“….modern wars are exploiting, maiming and killing children more callously and more systematically than ever.” – Graca Machel 1996 and 2000
CIA drone terror debate unleashed with new report
Pakistani tribesmen protested drones this week with a Foundation for Human Rights banner reading, “Terrorist? CIA or Taliban? Ask Drone victims,” sentiment related to an investigative rights group new report that CIA’s covert drone war has deployed 291 drone strikes on Pakistan since 2004 and under President Barack Obama, there has been one every four days, allegations US officials have strongly rejected, telling ABC News the numbers are “way off the mark.” A non-profit organization Child Victims of War also believe the new report number is way off, much lower than its findings.
A Pakistani boy at the protest held a sign that read, “USA Leave Us Alone” while Friday, US officials criticized London-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism report findings that there have been many more CIA attacks on alleged al-Qaeda and Taliban targets and far more civilian deaths than previously reported.
Bombing raids by unmanned aircraft killed up to 168 children in Pakistan over the last seven years according to the report findings as published by AFP news, a low figure states the non-profit organization, Child Victims of War.
“According to Pakistan bodycount, 2867 people have been killed or injured by drones in Pakistan alone,” according to Child Victims of War.
US military spokespeople agree, anonymously, that the number of deaths by drones is inaccurate.
“The numbers cited by this organisation are way off the mark,” said a senior US official, who spoke to the AFP News on condition of anonymity.
“In the past year, in the neighbourhood of 600 militants – including more than two dozen terrorist leaders – have been taken off the battlefield.
“In that same period of time, we can’t confirm any noncombatant casualties,” the official said.
A second US official who requested anonymity also said, The numbers are wrong.”
According to AlJazeera, the officials said intelligence agencies took precautions to avoid killing civilians and that the robotic aircraft – equipped with missiles, video cameras and sensors- can linger over a target to ensure accuracy.
“This is a weapon – fuelled by good intelligence – that allows us to counter an urgent and deadly threat in otherwise inaccessible places,” said one of the officials.
Kathy Kelly of Child Victims of War has reported, “Drones are terrorizing the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In areas of frequent drone attack, people are always looking to the skies with fear and apprehension.
“In one part of Afghanistan thirty high schools have shut down because the parents say that their children are distracted by the drones flying overhead and that it’s unsafe for them to gather in the schools.”
There is no measure for terror and psychological damage to the millions of children and adults in the constant sights of US silent predators.