‘Civilians make up over 90% of casualties in US drone strikes in Pakistan’

(PRESS TV)   Arbitrary extrajudicial executions, carried out at the press of a button from CIA locations in California, with no transparency or accountability, are undoubtedly a violation of international law possibly constituting war crimes. And yet in 2009 alone, American predator drone attacks killed a reported 708 people in Pakistan -a clear violation of the norms of international sovereignty, especially given the fact that the Pakistani government has spoken out against them (at least in public). Foreign policy journal

HIGHLIGHTS

With more drone strikes carried out in Pakistan during the first year of President Barack Obama’s term in office than were carried out in the whole second term of his predecessor George W. Bush, the number of attacks in 2010 more than double those in 2009 and continued growth in their use in 2011, extra-judicial killing seems to have become the modus operandi of the Obama administration. That he feels at such ease with this policy that he is able to joke about it, is testament to just how ill-advised was the decision to award him the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy”. Foreign policy journal

The irony is that through its actions America has shown itself in front of the World to be a reflection of everything that it claimed was evil about those they are against, from the lack of respect for innocent life and the lack of adherence to the rule of law to the use of terror as a political weapon. In reality the ‘war of terror’ is a more apt description of their response since 9/11 than the coined ‘war on terror’, with the use of Predator drones just another example therein. That it is dressed up as legal by willing accomplices such as John Rizzo [one of the CIA’s former lawyers tasked with approving Predator drone strikes back as early as 2001] may appease those few in the domestic audience that care, but strikes many in the rest of the watching World as further evidence of American cynicism, something the United States can ill afford while in its current state of decline. Foreign Policy Journal

According to the Brookings Institution more than 90 percent of those killed have been civilians. Foreign Policy Journal

FACTS & FIGURES

According to the Brookings Institution more than 90 percent of those killed have been civilians. newcivilisation.com

The program of drone strikes was ramped up under the Obama administration. Last year saw the greatest number of attacks, 118, while there have been 45 so far in 2011, according to a tally kept by the New America Foundation, a think-tank based in Washington. Guardian

A group of human rights lawyers working in cooperation with relatives of the victims of U.S. drone attacks in Pakistan is calling for an international arrest warrant to be served on former CIA legal counsel John A. Rizzo on charges of murder. Raw Story

Pakistan’s parliament has adopted a resolution declaring U.S. drone strikes are a violation of the country’s sovereignty. NYT

The United States insists that no more than a few dozen Pakistani non-combatants have been killed in drone attacks targeted at militants. Raw Story

At least 1,184 people were killed in U.S. drone attacks in 2010. The News.com

According to Pakistani sources, U.S. drone strikes kill some 50 civilians for every militant killed, a hit rate of 2 percent. NYT

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