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BILL MOYERS: Welcome. “The Disposition Matrix” sounds like the title of a suspense thriller. But that’s what America's counterterrorism experts call their database, the list of those our government believes are preparing to do America harm. From it, targets are chosen for assassination. However, the drones they use are not always so selective, and often kill innocent civilians, including children.

Last Tuesday, for the first time, drone attack victims testified at a briefing for members of Congress. Five members showed up.

The briefing coincided with the release of a new documentary, “Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars,” the latest from Brave New Films, produced and directed by Robert Greenwald. It tells the story of civilians who have lost their lives to drones and includes the testimony of others. Among them, Brandon Bryant, a former American drone operator who carried out attacks by remote control from a military base in New Mexico.

BRANDON BRYANT in Unmanned: Getting into the drone program was weird. The introduction is like, “This is what we do, we kill people and break things. That is what our job is.” […]

And depending on atmospherics, if it was a completely clear day, you’d definitely get a good picture. And depending on how close you were you could probably read the license plate on someone’s car. We can see something as simple as people playing a soccer game. We can see individual players, and we can even see the ball.

BILL MOYERS: One of those featured in the film is Tariq Aziz, 16 years old. He lived in the mountainous region northern Pakistan and he loved to play soccer.

In April 2010, his 18 year old cousin, Asmar Ullah, was killed by a missile fired from an American drone as he rode his motorcycle. A year and a half later, Tariq, determined to tell his cousin’s story, made a tough, day-long journey through treacherous terrain to attend a gathering in the capital of Islamabad, where tribal elders met with Western journalists to describe the drone war being waged in their homeland by the United States.

KAREEM KHAN in Unmanned: These drones attack us and the whole world is silent.

KHUN MARJAN KHAN in Unmanned: I raise my voice to take a stand.

DR. BASHIR KHAN in Unmanned: You press a button and annihilate entire families and tribes.

CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH in Unmanned: This is a part of the drone, the missile, that was used to kill that child.

OSAMA HINJI in Unmanned: It was a gathering to get the voice of the victims of the drone attacks out to the general public as well as the rest of the world.

NEIL WILLIAMS in Unmanned: And that was the main goal. We were going to use the media to try and establish who had been killed. And also why, where and how.

JEMIMA KHAN in Unmanned: Well because of the inaccessibility of Waziristan, it’s very, very hard to compile any kind of credible evidence or evidence that others will see as credible. That was why we compiled this conference at Islamabad.

CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH in Unmanned: We called it a Jirga.

JEMIMA KHAN in Unmanned: A Jirga is a traditional tribal gathering.

CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH in Unmanned: It’s what people in that area use to settle their disputes.

MAN in Unmanned: This is simply indiscriminate bombing! There are so many women and children killed.

NEIL WILLIAMS in Unmanned: At one stage I came upon a young boy, Tariq Aziz. When I was talking to Tariq one of the first things that he did was he handed me his cousin’s student ID card. And as I looked at it I looked back at Tariq and I noticed he was crying, he started to tell me the story of his cousin who had been killed from a drone strike. He’d come to the Jirga primarily to inform us a little bit more about what had happened to his cousin to people in his local village and find out how to stop the killing. We sat together all day, we ate together at lunch time. We laughed together, we became friends. Tariq was extremely intelligent and funny to be around. He had a nice sense of humor. He was fascinated by photography and intrigued by western music, mentioning artists and one that sprang to mind was Lady Gaga. He started to talk about drone strikes in his village. How he was unable to sleep at night, he was scared he was worried about his family, his friends. Tariq was traumatized. […]

PRATAP CHATTERJEE in Unmanned: And the people who were gathered there adopted a resolution condemning the strikes. […]

Then we went together to a rally and Tariq Aziz traveled there with us. […]

NEWS ANCHOR 1 in Unmanned: Thousands of Pakistanis came to support a giant rally on Sunday.

NEWS ANCHOR 2 in Unmanned: The protest against the United States’ drone attacks in Pakistan.

MAN in Unmanned: The drones are violations of the people of Pakistan as well as their human rights.

NEWS ANCHOR 3 in Unmanned: People from all over the country irrespective of their ages and backgrounds came together to the rally.

