Islamabad reiterated its opposition on Monday to Washington’s illegal drone assassination campaign in Pakistan, branding it “unlawful, counterproductive and unacceptable”: here.
The CIA’s drone campaign in Pakistan has killed dozens of civilians who had gone to help rescue victims or were attending funerals, an investigation by the Bureau for the Sunday Times has revealed: here.
Relatives of children killed and injured by CIA drone strikes in Pakistan filed a complaint against the US government today at the United Nations in Geneva: here.
NATO attack forces Pakistan to recalibrate its ties with US: here.
Pakistan’s parliamentary commission on reviewing relations with the US said on Tuesday the superpower should end its illegal drone strikes in the country if it wants supply lines to its forces in Afghanistan reopened: here.
Drone-Strike Survivors Ask, “What Kind of Democracy Is America?” Kathy Kelly, Voices for Creative Nonviolence: “One question Fazillah cannot answer for her son is whether anyone asked the question at all of whether to kill his father. Forbes Magazine reports that the Air Force has sixty-five to seventy thousand analysts processing drone video surveillance; a Rand review states they actually need half again that number to properly handle the data. Asked to point to the human who actually made the decision to kill her husband, she can only point to another machine”: here.
Remotely Piloted War. How Drone War Became The American Way of Life: here.
Britain: Foreign Secretary Hague is being sued over the alleged UK policy of handing over GCHQ-sourced intelligence to the CIA to aid US drone attacks in Pakistan: here.
Lawyers have filed papers at the High Court accusing the British government of complicity in illegal US drone strikes: here.
British-French drones: here.
The legalization of drone flights inside the United States has ominous implications for democratic rights: here.
Predators on the Border, Hawks Across the Border and a Homeland of Drones. Tom Barry, Truthout: “Drones are proliferating. First, the Pentagon joined with military contractors to breed fleets of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), as airborne drones are formally called. Although major new drone species began emerging in the 1990s, the Bush administration’s war on terrorism after the 9/11 attacks sparked a major surge of drone production and deployment – not only for reconnaissance, but also for military strikes against targeted terrorists”: here.
Reblogged this on The Blogspaper.
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Drones and the Wars on “Terrorism”
by Marge Van Cleef
What are drones? They are unmanned aerial vehicles, some armed with missiles and others used for surveillance. They fly very high, silently, give no warning. In fact they are flying over our skies here in the US. They are being used in at least 6 countries, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Israel, and for surveillance in the US. A drone arms race is well underway with more than 40 countries developing, testing, and training for their use, including China, India, and Russia.
image of drone aircraft
Drones are manufactured by big military contractors, General Atomics, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Textron, Boeing, Honeywell, Raytheon and others. They cost $6.5 million for Patrol Predator, used at borders in Afghanistan and Arizona, and $8 million for the Reaper, which carries 14 missiles.
Both the CIA and FBI are the agencies given the responsibility of overseeing the drone program. They are being tested and flown from many bases, including Creech AFB, in Nevada, and Hancock Airfield in New York State, and other US bases and airfields. The military see drones as “cheaper and cleaner” war making — out of sight and out of mind. No pilot or crew is at risk of being killed or captured if the drone crashes or is shot down.
In Pakistan at least 2292 people since 2004 have been killed with 32% or more being civilian deaths. This is not counting the deaths in other countries from drone attacks. The lack of recourse for the families of innocent civilians killed by drone strikes demonstrates the impunity with which the US uses this technology. They have become weapons of choice, and as Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta said, “The only game in town.”
photo from protest
Philadelphia drone protestors at a monthly â€œDeath Walkâ€
Are they legal? Not according to international law. They are indiscriminate weapons, killing most people in the area of the targeted person. Families live in fear of the bright specks that appear to hover in the sky overhead, and without any warning they drop their loaded missiles. Such killings, especially of innocent civilians, fuel revenge and more “terrorism.”
The legal justification for their use in Afghanistan and Pakistan is to destroy Al Qaeda and Taliban militants, which becomes justification for their use in other countries. While the US carries on wars and occupations, in Iraq and Afghanistan, under the guise of promoting democracy and the rule of law, the use of unmanned drones undermines the rule of law.
Organize in your community; find out what kind of drone activity is going on — building, testing, and flying – and let the public know. In Philadelphia we have a monthly “Death Walk” with leaflets alerting downtown shoppers to the illegal and deadly use of drones.
Resources for further reading: “Wired for War” by Peter Singer 2009; Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space; Human Rights Watch; Reprieve (legal group); ACLU; Fellowship of Reconciliation – UK; the Drone Campaign Network; Upstate New York Drone Action; United Against Drones; Women Say NO to War; Voices for Creative Nonviolence; Code Pink.
(Marge Van Cleef has been actively protesting wars and weapons of war since 1979. She was one of the organizers of the “Stop Trident Campaign” in Connecticut, where all of the 18 Trident nuclear submarines were built by General Dynamics/Electric Boat Division. She is an educator and a member of the Bryn Mawr Peace Coalition and Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom.)
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NATO Helicopter Violates Pakistani Air Space
Independent News Pakistan
March 25, 2012
NATO chopper intrudes into Khyber Agency
BARA: A NATO helicopter once again violated Pakistani airspace in the Khyber Agency near border with Afghanistan on Saturday, creating panic in the area.
Sources said the helicopter entered from the Torkham side, and remained in the Pakistani airspace for 10 minutes before returning to Afghanistan.
The low-flying chopper created panic among the tribesmen living along the Pak-Afghan border.
This latest violation of Pakistani airspace by NATO forces comes a couple of days after a parliamentary committee, tasked to prepare recommendations to review terms of engagements with the US, put its recommendations before the joint sitting of the parliament.
Pakistan stopped supplies to NATO forces in Afghanistan after NATO/ISAF aircraft attacked Pakistani border posts at Salala in the Mohmand Agency in the last week of November, 2011, and killed 24 troops. The parliamentary committee has demanded a US apology over the incident as a precondition to revive engagement in the war on terror.
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