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How do we stop the US using drones to kill people?

The are prop driven slow speed model aircraft with a deadly payload. Surely there is software or hardware which can stop them. Their use is murderous, unlawful and ammoral. They must be stopped. Thanks to David Cole for these insights.

Pakistani security officials report that five CIA operated drones working together killed at least 18 in South Waziristan early this morning. According to AFPup to 10 missiles were fired “into the sprawling compound in the Baber Ghar area” of South Waziristan.The location is less than two miles from the border with Afghanistan’s Paktia province. One of the regions in Afghanistan where the US troop surge has been deployed.Last week a spokesman for the governor in Paktia reported that between 60-70 people had been killed when a NATO/Afghan base was attacked.

In October the New York Times ran a profile of the province from an embedded reporter that talked about a border war.

U.S. officials have never publicly acknowledged drone strikes against militants in Pakistan’s tribal areas but have anonymously confirmed such strikes to various news outlets.

Pakistan has condemned the strikes as a violation of its sovereignty, but they are believed to be carried out with the help of Pakistani intelligence.

A survey released yesterday by the Asia Foundation notes the following attitudes towards international forces.

“The majority of respondents say they would have some level of fear voting in a national election (57%), participating in a peaceful demonstration (66%), running for a public office (63%), traveling from one part of Afghanistan to another part of the country (75%) and encountering international forces (76%). However, more than half of respondents say they would have no fear participating in resolving problems in their communities (59%) or encountering officers of the Afghan National Army (ANA) (55%) or Afghan National Police (ANP) (51%).”

Additional Resources:

How the CIA Became A Killing Machine

Killing Our Citizens Without Trial

David Cole has a piece in the New York Review of Books exploring additional issues in the use of drones and the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki. He begins with a provocative question.

When can the president order the execution without trial of an American citizen?

Benjamin Wittes writing in Lawfare unpacks the issue from a slightly different perspective.

Posted by Peter at 1:23 PM 0 comments

One response to “How do we stop the US using drones to kill people?

  1. Viola Wilkins

    (Post Viet Nam) … “Year by year, war became an ever more American activity and yet grew ever more remote from most Americans.
    The democratic citizen with a free mind and the ability to rebel had been sent home, and then demobilized on that home front as well.

    As a result, despite the endless post-9/11 gab about honoring and supporting the troops, a mobilized “home front” sacrificing for those fighting in their name would become a relic of history in a country whose leaders had begun boasting of having the greatest military the world had ever seen.

    It wasn’t, however, that no one was mobilizing. In the space vacated by the citizen, mobilization continued, just in a different fashion. Ever more mobilized, for instance, would be the powers of big science and the academy in the service of the Pentagon, the weapons makers, and the corporation. (snip) … in those war zones, the Big Corporation would take over the humblest of soldierly roles-the peeling of potatoes, the cooking of meals, the building of bases and outposts, the delivery of mail-and it would take up the gun (and the bomb) as well.

    Soon enough, even the dying would be outsourced to corporate hirees.

    Occupied Iraq and Afghanistan would be flooded with tens of thousands of private contractors and hired guns …(snip) It was a remarkable racket. War and profit had long been connected in complicated ways, but seldom quite so straightforwardly. Now, win or lose on the battlefield, there would always be winners among the growing class of warrior corporations.”

    The Remotely Piloted American Way of Life
    2/24/2012 4:51:49 PM
    by Tom Engelhardt
    This article was originally posted on Tom Dispatch.

    In the American mind, if Apple made weapons, they would undoubtedly be drones, those remotely piloted planes getting such great press here. They have generally been greeted as if they were the sleekest of iPhones armed with missiles.

    When the first American drone assassins burst onto the global stage early in the last decade, they caught most of us by surprise, especially because they seemed to come out of nowhere or from some wild sci-fi novel. Ever since, they’ve been touted in the media as the shiniest presents under the American Christmas tree of war, the perfect weapons to solve our problems when it comes to evildoers lurking in the global badlands.

    And can you blame Americans for their love affair with the drone? Who wouldn’t be wowed by the most technologically advanced, futuristic, no-pain-all-gain weapon around?

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