PRATAP CHATTERJEE in Unmanned: After that Tariq Aziz and the other attendees returned to their homes.

BILL MOYERS: Three days later, Tariq and another cousin, 12-year-old Waheed Khan, were driving to pick up players for a soccer match. In a flash, both young people were killed by a CIA drone strike; the car destroyed, their bodies badly burned.

SHAHZAD AKBAR in Unmanned: Two days later I got a call […]

JEMIMA KHAN in Unmanned: I got an email.

OSAMA HINJI in Unmanned: I was at work when we found out.

PRATAP CHATTERJEE in Unmanned: We got an email and a telephone call.

NEIL WILLIAMS in Unmanned: Four days after the Jirga, I received an email from Shazhad. The email simply said “Tariq” as the heading. And I opened it instantly. To my shock I found out that Tariq had been murdered by a drone strike.

SHAHZAD AKBAR in Unmanned: And that was a shock. And we were like, how, how is it possible. Where was he? What was he doing? And it's like, completely unbelievable.

FAISAL WALI in Unmanned: He was just an innocent student. He was my student.

ABDUL AZIZ in Unmanned: They said that Tariq has been killed. I could not believe it. […]

MAN in Unmanned: In Pashto there is a saying, "Let me be buried with your picture, in case I forget you in heaven." […]

MARY ELLEN O'CONNELL in Unmanned: If the US had any information that Tariq Aziz was part of a criminal organization, was planning to carry out attacks on the United States, then our federal law enforcement agents should have been working with the authorities of Pakistan to arrest him.

PRATAP CHATTERJEE in Unmanned: And one really has to ask the question why the government was not able to arrest or even question him. This is Islamabad we're talking about. It's the capitol of the country.

NEIL WILLIAMS in Unmanned: Population is over a million people. Jirga was a real public event.

PRATAP CHATTERJEE in Unmanned: It was at a big hotel. It was advertised widely. It was an open event.

MARY ELLEN O'CONNELL in Unmanned: Tariq Aziz was plainly visible to hundreds and hundreds of people. He talked with reporters. Everything about him that the authorities could have wanted to know about his location and about his recent activities, were known to the United States.

PRATAP CHATTERJEE in Unmanned: It would have been extremely easy for them to approach him, sit down and talk to him, or for that matter, put him in jail. But instead the CIA chose to go and kill him, without giving him the opportunity to give his side of whatever it is that they thought that he had done. There is no evidence there whatsoever. And they've given him no lawyers, there's no judge and there's no jury.

PRESIDENT OBAMA in Unmanned: Our preference is always to capture if we can, because then we can gather intelligence. But a lot of the terrorist networks that target the United States, the most dangerous ones, operate in remote regions and it's very difficult to capture them.

CORA CURRIER in Unmanned: But what we can discern from the pattern of strikes is essentially Pakistan's been declared a no capture zone. That automatically capture is not considered feasible.

MARK MAZZETTI in Unmanned: If we just look at the numbers, there have been dramatically more people killed in recent years than have been captured. […]

CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH in Unmanned: There are no CIA agents in Waziristan, so they rely on local people.

SHAHZAD AKBAR in Unmanned: And this is where the fundamental wrong is. Because these people are working for you for money.

CLIVE STAFFORD SMITH in Unmanned: And that reliance is utterly misplaced. And what you see in Tariq's case, and it just pains me to say this, that you know without any real room for dispute that there was someone in that room when we were having our Jirga who was an informant for the US intelligence services. And that that person picked out Tariq. I can tell you as a matter of fact that Tariq was not an extremist. And the way you know what intelligence they relied on to kill someone is what they release immediately after the killing. And in that case they said four militants were killed. And of course we know two kids were killed. That's how it happened.

KAREN DEYOUNG in Unmanned: I asked the CIA about the strike, and their response was that on that day child was killed, in fact the adult males were supporting al Qaeda's facilitation network. So, despite all of these technological assets and human assets, we're not there, we don't know. And I think there is a lot of room for error.

BILL MOYERS: You can see Robert Greenwald’s film in its entirety at the website, Unmanned.Warcosts.com. I urge you to watch it with a companion, because you will want to talk about the questions it raises concerning national security, drones, and the nature of war. Then I’d like to know what you think.

