Drone Strikes in Pakistan

Today the world is talking about the US drone strikes in Pakistan as the Prime Minister is visiting the US president.  This is not because the PM is visiting - though the timing does coincide rather nicely - but rather drones are blowing up the news feeds (pardon the pun) because Amnesty International released a report calling for the investigation of potential war crimes.

War crimes.  Yes, that terrible, heinous accusation we usually save for dictators has been lobbied against the US president for the use of unmanned drones.  Two days ago the fear was drones are becoming the dreaded robots of sci-fi stories; now we are back to discussing the killing of civilians.

As you may or may not know, not ever drone strike hits an appropriate target.  Whether this is planned or not I have no comment or statement; I am only going by the reported evidence.  In case you were focused on other important issues over the past few months - the world has been busy violating human rights everywhere - there have been several drone strikes that killed civilians.  Some of them even seem to have been targeted.  Now, the US president has assured the world drone strikes will only be used against members of terrorist organizations (like Al-Qaeda) and the purpose is to reduce casualties, etc.  To an extent, this sounds reasonable, but of course the greatest fear was and still is accuracy.  What if the target is wrong?  There is no pilot to make a last minute judgement call and avoid a strike; this is all done remotely.  If civilians get in the way, well, too bad for them.

Is this fair at all?  No.  Not at all.  Civilians should never be caught in the cross-fire of war.  They already have to suffer the social, economic, and other consequences of war - why must we add a fear of being killed by a remote controlled robot to the list?

Killing civilians is a war crime.  If a dictatorship did the exact same thing, the world would be up in arms against it.  The US does it, and now we have people calling for an investigation.  Will this happen?  I do hope so.  If such atrocities are occurring - and I do seriously hope they are not - they must be investigated and prevented.  It matters.  So US, please do something about this.  Look into it.  Make sure it never happens again.

USA must be held to account for drone killings in Pakistan | Amnesty International:

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