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Report: Obama's drone strikes killed 168 children in Pakistan

Discussion in 'Opinions, Beliefs, & Points of View' started by Prinnctopher's Belt, Aug 13, 2011.

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  1. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter


    168 children killed in drone strikes in Pakistan since start of campaign
    As many as 168 children have been killed in drone strikes in Pakistan during the past seven years as the CIA has intensified its secret programme against militants along the Afghan border.

    By Rob Crilly, Islamabad

    5:37PM BST 11 Aug 2011

    In an extensive analysis of open-source documents, the Bureau of Investigative Journalism found that 2,292 people had been killed by US missiles, including as many as 775 civilians.

    The strikes, which began under President George W Bush but have since accelerated during the presidency of Barack Obama, are hated in Pakistan, where families live in fear of the bright specks that appear to hover in the sky overhead.

    In just a single attack on a madrassah in 2006 up to 69 children lost their lives.

    Chris Woods, who led the research, said the detailed database of deaths would send shockwaves through Pakistan, where political and military leaders repeatedly denounce the strikes in public, while privately allowing the US to continue.

    "This is a military campaign run by a secret service which raised problems of accountability, transparency and you have a situation where neither the Pakistanis nor Americans are clear about any agreements in place and where the reporting is difficult," he said.

    "All of this means that when things go wrong there is simply no redress for the families of those who have been mistakenly killed."

    The research, culled from more than 2,000 news reports, leaked documents and witness statements, show how the drones gradually moved from a rarely used tool, beginning with a single strike in 2004, to a frontline weapon of war.

    Notable successes include the death of Baitullah Mehsud, head of the Pakistan Taliban, in 2009. Ilyas Kashmiri, a senior al-Qaeda figure viewed as a possible successor to Osama bin Laden, is believed to have died in a drone strike in June.

    However, under President Obama the strikes have been used to target low-level foot soldiers as well as senior commanders.

    Today the attacks are running at a rate of one every four days, mostly centred on North Waziristan from where members of the Haqqani network launch cross-border attacks on international forces in eastern Afghanistan.

    With Pakistan so far unwilling to bow to US pressure to launch a military offensive against the bases and with Islamabad ruling out any suggestion that American troops be deployed, that leaves the CIA's drones, said Imtiaz Gul, an analyst who has written extensively on the region.

    At the same time, he added, they mean a president elected on a manifesto promising to close Guantanamo Bay does not have hundreds more detainees to process.

    "As long as these peoples sit in jails they remain a problem, a living liability, so there seems to be a drive to kill them," said Mr Gul.

    Human rights campaigners have long argued that drones represent extra-judicial killings.

    Sam Zarifi, Asia-Pacific director of Amnesty International, said: "The Obama administration must explain the legal basis for drone strikes in Pakistan to avoid the perception that it acts with impunity.

    "The Pakistan government must also ensure accountability for indiscriminate killing, in violation of international law, that occurs inside Pakistan." The US refuses to acknowledge the existence of its drones programme.

    A spokesman for the US embassy in Islamabad declined to comment.

  2. peacelovingguy

    peacelovingguy Well-Known Member

    The cruelty you inflict

    Someday you have to pay.

    Anyone - any nation or cause, religion or politic that accepts the murder of one child is already lost.

    America has lost it.
  3. bhawk

    bhawk Well-Known Member

    And people wonder why they retaliate against our so called democracy
  4. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Bumping this also. And this was the number in 2011. Two years later, while the president of this country still defends the program, what are the numbers now? Or do they no longer matter?
  5. pit

    pit Well-Known Member

    Who knows, maybe most of those children would've grown up to be terrorists. It could be a good thing.
  6. Event_Horizon

    Event_Horizon SF Supporter

    I really hope that is dry sarcasm to point out the absurdity of that position.
  7. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Pit - If i would have seen that comment before I would have deleted - as the next member pointed out it could have been sarcasm and I sincerely hope so.

    Let me premise the following with an absolute unequivocal statement that I never do here - I am opposed to the involvement of military in Afghanistan. The reasons are my own, but I feel very solid that I am in a very good position to make that statement from a position of knowledge rather than simply random media babble by either side of the aisle.