Remember that in the excerpt we showed earlier the former drone operator says: "This is what we do, we kill people and break things, this is what our job is." It’s true. Once we insist on war as a solution, this is always the outcome. There is no way to avoid killing the innocent when you have determined to destroy your enemy.

Our own government has fought our wars by dropping atomic bombs on whole cities. By firebombing. Carpet-bombing. By spreading the poison of Agent Orange over the homes and farms of noncombatants. By splashing burning napalm on children. In this War on Terror, we are told, either we put boots on the ground and see our own young men and women killed, or we put drones in the sky firing missiles at strangers who can be seen only from a distance.

If you were President Obama, what choice would you make? I’d like to hear your succinct and considered response. Write me at BillMoyers.com or on Facebook.

I promise to read every response.

America’s Drone Wars

This week, members of Congress heard testimony for the first time from victims of drone attacks, including that of 13-year-old Zubair Rehman, from Pakistan, who spoke of a strike last year that killed his grandmother and wounded him and his little sister. “I no longer love blue skies. In fact, I now prefer grey skies. The drones do not fly when the skies are grey… When the sky brightens, drones return and we live in fear,” Rehman told the five members of Congress who showed up for the testimony.

The use of drones has intensified under President Obama’s leadership as the number of troops on the ground in Afghanistan and the Pakistani tribal areas has been scaled back. But the drones often kill innocent civilians, including children. That is the subject of Robert Greenwald’s new documentary, Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars. Here, we look at clips from the film, which shares testimony, stories and alarming news on the fatal impact of our drone strategy.

Producer: Gina Kim. Associate Producer: Julia Conley Editor: Sikay Tang

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  • Anonymous

    A sad commentary on American foreign policy. But then again, when has it not been sad. However one can’t be so naive to think that the CIA would not use such measures and all the technology at their disposal to dispose of their enemies in their global war on terror. I found a good definition of a sociopath : a person characterized by a tendency to commit antisocial and sometimes violent acts and a failure to feel guilt for such acts. There are no apologies or even acknowledgements after killing innocent civilians, which will invariably happen when war is made so easy.

  • Anonymous

    I know that the “drones” are a weapon that kills, and that innocent people are killed; but, how many innocent people were killed in Vetnam? How many innocent people were killed in Iraq in 1991 and 2003? It’s sad and war is terrible, but….

  • Frank

    Thank you Bill for bringing this subject to light. We’re probably creating more terrorists than stopping them with these drone wars.

  • anotherBill

    Bill, You seem to imply that our only choices are boots on the ground or drone strikes. Both are foolish foreign policy choices. The American people spoke overwhelmingly against the choice of military action in Syria and told Congress and the President to give peace a chance. The same applies to drone strikes. They do not and will not make us safer — only more hated. We have to design foreign policy that promotes peace, not conflict. This seems an incomprehensible approach for our dominant mentality which sees peacemaking as a loss of face and a drag on business. But it is possible. It takes will,time and resources (which can be diverted from war making)

  • anotherBill

    anotherBill
    Bill, You seem to imply that our only choices are boots on the ground or drone strikes. Both are foolish foreign policy choices. The American people spoke overwhelmingly against the choice of military action in Syria and told Congress and the President to give peace a chance. The same applies to drone strikes. They do not and will not make us safer — only more hated. We have to design foreign policy that promotes peace, not conflict. This seems an incomprehensible approach for our dominant mentality which sees peacemaking as a loss of face and a drag on business. But it is possible. It takes will,time and resources (which can be diverted from war making given the will).

  • Anonymous

    I was in the U.S. Army 1967-72, part of that time near the Mekong River, at the time we did not know why we were there, but we were there and wanted to go home. If LBJ had sent drones we would have cheered. The enemy uses children and women as weapons then to carry grenades and now to carry explosives. It’s not simple.

  • sandlapper

    If we really had to choose either boots on the ground in preventive wars or the preventive drone strikes we are doing, as the only two ways to build US security, I would choose boots on the ground as the more honest way. However, neither of these choices promotes our security or our hopes. Christ’s comment, “Those who live by the sword die by the sword,” is a statement of fact. If we limit our wars to defense against actual attacks, we can build security within that limitation and find friends in other countries to help us do it.

