Drones American Foreign-Domestic Policy in Action
Drones were initiated under the Bush regime, but have increased dramatically under the Obama Administration. We will not be allowed to see the effected of using pilot-less planes in action on American soil, but above we have a glimpse of what they are doing in Pakistan, a country with which no war has been officially declared, and where the victims as in the U.S. are civilians. – yet there is no global outrage at this dastardly, and cowardly act. Instead, those that are working on human rights in this respect, are silened out of mainstream media. One such entity is the American Civil Liberties Union director Hina Shamsi who stated:
“We believe there are few things as dangerous as the proposition that the government should be able to kill people anywhere in the world, including citizens, on the basis of legal standards and evidence that is never submitted to the court either before or after the fact.”
What is even more alarming, is that the reports of drone attacks in the media are quite frequent, though the consequence of those attacks are less so. More often we are informed that those attacked are militants, Al-Qaeda/Taliban leaders etc., but what is the truth to that!
If we accept what we would not accept for others, what will accept for ourselves today? What is happening in the U.S. today stands testament to that reality, and the militarization of the Olympics, 2012.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reported a total of 372 U.S. strikes from 2004-12. Of those strikes, 272 have taken place under the Obama Administration. An estimated 2,454- 3,133 people have reportedly been killed of which 484-828 were civilians and 175 were children. An additional 1,175- 1,288 people were reportedly injured during this period.
In the U.S drone strikes on Eid days 2012 in North Waziristan Agency, they slaughtered some two dozens of people. Media reported these attacks as the people of Hafiz Gul Bahadur, a militant commander who was in a peace accord with the Pakistan military. The U.S. counterterrorism unit in their summary of drone attacks, list the attack as follows:
#36 August 24, 2012*
Location: Darray Nashtar in the Shawal Valley, North Waziristan
Total killed: 16-18 (this reflects the combined total for three different strikes on Aug. 24, 2012)
Civilians killed: —
Militant leaders killed: —
Assumed target: Militant compounds (TALIBAN)
… we make no attempt to cite casualty counts for the individual strikes.
Amidst that acount, the number of civilians killed unknown, and the target is ‘assumed’.
The founder of Reprieve, Clive Stafford-Smith, an NGO stated back in 2011:
“It is estimated as many as 2,283 people have been killed by US drones in Pakistan since 2004. Of these, only 33 were said to be “high value targets”
Uncovered by any instrument of war, Mirza Shahzad Akbar, a legal representative for 25 families with a total of 50+ deaths from drone attacks in the Waziristan region has been aiming to bring the cases to court in the U.K., and the U.S. since 2011.
The Pakistani peoples have now had enough of American foreign policy in their country, and have suffered much from civil unrest because of it. Yet, the U.S. cares not of what Pakistan thinks of its actions, which underscores a growing arrogance that the U.S. can go where it pleases in the world, when the U.S. itself is disintegrating under the actions of man through the global economic crisis, which the U.S. initiated, and the actions of nature, with a dramatic increase in natural disasters, earthquakes, and now drought along with the madness of war against Syria, and Iran. At this rate, by the time Americans wake up to what their country is doing, and what is happening to their country it will be too late.
Who can blame the Pakistan authorities for making negotiations difficult over the reopening of overland supply routes to NATO forces in Afghanistan – in fact the negotiations should be impossible. Even rescuers to a targeted site are bombed and mourners at a funeral as was the case of Khwaz Wali Mehsud’s funeral where 5,000 people attended and 83 people were killed.
The fact that the operations are carried out by the CIA rather than the US military enables the administration to evade questions, as the whole issue has evaded debate in the U.S., the repeated mantra of which is there are no civilians , and it is their legal duty ignoring that it is against all international laws. This is not helped by the fact that Pakistan consented initially caught up in the fabricated endless war-on-terror.
A recent report by the U.K.-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan have killed as many as 775 civilians, including 168 children, since 2004 based on local (Pakistan) evidence.
That is what happens when one works too long in an enclosed environment without touching bas with real life – paranoia = when the citizens of one’s own country are perceived as the enemy. Expanding the use of drones for surveillance purposes. “A drone is a high-tech version of an old army and a musket. It ought to be used in Somalia to hunt bad guys but not in America. I don’t want to see it hovering over anybody’s home. Yes, you can say we have satellites, we’ve got Google Street View and London has a camera on every street corner but that’s not an excuse to cave in on everything else and accept a society where you’re always under — being watched by the government. This is not what we want,” said syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer on the panel portion of FOX News’ “Special Report.”
So why should the rights of citizens in one country differ from the rights of citizens in another country, and on what basis is a person considered ‘bad’ millions of innocent deaths can stand testament to that. Is a Somalian defending his animals form being hunted and shot from the air a bad guy? This is what has been happening.
Yet, what does that mean when drone manufacturers equip drones with rubber bullets, tasers, and tear gas for police operations. Used to arrest, as in the case of a farmer in North Dakota, at what point do drones differ from the current police tactics on the ground which includes beating a mentally ill man to death, or abusing before arresting a man from skateboarding on the wrong side of the street.
It was in 2011 that the U.S. began setting up drone bases on the Horn of Africa, and the Arabian Peninsula under the guise of hunting down Al-Qaeda, a U.S. baby in Somalia, and Yemen. Ethiopia, where former Prime Minister Meles, has successfully oppressed thousands is one of the countries where a drone base is established. The Seychelles in another one!
As the U.S. establishment is intent on pursuing those whome it deems a threat to the U.S. across the globe and at home, it would seem that right now, the only real threat to the U.S., is the U.S. itself!
Krauthammer On Drones Flying In US: “Stop It Here, Stop It Now” http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/05/14/krauthammer_on_drones_flying_in_us_stop_it_here_stop_it_now.html
Rogers, S. “Drone Attacks in Pakistan Mapped” http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/interactive/2012/aug/02/drone-attacks-pakistan-map
Roggio, B and Mayer, A. “Charting the data for US airstrikes in Pakistan, 2004 – 2012.” http://www.longwarjournal.org/pakistan-strikes.php
Shaikh, S. “Drone Strikes In Pakistan: A Destructive Aftermath” http://prospectjournal.ucsd.edu/?p=5717
“The Year of the Drone.” http://counterterrorism.newamerica.net/drones
Whitlock, C, and Miller, G. “U.S. assembling secret drone bases in Africa, Arabian Peninsula, officials say.” http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/us-building-secret-drone-bases-in-africa-arabian-peninsula-officials-say/2011/09/20/gIQAJ8rOjK_story.html
Woods, C, and Lamb, C. “Obama terror drones: CIA tactics in Pakistan include targeting rescuers and funerals.” http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/02/04/obama-terror-drones-cia-tactics-in-pakistan-include-targeting-rescuers-and-funerals/