We are sleepwalking into the Drone Age, and few people are debating the dire consequences.
June 14, 2012 | Last October I was at a jirga in Islamabad where 80 people from Waziristan had assembled to talk about the US Predator drones that buzz around overhead, periodically delivering death by Hellfire missile. A jirga is the traditional forum for discussing and resolving disputes, part parliament, part court of law. The turbaned tribal elders were joined by their young sons on a rare foray out of their region to meet outsiders and discuss the killing. The isolation of the Waziris is almost total – no western journalist has been to Miranshah for several years.
At our meeting I spoke as the representative westerner. I reported the CIA claim that not one single innocent civilian had been killed in over a year. I did not need to understand Pashtu to translate the snorts of derision when this claim was translated.
During the day I shook the hand of a 16-year-old kid from Waziristan named Tariq Aziz. One of his cousins had died in a missile strike, and he wanted to know what he could do to bring the truth to the west. At the Reprieve charity, we have a transparency project: importing cameras to the region to try to export the truth back out. Tariq wanted to take part, but I thought him too young.
Then, three days later, the CIA announced that it had eliminated “four militants”. In truth there were only two victims: Tariq had been driving his 12-year-old cousin to their aunt’s house when the Hellfire missile killed them both. This came just 24 hours after the CIA boasted of eliminating six other “militants” – actually, four chromite workers driving home from work. In both cases a local informant apparently tagged the car with a GPS monitor and lied to earn his fee.
A few weeks back officials in the Obama administration talked to the New York Times about the “Secret Kill List” drawn up for drone assassinations. Democratic strategists in an election year calculate that the article will prove a vote-winner, dispelling any notion that Barack Obama is soft on terror. The administration voices wanted to leave the impression of an involved and committed president who reads Thomas Aquinas’s theory of the “just war” in between personally vetting the kill list.
- samirakhan reblogged this from thatguywhosipschai
- samirakhan likes this
- sourbunni likes this
- thatguywhosipschai reblogged this from diaryofamadmuslimwoman and added:
- radiogra likes this
- krisralphio reblogged this from justsothoughts and added:
- yellowfeathersfall reblogged this from socialismartnature
- justsothoughts reblogged this from themindislimitless
- myheadisbloodybutunbowed reblogged this from theyoungradical
- axefightin reblogged this from socialismartnature
- divineconceptionoftheheart likes this
- jayeless reblogged this from socialismartnature
- animehrmine reblogged this from themindislimitless
- animehrmine likes this
- torukun1 likes this
- thearcanetheory reblogged this from themindislimitless and added:
- princessnijireiki reblogged this from themindislimitless
- themindislimitless reblogged this from theyoungradical
- biodegradablepsychology reblogged this from socialismartnature
- gingerche reblogged this from socialismartnature
- pandorasboxunleashed likes this
- itsajarofjam likes this
- neverbeenabettertime reblogged this from theyoungradical
- icansavetheworld likes this
- uxicatalyst likes this
- armchairsoapbox reblogged this from socialismartnature
- theveganarchist likes this
- stay-human likes this
- ilikemygrungelikeilikemysteak likes this
- omiwankenomi likes this
- queerprimitive reblogged this from theyoungradical
- farthestdreamer reblogged this from theyoungradical
- theyoungradical reblogged this from diaryofamadmuslimwoman
- whatshallwedo likes this
- foreverklass likes this
- diaryofamadmuslimwoman reblogged this from socialismartnature
- politicalpersian likes this
- trueemergence likes this
- tronlives reblogged this from socialismartnature
- penny-has-a-petrol-bomb reblogged this from socialismartnature