    I will also say it is easy to believe and be beguiled by articles obviously written with intent to inflame and enrage. They are written by media not to inform or educate but make an eyecatching and interesting presentation to sell advertising based on viewers or readers. They are mostly crap, and tell a very small piece of the story, and do not substantiate or have sources for any any of it, intentionally leaving important details (to keep it to the internet happy "1000 words") one would need to make an informed opinion of their own The above is a perfect example. I write 40-100 pieces of garbage posted on the internet on many many different websites doing the exact same thing - supporting the position or product that pays the bill.

    He is an experienced front line journalist and has been doing it for years and knows what he can sell to a newspaper as he is a freelancer. You can sell outrage easily. Combing internet and adding up totals of all similarly questionable reporting to give a number (as he says he did) means nothing. As another typical example is the victory noted in the article of success in killing Ilyas Kashmiri - who, by many accounts, is still alive. It could as well be 25 or 25,000 in actuality but there is no number to discuss here because there is no real number known- like the opening of "up to 69 children lost their lives." Is that 69 or 3 but could have been more? My only point here is if reading this is the total of your investigation into the military or Obama's or any countries involvement in that area of the world or just single newspaper or internet articles from the slant you happen to like then please admit you are grossly under informed and instead of outrage feel curiosity to learn more for yourself from multiple sources and then make a decision.

    It does not matter if it is one or 10,000. If there are children dying because of the use of military opposition then it is a problem. It is a problem that has been around as long as military has existed since before 5000 BC. I can say with absolute 100% certainty that is a very common practice of Taliban forces to hold strategic meetings in high population areas, schools, and mosques because of the additional protection it affords them against attacks. I might point out that would bring a person to question who is the one that is endangering the life of the children?

    I am allergic to bee stings and stepped on a bees nest a few years ago getting stung multiple times- I ran towards the house to get inside because the bees were still following me but when I got near the door my son (3 at the time) was playing on the steps so i stopped and moved away from the house. I did this to protect my child. What they do is the opposite - they see the child and say some of the bees will sting the child instead and it will keep me safer.

    Aside from the very real question of who it is that is posing the danger to the children with most intent- lets discuss numbers of people killed - here is an excerpt from http://www.nydailynews.com/news/wor...-turning-divorce-risk-death-article-1.1236352

    So if we are talking numbers then one must include numbers on both sides- the numbers from the conflict and the numbers in part the cause of the conflict. (I looked and found everywhere from 1000 to 5000 estimates then picked the first listing on the search engine- I am not claiming it is right either)

    The dramatic oversimplification of military conflicts and politics in general into exciting tantalizing drop jawed stories is the biggest cause of mis-understanding and root of ignorance that causes all sides to not only sound stupid but make understanding and peaceful negotiation from understanding the least likely end result.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2013
  8. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    Pit has made hateful comments about Muslims and Arabs for years, and genuinely hates them and everyone who's seen his posts knows it. Better to just ignore him.
  9. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    In an age such as this, outrage may just be what people need to stand against the wrongful acts of this government. It's not outrage any more than it is awareness, and that's a beneficial thing. People should be outraged whether its 3 children or 3000. The greater the number lessens the effectiveness of ANY military justification for it, and that's what the numbers mean. It's easy for military to justify away the deaths of minimal civilian casualties; this many is not an accident and I don't care if there was an alleged terrorist reading a map in a crowd of them, it doesn't make the act to mow down all these children warranted. It's outrageous and it ought to be.

    And in addition to the children, the percent of innocent people maimed, traumatized and killed by this program, across Waziristan, Yemen, and Afghanistan and Pakistan, outweighs the percent of actual enemies. The CIA admits they don't even know who they're killing. And who are "militants"? A study revealed the classification of militant was given to any combat-aged males who were killed, regardless of contrary evidence to their innocence. I wish there would be appropriate outrage. I want to see even more information that is so raw in language, instead of this sugarcoated, non-investigative news barely being reported in the US. Why? To keep you dulled to what is happening.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2013
  10. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    And you do not see any of the wrongful acts or atrocities be committed against thousands of their own citizens and residents? I have talked to many many of them. I made friends that I still stay in contact with - and the outrage over there is also by a very very small minority -- that is not opinion - that is plain fact from having been there and spent years in the region.

