Counterproductive Bipartisanship On Drones

In the category of “the sky is blue,” “fire is hot” and “the sun rises in the east,” the Guardian reports on a new study  showing that Washington’s murderous drone killing campaign in Pakistan is “counterproductive.”The sarcasm above is not meant to cast aspersions on the report itself — which is detailed, devastating, and very productive — but on the prevailing mindset in the ruling circles of the West (the self-proclaimed “defenders of civilization”) that makes such a study even necessary, much less “controversial.”For of course even the denizens of the many secret services and black-op armies and intelligence agencies that make up America’s world-straddling security apparat have said, repeatedly, that Washington’s policy of murdering, torturing, renditioning and indefinitely detaining innocent people all over the world — day after day, week after week, year after year — is in fact creating the very extremism and anti-Americanism the policy purports to combat.Thus the new report, by the law schools of New York University and Stanford (a famously if not notoriously conservative institution) should be, in a sane and rational world, a case of carrying coals to Newscastle or selling ice to the Inuit: an exercise in redunancy.

But instead, sadly, the report, “Living Under Drones,” is a very, very rare instance of speaking truth to the power that is waging a hideous campaign of terror — there is no other word for it — against innocent people all over the world. 

The personal testimonies gathered by the researchers — on the ground, in Pakistan — are shattering … at least for those who actually believe that these swarthy foreigners are actually human beings, with “hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions … fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is.” You can be sure — you can be damned sure — that the Nobel Peace Laureate in the White House has never and will never read these stories of the ones he is terrorizing, night and day. These testimonies will never appear beside the scraps of rumor, conjecture and brutal prejudice that constitute the “reports” he sees each Tuesday — “Terror Tuesday” — when he meets in the Oval Office with his death squad team to decide who will be assassinated  that week.

So sad that people who claim to be moral, people who go to church and claim the grace of God, people who have a picture of MLK in the house, people who claim to be “liberals” support this psychopathic behavior.  The policy is only counterproductive with respect to an objective of peace.  To the psychopaths it is productive.  It keeps the war going and enables them to dupe the gullible into fear.


“Why do the American people support these barbaric and cowardly drone attacks?” “How would you like it if foreigners flew death machines into your airspace, murdering innocent men, women and children?” “Don’t you know that these attacks are counterproductive, driving locals into the hands of extremist groups out of a desire for revenge?”

When it comes to drones, Americans and Pakistanis see the world through different lenses. Americans are looking through the eyes of remote-control pilots safely ensconced in bases in the United States, while Pakistanis are at the receiving end of the bull’s eye. Polls show to the two peoples as polar opposites: 83% of Americans support the use of drones against “terrorist suspects overseas”; in Pakistan, among those who say they know something about drones, virtually all—97%—oppose them

Indeed, 80% of Pakistanishave a negative opinion of the United States and three-in-four Pakistanis consider the United States their enemy.

Imran Khan, Pakistan’s famous cricket player turned politician—and the country’s most popular figure, has been championing the cause of drone victims, describing the U.S. use of lethal drones as “immoral and insane” and “a clear violation of international laws and fundamental human rights.”…

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