Droney comes to visit

Droney comes to visit

by digby

The strip above reminds me of a conversation I had with a friend of mine the other day. We were talking about drones and he said, "I wonder how Americans would feel if those things were flying overhead appearing to sporadically and randomly strike houses, weddings and other gatherings killing a bunch of people in the vicinity. I casually replied, "well, they'd be terrified." Of course.

I'm afraid that for all the excuses about how they really are "more humane" than all out warfare, they are really instruments of terror. It's true they might be a replacement for "boots on the ground" (assuming that boots on the ground would even be possible)but while they may make it less dangerous for American soldiers it has much the same effect as those who use more conventional terror tactics. It's just high tech "asymmetric warfare" also known as terrorism.

Now it's entirely possible that the American public thinks it's just fine to use terror tactics on civilian populations. But I don't think we've had that discussion. Instead, to the extent we talk about it in anything but hushed tones and without any detail, we are talking about how "careful" we are to only kill the "bad guys" with our precise hi-tech weapons. But how different is it, really, from an Islamic extremist setting off a bomb in a shopping center where a politician might be present? Would the effect on the civilian population be any different here than the drone attacks in Pakistan?

This film by Brave New Films examines how they feel about it:

Brave New Foundation has the honor of releasing a video to accompany a seminal report by human rights law experts at Stanford and New York University law schools. The report, entitled Living Under Drones presents chilling first-hand testimony from Pakistani civilians on the humanitarian and security costs of escalating drone attacks by the United States. The report uncovers civilian deaths, and shocking psychological and social damage to whole families and communities – where people are literally scared to leave their homes because of drones flying overhead 24 hours a day.

This report continues to call into question the U.S. strategy of drone strikes, and presents evidence of profound humanitarian consequences as well as concerns that the strikes actually may have adverse security impacts by fomenting anger against the U.S.

The report is based on nine months of research, including two investigations in Pakistan. The Stanford-NYU research team interviewed over 130 individuals, including civilians who traveled out of the largely inaccessible region of North Waziristan to meet with the researchers. They also interviewed medical doctors who treated strike victims, and humanitarian and journalist professionals who worked in drone impacted areas.

Brave New Foundation is committed to shedding light on the true impact of U.S. drones, and with this video we hope to help share the voices – from the other side of the globe – of those most impacted by the policies of our government. Our campaign War Costs has a coming full-length film exposing the truth about drones, and additionally we are working on a number of shorter videos. We are traveling soon to Pakistan ourselves to collect more stories.

As U.S. citizens, we feel a responsibility to know the real impact of the policies of our government. We hope you will join us at www.WarCosts.com to be part of this fight for a more humane and just world.