[Image: From the BBC, Inside an Afghan US air operations base, 2008.]
In case you haven’t been paying attention, the US has been awfully busy slaughtering innocent civilians with routine aerial attacks meant for the Taliban in Pakistan’s autonomous tribal belt, thanks to the drone. Citing figures compiled by Pakistan’s interior ministry this media source reports that 301 civilians have been killed so far in 2008 while more than 240 others have been wounded.
“The News daily said most of those killed in 32 recorded incidents of missile strikes, drone attacks and one ground raid by the US forces were civilians.
According to the report, only eight US strikes hit the targets, killing 36 Al Qaeda and Taliban militants, while the remaining 24 strikes killed 301 civilians and 18 Pakistani security personnel.
Most of the attacks were said to go wrong because of the faulty intelligence provided by US local spies in the tribal belt, a known sanctuary of Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters launching cross-border attacks on US-led international forces in Afghanistan.”
Despite Pakistan's earlier plea to have the killer drones called off, in what's been dubbed "the world's first mechanical proxy war," the killing continues. And for the time Pakistan appears to have acquiesced, but is still mulling its options.
To make their own case, the BBC was granted a little peak inside a secret US air base "somewhere in the Middle East" that serves as the killer drone headquarters, to try and illustrate the level of effort that goes into preventing civilian deaths.
Whether those numbers are accurate or not, no matter how you cut it, any civilian death is unacceptable in my view. According to the BBC, the numbers have tripled over the last three years – and for this there can be no justification. This is state of the art precision bombing?
The video is also on You Tube, but with embedding disabled.