In the past decade, hundreds of innocent children have been injured and killed by military drone strikes. These crimes against humanity are placed in order by our Commander in Chief, President Barack H. Obama, during whose time in office, the number of drone strikes has skyrocketed. The drone attacks are very precise, and the victims are seen well in advance of the strikes. This isn’t “combating international terrorism”, this is terrorism.
A joint research report released in September 2012 by scholars at Stanford University and New York University raises moral questions on the conditions of Pakistani civilians under threat of drone strikes. For fear of becoming a target, Pakistani citizens avoid going to school, places of worship, weddings, and funerals. Yet President Obama plans to continue drone warfare in the region.
Over nine months researchers produced 130 interviews and documentation. The report covered topics including unreported casualties, drone policies on death and physical injury, evidence of the safeness of drones, international legal protections and the many dangerous precedents this new form of warfare entails.
Among the victims: 176 children killed by the C.I.A. Drone Strikes in Pakistan between 2004-2013, 27-37 children killed by the US Covert Action in Yemen between 2002-2013, and 1-3 children killed by the US Covert Action in Somalia between 2007-2013. Looking at these numbers, it is easy to regard them as statistics, but we must realize that each of these children had families and possibilities for bright futures. Not only were these children ruthlessly killed, but their families will be forever broken, without any chance of getting justice for these horrendous acts.
The report suggests that the United States take the initiative in conducting a re-evaluation of current targeting practices, as living conditions are unbearable. Many researchers and reporters believe that living under drones is causing a legal and moral paradox that must change. It is also thought that eliminating drones or at least minimizing the amount sent overseas could bring decrease formation of anti-American militancy within the Pakistani population.
Michel Chossudovsky, “Children Killed by American Drones,” Global Research, January 26, 2013, http://kevingilmour.net/children-killed-american-drones/4541″ http://kevingilmour.net/children-killed-american-drones/4541
Stanford International Human Rights and Conflict Resolution Clinic and Global Justice Clinic (GJC) at NYU School of Law, “Living Under Drones,” http://www.livingunderdrones.org/report/
Student researchers: Alisa Susan (Sonoma State University) and Ashley Walsh (Florida Atlantic University)
Faculty Evaluators: Jacob Aharonian (Santa Rosa Junior College) and James Tracy (Florida Atlantic University)