Drones Against Waziristan and Brian Terrell

It is less than eight days into 2013, and already on six occasions American drones have bombed Waziristan, a tribal region on the Pakistani-Afghan border. Most of the 35 deaths were civilians, but in the official press release they will all be named “Taliban combatants.”

On Jan. 6, 10 missiles were launched in an attack on two houses supposedly being used to “hide tribal fighters” in Babar Ziarat. Of course, the houses were completely destroyed, leaving 17 dead. Among them was Mehsud tribal leader Hakimullah Mehsud, a member of the Taliban. His death was sufficient to justify the operation. The United States proudly reported that a few days prior, in the same area, a drone killed Pakistani militant leader Mualvi Nazir Wazir — as well as 14 others.

The Pentagon and the CIA, who execute the drone program, say their strategy of air strikes directed by remote computers is effective.

Although Obama did not invent them — there were five drone strikes in 2007 — it is evident that he has dramatically increased the use of drones.

Three other facts can help to understand how the United States moves in its wars, using increasingly sophisticated methods to violate the most fundamental human right: the right to life.

And it is all to preserve their imperial interests, even when it means they must violate the sovereignty of others in whatever bright or dark corner of the world.

First: Two former high-ranking officials of the Obama administration have criticized the current strategy, saying it increases anger and anti-American sentiment.

Michael Boyle, former advisor on terrorism to the White House, wrote his opinion in the Chatham House Journal of International Affairs. General Stanley McChrystal, who was fired for criticizing the troop increase in Afghanistan, now speaks out against the drone war.

Second: Obama has nominated John Brennan as CIA director, a man who has spent 25 years in the spy agency and the dirty war and is considered the architect of the selective killings of the “terrorist enemies.” Let us not forget that Brennan was rejected in 2009 because of his involvement in the CIA’s torture program under George W. Bush. But now he can be appointed.

Third: The silence of the mainstream media, which prefers that these issues of torture, selective assassinations and civilian massacres remain within the Pentagon and the CIA, even when Brian Terrell is incarcerated in a federal prison in Yankton, S.D. simply for protesting the drone program.

On April 15, 2012, Terrell and two friends peacefully entered the Air Force base in Whiteman, Mo. to submit a letter to the base commander. The letter asked the commander to end the drone war and to make sure that no more American bombs fell on children or on Afghan or Pakistani women — an act that would increase the real security of the United States.

Terrell was immediately arrested, tried and sentenced, and is serving six months in prison. This is his third arrest for participating in peace movements.

So the drones have one more victim to add to the list — one in a dark cell in Missouri…

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