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REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS
Washington's Phantom War
Saturday, June 30, 2012 4:43 AM
Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...
Quote:One hot summer evening in 2009, in a small village in the remote Pakistani tribal agency of South Waziristan, a pair of Hellfire missiles fired from an unmanned Predator drone slammed into a house, killing the chief of the Pakistani Taliban, Baitullah Mehsud, along with his wife. About a year later, in May 2010, down a dirt road from Miran Shah, the main town in North Waziristan, a missile from another Predator killed Mustafa Abu al-Yazid (known as Saeed al-Masri), a founding member of al Qaeda, along with his wife and several of their children.
These drone strikes were successful in killing high-level leaders of the Taliban and al Qaeda. But few are. On average, only one out of every seven U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan kills a militant leader. The majority of those killed in such strikes are not important insurgent commanders but rather low-level fighters, together with a small number of civilians. In total, according to our analysis, less than two percent of those killed by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan have been described in reliable press accounts as leaders of al Qaeda or allied groups. Not a single drone strike had targeted Osama bin Laden before he was killed by U.S. Navy SEALs on May 2. Meanwhile, al Qaeda's second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, has not been targeted by a drone since 2006.
The U.S. drone program has its roots in the late 1990s, when unmanned -- and unarmed -- aircraft tracked and spied on al Qaeda in Afghanistan. After 9/11, then U.S. President George W. Bush ordered U.S. drones, at that point equipped with missiles, to kill leaders of al Qaeda, first in Afghanistan and later in Yemen and Pakistan. From June 2004, when the strikes in Pakistan began, to January 2009, the Bush administration authorized 44 strikes in the rugged northwestern region of Pakistan. Since assuming office, Barack Obama has greatly accelerated the program, likely as a result of better on-the-ground intelligence in Pakistan. In just two years, the Obama administration authorized nearly four times as many drone strikes as did the Bush administration throughout its entire time in office -- or an average of one strike every four days, compared with one every 40 days under Bush.More at http://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/67939/peter-bergen-and-katherine-tiedemann/washingtons-phantom-war but you have to log in to get it, and I'm not about to join
Quote:Reports of the number of militants versus civilian casualties differ. In a 2009 opinion article, Daniel L. Byman of the Brookings Institution wrote that drone strikes may have killed "10 or so civilians" for every "mid- and high-ranking [al Qaeda and Taliban] leader." In contrast, the New America Foundation has estimated that 80 percent of those killed in the attacks were militants. The Pakistani military has stated that most of those killed were hardcore Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants. The CIA believes that the strikes conducted since May 2010 have killed over 600 militants and have not caused any civilian fatalities, a claim that experts disputed and have called absurd. Based on extensive research, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that between 391 – 780 civilians were killed out of a total of between 1,658 and 2,597 and that 160 children are reported among the deaths. The Bureau also revealed that since President Obama took office at least 50 civilians were killed in follow-up strikes when they had gone to help victims and more than 20 civilians have also been attacked in deliberate strikes on funerals and mourners, tactics that have been condemned by legal experts. Barbara Elias-Sanborn has also cautioned that, "as much of the literature on drones suggests, such killings usually harden militants' determination to fight, stalling any potential negotiations and settlement."
Quote:The human cost of the US government's clandestine drone strikes strategy, including the deaths of young children in Pakistan and Yemen, will be highlighted this weekend as campaigners attempt to challenge domestic support for the Obama administration's controversial policy.
A conference in Washington, at which new video testimony will be shown from the relatives of victims, is the first step in a collaborative campaign to challenge Barack Obama's claim in February that the strikes, aimed at terror suspects, were kept on a "tight leash" and had not inflicted huge civilian casualties.
The summit's organisers – the Center for Constitutional Rights, Reprieve and the peace group Code Pink – hope it will increase awareness of how the CIA-controlled programme is operating in secret, without a clear legal framework and without any accountability to Congress.
Earlier this month, the US government announced it was expanding its controversial use of drone aircraft to kill suspected terrorists in Yemen.
Woods criticised the US media for not widely reporting civilian casualties of US drone strikes abroad, which he said give a "warped understanding of what is taking place."
"Unfortunately, although journalists in Pakistan are doing a good job of reporting what's going on, it's not getting through. The American media is doing a bad job of reporting the civilian side of things."
He cites the case of the killing of militant Pakistani leader Badar Mansoor, in North Waziristan this year. On 9 February, reports of his death were widely reported, but reports of the others killed were mixed. The New York Times reported Mansoor's death and said that five others died in the strike; the Huffington Post quoted intelligence officials as saying five suspected militants died in the attack; while Reuters reported that Mansoor was one of five people killed in the strike. It quoted a Pakistani Taliban commander saying the dead included Mansoor's wife and two other relatives.
"Our current understanding is that Mansoor's wife and one of his young sons died in the strike," said Woods, who said that the BIJ was still investigating the story.More at http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/apr/26/obama-drone-strikes-human-cost
Saturday, June 30, 2012 5:29 AM
Freedom is Important because People are Important
Saturday, June 30, 2012 5:35 AM
Saturday, June 30, 2012 11:03 AM
Saturday, June 30, 2012 11:51 AM
John Lee, executive producer of Hollywood award-winning Pirate News TV at PirateNew.org
Saturday, June 30, 2012 7:04 PM
Quote:Originally posted by BYTEMITE:
very frustrating, can't see that how we treat people directly relates to how they treat us. :/
Sunday, July 01, 2012 3:25 AM
Quote:Originally posted by PIRATENEWS:
President George Washington did not declare war on Pakistan.
Communist Dictator Hussein Obama Soetoro declared war on Pakistan.
Note how mancow Comrad Nikovich12 performs its paid propaganda assignment for Dictator Obama by perping mindkontrol on FFF.
Monday, July 02, 2012 5:24 AM
Quote:I said to myself I'd actually broaden my horizons and look at other things.I have no answers,I seem to be shaking my head more and more these days. Like many, none of it makes sense.
Monday, July 02, 2012 9:33 AM
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