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America’s Mighty Drones

October 29, 2012 by  

America’s Mighty Drones

The United Nations has its sights set on American drone policy in the Mideast after long condemning the use of drone strikes in areas where civilian casualties often result. Early next year, a U.N. investigative team is set to conduct a thorough investigation of civilian casualties resulting from the strikes.

In a speech last week at Harvard Law School, U.N. special rapporteur Ben Emmerson, who monitors counterterrorism efforts, said that the organization could explore the possibility that the drone strikes are war crimes.

Emmerson said:

[It is] alleged 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. [U.N. consultant, professor of human rights] Christof Heyns … has described such attacks, if they prove to have happened, as war crimes. I would endorse that view.

Also last week, The Washington Post reported that U.S. officials are developing an expanded drone kill list that is “designed to go beyond existing kill lists, mapping plans for the ‘disposition’ of suspects beyond the reach of American drones.”

“The problem with the drone is it’s like your lawn mower,” Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and Obama counterterrorism adviser, told The Post. “You’ve got to mow the lawn all the time. The minute you stop mowing, the grass is going to grow back.”

The CIA recently also submitted a proposal asking Congress to provide it with more drones for use in the Mideast. The unmanned aerial vehicles are tools that both President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney agree should continue to be used in the same manner which they are now.

Sam Rolley

Staff writer Sam Rolley began a career in journalism working for a small town newspaper while seeking a B.A. in English. After learning about many of the biases present in most modern newsrooms, Rolley became determined to find a position in journalism that would allow him to combat the unsavory image that the news industry has gained. He is dedicated to seeking the truth and exposing the lies disseminated by the mainstream media at the behest of their corporate masters, special interest groups and information gatekeepers.

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  • Doc Sarvis

    Our overuse of drones should stop now. They should be used very sparingly from here on and on very sure/limited targets.

    • Warrior

      “mowing the lawn”? What’s “sniping”, picking dandelions? Some analogies these dudes employ, eh?

      • Jimmy the Greek

        Warrior being a sniper is honorable , A sniper is out there in the crap and has a dam good chance of getting killed him self , It takes a big set of balls to do that job . flying a dron from a CIA bunker is chicken-cht . Because as we all know , chickin-cht stays on the ground .

      • SJJolly

        “… mowing the grass …” An interesting analogy. Suggests that the “War on Terror” is somewhat less unwinable than “sweeping back the tide.” Perhaps we need to rethink our whole strategy.

    • alpha-lemming

      The devil in the details however is civilian deaths via drones is collateral damage (friendly fire if you wanted to stretch it a bit further). An enemy with no honor hides among, is shielded by and subsequently targets (intentional…. not by accident) any and all civilian populations. What are the favorite refuges of honorless enemies??? Hospitals, schools, mosques…. you seeing a pattern here yet??? I have a hard time buying the “war crimes” assertion while the Communists, dictators, and banana republic thugs in the U.N. give the “freedom fighters” a pass.

    • Allen Risch

      I love it that we can kill people from a cia room its much more safe for us however that don’t mean that what we have been doing with them is right it should only be 100% on who and what we are killing its called controlled explosion we don’t need a 100000 lbs bomb or a hellfire one we could use much smaller bombs or target locked guns

      • SJJolly

        Dropping a hand grenade into a group of suspected enemies would not yield dramatic high altitude video images. Nothing like blowing a vehicle or building into a cloud of flying debris and human parts.

  • Gea

    The trouble is that terrorists deliberately use civlizians (and particularly children) as their shield. As for using drones when the information is accurate about whereabouts of some of the most notorious terrorists, it is better then risking lives of US soldiers to get at them.

    • Rage Fury

      The problem is killing civilians tends to create at least an equal amount of “terrorists” for each you kill…Let’s use a little common sense here.