  • Robert Shore

    What I cannot understand is why Pakistan countenances these drone attacks which are clearly an outrageous infringement on Pakistan sovereignty. Clearly the Pakistan army or air force is fully capable of shooting down these drones. The only explanation I can think of is the Pakistan government is complicit in these drone attacks and encourages the United States to continue them while giving lip-service to protesting them.

  • Bev

    We join the Dark Side if killing is how we teach those bad guys a lesson. * Just wait 5 minutes and we’ll get the relatives who come out to help those just bombed. * Thank you Bill for showing this film and getting the discussion going.

  • Lorna Van

    We need to invest more in peace (State Dept) than we invest in the War Department (DoD). Enough said.

  • Anonymous

    You can see them. They terrorize the civilian population with their daily buzzing on clear days. The only time they don’t come out is when it is overcast. That’s why many Pakistani’s have learned to love cloudy days.

  • Faith A. Colburn

    All the drones should be destroyed. Raining death from the sky from thousands of miles away is obscene. Whatever happened to due process in this country. I do not recognize Amerida anymore.

  • Anonymous

    Obama wants to win wars without casualties. That is sissy! if one wants something, one has to pay the corresponding cost. if what one wants is not worth the cost, one has to forego it. Obama’s ways is a problem of attitude! There will be more injustices forthcoming if Obama is allowed to have his ways, that is, comfort without sacrifice. This is what culture of death is all about!!

  • David Colbert

    There are many in the U.S. who are in the business of maintaining wars. Therefore there are many in the U.S. who wish to start wars.

  • David Colbert

    Understand this: money.

  • David Colbert

    How did any Vietnamese become your enemy, Ken?

  • David Colbert

    Like the CIA would create terrorists to justify a war on terror?

  • shirley

    I have written President Obama at least twice, from ‘way back, about my abhorrence of drones. Our military is so smug, feeling superior in technology and “effectiveness”. I am just waiting for other countries to develop their own drones and come after us. This is like a script from a Hollywood movie, except this is real blood of innocents, not fake blood.

  • Anonymous

    I am so sad this country has become the killer machine with our tax money in our name. I am sad the our government has lost it’s way to Corporate Greed!
    I am sad that we have lost our original constitution, our upright scholars/regulators that had argued and injected balance for our country! Our flag, with the stripes, the red white and significance it holds to all the citizens is lost. I am crying for our country all the time these days, because I can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel! All I can do is pray for our humanity to wake up and protect our
    “Mother Earth”

  • Richard Sargent

    I ha ve yet to understand why we just don’t come back to within our own borders and take care of us (U.S.). I cannot help but think if another country came from here and crried out drone attacks I would probably become a “terrorist” in thier country!!

  • August Crissey

    I can’t help but wonder as I watch the process that “targets” individuals as terrorist threats, if we are not being “had”. We seem to be trusting individuals in the field to inform us of the movements and activities in the war torn areas to give us legitimate targets. The incentive to do this is money. doesn’t this encourage the informant to produce targets, legitimate or not? With money in the equation we invite targeting persons for a strike simply to perpetuate the process. With all that is currently going on with the world today this is a valid argument. Are we not perpetuating a war on terrorists simply for the continuation of that “war”? I question the credibility of the informant as well as the motivation. I would also like to go on record on challenging the credentials of all the “informants”

  • Victoria Boothe-Johnson

    Sissy? Really? If he goes out there to fight himself is it any better? Does it matter if it’s “macho” or not? It’s immoral either way.

  • Anonymous

    I am currently mucking my way through Jeremy Scahill’s Dirty Wars. In this clip the strikes are attributed to CIA. I say not so fast. I say let’s go back a few years and look at the roots of the drone program and Cheney and Rumsfeld who in a moment of crisis adroitly circumvented the Pentagon and the CIA and set up JSOC shortly to include it’s own intel group. Obama is basically a good person but in my opinion while he has stamina and understanding he has not the experience or the aspect to play hard line with dangerous people. Nor is he surrounded by those who have either of those necessary qualities. We cannot dump blame on one person but should mete it out proportionally… including American citizens.

  • Anonymous

    then so should we all. Who let Rumsfeld and Cheney walk ?

