Drones – get some?

Expanding use of these unmanned aircraft to strike at targets in Pakistan, Yemen, Afghanistan, and Somalia lead me to ask where next?

In 2012, drones already account for the vast majority of people killed by US forces.

Is there a cost-benefit ratio for some so-called “signature” strikes, where the name of the target isn’t known.

Sometimes these strikes produce a bonanza, as in the June 2011 signature attack that killed Ilyas Kashmiri, one of al-Qaida’s most dangerous operatives.

The first authorized drone attack in Yemen led to the deaths of 14 women and 21 children, and only one al-Qaida affiliate.

The UN cites figures from the Pakistan Human Rights Commission, which said American drone strikes killed at least 957 people in Pakistan in 2010 alone. Out of the thousands killed by drones since 2004 roughly 20 per cent are believed to be civilians.

It is the year 1692, in the small Massachusetts village of Salem, a collection of girls fell ill, falling victim to hallucinations and seizures. In extremely religious Puritan New England, frightening or surprising occurrences were often attributed to the devil or his cohorts. The unfathomable sickness spurred fears of witchcraft, and it was not long before the girls, and then many other residents of Salem, began to accuse other villagers of consorting with devils and casting spells. Old grudges and jealousies spilled out into the open, fueling the atmosphere of hysteria. The Massachusetts government and judicial system, heavily influenced by religion, rolled into action. Within a few weeks, dozens of people were in jail on charges of witchcraft. By the time the fever had run its course, in late August 1692, nineteen people (and two dogs) had been convicted and hanged for witchcraft. (The Crucible)

Early in the year 2012, in the small Muslim village of  Salemabad, a collection of villagers fell victim to religious fevor. The unfathomable outpouring of faith spurred CIA fears of terrorism, and it was not long before an analyst, and then many other CIA agents, began to accuse other villagers of consorting with terrorists. The CIA heavily fueled by need to eliminate terrorists, rolled into action. Within a few weeks, dozens of people were killed in drone strikes on charges of terrorism. By the time the drone missiles had run its course, in late 2012, nineteen hundred people (and two dogs) had been killed for suspect terrorism.

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