What Do Drone Attacks Really Do?


“The drone strike had killed three people. Their bodies, carbonized, were fully burned. They could only be identified by their legs and hands. One body was still on fire when he reached there. Then he learned that the charred and mutilated corpses were relatives of his who lived in his village, two men and a boy aged seven or eight. They couldn’t pick up the charred parts in one piece. Finding scraps of plastic they transported the body parts away from the site. Three to four others joined in to help cover the bodies in plastic and carry them to the morgue.

“But these volunteers and nearby onlookers were attacked by another drone strike, 15 minutes after the initial one. 6 more people died. One of them was the brother of the man killed in the initial strike.

“The social worker says that people are now afraid to help when a drone strike occurs because they fear a similar fate from a second attack. People will wait several hours after an attack just to be sure. Meanwhile, some lives will be lost that possibly could have been saved.

“The social worker also told us that pressure from the explosion, when a drone-fired missile or bomb hits, can send bystanders flying through the air. Some are injured when their bodies hit walls or stone, causing fractures and brain injuries.”

That quotation from Kathy Kelly and Joshua Brollier in a recent article Bonnie wrote is dramatic evidence of what drones really do.

Bonnie also quotes Kelly and Brollier who give reasons why it is hard for US citizens to know about the atrocities being perpetrated with their tax money. They say, “In U.S. newspapers, reports on drone attacks often amount to about a dozen words, naming the place and an estimated number of militants [sic] killed.”

I thought of the devastating photographs during the Viet Nam war of the little naked girl who had been napalmed and of the man being shot in the head.  At least during that war, US citizens saw some of what it was like.  Now we read a dozen sanitized words.  I am very grateful to Bonnie for bringing drones to my attention.

The corporatocracy has learned well since Viet Nam how to keep people in this country quiet: few photographs of the wars themselves nor of wounded and maimed US soldiers; distractions with entertainment and fear; violent repression of protest by storm troopers in frightening gear such as we saw at the national conventions in 2008 where journalists and peaceful protesters were tear gassed and pepper sprayed.



What can we do to stop these illegal aggressions against innocent people?  How can we connect ourselves to the atrocities this country perpetrates?  Can we not imagine something of what it must be like to live in fear of drone attacks?  Can we not care for the people who live daily under the threat of drone attacks and for the innocent children, women, and men who are dying because we do not stop these wars?

The last sentence of Bonnie’s article says:

American citizens, the new “good Germans”?

Will we in fact go down in history that way or will we do something now to change?

Read Bonnie’s complete article here.


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