When Conducting Airstrikes, Civilians Do Not Matter

Drone strikes performed by the American military and other agencies such as the CIA have generally had a negative impact on the target countries, and many civilians have been killed in these attacks. Within the last few days, President Trump ended an Obama-era policy that required the intelligence community to report on civilian deaths during airstrikes that were conducted outside of conventional war zones. Although these numbers were often fabricated in order to convince viewers that the United States government is moral and doing everything in a proper manner, is it possible that this now means that the Trump administration is planning to ramp up its covert warfare in these types of zones or to increase CIA drone strikes?

Maybe his argument that this type of reporting diverts time and resources away from the primary focus is the real reason for his decision, but does it really hurt the intelligence community that much to have to estimate civilian casualties? Plus, since the operations by the CIA are not included in a congressional law requiring reports of civilian casualties in all areas of operations, this could allow the agency to run wild without accountability. The CIA has a history of doing awful things, such as torture, experimenting on people (including American soldiers and civilians), and overthrowing democratically-elected leaders just because it does not like the government in place. Violence and intimidation are its key specialty.

Why not continue letting the agency do what it does best? Killing a few poor farmers in famine-stricken regions is no big deal, right? As long as we get those terrorists, we can tolerate some collateral damage. It does not make us terrorists when we take these actions because we are the good guys, right? Plus, an advantage is that we have the largest military force on the planet and the terrorism charge luckily does not apply to governments. Our government can kill as many civilians as it wants without repercussions, and if anyone does not like it, that is just too bad, and so sad.

Jeremy Scahill, author of Dirty Wars, discusses the issues involved in covert warfare. He quotes a Yemeni tribal leader, Mullah Zabara, “The US see al Qaeda as terrorism, and we consider the drones terrorism. The drones are flying day and night, frightening women and children, disturbing sleeping people. This is terrorism”. Yet, many Americans believe that our airstrikes are necessary to prevent terrorism against the United States, but they do not consider the perspective of those on the receiving end.

In addition, as I have written in my book, The Global Bully, drone strikes and other covert operations have only made things worse. If our officials think that we can eradicate radical Islamic terrorism by perpetuating wars and airstrikes, they are either naïve or have sinister intentions. In fact, killing civilians through covert means will only create more terrorists, as many seek revenge for the invasion of their lands. Even though President Obama was also a master at using drone warfare and was responsible for the deaths of many civilians, President Trump’s reversal of some of his policies related to these actions represents disregard for humanity.

Thank you for reading, and if you are interested in reading more about covert operations, please check out my book, The Global Bully, and website.
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Published on March 07, 2019 03:33
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