    As stated before- I do not think we should be there - but any outrage against this government should be equally matched by outrage against powers there that do the same and worse - also against innocent civilians. I personally do not believe it will ever be ended by might of force - but I also know very well first hand that the common citizens in all of the places mentioned are ruled by might of force and raped, murdered, and killed by that might of force every day and have been for years and years.

    By all means - stop the military attacks and terrorist attacks in all directions. While you are at it , figure out a way to stop the women, children , and men that have the misfortune of geography from being killed, raped, and murdered and living in famine and terror by the extreme minority there that happen to have the money to buy guns the money given to them by oil sheikhs or government "military" that just want everything controlled like who gets to go to school , drive, what religion they practice or do not and with what amount of fervor.

    It is not one government at fault or one person - it is an ongoing global problem. No, one person deciding to change will not accomplish anything. One country (US) deciding to withdraw all of it military forces from the world (while pleasing me) will not help - it will be worse for the people that you are trying to save from these atrocities by placing them further at the mercy of other atrocities.

    Use outrage against the whole system - not one side of it. If you think stopping the drone strikes will save a thousand lives you are naive - that thousand will simply be replaced by more dying because of another cause - no the number does not matter. 1 or 1 million. Neither does it matter if it is drone strike, stoning, beheading, dragging through the streets, starvation , or simple politically or religiously motivated execution - they are still people and they are still dead.

    Find a way to protest against both and stop both ways of people being killed needlessly and I will be the first and most fervent supporter.
  11. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    You aren't condoning a program where indiscriminate machines drop bombs on whole groups of innocent people because they happen to be in conflict-torn regions, are you?

    We American citizens need to be outraged and feel hurt by this because the government is our responsibility. It's up to us to hold them accountable when we find they're veering away from what is lawful and fair. We can be against violence all over the world, but when the United States government happens to find its way into each of them with some form of military intervention or another - and this one happens to end in the deaths of many people at the hands of a government (who are not expected to execute even more violence just like the thugs they claim to be fighting against) trusted to protect them - 700 thousand lives directly at the hand of the Americans' government, is a huge burden of guilt to carry knowing that we prefer to value our personal and individual comforts more than standing up to rectify the wrongs of a government we helped elect and create. Of course there are others with a greater burden due to their direct hands making these calls, but at the end of the day, we are the ones responsible; but instead choose to defend this nonsense following a false left-right paradigm the bulk of the US media conditioned many to follow.

    It's unbelievable to me that there still even exists a population of Americans who defend this.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 11, 2013
  12. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    Not condoning at all - vehemently against it. But able to see both sides of the argument clearly and heard the people begging us not to leave when we withdrew from areas as well. Not simply claiming that stop doing this and the world is better....
  13. Prinnctopher's Belt

    Prinnctopher's Belt Antiquities Friend SF Supporter

    I don't think the argument is "stop doing this and the world is better." The argument is that this program has created needless more violence, conflict, and trauma where it is mostly (not entirely) preventable from the US's side.

    You say you're evaluating the situation clearly and able to see both sides; so what of the side that does not think the occupation is helpful? What of the side that is growing up without a mother or father or son or daughter and will grieve that forever? What of the side that is becoming even more inflamed by hatred against the United States? This will harness a whole new generation of wrathful fighters in the Middle East and west Asia. It's already producing teenagers and young adults there who are naturally coming to believe that the U.S. is a terrorist nation. What of their view? That side is what most of America is not aware of and pieces like this, these discussions in this context, raise awareness to that by exposing us to a view that we barely even hear about, due to the deafening cry of "how much Afghanistan needs us".

    Yes, there are two sides to the story, but one doesn't correct the wrongs of the other. One is counterproductive to the progress of the other, and its damage is preventable. There's something inherently barbaric in this that I won't support nor try to legitimize. How about we just support stopping the current acts that create even more "terrorists"? What exactly is any valid argument against it? You can't promote peace by creating more conflict. That's the argument.
  14. JmpMster

    JmpMster Have a question? Message Me Staff Member Forum Owner ADMIN

    I would love to discuss this with you anytime but a two way conversation is not beneficial to the forum as whole.