  • Edward Toomey

    I was initially concerned about the use of this technology in 2009. In one of blogs, I wrote “For some time, I have been uneasy with the use of drone warfare. While there is something exotic about being able to be involved in the killing of enemies without the use of our manpower, it is a slippery slope to the time when other nations will develop the technology. And then, what? What will be the next advancement to maintain our superiority? They already are starting to discuss space weapons that will be coming from military satellites.” The concern that whatever advantage would be gained in the short run would, ultimately, became a source of fear when other nations developed the technology and expertise. Thinking that we would always be on the side of good seemed naive.

    Since 2009, my concerns have broadened. Military warfare is inherently problematic and taken only when all other options for defending a nation’s interest are taken. However, when military options are used essentially without soldiers on the ground, there is no obstacle to more force. As it is, we have a military composed on such a low percentage of the population and, at that, not spread evenly over the nation. People, in general, are somewhat immunized against the impact of pain, injury, and death associated with war when so many know no one personally involved in the military. How much more so would this be if there were even less manpower involved in the killing of those identified as enemies.

    In conclusion, my major concerns about the use of drones (and other advanced technology) is that we are only making our world less safe. As the technology becomes available to others, it will be used eventually against those considered our friends, if not ourselves. And secondly, antiseptic warfare, i.e., fighting without sharing the agony with a diverse and fair proportion of the citizenry, only makes any restraint less possible.

    Finally, I can well understand your reasons for retiring again. At the same time, we will be less an informed citizenry without you. Thank you.

    Edward Toomey
    45 Glades Road
    Scituate, MA 02066

  • JoeTN

    It seems to me that the use of drones vs the killing of children is much like the debate in football and concussions. No one seems to want to discountinue the game (football nor war) just to end a problem. In this and the TPP discussion, it is all sumed up in one word. GREED. Too simplistic? Money trumps every thing. Just my opinion.

  • myrtlemay lee

    The drone wars remind me of a Star Trek episode called “A Taste of Armageddon”, on an, as yet, smaller scale. Obama, the US & other countries are trying to devise “sanitary” ways to kill alleged enemies without risking their own soldiers. And, in extreme irony, the US is using soldiers from primarily the red states who enlist with the hope of a steady income, education, job training – things the rabid GOP right can’t “afford” to give any American. No draft, just an endless merry-go-round of death, injury & horror for the “warrior class” while the rest of us sit home & get fat.

    I think the greatest thing about the “Greatest Generation” is that they shared. They shared the fear, the discomfort, the sounds & sights & smells of war on the battlefield, & at home they shared the sacrifice & work & tears & prayers. Later, for awhile, they shared peace.

    As a species, the only hope we have for peace is the obscene ugliness of war. It’s the incentive for us to do the hard, thankless work of negotiating & maintaining peace. We can’t simply calculate the price to be paid by those affluent enough to pay prices – we have to share in the COSTS. EVERY ONE of us.

    If Obama wants to continue the obscenity of an inaccurate, remote drone program dealing death, he should at least have a clean-up crew on the ground to memorialize it.

    If we believe what we’re doing is right, we should all sacrifice to do it. Or find a better way to do it. And we need pictures. Photojournalists. We need to see the burning & the blood & the horror that illustrate the fruits of our “beliefs”.

  • Anonymous

    Drones are some of Al Queda’s most successful recruting tools. Enough said.

  • Carole Trickett

    The disconnect between the morarality of the use of drones and is so mired and so deep it is breath taking. As for myself, I have lost all expectation of moral behavior on the part of this Administration.

  • JonThomas

    If I may ask…

    What exactly is the point of your comment?

    If I am understanding correctly, it sounds as if you are excusing, even making allowances for the death of innocents in drone strikes by reminding us of the death of innocents in times past.

    It’s also possible that you are decrying the death of innocents in any type of war…but…

    Then again, I must ask… are you saying that all violence is okay, even if innocents are killed?

    Maybe it’s just the violence that is deemed righteous and appropriate by those whom you see as legitimate authorities?

    Seriously, please elaborate.

  • JonThomas

    Instead of looking at the issue as a soldier on the ground, which is a valid perspective, how did you feel about the war as a citizen?

