Villagers offer prayers for people reportedly killed by a U.S. drone attack
along the Afghanistan border in Miranshah, the capital of Pakistan's tribal
region of North Waziristan, June 2011. Is it
fair to say that the American
consider American lives precious?
War a PR Disaster for America (The Frontier Post, Pakistan)
life and limb is at stake, the American people couldn't give two hoots if U.S.
militarists mow down people abroad as if they were flies - even innocent ones. Only
American lives are precious to them. As renowned international human rights
watchdogs, non-profit groups and even U.N. rights workers cry themselves hoarse
about the heavy civilian toll these drones exact, the American people and
warlords are in total denial. Their drone technology is precise and accurate,
The word is out. U.S. President Barack Obama's drone war is
mired in disrepute and abhorred, causing his public approval ratings to plummet
sharply around the world. Since assuming office, he has not only boosted the
number of drone attacks, but he has personally
approved of their targets. Not only that, he has given U.S. drone attack policy
a new twist. The targets are now “suspect compounds” rather than in the past
when “suspect al-Qaeda operatives” were the focus.
Out of the 20
countries surveyed by the U.S.-based Pew Research Center, more than half of
respondents in 17 of these countries disapprove of the Obama drone attacks on
extremist leaders and groups in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia [graphic, above]. The strongest
opposition was in the Muslim countries of Egypt, Jordan and Turkey, while survey
results for Pakistan are to be released next week. In Egypt, 89 percent, in
Jordan 85 percent, and in Turkey 81 percent, oppose the drone attacks.
But significantly, opposition in European countries is
overwhelming. The greatest opposition is registered in Greece, where 90 percent
want to see an immediate cessation of these attacks. Drone strikes also drew
strong opposition in Spain, Brazil, Russia and Britain. The only country in
which Obama's drone war elicited high levels of approval was none other than
the United States itself. And that is understandable.
Unless American life and limb is at stake, the American
people couldn't give two hoots if U.S. militarists mow down people abroad as if
they were flies - even innocent ones. Only American lives are precious to them.
The lives of others have almost no value. As renowned international human
rights watchdogs, non-profit groups and even U.N. rights workers cry themselves
hoarse about the heavy civilian toll these drones exact, the American people
and warlords are in total denial. Their drone technology is precise and
accurate, they insist unconvincingly.
But who can tell? The Hellfire missiles that
their pilotless murder machines use reduce those they strike to mangled flesh and
unrecognizable ash. Where they and the spy agencies they collude with find
eyewitnesses to confirm that only extremists and militants are hit nobody knows.
Nevertheless, more often than not, surviving family members tell of the compounds
that are struck and the largely-innocent neighbors they woefully mourn who are slaughtered
in the attacks.
Of course, America’s warlords and their colluding foreign operatives
derisively dismiss such wailing. They chant nonchalantly that the mourners are making
all of this up. But human rights workers who have gone
out into the field and collected information, including from independent
eyewitnesses and surviving family members, have concluded that U.S. drone
attacks inflict horrific damage - or what the U.S. warlords deceptively
call, “collateral damage.”
In plain language, this collateral damage translated into
the massacre of innocent civilians, including children and women, who die for
no sin or crime of their own. And this carnage, which human rights watchdogs rightly
and truthfully call extrajudicial killings, has reached horrendous proportions.
But the American people do not seem the least bit bothered. At least 62 percent
support Obama's drone war.
For America, this looks to be the beginning of what some
strategists perceive as a gradual transformation from fighting wars not with
piloted fighters, warships, tanks, guns and troops, but with drones and robots.
That may seem far-fetched. But the long-held secret is now out: American field
commanders in Afghanistan have been supplied with shoulder-carried drones to employ
against enemy targets without endangering the lives of their troops. And they
are increasingly making use of them.
Time will tell what the future holds for America's war
machine. But for now, Obama's drone war is leading to a burgeoning anti-Americanism
in Muslim countries, and eating away at his popularity around the world.