We have reported widely about the use of unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, and their use in the current wars the United Snakes is conducting. (1),(2)
Recently there was another military strike that involved drones. This time the attack killed Amerika’s own troops. According to the Pentagon, a drone fired a Hellfire missile that killed a Marine and a Navy medic.(3)
This incident took place in the southern province of Helmand in Afghanistan. This has been a site where U.S. led occupation forces have had many battles with the Taliban. A contingent of Amerikan marines were under heavy fire. Other troops came their for backup, along with unmanned Predator drones. Those Marines under attack were able to view the infrared images from the Predator drone, and mistook their own troops for resistance fighters. (4)
This is just one case of what Malcolm X called’ the Chickens Coming Home to Roost.’ Amerikan imperialism has a wanton disregard for human life in the recent wars in this region. Over 1 million Iraqi people were killed in the latest US military operation in that country. Already thousands have died in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The resistance here has cost the U.S. thousands in troops and trillions of dollars, itself stolen from exploitation around the world. The euphemism “friendly fire” is a case of being killed by ones own troops, what with the mass amounts of firepower expended even their own troops get hit with it. With drones and other high tech weapons of war Amerikan troops are even less in danger in prosecuting imperialist occupation, but more danger comes to the Third World people they target.
Predator drones are remote control instruments of death. These and other drones, like the Reaper drone, are operated by remote pilots residing in the U.S., half way around the world. Despite the high technology resources poured into them the number of supposed accidental killings has risen as the number of drone strikes goes up. The technology, while lauded, is not always accurate in pinpointing the intended targets, and not surprisingly non-combatants are killed.
A number of civilians have been killed, not only by these drones, in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. (5) Civilian casualties in Afghanistan have happened since 2001, and each time the puppet government of Hamid Karzai gives a weak verbal protest to the U.S. while the body count continues to rise. Recently the news of an Amerikan army “kill team,” or death squad, has been revealed, which we have also covered, showing the real extent of the depravity of this war and occupation.(6)
As in Pakistan, with another subservient government, there have been increased civilian casualties from these drone strikes. The CIA, which orchestrates these targeted assassinations, has developed its own networks inside Pakistan to bypass the Pakistani ISI intelligence service. The U.S. willfully violates the sovereignty of Pakistan, and gives the ISI no advance warnings of the drone attacks. Popular anger against the U.S. has risen, due to the recent discoveries of CIA involvement in Pakistan where one of their mercenaries was captured after murdering two motorists, and increasing drone attacks that have resulted in civilian casualties. (7) Many in Pakistan have called openly to for Pakistanis to shoot down the drones, although moderate elements warn the alternative could be Amerikan ground troops. (8)
The drone attacks in Afghanistan and Pakistan have become more frequent, as the U.S. relies more on these instruments in their war of occupation. The attacks have begun attacking more “low-level fighters and junior commanders,” not just top operatives as supposedly before. With the increase of drone attacks, it means more casualties, including more civilians. Furthermore, Obama has authorized drone attacks for the first time in Libya, as the U.S.-NATO war in that country expands. (9)
In both Afghanistan and Pakistan, and surely in Libya too, the people have directed their anger at Amerika. And they are right to do so. Imperialism is the chief enemy of the people of the world, bringing death and misery on them, and their violence they spread oftentimes comes back to them. We don’t weep for the two Amerikans killed by their own government. Turning the tables they would be called collateral damage, a reference used by the Amerikan military to refer to unintended deaths of the ones they target. Their deaths, from their own oppressor military, are lighter than a feather, and much lighter than a Predator drone. One should weep for the ones whose lives have been taken too soon by the exploitative and oppressive system Amerikan imperialism stands for. Imperialism itself is a predatory system, leaving many corpses behind it. Only the peoples resistance will stop it and build something better.