    I’m not trying to dredge up old arguments or things to left in the past, but I’m curious if you could draw parallels about how you feel as a citizen. Or as a person with your experience, what would you advise on the drone strikes as an aspect of the war on terror? What would you say if you were in a top-level decision-making position?

    Was Vietnam a valid use of Soldiers, efforts, and money?

    In that same vein, Is the so-called “War-on-Terror” valid? From these perspectives, are the efforts and the costs (monetary, and of lives,especially of innocents) advisable?

  • JonThomas

    I’m not trying to defend any terrorist, or any terrorist attack, but I think it’s good to keep in mind that the attack on the World trade Center, and the attack on the Pentagon, are not seen by those who committed those atrocities as attacks on “innocent people.”

    The Pentagon was certainly a ‘hard’ target, and the World Trade Center was a worldwide symbol of financial intervention… a direct reflection of “American Imperialism.”

    The “War on Terror,” as a U.S. involved campaign, is an outgrowth of those attacks.

    Those attacks only came out of a vacuum if a person is woefully, and willfully ignorant of history.

    When one’s worldview is filtered only through the prism of their own perspective, then there’s no such things as rainbows… you may only see, and want… red.

  • JonThomas

    Next up on the technology table… The Tantalus field.

  • Anonymous

    War is wrong, but…. This is not sarcasm but reality.

  • Harry

    Headlne:

    Collateral Damage Kills Civilians in Pakistani Drone Strike on US Tea Party Miltants

  • Arianna_NL

    Ninjas? Can you please elucidate on what you mean by that word?

  • Arianna_NL

    At 12,000-20,000 feet up, you might see the condensation trail they don’t have, but you are likely to lost the drone in the glare.

  • JonThomas

    I suppose that in an era where the word “war” is redefined and used in terms like “War on Drugs,” “War on Poverty,” War on Christmas” and any other large scale, righteously perceived endeavor, then perhaps the use of drones could be seen through that lens.

    I found a quote that is in the last sentence of the first paragraph of … http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/War_as_metaphor

    “James Childress describes the use of war as a metaphor as a dilemma: ‘In debating social policy through the language of war, we often forget the moral reality of war.’”

    To me, that’s the problem.

    Even though it’s all gussied up to look like a ‘war’ (lipstick and all,) the “War on Terror” and these drone strikes are actually isolated, largely-unconfirmed attacks on individuals and groups. deemed as threats.

    There is no real “war,” and all the justifications one can offer cannot give it a semblance of morality.

    Americans drive their cars, heat their houses, eat their burgers, continuing to live an unsustainable lifestyle, all while they shrug their shoulders and say…”ehhh, I know it’s wrong, but…”

    “Reality!!!???”… Dont get me started.

  • power to the peons!

    This one I like! But the truth is these drone killings are utterly unconscionable, in large part because you don’t have to look them in the eyes.

    Those who have served in our wars have learned how to survive ‘on the ground’ — they shoot at anything that moves, and they feel right in doing that because they have already dehumanized the ‘enemy’; if soldiers can do that then so can civilians — that’s basically what happened to the soldiers returning from Vietnam. How long before we begin dehumanizing those soldiers returning now?

  • power to the peons!

    Your comment brought me to tears … Trayvon’s death was such a travesty — EXACTLY like the deaths of the children in Pakistan and Yemen! Thank you for such a powerful comment that truly connects the dots, and shows how we are ALL part of the same family!

    Pwr 2 the CHILDREN peons!
    GUILLOTINE COMPLACENCY!

  • dawulf

    How we came to justify assassinations by drone or any other means escapes me. There is no honor in killing in this cowardly manner. Killing at the whim of an intelligence agency or the military seems a very dangerous precedent for our country to indulge in. In my value system, this behavior us completely unacceptable. How killing by drone differs from the atrocious acts of uncivilized societies of the past I cannot see.

