Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Living Under Drones

Courtesy of globalpost
Photographer:  Thir Khan
 January 21, 2011:  Pakistani tribesmen protest US drone attacks in Miranshah, the main town in North Waziristan district. Witnesses told news reporters the drones were killing innocent people in the tribal areas. AFP reports a 2010 campaign doubled missile attacks in the tribal area with around 100 drone strikes killing more than 650 people.

Truthout reports on the horrific drone killings of Pakistani civilians.  Robert Naiman, Policy Director of Just Foreign Policy writes:
It's Official Dogma in political Washington right now that you can't touch the Pakistan drone strike policy. "Wasting bad guys for free" is too popular, the story says; besides, Democrats have to have some military killing of foreigners that they're for, to give them political cover for the military killing of foreigners that they're against. Most Democrats want to get U.S. troops the hell out of Afghanistan (outside of Official Washington, most Republicans agree.) But, the story goes, these Democrats have to have an "alternative," and the "alternative" is drone strikes.
According to a new study by human rights researchers at Stanford and N.Y.U., "Living Under Drones,"  U.S. "counter-terrorism" officials are greatly underreporting the number of civilians killed by these unmanned combat aerial vehicles

The study also cites The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, reporting 474 to 884 civilian deaths since 2004, including 176 children.

BraveNewFoundation speaks with researchers and Pakistani civilians who have experienced these traumatizing and psychologically debilitating attacks in Northwest Pakistan, been injured, or known others who have been killed:


Mr. Naiman joins 34 other Americans in a Codepink delegationOctober 3-10, "meeting with the families of victims of US drone strikes, participating in a peace march against the drone strikes, and delivering a petition to US and Pakistani officials from Americans, calling for the drone strike policy to end."

In his article, Mr. Naiman summarizes why drone attacks should end, asserting that they have killed and harmed too many civilians, they aren't making the U.S. safer, they have turned the Pakistani public against the U.S. (with 3/4th of the people now considering the U.S. its enemy), and that they violate international and U.S. law and undermine democracy.

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