Targeted Killings & Droning On

Frank O'Brien looks at the US policy of extra judicial killing. Frank O'Brien is a long time resident of Troy, NY, USA, and former head of Clan na Gael in same city area.

The indiscriminate killings/executions of supposed Taliban leaders, and members, which turn out to be innocent civilians instead, demonstrates the deficiency in this policy of extra-judicial killing on the part of the American government, and military.

Any doubt about whether those killed were actually, and secretly colluding with the Taliban, or now Daesh/ISIS/ISIL, is used many times in the US's justification of using this policy in their supposed War on Terror, since to the Americans any shred of evidence against those killed is seen as actual evidence of guilt.

The Obama administration has even actually authorized the killing of any Americans seen as colluding with the Sunni extremist groups, Taliban, and now Daesh/ISIS/ISIL in particular, which goes against basic American law statutes, and the US Constitution and Bill of Rights. Unmanned Aerial Vehicles[UAVs] are the automated means, and now preferred means, of attacking suspected Taliban and insurgent targets in both Afghanistan, Pakistan and the Middle East. Because of faulty intelligence, many times innocent people are killed, or seriously injured, which the military quaintly, and euphemistically refers to as collateral damage.

The Rules of Engagement are what normally dictate how and when such lethal force can be used, but this is not properly followed as is demonstrated by the thousands of innocent people who have become permanently injured, or killed, by these UAVs. What has become of the use of facial recognition technology, and other sophisticated technological identification means? Do the US military even use such technology to minimize their killing, and injuring of those innocents caught up in the so-called War on Terror?

What is clear is that there has been enough excessive force that has hurt, or killed innocent non-combatants, that there has been a clear violation of the very military code governing these drone attacks. There is the Rules of Engagement, which dictates where and when such lethal force can be used, though when it has taken place in Pakistan, it violates the sovereignty of that nation, and that of places like Yemen and elsewhere.

When these UAVs or drones have caused injury, or death to children, the grievousness is so outrageous as to be beyond criminal. It also has only served to strengthen the resolve of insurgents, since causing the death or injury to innocents only makes for a whole new generation that is willing to fight the infidel in their midst. By extension of logic, this legalized premeditated murder allows for an equal, if not greater response to it by those being victimized by it. The supposed good guy has become the terrorist, using their over grown boy toys to reign destruction and terror down on the innocents more often than the guilty. In this context, those previously seen as the terrorists, could be seen as defending themselves now if they respond in places like mainland Europe.

Faulty intelligence is no excuse to justify the indiscriminate killing, and injuring of those who have nothing to do with the Taliban, or Daesh/ISIS/ISIL or Al Qaeda. Innocent casualties from these high tech cowardly machines is illegal if you really dig deep into international law, and not one of the presidential candidates has spoken out about them during the current campaign. You cannot snuff out an ideology by targeted killings, when those very killings then add more recruits to the ranks of the existent resistance. Just as the Phoenix Program was a dismal failure in Vietnam, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to predict that this new kind of assassination program will completely fail in it's objective. It in essence already has failed, driving so many as it has into the arms of the Taliban, and groups in Yemen and elsewhere in the Middle East.

It is truly clear that there needs to be a rethinking of military strategy, besides foreign policy in the losing proposition that is called the War on Terror. This whole insanity of sending unmanned aerial vehicles to do targeted assassinations is cowardly, and morally reprehensible, going completely against traditional military actions of the past, only causing resentment and hatred from those who lose beloved family members, without so much as an apology from the US military or government, or reparations to the innocent families, like in Pakistan, where the Pakistan government has become increasingly hostile towards the US, and seeing them as extremely arrogant to the extreme.

My friend and dear brother, Sajjad Amin Bangash, agrees that these actions must stop, as does our shared hero of the Pakistani people, Imran Khan, head of the Tehreek-e-Insaf, or as it is known in English, Pakistan Movement for Justice. Imran Khan disputes the war against the Haqqani network, since if as is claimed, the ISI[Inter-Services Intelligence has such close alliances with the latter, all that simply needs to be done is for the US military, and government, is to use the ISI connections to get them to negotiate with the Haqqani network, bringing them to the negotiating table to work out a solution to the insurgency and guerrilla warfare going on in Afghanistan, and in the tribal areas in Pakistan. However you cut it, this continued campaign of using drones for highly illegal assassinations, that only wind up killing countless innocents, and maiming others, including children will only serve to radicalize even more average people, drawing them into the ranks of the Taliban, and groups like Al Qaeda, and Daesh/ISIS/ISIL.

If anything the US has been a deliberate creator of terrorism, doing terrorism itself unimpeded, and without consciousness, so in the end there is no difference between Al Qaeada/Daesh/Taliban than there is compared to Uncle Sam's military, and intelligence apparatus. You reap what you sow, and as the Soviets learned, the US will eventually get its butt kicked right out of Afghanistan, and Pakistan, especially remembering that that the latter has nuclear weapons a plenty. America might have been attacked on 9/11, but all the money trail evidence points to it being an inside job, helped in part by MOSSAD and Al Mukhabarat Al A'amah, the Saudi Arabian intelligence service, and the neoconservatives like Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Bremer and others.

Why hasn't there been a real investigation of the whole 9/11 crime, instead of the whitewash that passed from the so-called official investigation. These are the bastards that should be the targets of targeted killings, and not make believe scapegoats like the Al Qaeda group, which itself was created by the CIA, just like Daesh/ISIS/ISL was. Brainwashed Americans too easily go along with the official narrative, not asking any penetrating questions, so they get what the deserve. Those who don't get what they deserve are those innocents killed in the targeted killings by these mindless drones that are illegally used by the US military in their neocolonial/imperialist treatment of sovereign nations, and their innocent people,

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Anthony McIntyre

Former IRA prisoner, spent 18 years in Long Kesh. Free Speech advocate, writer, historian, humanist, and researcher.

1 comment to ''Targeted Killings & Droning On"

  1. hey frank, im waiting for the lads to tell u u shud be in a loony bin. then i will thank you for another fine article.


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