  • Arghangel

    Of course Obama is as Obama does, and I personally would not choose to follow the dictates of this country’s rapaciously capitalistic construct and nightmare concept of reality. If I were to ever wake up in the POTUS’s shoes… I would immediately declare a Moratorium on Ignorance and Fear, gather all the Defense Contractor CEOs, Media Moguls, and their assorted lackey conspirants together under one roof and inform them that the Age of Aquarius has finally arrived… and that it was indeed time to switch over to producing products that served a positive nurturing purpose towards enabling the good of all humanity and it’s accompanying creation. Everyone attending would have little light bulbs instantly illuminating inside of their heads, the excitement and fervor would flow out into the streets spreading out across the entire country, and the U.S.’s date with the coming Fascist Financial Apocalypse would be cancelled! And it would be because we all finally decided to sit down to work together and create a Peaceful and Non-Toxic Solution for a Better Tomorrow!! YAY US!!!!

  • Lisa Hendricks

    I am ashamed of our country, ashamed of myself for not doing more to protest our use of drones. It is cowardly and against the basic principle that I grew up with and believe as true, The Golden Rule. How will this country feel when the day comes that this weapon is used against us? What a truly terrifying weapon. To call it a Drone War is not a true reflection of the situation, because our drones aren’t apposed by the victims – it isn’t a case of drones against drones, but drones against human beings.

  • j

    do those whose religion endorse those who kill us…
    care about OUR civilian casulties?
    For the most part, they foment civilian casulties and
    brag about them!

  • Robert Meyer

    Don’t like drone strikes? Okay, now let’s consider the alternatives:

    1. Do nothing. Give al Qaeda/Taliban fighters safe haven in Pakistan. Don’t whine when the Taliban start imposing their harsh punishments on civilians or killing Pakistanis for not being or doing what the Taliban wants.

    2. Put American boots on the ground in Pakistan to track and kill suspected al Qaeda/Taliban fighters. Be prepared for more American casualties and higher costs. Also be prepared for war with Pakistan for disrespecting their sovereignty.

    3. Instead of drones, send in jet fighters with human pilots to strafe suspected Taliban strongholds. Be prepared for twenty or thirty times the “collateral damage”.

    The point is, the drone program, though not perfect, is far preferable and far more humane than any of the alternatives.

  • Jay Dratler Jr.

    Ninjas are specialized and highly trained assassins. The word is of Japanese origin. We have a whole brigade of them, some of whom killed bin Laden. For more and references, search for “our modern ninjas and their role in human history.”

  • Arianna_NL

    It’s already happening.

  • Harry

    The Taliban are not our enemy. We have created them as an enemy, as an excuse to pursue this endless war called “The War on Terror” Al Quada is not a standing army but exists in many parts of the world as idealogical opponent of western culture. You are not going to wipe it out by fighting a war in Pakistan. Certainly not a coward’s war like the one with drones. You will in fact increase their ranks – as we already have done.

  • Dryheaves Daily

    we have to provide welfare for the military industrial complex.. LOckheed needs it multibillion dollar fix

  • Dryheaves Daily

    what democracy?

  • Dryheaves Daily

    meanwhile Cheney and Bush never leave the country for fear they will be brought to the Hague and charged as war criminals.

  • Dryheaves Daily

    so now we have to make sure that we kill innocent people in the most cost effective manner. wow

  • Dryheaves Daily

    One day we will get what we deserve for our silence in this matter. The new TV is more important to us than the hundreds of thousands of people murdered over the years in th e name of democracy. How many innocents were killed in Nam, Iraq and afghanistan?

  • Dryheaves Daily

    we dont consider them people.

  • Anonymous

    Assassination by drones, extraordinary renditions, Noam Chomsky has commented that the US gov. has not only trashed the constitution, but English common law going all the way back to the Magna Carta.
    I would also like to speak of something else, impunity. After Anwar Al Alaki’s death, the US then assassinated his son, also a US citizen while he was sitting in a coffee shop. At first they claimed he was sitting with some terrorists, then claimed it was a mistake. It appears they had not enough blood with the father, so they went after his family. This is common with the US military. They are openly jubilant after a good blood-letting. I am quite convinced the boy in the video, who was assassinated after he spoke out against the drone assassinations, was assassinated quite specifically because of this. The US has turned certain areas, Yemen and Pakistan for instance, into essentially free fire zones. If it doesn’t like your politics, or clothes, or a case of mistaken identity, they send a drone to visit you. Afterwards nobody even asks a question. What happened to sovereignty? Apparently these countries have none, or more aptly sovereignty, except when the US differs.
    There is no law except what the US chooses to observe

  • Anonymous

    The above post was written by Tommy Rimes.

