I know the Obama administration doesn’t like to kill children, but it has, and it does.
A new study conducted by law professors at Stanford University and New York University said the use of combat drones like the MQ-9 Reaper and MQ-1 Predator has led to the death of 176 children out of the 884 civilians killed in Pakistan.
The study relies on interviews with survivors, witnesses and experts in Pakistan, as well as reports by international media. Since the U.S. operates combat drones in over three countries, the study of Pakistan may in fact underestimate our mistakes.
“Everyone is scared all the time,” an interviewee using the alias Dawood Ishaq said. “When you can hear the drone circling in the sky, you think it might strike you.”
For a moment, and only a moment, blind yourself to how horrible this is morally and allow yourself to analyze this as a matter of national security. This is terrible counter-terrorism policy.
I’ve praised the use of drone strikes by Obama. It’s smart warfare. Potentially, it has saved the lives of American service members who otherwise would have been in harm’s way.
The strikes are a part of the more adroit policy of the Obama administration that can be much appreciated compared to the blunderbuss used by former President George W. Bush to handle international conflicts.
However, the number of civilian casualties in Pakistan represents gross imprecision by supposedly precise strikes. The elimination of Al-Qaeda members Abu Yahya al-Libi, Anwar al-Awlaki and others does not overshadow the times where the U.S. more than missed its mark.
Citizens fear death from above. There are “drones in the sky, twenty-four hours, they don’t even stop for a minute,” a local resident interviewed in the study said.
“Usually, when a drone strikes and people die, nobody comes near the bodies for like half an hour because they fear another missile will strike,” Faheem Qureshi, another alias, said. This is called a double tap by national security officials.
A double tap is when a targeted area is hit multiple times by hellfire missiles, which often leads to the deaths of first responders.
It is a favorite tactic of Hamas and other terrorist, as reported by the FBI in 2007. If that doesn’t suffice, as interviewees claim, funerals are struck by drone strikes.
The Middle East has erupted as of late after a crude video, which
depicted the Prophet Mohammad as a deviant, incensed the Muslim community.
As a result, Christopher Stevens, an American diplomat, was killed in Libya and American embassies across the desert land were assaulted.
Americans are often confounded by what they see of the Muslim community; we simply do not seem to understand why they hate us. However, not much can be as easily understood as the human misery inflicted by U.S. policy on the citizens of Pakistan.
“My mom has been extremely depressed after my father’s death; every drone that flies over reminds her of him,” Waleed Shiraz said.
A poll conducted in 2012 by the Pew Research Center’s Global Attitude project found that 74 percent of Pakistanis consider the U.S. an enemy.
Those 176 children out of the 884 civilian casualties caused by drone strikes present a plethora of reasons to hate the U.S. – more so than any crude video.