A development which could have a direct impact on Pakistan after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Barack Obama’s tears for the children of Newtown are in stark contrast to his silence over the children murdered by his drones
Guardian Article @
In the US, mass child killings are tragedies. In Pakistan, mere bug splats
Despite incontrovertible proof that numerous innocent men, women and children have been and are being killed and maimed by USA’s drone warfare, Obama continues blithely with his murderous campaign. That same campaign which US apologetics and officials claim has such wonderful accuracy that bombs can be dropped in crowded marketplaces and mosques and lo and behold, only militants are killed miraculously avoiding civilians.
Congratulations to Obama who just assassinated a grandmother who was plucking vegetables in a field with her grandchildren. Her grandchildren were also injured in the attack. The grandmother was the wife of a school principal. All hail President Obama. The world is so much safer now that he has eliminated a ‘terrorist’. He has made the world safe by eliminating an elderly woman and injuring children. Salute the troops, thank Petraeus for his service and listen to the warm speeches about freedom by Mr. Obama.
“…My uncle tried to pick her up but could not do so because she was broken into pieces… We appeal to the whole world to thoroughly investigate this incident so that any such occurrences do not take place with other people in the future, and that no innocent women and children are killed again.”
…“Had his house been located near other houses, there was a possibility that the drone might have targetted them by mistake but our aunt and her grandchildren were working in the field, away from the village when they were hit,”
They said those claiming that terrorists were being targetted in drone strikes should come to Miranshah and see the injured children in the hospital or meet the injured admitted to a hospital in Peshawar.
Gareth Porter talks with Paul Jay of The Real News about drone strikes in Pakistan. New research has shown that civilian casualties have been massively under-reported. Also, deliberate targeting of rescuers and funerals is being carried out.
And combining all that data, what we find is that the number of—the proportion, I should say, of the civilian casualties and the total casualties which was reported by the New America Foundation as being 38 percent in these 24 strikes is in fact 70 percent.
That’s a huge difference, an 84 percent increase in the proportion of civilians in those casualties reported in these 24 strikes. So it’s really quite a major revelation. It’s a major reversal, because previously civilian casualties were being reported as a fairly—certainly much less than 50 percent, and now they’re much more than 50 percent of the casualties in this set of 24 strikes.
And let me make it clear that the 13 strikes that I talked about having been researched by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism were all strikes which are precisely the ones that you were talking about. They’re strikes that are targeted against either mourners at funerals of victims of previous drone strikes or striking at the rescuers of people who have been either killed or wounded in previous drone strikes. So, obviously, this is a very important category of drone strikes. And what we find is that the percentage of civilians (again, in the strikes that the Bureau of Investigative Journalism researched, based on local context, eyewitnesses and others) was much higher. It was roughly twice as high as it had been reported by the New America Foundation.
A couple of interesting stories,
Smack! Was that a Mosquito You Killed, Or a Drone?
Micro Aerial Vehicles being developed by US military and researchers at John Hopkins University.
Your Laptop Can Now Analyze Big Data
“New software makes it possible to do in minutes on a small computer what used to be done by large clusters of computers.”
Obama was reported by NYT (to boost his tough guy image for re-election) as personally signing off on the selection of targets for drone attacks in Pakistan. Here is his handiwork.
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.
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.
Too many “militants” are just young men with stubble. At least 174 have been children.
The New York Times reports that Obama first embraced a policy of taking no prisoners in order to avoid the embarrassing sore of Guantánamo. Then he accepted a method for assessing casualties that “counts all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants” unless there is explicit posthumous proof of their innocence – because they are probably “up to no good”.
In the aftermath of the Chicago NATO meet and Pakistan’s refusal to open NATO supply lines, a flurry of drone attacks have been carried out in a very short period of time. In the immediate aftermath of Raymond Davis’s release, USA had carried out a drone attack on an elders meeting which killed many innocent people. So, it seems to have become a popular mode of US diplomacy to express their displeasure by killing people. Strange diplomatic norms.
But of course the narrative that the american media laps up is that these are wonderful precision strikes based on ‘solid’ intelligence which magically target ‘militants’ in mosques, cars, houses, markets while avoiding ‘civilians’. Wonderfully smart bombs these.
…Pants on Fire
“I want to make sure the people understand actually drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties. For the most part, they have been very precise precision strikes against al-Qaeda and their affiliates. And we are very careful in terms of how it’s been applied.”
Barrack Obama (Obama Defends Drone Strikes, Denies Civilian Toll)