The people live in constant fear of US controlled drones. But life must go on. They hear the drones every day, 24 hours a day. They must still tend the fields for the food. They must still carry about their day. Sure, this family had never been hit by a drone strike before but it wasn't uncommon for innocent people to be killed by drones.
The number of people killed by US drone strikes isn't easy to pin down but the best estimates range from 2,526 to 3,621. Of which between 416 and 948 innocent civilians have been killed, depending on how you classify some of the young men aged and boys. What is clear is that over 150 children have been killed by US controlled drone strikes.
On Oct 24 Zubair Rehman, the 13 year old grandson of Momina, watched his grandmother literally get blown to piece. Along with loosing his grandmother Zubair received shrapnel to his leg and had to undergo expensive surgery. Surgery that you might think the USA paid for because they mistakenly bombed and innocent family, wounding a few children and killing a 67 year old grandmother. But you would be wrong. The USA government's position on this attack is vague. They will not release any information about it. They tried to claim 4 militants were killed in the attack but Momina was the only fatality. When further questioned Caitlin Hayden, from the NSC, called the strike "Precise, lawful, and effective." WTF? Precise? Yea you blew a 67 year old lady picking Okra in a field from a drone flying high over head. I guess that is "precise". Lawful? You have to be a huge scum bag of a lawyer to call killing a 67 year old grand mother "lawful". Effective? You have to be a huge fucking idiot to call it effective unless being a terrorist is your goal. Because these innocent families live in constant fear.
The kids no longer want to go to school and they come from a long line of educators. Zubair's father is a teacher. Zubair's grandfather, Momina's husband, is a teacher and he said "I wish God would just take my life, I can't live without her". Zubair testified "All of a sudden things became very dark. It was like she was exploded to pieces.". The kids don't like it when the skies are clear because that is when the drones are used the most. They live in fear because the US drones that circle over head. They live in fear because the USA is terrorizing them. It is as plain and simple as that.
So not only are they terrorized by the USA but the government won't even explain why the mistake happened or even acknowledge a mistake was made. They call it "collateral damage". The issue is the American public don't want to know about the problem. For fuck sake the politicians don't want to know about the problem either. Only 5 members of Congress listened to these families, and there was more then just this one family, at the briefing. Rep Alan Grayson from Florida, Rep Jan Schakowsky from Illinois, Rep Rush Holt from New Jersey, Rep John Conyers from Michigan, and Rep Rick Nolan from Minnesota. Why? Because most American's don't know, or don't care, about the damage the US drone program causes. The people killed, even if innocent, are non-people. They aren't as important as you, your brother, your mother, your friend, your neighbor or even some guy in the next town over that you've never even met before. The less you think about the victims of US military actions the better is the position of most Americans. I can say that because the evidence shows it to be true. If American's cared that we, as a nation, are responsible for hundreds and even thousands of children loosing their lives from US military actions then our politicians would know it. They'd care because you care. They'd know you cared because you would let them know you care. Every time another one of these reports surfaced you'd contact your representative. You call your senator. You'd petition the White House to stop the terrorism perpetrated by the USA via our military and civilian combat programs.
In the past war was out of sight but US casualties kept it in our minds. The knock on the door of 2 men in uniform to tell the family that their son has died. If you didn't get the knock yourself you probably knew someone that did. So while the images of war wasn't there we had a sense that there is a price to military action taken on by the USA. In Vietnam we got exposed to not only those knocks but we also had a lot more understanding what was going on via returning vets and journalists. Pictures that are now timeless that show not only the ugly face of war but let the people know that the USA isn't always the good guy.
The issue now is that journalists in the USA refuse to publish images that the American people NEED to see. Images that should outrage all American's. Images that should stir you to act. To contact your politicians. To stop the USA's terrorism program. We as a nation can not hold the moral high ground and complain when some "evil dictator" kills a few kids when our nation has been responsible for the deaths of hundreds if not thousands of children in Afghanistan alone. We can not complain about Assad killing a few hundred kids with chemical weapons if we, as a nation, allowed our government to kill hundreds of innocent children with unmanned aerial vehicles. Just because we are using weapons that have yet to be declared as a war crime if used against civilians doesn't give us the moral high ground over some dictator killing children with chemical weapons. A dead child is a dead child. The method of killing them isn't what should outrage you it is their death in the first place that should make you scream.
|You should look at these and jump into action. Remember when the Boston marathon bombing happened? How outraged where you? Sure the journalist showed the images over and over but those are images of American's being terrorized, injured and killed. What about these kids? Where is your outrage for them? Where is your posts on Facebook showing support for their families? Where is your insistence that those responsible for their deaths are brought to justice. Sadly those you have elected are often the closest you'll get to seeing who is directly responsible. Look in a mirror and you'll probably see someone that is indirectly responsible. Someone who, through inaction, allows this to happen.
The dynamic has changed though. We no longer have lots of knocking on doors. Most of you may not know someone that has either died or lost a love one to the current military conflicts going on. The US "news" outlets seem to weak to expose the public to the ugly side of war. To many people would look away in disgust. To many people would call the journalist unpatriotic. Both these types people disgust me in one way or another. Every adult should have some understanding of the cost of war. Right now to many American's call others terrorists because they strap a bomb to themselves and kill themselves and others in an attempt to change things. But when American's pay lots of money to have foreigners killed without getting their hands dirty at all it they think it is right and just. It isn't because the policies that control these strikes are flawed. The people executing these strikes are flawed. The intelligence gathered that these strikes are based on are flawed and to many innocent people are getting killed. If you have a program where you know at least 25% of the people you kill are not guilty then there is a major fucking problem. If you don't do anything to stop this program then you are part of the problem.
Right now the majority of American's support the drone program. But how many people support the use of a strategy that kills the wrong target at least 25% of the time? Who supports a program where over 5% of the people killed are innocent children? Who in their right mind thinks this is "lawful and effective".
If that all doesn't stir you then think of it this way. The "interpretation" of the laws that is being used right in the US drone program allows the government to execute you, with out any trial or even oversight from any judge if you are overseas. There is even grey areas about there use on, or rather above, American soil.
Take back control of your government. Let them know you aren't going to let them do what ever they want any more. That it isn't in the best interest of the USA and it's citizens to be terrorizing people half way around the world just because we have more expensive military toys.