Well, the sheer volume of these supposedly “valuable targets” is a little overwhelming. As is the collateral damage.
Here are a few statistics about drone strikes in Pakistan over the past 9 years:
• Total strikes: 362
• Total reported killed: 2,629 – 3,461
• Civilians reported killed: 475 – 891
• Children reported killed: 176
• Total reported injured: 1,267 – 1,431 Total strikes: 362http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_attacks_in_Pakistan
Hard to justify most of these numbers. 176 kids?
US drones have killed children in other countries too. In Yemen, for example, our drones have killed lots of innocent people, including a high school student from Denver.
The kid’s (estranged) dad did propaganda for al Qaeda. The kid liked to play football and computer games.
Lots of folks have died in airstrikes in Yemen. In Somalia. Libya.
And those are the countries we are not even at war with. In Afghanistan in 2012, we averaged about one drone strike per day. Now I am certain some bad guys died in these attacks.
But try to imagine this scenario.
It is a Sunday afternoon, and you are sitting at your laptop, reading the forums, when all of a sudden, you hear an explosion. You look out the window, and several of your neighbors’ homes are on fire. Bloody people without limbs are staggering down the street. Alarms are ringing and fire trucks are arriving. You find out later that the nice lady down the street who grows petunias and her elderly husband were killed, along with their granddaughter who they were babysitting. In all, a half a dozen are dead, and a dozen injured.
But, it turns out, a really really really bad man, who had written terrible things about people in other countries, and who might have even plotted to kill people in those countries, was in the house next to the nice lady who grows petunias. And the foreign government, who sent the drone, was successful in hitting their target. The bad man is dead.
Seriously. Think through the scenario. Who would you be mad at as you watched the carnage and the destruction of your neighborhood? The bad man who said mean things about foreigners? Or the people who sent the drone?
I don’t think we are exactly winning the hearts and minds of the innocent folks who have survived these attacks.