The U.S. drone strike strategy has once again exposed its hypocritical double standard on human rights. The Obama administration, concerned only about minimizing the casualties of U.S. soldiers, have turned a flagrantly deaf ear to the heart-rending loss of civilian rights to life in other countries affected by this technology.
The White House recently released a report, indicating that from 2009 to 2015, some 100civilians were killed during 473 U.S. drone strikes in regions where the United States is notat war. Human rights groups following the case suggested that the real casualty figures arefar more underestimated.
A recent report from the London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a non-governmental organization, shows that the United States has launched 424 drone strikes in Pakistan alone since 2004, killing 424 to 966 civilians, including about 200 children.According to its calculation, U.S. drones have caused 492 to 1,100 civilian deaths in Pakistan and other countries since 2002.
It is sarcastic to see that President Obama, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, endorsed the drone strike strategy, which has claimed hundreds of innocent lives outside his country.The bloodbaths of civilians conducted by the United States during his eight-year term have engraved a stain on Obama’s forehead that he could never wipe away.
Ever since the U.S. troops were authorized to use the lethal weapon, the controversy overits legitimacy has haunted the “World Police.” Worldwide criticism against its aggravating mass killings of innocent civilians in other countries runs higher, due to the lacking of effective supervision and transparency in the whole procedure.
Besides, the U.S. military has often conducted rash air strikes, sometimes based on unbelievably irresponsible excuses. In a targeted drone strike in Afghanistan launched inFebruary 2002, the Central Intelligency Agency killed three junk collectors, only because”one of the targets has similar height as Bin Laden.”
Although U.S. high-ranking commanders argued that drone strikes would only be used when the targeted people could not be captured or posed “an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States,” a secret government memorandum noted that it “does not require … clear evidence” for the U.S. military to take drone strikes.
In the worst scenario, the document said, the U.S. military can order any drone attacks against anyone without proof that the person concerned is dangerous.
Moreover, the procedural justice that the Americans have boasted of has also been neglected in those merciless drone strikes. “We have killed … 2,300 to 3,300 people using drone strikes … and we are now being jury, judge and executioner without any legal ramifications,” said Paul Kawika Martin, a senior expert with Peace Action, the U.S. largest grassroots peace network.
Perhaps the most ironic part is the counterproductive result of the U.S. “unconstrained and unreviewable power to kill people” in other nations in the name of counter terrorism.
Former Staff Sergeant Brandon Bryant, who operated drones for the U.S. Air Force Predator program between 2007 and 2011, noted that using the drone-killing strategy tofight against terrorism might actually instigate retaliation and therefore intensify terrorism.
They might have killed four terrorists, but at the same time they created 10 more, the former airman said.