Drone warfare news stacking up

Thanks to a Moseley reader for sending this link to a May 11th article:
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/may/11/uk-attacks-islamic-state-iraq-revealed-drones. One paragraph:

“British aircraft and unmanned drones have attacked Islamic State targets in Iraq with more than 200 bombs and missiles in military operations that have been largely ignored, a Guardian analysis has shown. The air strikes, which began in the autumn, have been undertaken by the RAF’s oldest bombers – Tornado GR4s and its newest weapon – the remotely piloted Reaper”.

bombing iraqAbove, a picture from an earlier article ‘On the edge of darkness’, with this opening prophetic paragraph from the Jerusalem Post: “What is going on today in the Middle East and the world is no less than part of a strategic change that is threatening the balance of power in the international arena”.

Received from the Bureau of Investigation (May 15th) – extracts:

Britain’s Royal Air Force carried out 301 Reaper drone missions over Iraq between the start of UK operations against Isis last September and the end of March, most were reconnaissance missions but they did fire a total of 102 Hellfire missiles on 87 separate occasions, according to new Ministry of Defence figures.

The UK is one of nine countries bombing Iraq. The others are the US, France, Belgium, Canada, Australia, Denmark, Jordan and the Netherlands. In total this coalition carried out approximately 2,154 air strikes between September and April, according to the website Air Wars which is tracking the bombing campaign

Thanks to Mark Shapiro in California for sending news of a film about drone warfare, entitled ‘Good Kill’ (!)

The 2014 film opened in the US on May 15 and will be available from video on demand.

good kill headerFrom the review:

”According to Reprieve, the British human rights organization, “To date, the United States has used drones to execute without trial some 4,700 people in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia—all countries against whom it has not declared war. The US’ drones programme is a covert war being carried out by the CIA.”

”An April 2014 article in Rolling Stone observed, “The people of Yemen can hear destruction before it arrives. In cities, towns and villages across this country, which hangs off the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, the air buzzes with the sound of American drones flying overhead. The sound is a constant and terrible reminder… Over half of Yemen’s 24.8 million citizens—militants and civilians alike—are impacted every day” . . .

”The film is set in 2010 and centers on the stepping up of drone strikes by the Obama administration and the transfer of control of the attacks to the CIA, represented by a disembodied voice (Peter Coyote) from “Langley [Virginia].” The atrocities accumulate. The crew, aiming for a bomb factory, kills two children. “Keep compartmentalizing,” Egan is told. But “I pulled the trigger,” he responds. The CIA, once it takes over, begins ordering “signature strikes,” i.e., bombings based on what US officials believe to be suspicious behavior or simply on the association of the intended victims at some point or another with alleged “terrorists.”

”When a strike goes wrong, the CIA official blandly tells the crew, as the US government repeats to the public, “No one regrets the loss of innocent lives more than us.” After one deadly bombing, he orders a “follow-up,” the notorious “double tap,” in other words, a strike on those responding to the first attack. “In our opinion, it’s proportionate.” He explains, “preemptive self-defense is ordered by the administration.” The voice and the commands it gives are coldly monstrous . . .

”Opposition to the horrendous war crimes committed by US imperialism is not predicated on support for Islamic fundamentalism or any of the regimes the American government sets out to bring down. Dealing with these reactionary elements is the responsibility of the Afghan, Pakistani or Yemeni people; it cannot be subcontracted to the US government, military and CIA, which have, in many cases, incited and funded such movements or regimes” . . .

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This entry was posted in Afghanistan, Airstrikes, Armed drones, CIA, Civilian deaths, Drone strikes, Human rights, Iraq, Pakistan, US government, Yemen and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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