The US drone hell on earth!

On November 2, 2011, in Articles, by admin


The US drone hell on earth!

by Nour Rida


Seems like “predator-prey” is the best game ever played by the United States of America, an old game with which the world is getting fed-up.

The US personnel, however, no longer tend to exist in battlefield. Unmanned drones took over and have become the most familiar and effective weapon in America’s wars worldwide.

These unmanned aerial vehicles, remotely piloted planes, are used to transmit live videos from target countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya and target goals.

As the US increasingly uses drones in its so-called secret campaigns that have become so blatant even to the blind, voices rise against the UAV attacks that have killed thousands of innocent lives on the whole.

More CIA drone attacks have been conducted under President Barack Obama than under President George W. Bush, as the Pentagon now has some 7,000 aerial drones, compared with fewer than 50 a decade ago, and has asked Congress for nearly $5 billion for drones in 2012.

Via man or material, there has been barefaced intervention and breach of the numerous independent countries’ sovereignty, as the US steps up its involvement in foreign affairs and launches war under different pretexts, only causing more destruction and reaping further resentment and grudge.

Far beyond Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, the Obama administration is expanding its drone program, building secret bases in the Horn of Africa and Arabian Peninsula in a move to target so-called al-Qaeda affiliates, sources report.
According to a senior US military official with knowledge of the program, the expansion has been underway since 2009.

In addition to the three formal war zones, drone attacks have also been reported in Libya, Somalia and Yemen. Not only that, but also these buzzing planes have been reportedly used in several military and security operations, one of which was the 2005 assassination of Lebanon’s Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

Starting with Libya, the most recent hotbed of US intervention, US officials confirmed that an American Predator drone took part in the airstrike that hit the convoy carrying ousted Libyan President Muammar Gadhafi.

The officials said the Predator fired on the convoy as it was fleeing Sirte, and French aircraft launched guided missiles. According to most accounts two vehicles in the convoy were hit.

Media reports said that currently, about 70 US aircraft are in Libya as well as a number of ships, three unmanned Global Hawk surveillance drones and several Predators assigned to the Libya mission.

So far, none of the aircraft or ships have been moved or taken out of the mission…Déjà vu?? Let’s move on to Iraq.

In 2003, US-led forces invaded Iraq, under the pretext that Iraqi President back then Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction, which were NOT found. US drones at the time crowded Iraqi skies allegedly to track insurgents.

These varied from the 4.5-pound Ravens that patrol 100 feet off the ground to the giant Global Hawks that can soar at 60,000 feet and take on sophisticated reconnaissance missions. And what was the result? Hundreds killed and injured, under the pretext of eradicating militants.

Moving on to Pakistan and Afghanistan, the two neighboring conflict zones, since President Barack Obama took office, a fleet of approximately 30 CIA-directed drones have hit targets in Pakistan more than 230 times, according to the Washington Post.

As for GlobalPost reporter Aaamir Latif, who flew to Waziristan (a mountainous region abutting Afghanistan) in May 2011, he said there has been a major uptick in the use of drones to allegedly target the militants. Latif discovered in his reporting that local Pakistanis were growing increasingly angry over the use of drones because of the accidental civilian deaths.

Meanwhile, American media remains almost blindfolded as media blackout continues.

Rights activists condemn the drone strikes in Pakistan as extra-judicial assassinations against civilians, deemed anti-American by US authorities.

Also, more than 150 additional Predator and Reaper drones, under US Air Force control, watch over the fighting in Afghanistan.

Hundreds of civilians have lost their lives in US-led airstrikes and ground operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past few months, with Afghans becoming more and more outraged over the seemingly endless number of deadly assaults.

And who can forget the 2005 assassination of Rafik Hariri, Lebanon’s former Prime Minister, which has made the international community busy with the Special tribunal set up to supposedly prosecute the killers.

On the day of the attack, the United States had deployed AWACS aircraft over Lebanon. According to a report, several witnesses who were present at the time assured they had heard an aircraft flying over the scene of the crime. The report said that investigators asked the United States and “Israel”, whose surveillance satellites are permanently switched on, to provide them with the pertinent images as live feeds could help to establish the presence of a drone and even to determine its flight path. But Washington and Tel Aviv turned down the request.

True it’s a drone and no human troops exist on ground, still it is meddling in other state’s affairs and committing the crime of reaping innocent lives, even if these are devices that do not respire.

Yemen also has its share of strikes, as US unmanned planes also buzz in the skies of the country located at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, and again, exterminating terrorism is the pretext.

Enough it is to remember the Amnesty International evidence that American missiles were fired in a so-called “target killing” attack against al-Qaeda militants in Yemen in which 41 civilians were killed including 14 women and 21 children. Drones have been flying in Yemeni skies for almost a decade now.

Also, the United States has begun operating drones from a new base in Ethiopia from which US Air Forces will coordinate and fly drones against targets in the Horn of Africa region. Now Somalia is the sixth country to join the series of US-targets, where the US military has used the remotely-controlled aircraft to conduct such lethal attacks. On Saturday, at least 16 civilians have been killed after a US assassination drone launched an attack on southern Somalia near the border with Kenya. The US allegedly backs the government of Kenya in its fight against the Somalia-based Islamic militant group al-Shabaab.

Bottom line: Washington claims its drones target militants, while civilians have been the main victims on the ground.

By Nour Rida.  Article originally posted here

Nour Rida can be contacted at

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