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'Bugsplat': The ugly US drone war in Pakistan

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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 02:46 PM
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'Bugsplat': The ugly US drone war in Pakistan
This weekend, Pakistan ordered the closure of the US drone base after a US attack killed 26 Pakistani soldiers near the Afghan border. This news will be welcomed by the people of Waziristan, where communities have borne the brunt of the "collateral damage" of the US covert drone war. But for many, this decision comes too little too late. For too long, authorities ignored the deaths of innocent civilians being "bugsplat" by drones. After a recent trip to Pakistan to investigate the human consequences of the US drone attacks, I had no idea how close I was to come to understanding the horror of it.

November 29, 2011

In Islamabad I took part in a jirga - the traditional Pashtun forum for public discussion and dispute settlement - where tribal elders and villagers from the Pakistan tribal areas (FATA) came to meet with us to explain their personal experiences of US drone attacks. Sitting just two rows behind me was a 16-year-old boy named Tariq Aziz. Listening to story upon story of the extrajudicial murder of innocent civilians and children, the heartache for loved ones lost and the constant terror instilled by the now familiar roar of drones overhead, I could not have imagined that Tariq and his family would soon suffer the same fate.

Three days later Tariq was killed along with his 12-year-old cousin Waheed when their car was targeted by a Hellfire missile as they headed home to Norak, a village in Waziristan near the Afghan border.

Drones are described not only as the future of warfare, but as risk-free war. But Tariq's death - and the hundreds of other civilian deaths recorded in a recent Bureau of Investigative Journalism study - demonstrate that this PlayStation warfare is only risk-free for operators of these remote-controlled killers. From the safety of an office building in Langley, Virginia, CIA operatives play games with Pakistanis' lives.

As I landed at Heathrow, thousands of miles away from the dirt road where Tariq and Waheed now lay dead, a CIA operative in northern Virginia will have reported "bugsplat". Bugsplat is the official term used by US authorities when humans are killed by drone missiles. The existence of children's computer games of the same name may lead one to think that the PlayStation analogy with drone warfare is taken too far. But it is deliberately employed as a psychological tactic to dehumanise targets so operatives overcome their inhibition to kill; and so the public remains apathetic and unmoved to act. Indeed, the phrase has far more sinister origins and historical use: In dehumanising their Pakistani targets, the US resorts to Nazi semantics. Their targets are not just computer game-like targets, but pesky or harmful bugs that must be killed.

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krucial Donating Member (103 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 03:13 PM
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1. bugsplat
As a non believer,I believe that all the God loving believers who order and approve of these kind of action,and profess to love God,better pray that there is no God,because if there isa God,I guarntee that they will be in hell before a non believer like me .
There is no way that there can be a God who is awake,and the rich and powerfull of today and through the years,are allowed to do what they do like this and get away with it,with the ability to inflict continuing terror upon innocent people,where they see it as Ok to killi innocent 20 people if they get one bad guy,sometimes getting no bad guys,only innocent people.
I wonder how many americas would aprreciate that happening to us if the situation were reversed?
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Jefferson23 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-29-11 03:27 PM
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2. Americans would not appreciate knowing this to be true imo. Let me ask you,
how many MSM news outlets around the country..especially "tv news" with the likes of Brian Williams as one example, a nice guy journalist
that many Americans trust. Will he go on the air and explain bugsplat at all, or perhaps if mentioned he'll put it in context for us..the U.S. is
keeping us safe.

I think we both know the answer.
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