Drone attacks killing civilians, say US legal experts

Empowering Weak & Oppressed


Dhu al-Qa'dah 14, 1433 2012-10-01

Editor's Desk

by Editor (Editor's Desk, Crescent International Vol. 41, No. 8, Dhu al-Qa'dah, 1433)

A study by American legal experts from Yale Law School and New York University Law School is a stinging rebuke of US Drone warfare. The study focuses on Pakistan and show that while only 2% of those targeted can be considered “militants” the rest are civilians. This, the report concludes, has led to alarming increasing in anti-Americans in Pakistan.

President Barack Obama and his henchmen never tire of telling Americans that drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia are keeping them safe because the targets of such strikes are “militants” and “terrorists.” They are better dead otherwise they will cause great harm to Americans.

Thus assured, Americans are supposed to sleep easy not knowing what the reality of the drone strikes is. The veil of secrecy from the sanitized official version was lifted on September 25 in a report conducted jointly by two US law schools — Stanford and New York University. Commissioned by the British charity, Reprieve, and titled “Living Under Drones,” the report makes chilling reading. It confirms civilians in Pakistan’s tribal belt are terrorized 24 hours a day that breeds bitter anti-American sentiment.

People do not gather in groups — even for weddings and funerals — for fear of being targeted. After each such strike, rescuers are unwilling to help the wounded for fear of being hit by follow-up missiles. These constitute war crimes.

Since June 2004 when the US launched drone strikes on Pakistan, nearly 3,325 people have been killed. According to CNN, only 2% are militants; the rest are all civilians.

The legal experts’ report urges Washington to rethink its drone strategy, arguing it is counterproductive and undermines international law.

Resentment against the US has escalated with more than 74% of Pakistanis considering the US as an enemy.

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