers in Pakistan by Obama’s administration – averaging one every four days.
Why is it a coward's war?

Precisely because we are arbitrarily waging undeclared, trillions-of-dollars, so-called  "wars", without actually having any "skin in the game." Engaging state-of-the-art stealthy pilotless vehicles that murder people - halfway around the world - by joy-stick without any risk to ourselves is cowardly and contemptible. Point. Click. Kill. How long  before our own enemies have the same capability? How long before the decision to kill is ceded by a machine (talk about accountability issues)?

Related Links:

Afghan civilian death toll reaches record high
The civilian death toll for the war in Afghanistan reached a record high last year with 3,021 deaths, according to the United Nations.

The number killed rose by 8% last year – the fifth consecutive rise – with a further 4,507 civilians wounded, the UN report said. Many were killed by roadside bombs or in suicide attacks, with Taliban-affiliated militants responsible for three-quarters of the deaths.


Anonymous,  02:56  

Pakistani and Afghani peasants are on their own, I'm afraid. They are an illiterate, mostly poverty-stricken people.

We are spending billions to kill these men, women, and children because they don't matter in the scheme of things. Depopulation.

Roth's stepchild 14:52  

Yeah, I agree. It's like Bill Gates investing all that money in vaccines - where he stands to gain immensely considering he sold almost billions of dollar's worth of Microsoft stock, and begun to invest very heavily in big pharma - when he could've taken that money and invested it in clean water, infrastructure ...things that would really help third world countries. But no, he's vaccinating people to lower the population...his words!

Bill Gates is nothing but a ruthless billionaire monopolist veiling himself behind the persona of a awkward philanthropist.

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