    • SJJolly

      Q: What do you call enemies of the USA who wear distinctive clothing and stand out in the open, far from civilian bystanders? A: Deceased honorable idiots. The last group we’ll likely see of that type was Saddam Hussain’s Iraqi Army, in Desert Storm 1. Even he learned from that, as witness the Iraqi Army tactics in Desert Storm 2.

  • eddie47d

    There are those who approve of using drones on the US border and think nothing of it so how far should we go? In the Middle East or anywhere unless the target is Verified and assured not to kill civilians then they should be stopped. To save American soldiers or Afghan soldiers they should be used in a limited manner. Considering they are an electronic device controlled from thousands of miles away they do give an eerie feeling of who is next. Yet far “better” than a nuke being shot from afar.

    • Jimmy the Greek

      Eddie using them on the border they would only be there for a look see , they would not be firing rockets at the invaders .

      • SJJolly

        “… they would not be firing rockets at the invaders.” Illegal immigrants have been so demonized — as witness your use of the term “invaders” — that the use of rocket-launching drones to patrol our southern border is simply a matter of time.

  • pete0097

    The use of drones to kill people is a war crime. The often miss and always are blamed for civilian casualities. Of course, when Clinton was in office, he would just send a cruise missile to take out the bad guys, their families, and anyone living nearby. Drones should just be for surveilance.

    • R G W

      It is not a war crime, they start it and we going to finihshed. No more rule of engagement.

      • duane

        I agree wholeheartedly with the no rules of engagement. We have been mamby-pamby with this whole war thing and it has gotten us no where.

      • SJJolly

        “… no more rules of engagement.” Meaning, if some of our troops on patrol or base security has the least suspicion that a group of strangers might be hostile, blow them away? Isn’t that sort of policy how Tillman, football hero turned Army Ranger, got killed?

  • Jimmy the Greek

    I guess i am living in the wrong time , because i still believe if you are going to kill someone it should be up close and personal . Using a drone or dropping bombs from so high up the bomber cant even be seen is a act of cowards ! The last war that was fought with honor was Vietnam .

    • Chester

      According to your own rules, Jimmy, much of Viet Nam was an honorless war. B 52 bombers flying over and dropping tons of bombs from twenty thousand feet is NOT up close and personal, and the same can be said for artillery shells being dropped in from five to twenty miles away. Using your rules, the last war fought with honor would be some of the older English wars, as even our own civil war involved a LOT of killing from a distance. Incidentally, a flintlock rifle shot is NOT up close and personal. No, I never had to dodge any flying lead, but for sure I did assist in dropping a number of 75 pound rocks into places where people on our side were asking for help, at a range of ten to fifteen miles out.

      • Jimmy the Greek

        Not really because a mig could still get up there and shoot it down and it could be seen on radar . Not all the B-52 came back some were hit , it’s not the same as what we bid to the Serb’s . Artillery can be hit same as any other thing on the ground .

      • Jimmy the Greek

        One other thing , look at a soldier from vet nam he went out on patrol in BDUs a tin pot and a flack jacket I see cops writing more gear than that on patrol in the streets , our guys today wear so much crap it’s a miracle they can even walk .

      • SJJolly

        Many “primitive” civilizations adopted some form of symbolic warfare. A group of ours met a group of theirs on a field, and went at it, per a set of rules. Victory might be success at capturing a flag, or being the first to kill or wound one or two men on the other side. The victor got bragging rights and a leg up on tribal leadership. Aka, “sports.” The modern version of war is to slaughter the other side, via a better killing-machine army.

    • Allen Risch

      and we lost

  • Don

    what do you do when thee enemy is so cowardly they use people as shields. it cant be avoided. sadam hussien used the same cowardly practice. that phoney organiztion will buut in on everything every time. nothing will ever be brought when our kids get killed by the enemy. we need to drop out of that useless organization to save a considerable amount of money. i’d almost bet the taxpayers are paying for almost all it takes to run it. one of these days it will be a world police force for the nwo type when the western nations go under. get rid of it now before it is too late.


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