UN says Drones killing innocents-It's a common scenario
Farmers are on their way to tend their crops when a missile slams into their midst, thrusting shrapnel in all directions.
A CIA drone, flying so high that the farmers can't see it, has killed most of them. None of them were militants.
It's a common scenario, a United Nations human rights researcher said Friday in a statement on drone strikes in Pakistan's tribal region of North Waziristan.
READ: The trouble with U.S. drone policy
Special Rapporteur Ben Emmerson just returned from the region, where he listened to residents talk about terrifying encounters with one of America's weapons in the war on terror.
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Al Qaeda's guide to avoiding drones "Adult males carrying out ordinary daily tasks were frequently the victims of such strikes," the statement from the U.N. office for human rights said.
Some Pashtun men dress the same as Taliban members from the same region, hence the drone operators mistake them for terror targets, the statement said. It is also customary for Pashtun men to carry a weapon, making them virtually indistinguishable from militants to an outsider.
The United States has 8,000 drones, unmanned planes and helicopters flown by a remote control. They are outfitted with a video camera to help the operator spot targets and often armed with weapons used to neutralize them.
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President Barack Obama has told CNN that a target must meet "very tight and very strict standards."
CIA director John Brennan has said that only in "exceedingly rare" cases have civilians been "accidentally injured, or worse, killed in these strikes."
READ: CNN Explains: U.S. drones
Reports back the U.N. conclusion
Reports by independent groups corroborate Emmerson's account, concluding that drones mistakenly target and kill a significant number of civilians.
The New America Foundation estimates that in Pakistan, drones have killed between 1,953 and 3,279 people since 2004 - and that between 18% and 23% of them were not militants. The nonmilitant casualty rate was down to about 10% in 2012, the group says.
A study by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that since 2004, Pakistan has had 365 drone strikes that have killed between 2,536 and 3,577 people -- including 411 to 884 civilians.
The study concludes that the strikes have killed far more people than the United States has acknowledged, and traumatized many more innocent people.
That trauma is destroying a way of life, Emmerson said. "The Pashtun tribes of the ... area have suffered enormously under the drone campaign."
And tribal law prescribes revenge for the killing of a tribe member, which serves to radicalize more young men against the United States, he said.
Pakistan considers the strikes counterproductive, illegal and a violation of its sovereignty.
We are badly divided on sectarian, regional and ethnic grounds. Our power is divided in 56 Muslim countries. Taking the advantage of our weaknesses, our enemy is supposed to avail the opportunities of striking over us.
If we Muslims want to live honorably, we shall have to develop our unity by setting aside our sectarian, regional and ethnic differences. Our combined human and materialistic resources can strengthen us to live honorably.
Drone attacks have killed quite a few numbers of distinguished militants (like Baitullah Mehsood)but have killed a large number of civilians that might not have been militants or their aides. Leave alone what UNO and other foreign dignitories are talking against drone attacks, these are tear dropping games. In reality drone attacks continue. The farmers story is narrated by one that does not know the drone technology. Drones are not sent up high in the sky from Operation room runway to hunt and search for target. The mobile phone directives and talks gives the zero point locations of the enemy, only then the drones are flown up towards the target which takes less than half a minute to reach there. The most sophisticated cameras sends the detailed and clear picture of the ground. Only then the computer operating men sitting in a distant operation room sends the command of dispatching and hitting the target by hellfire missile (which is of course very costly).
It took quite late to have realized by Talibans and Alqaeda that cell phone signals give the exact location to the enemies. Of late, Talibans have abondoned to give directives and exchange of talks among themselves by cell phones and have adopted human couriers for sending the directives.
In the war (if it is war against terrorism) it is not important what A says or what B says, the more rape of morality the more success in war. But this is not my take. As previously mentioned in some other thread, Americans have very adriotly turned the international terrorism into local terrorism. Meaning thereby, kill your own people as much as you can, and don't you ever think about West. After the demise of Osama bin Laden there is no charismatic character within them that could create an international terrorist net work. In Pakistan, war against NATO has turned into "Khilafat Movement". Sometimes dream come true, sometimes they don't.
"In Pakistan, war against NATO has turned into "Khilafat Movement". Sometimes dream come true, sometimes they don't."
Blessing in the disguise of a devil. As a result of the excesses being done by the West, the disunited Muslims will be forced to get united ultimately. The Muslims will ultimately be compelled to set aside their sectarian, linguistic and regional differences and unite themselves against their enemies.
Hussain Farooqui saheb: Your desire my command. I also desire that Islami Ummah be united at least for one cause, to confront and keep our enemies at their bays and in their senses. Alas, at this point in time, I do not see such thing happening. Sectarian frictions are increasing every passing day. We are only dreaming, no leader comes up with any real solution. But, I firmly believe, together we stand, separated we fall.
As long as our disunity and the other weaknesses are existent, we shall continue to be abused and insulted the same or the worse ways. Some friends on this forum suggest secularism as a solution to our problems. When we see the cases of non-religious Saddam and Qadafi, we don't find the results to be different. Their countries were treated as brutally as the religious Taliban's Afghanistan.
Second US helicopter crashes in Afghaistan in a week. Drones are having opposite effect. Technology doesn't help in asymmterical warfare.
Unless, a capability is developed to tackle this technological aggression, enemies will exploit the situation due to our vulnerability.