(First published on Radical Sister, November 23rd 2014)
America is the birthplace of terrorism around the world or we can say that America is The Great Satin and the head of the snake that is terrorizing innocent people and invading Independent countries around the globe throughout its history. It has also provided assistance to numerous authoritarian regimes that have used terror as a tool of repression. United States support to non-state and state terrorists has been prominent around the globe which can be quoted by many examples and which are known fact. Various reasons have been provided to justify such support. Support was also geared toward ensuring a conducive environment for American corporate interests abroad, especially when these interests came under threat. Creation of the artificial state of Israel is the biggest of them all and their support to killing of Palestinian Muslims. U.S. armed forces have committed war crimes in various wars in which they have been engaged and invading of free Independent countries throughout history.
What are Drones ?
Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVS), known as drones, are aircraft either controlled by ‘pilots’ from the ground or increasingly, autonomously following a pre-programmed mission. While there are dozens of different types of drones, they basically fall into two categories: those that are used for reconnaissance and surveillance purposes and those that are armed with missiles and bombs.
The US Reaper and Predator drones are, controlled via satellite from Nellis and Creech USAF base outside Las Vegas, Nevada. Or Ground crews launch drones from the conflict zone, then operation is handed over to controllers at video screens in specially designed trailers in the Nevada desert. One person ‘flies’ the drone, another operates and monitors the cameras and sensors, while a third person is in contact with the “customers”, ground troops and commanders in the war zone. While armed drones were first used in the Balkans war, their use has dramatically escalated in Afghanistan, Iraq and in the CIA’s declared war in many Muslim countries like Somalia, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan etc.
US Drones are killing children, terrorizing families in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Somalia etc. Such terror is brought by America in these countries dominated by Muslim population in which entire regions are being terrorized by the constant threat of death from the skies. Their way of life is collapsing: kids are too terrified to go to school, adults are afraid to attend weddings, funerals, business meetings or anything that involves gathering in groups.
An anonymous ex-military officer of the United States has recently said that ‘if there’s one guy we’re trying to hit and there is thirty-four other people in the building, thirty-five people are going to die that day’. Even the United Nation’s and its Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions is concerned that the United States’ drone campaign is terrorism.
The aerial attacks, initiated by former US president, George W. Bush, have escalated under President Barack Obama. President Obama recently defended the use of drones as “self-defense.”
The United Nations says the US-operated drone strikes pose a growing challenge to the international rule of law.
In Afghanistan drones kill the people of Afghanistan. You hear in the news and reports that every day, families, children and women are killed. US drones murder Afghan civilian men, women and children. American grounds forces do it up close and personal. US inflicted death, torture and other atrocities reflect daily life. Ordinary Afghans suffer most. They struggle to survive. American aggression is one of history’s greatest crimes. Trillions of dollars spent for mass slaughter and destruction. They’re spent for unchallenged global dominance. Afghanistan is ravaged and destroyed. Imperial lawlessness operates this way. Its appetite is insatiable. It ignores rule of law principles. It does whatever it wants. It does it where, when, by what means, and under whatever pretexts it contrives. Pentagon officials routinely whitewash serious war crimes. So do US commanders on the ground. Doing so is longstanding US policy. Under a decade long military agreement, Afghan officials can’t charge US forces with war crimes. Whatever they do, they’re immune. In Afghanistan Extreme poverty, unemployment, human misery, and constant fear reflect daily life. Washington prioritizes conquest, colonization, plunder and dominance which will never happen as the brave Afghans are near to driving out the invaders from their homeland despite the terror of Americans.
In Pakistan numerous drone strikes have been carried out by the US drones. Thousands of innocent civilian men, women and children have been killed. Hundreds are amputees. The drone program is used by the US administration as a license to kill beyond the reach of the courts or basic standards of international law. Every Human Rights law is broken by US in bombing the innocent civilians in Pakistan. The US is exploiting the remote regions in Pakistan for its drone program, including killings which are extrajudicial executions or war crimes.
In Yemen the people of Yemen can hear destruction before it arrives. In cities, towns and villages across this country, which hangs off the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula, the air buzzes with the sound of American drones flying overhead. The sound is a constant and a terrible reminder: a robot plane. If you are in the wrong place at the wrong time, the chaotic buzzing above sharpens into the death-herald of an incoming missile.
The drone strikes don’t require U.S. troops on the ground, and thus are easy to keep out of sight and out of mind. Over half of Yemen’s 24.8 million citizens are impacted every day. A war is happening, and one of the unforeseen casualties is the Yemeni mind. Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, trauma and anxiety are becoming rampant in the different corners of the country where drones are active.
In Somalia the US military uses remote-controlled drones for killings. According to witnesses, the attacks have mostly led to civilian casualties. Somalia is the example of U.S. mission creep, not success.
In October last year, a joint report by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch said US officials could be found guilty of war crimes for the secret CIA drone attacks which have killed hundreds of people in Somalia.
US drone strikes have injured and killed civilians. US drone strike policies cause considerable and under-accounted-for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury. Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities. Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves. These fears have affected behavior.
America the mother of terrorism cannot suppress the freedom fighters and ordinary civilians who want freedom from American terrorism and are waging war for their Independence. It is time for America to realize that it must abandon her campaign for the control of free countries and stop killing innocent Muslims and stop terrorizing people or else the fire that they have brought upon the free people will reach the gates of White house in Washington.
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights/WOT and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad . She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.