Unmanned: America’s drone war (the teaser trailer--film taken down)
The documentary, Unmanned: America’s drone war, was released this week. You can download a copy from the Internet or view it here. It was powerful and disturbing on an emotional level, and at the same time made a case that the drone strikes benefit nobody except avowed enemies of the United States, and certain corporations who get billion-dollar drone contracts.
The movie highlights two drone victims. One is 16-year-old Tariq Aziz, who was selected by his village community to accompany tribal elders to a Grand Jirga, a meeting of village leaders, politicians, lawyers and journalists from all over Pakistan to discuss what to do about the drone strikes. He was killed while driving a car with another teenage a couple of weeks after the meeting.
The other is 67-year-old Momina Bibi, a 67-year-old grandmother and midwife who was killed while working in her vegetable garden. Her family testified about the drone strikes before Congress this week.
It has long been known that the killer drones often strike people who are not the intended targets. But it is also important to note that intended targets are not necessarily terrorists or militants. The film’s narrator said Tariq Aziz may have been fingered by an informant.
We Americans know little or nothing about the people of Afghanistan or northwest Pakistan. So our government relies on informants, who by definition are morally doubtful individuals, because what person would spy on his own people for the benefit of a foreign government?
Many prisoners at Guantanamo Bay are there because they were identified as Taliban by bounty-hunters. The American authorities evidently took the word of the bounty-hunters, without considering the possibility that they were random individuals, or personal enemies of the bounty-hunters, or people to whom the bounty-hunters owed money.
Why does the U.S. government continue a drone killing policy that has been shown to immoral, illegal and counterproductive? I think it is because the alternative to continuing the policy is for the people responsible for the policy to face the reality of what they have done. Confession and repentance are good for the soul, and until we Americans are able to do this, we are likely to continue on our bad path.
The Short Life and Drone-Delivered Death of Tariq Aziz by Neil Williams for TruthOut.
Please tell me, Mr. President, why a US drone assassinated my mother by Rafiq ur Rehman for The Guardian. Rehman and his young children testified before Congress this week.
Finally a Drone Report Done Right by David Swanson for FireDogLake.
CIA’s Wash Post Leaks Aimed at Silencing Drone Critics, an interview with investigative journalist Gareth Porter on the Real News Network.
Nonviolent soldier of Islam, an earlier post of mine about Abdul Ghaffar Khan, a Muslim leader in what now is Pakistan who was known as the “frontier Gandhi.” His principles reportedly still have a following, especially older leaders in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Breaking Bad: American Has Used Walter White Logic Since 9/11 by Conor Friedersdorf for The Atlantic. It is hard to be just a little bit evil.