    I see, understand, and agree with the vast majority of what you are saying. The only part I disagree on is the presentation and the fact that this presentation further inflames and pushes sides further apart .... and I am very much of the belief the occupation is not helpful - calling for it to end in the name of greater good is not an enlightened view. Calling for it to end as pointless and a way that will never result in the stated aim makes perfectly good sense to me.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 13, 2013
  15. pit

    pit Well-Known Member

    I didn't mean to offend anyone, but sometimes ya gotta break a few eggs to ensure world peace. The U.S. is good.
  16. flowers

    flowers Senior Member

    Do you think our military's actions will ensure world peace?
    And do you think the mothers of the innocent children killed by US bombs consider them to be a "few eggs"?
    I personally do not think that Milliatry actions of the US will ever bring world peace.
    I know what I try to do. I call my US Reps and let them know what I think, when appropriate. And I try to not war in my own personal actions. I try to not be agressive. I make it a point to respect people. Of all races. Of all religions. And I do not mean fundamantalist factions/those who live so deeply in the darkness that they are a grave danger to many.
  17. Event_Horizon

    Event_Horizon SF Supporter

    I am so very disappointed Pit. Before I lose all hope in humanity I am going to assume you are possibly a troll, in which case bravo. Or just ignorant of how many eggs are being broken to take out a few bad eggs. 'According to the Pakistani authorities, 60 cross-border predator strikes in the period from January 2006 to April 2009 killed 14 wanted al-Qaeda leaders and 687 Pakistani civilians.' That seems pretty piss poor to me. Those 687 civilians likely have families and friends and children of their own. Nothing will radicalise a person quicker than blowing up their children or loved ones. Prior to that they would likely be hostile towards the ideology of Al-Qaeda. But hate is universal and if you want revenge for your losses and there is an organisation that will happily teach you how to enact that revenge joining Al-Qaeda starts to make a lot of sense.

    I understand that in 'war' there is collateral. But how much collateral is too much? Are more militants being generated from this campaign?

    Although I would argue this is not a war at all, you cannot bomb a concept or ideology there is no surrender or victory just escalation and a growing pile of bodies at home and away. Which will just further feed the machine of hate and entrench tribalism, resulting in a self fulfilling prophecy backed by a sensationalist media and its resultant hysteria. While rabid blind patriotism allows greater atrocity to occur along with further erosion of civil liberties in the name of security. Should you point out your distaste for the war you will be accused of hating the heroic soldiers that are out there dying for your freedom and if you hate freedom so much maybe you should move to North Korea.

    But your blanket position that it was a good thing those children died is frankly obscene. It is the equivalent of blowing up a childs Christian Sunday school and saying well they could have joined the KKK. So those Pakistani children could have become terrorists, who knows one of them might have become a diplomat and negotiated a peace that ended the war on terror. But can you also tell me what the future lottery numbers are, that would be great I am bit tired of being poor.

    As for ensuring world peace I am starting to think you are a comedian. Fostering conflicts in a variety of countries seems the antithesis to world peace. Intentionally destabilising a democratically elected regime just because it did not favour the American agenda is not bringing about world peace. Shaking one tyrannical dictators hand responsible for human rights atrocities while bombing another, again does not really fit with the notion of world peace. It does however fit self interest. But to be fair to America the majority of countries behave in the same manner. World peace lol good one.
  18. pit

    pit Well-Known Member

    Your post is changing my attitude quite a bit. All children deserve to live, even the Pakistani ones. Yet, America must uphold her pastime. How to justify the deaths of these tiny Pakis? Maybe we're sparing them a miserable existence in Pakistan. However, we can no longer commit these atrocities. Still, how do we spare the lives of budding extremists while protecting America's sacred tradition of blowing shit up? Our foreign policy flounders between a Mosque and a righteous, bitchin place.

    <edit mod total eclipse inappropriate question >
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2013
  19. justMe7

    justMe7 Well-Known Member

    dead. Cease to exist. Enduring unimaginable pain in their final moments at the hands of someone else.

    Oh but please, lets toss words around in our minds and on a forum about it. Pit man.. satirical or not, it's pretty disgusting and disassociate behavior. Give over, it's not humerous and if you're tryin to torch light some "ignorant" positions of other people in "america" there are better ways of doing it instead of dancing on the graves of a part of life.
  20. Syn

    Syn Well-Known Member

    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 14, 2013
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