  • Yasir Khan

    One day the America have more enemies than friends just think why China and Russia didn’t have any terrorist issues like America coz a saying”if u throw stones on anyone in reply be ready for more stones”America is actually creating More Talibans n more militants and more hatred against America from these extra judicial deadly drone strikes as one innocent children or a family member killed the remaining whole family or even whole Tribe join Taliban

  • Dave Alexander

    You are not experiencing an “all out war” Read accounts of World War two if you want to know what “all out war” is. If Pakastan would or could control the terrorists who hide within it’s boarders and live under the protection of a portion of it;s government, there would be no drone strikes there. Additionally, if radical fundamentalist Muslims would learn that they do not have use terrorism to try to force their beliefs on the rest of the world, there would be no drone strikes anywhere in the world.
    World peace is a wornderful goal, and perhaps achievable if people would be willing to live and let live, and not use force/terrorism to make the rest of the of the world live their way.
    Unfortunately, the vast majority of people who do use force base their beliefs on some form of Islam; albeit a minor form. Sectarian violence, sunni versus she’ite other between them and other sects like the taliban cast all of Islam in a bad light. Christianity was not much better several centuries ago, but has matured beyond such barbarism. Has Islam?

  • Joann

    Drones are immoral and unjustifiable. We should be
    ashamed.

  • Millicent Danks

    Dear Bill,

    With deep sorrow and shame I detest the deplorable acts of destruction and of suffering caused by these drone attacks. I cannot conceive of the pain that is inflicted on these innocent people. There is a law of cause and effect that cannot be manipulated…..and some day we will have to face it and suffer the repercussions of these atrocities.

    Millicent

  • Anonymous

    You say, “It looks as if terrorism will be with us for some time. We can treat it as a ‘war’ and end up with massive civilian casualties and losses of our own troops (as in Afghanistan or Iraq), maybe for decades or centuries. Or we can treat it as what it is: criminal activities by small bands of non-state actors, which we can suppress with drones, ninjas and manned air power.”

    You were on the right track until you said we should “suppress” criminals with drones, ninjas, and manned air power. Actually, the use of drones and the ninjas who killed Bin Laden have made our terrorism problem worse. There are now more “small bands of non-state actors” than ever before. The main reason they haven’t scored another victory like 9/11 is vigilance by the American people and enforcement of criminal laws by the U.S. and other nations. But continuing the use of drones to assassinate the guilty and innocent alike will only make the problem worse, as Hamid Karzai just reminded us by doing what he can to throw the NATO alliance out of Afghanistan unless drone attacks are stopped in that country.

  • Jay Dratler Jr.

    It looks as if you didn’t click the “more” button or read my last three paragraphs.

    I agree that unintended casualties can be counterproductive. But what are the alternatives to using ninjas and drones? “Boots on the ground” would be an impossible violation of local sovereignty. We’re certainly not going to fight our way into nuclear-armed Pakistan, except maybe to recover nuclear weapons stolen by jihadis. So stealth is our only option.

    Troops are also politically unacceptable here, as they would vastly increase our own casualties. And a strategy of hiding at home and making our own nation a security nightmare (as with TSA) is not an attractive one.

    The only reasonable alternative, in my view, is to continue using ninjas and drones but to be more careful about unintended casualties. That means more accurate weaponry, better surveillance and intelligence, and more careful rules of engagement.

    I completely disagree that assassinating bin Laden was counterproductive. And I think our military/intelligence folks (unanimously!) and the vast majority of our people agree on that point.

  • Anonymous

    Too many movies, Robert. So much of what you have said is merely a collection of talking points by those who endorse these wars for treasure and oil.

  • Anonymous

    J – cut back on caffeine soon. Do you seriously believe that we might not survive something? We are the most aggressive country in the world, and we always lose. Re-examine the facts as an alternative.

  • Anonymous

    Drones do not fit your outline. Even if you believe that these strikes are getting anything done at all. All you have is the crowing of the gov’t about “terrorists” that were killed. You can’t even be sure any “terrorist” was killed. And you believe everyting you hear, apparently.