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Attack of the killer Drones

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Dave Griffith
Dave Griffith
Don't go camping in Pakistan. If you do make sure you don't start acting all suspicious.

Two suspected drone strikes in Pakistan’s tribal region Wednesday killed eight suspected militants, Pakistani intelligence officials said.

In the first incident, one missile was fired on a militant hideout in the area of Mir Ali of North Waziristan, one of the seven districts of Pakistan’s tribal region bordering Afghanistan. Five were killed.

Later, a second suspected U.S. drone strike killed three individuals believed to be militants, the officials said. The drone fired two missiles at a vehicle in the Data Khel area of North Waziristan.

CNN has added up these attacks and says by their count, Wednesdays strikes were the 81st and 82nd this year, compared with 52 in 2009.

The officials asked to not be named because they were not authorized to talk to the media. They need to be US military officials – they are happy to talk anonymously to the media anytime.

The language is the same. ‘Suspected’ militants, ‘suspected’ drone attack. There are a lot of suspect things happening in Pakistan right now.

The United States do no comment on drone attacks, but as they are the only country in the region known to have the ability to launch missiles from drones, we can ‘suspect’ with some accuracy that they are behind the attacks.

Drone attacks get reported like they are some random act of nature. We need to remember that behind every drone is a US military officer and behind him is a higher ranking US military officer giving the order to fire.

There are not dozens of pilotless drones flying around Pakistan doing what they like. They are directed by the US military command. Sorry NATO command, little slip of the tongue there. It is NATO that is in an unwinnable war not the USA.

I suspect the US military is happy to have these drone attacks reported. It shows the folks back home that they are doing something in the way of attack rather than just getting shot up on patrol.

It is amazing how high tech these missiles are. They always hit militants and militant hideouts and vehicles. It is only the pesky Pakistan media who go to the scene of the missile strikes and sometimes report ‘suspected’ women and children dead as well.

The US has limited options in Pakistan. They need to take the war to the enemy, but identifying the enemy is a tricky thing. The drones are about the only weapon in their arsenal that can go places that won’t result in US soldiers ending up in body bags. The only problem is that just because a drone camera sees someone holding a gun in remote parts of Pakistan it doesn’t make them a militant.

In a place where there is no law the local people have guns to help protect themselves and their possessions. The drone operators can’t tell the difference between harmless locals and militants.

I guess for many of the people who read the drone attack stories they don’t care. The US military is kicking someones ass and thats all that matters.

The drones are a very useful weapon of war. Like most weapons it is the mentality of the person with their finger in the trigger that matters. In the case of the US military in this region as well as the Middle-East they have a proven history of shooting first and getting the facts later.

At the heart of this issue is not the use of drones it is the attitude of the US military to human life in this region. It is clear that they do not rate Pakistani citizens as equal to US citizens. If the people in this region were white english speaking Christians then the drones would not even get out of the hangar. But hey a few Paki’s well they are all militants at heart aren’t they? It is time to revise attitudes not strategies. Until the military treat the locals as equals nothing will change.

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