Barack Obama’s drones are arguably an instrument of terrorism.
Since the report is from the United Nations I have to admit I would like confirmation. Still, it is important news that needs to be investigated. Samuel Oakford writes for Vice News, “The UN Says US Drone Strikes in Yemen Have Killed More Civilians Than al Qaeda.”
At first I thought the headline meant deaths worldwide, but that isn’t possible. It is referring to deaths in Yemen.
American drone strikes may have killed as many as 40 Yemeni civilians over the past year, the UN reported on Monday, offering a tally of the human cost of the long-running US campaign against al Qaeda in Yemen, which has continued amid the chaos of country’s current war.
The data on drone strikes came from the latest report on Yemen issued by the UN’s Office of the High Commissioner For Human Rights (OHCHR), which compiled accounts of human rights violations from July 1, 2014 to June 30 of this year.
The US first launched armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) over Yemen in 2002, but the bulk of strikes carried out by the aircraft have taken place since 2011. According to figures maintained by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s Drone War program, at least 101 people have been killed by confirmed drone strikes in Yemen, plus 26 to 61 others killed by “possible extra drone strikes.” Between 156 and 365 civilians have also been killed in other covert missions since 2002, according to the group.
If accurate, the UN’s estimates would represent a significant rise in confirmed civilian casualties in the country as a result of drone strikes.
“OHCHR received reliable information indicating that as many as 40 civilians, including a child, may have been killed during the period under review as a result of drone attacks in Al-Baida, Al-Jawf, Marib and Shabwah,” the OHCHR report states.
Our writers have posted about some of these killings, such as a massacred wedding party. The body count adds up.
The news story quotes an analysis that Yemen is operated according to different rules because they think they are killing “high value” terrorist targets. But when we wanted to kill Osama bin Laden (assuming that was the person who was killed), the government didn’t send a drone. They sent specialized soldiers. It is hard to believe that these targets are truly so valuable or they would not leave so much to chance.
And they shouldn’t be killing innocent people, regardless.
Not only is it wrong, but it produces more terrorist enemies.
This doesn’t seem to worry this Administration. And I’m not surprised that people who used drones to murder American citizens without due process are willing to kill Yemeni civilians.