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Thread: Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits - human rights groups [W:165]

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    Re: Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits - human rights groups say

    Quote Originally Posted by rjay View Post
    You have convinced me with your sound argument. I think we should not only kill all the terrorists but we should wipe out the terrorist mothers and the baby terrorists too.
    ^

    Sure one can be flippant. But it is not an answer.

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    Re: Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits - human rights groups say

    What's "flippant" is thinking killing children and civilians in other countries will prevent people in other countries from wanting to kill children and civilians in ours.


    Twisted, cyclical, costly, and deadly logic.

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    Re: Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits - human rights groups say

    Quote Originally Posted by RDS View Post
    Drone strikes can kill terrorists but they will multiply all the more.



    The terrorists who are killed by drone strikes won't be doing any multiplying at all

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    Re: Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits - human rights groups say

    Quote Originally Posted by rjay View Post
    Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits, human rights groups say - The Washington Post

    "Two influential human rights groups say they have freshly documented dozens of civilian deaths in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, contradicting assertions by the Obama administration that such casualties are rare.

    In Yemen,
    Human Rights Watch investigated six selected airstrikes since 2009 and concluded that at least 57 of the 82 people killed were civilians,
    including a pregnant woman and three children who perished in a September 2012 attack. "


    Is it time to stop the drone attacks?



    Most terrorists are civilians, very few are members of any nations military forces.

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    Re: Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits - human rights groups say

    Quote Originally Posted by shrubnose View Post
    The terrorists who are killed by drone strikes won't be doing any multiplying at all
    Their ghost multiplies and radicalizes others. So they actually multiply.

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    Re: Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits - human rights groups say

    As usual HRW and the like have done a fairly poor job at war analysis and reporting. I'll repost from another thread:

    That is totally unsubstantiated and weighs strongly against the facts that have been collected. The claim that we kill more innocents than terrorists is probably the least supported of all, and in fact drones probably have some of the greatest militant to civilian casualty ratios of any comparable weapon or tactic in our arsenal, they have been rather remarkable tools. The Long War Journal and the New America Foundation two of the more prominent think tanks and news outlets that cover drone strikes have created detailed and meticulous data on US drone strikes, with a specific focus on Pakistan. In particular the Long War Journal is critically acclaimed for its contacts among Pakistani and Waziri media. They both have estimates for militant lows and highs and civilian lows and highs, they break down as 1,600-2,800 and 150-190 respectively. This makes sense if you think about it because drones have the capacity to loiter on a target for an enormous period of time which over the past decade has vastly increased our capacity for observing and discerning militant and civilian targets and allowed us to deliver much smaller warheads to targets with an increased degree of confidence.

    The notion that we are killing hundreds of civilians in drone strikes is a myth pushed along by elements of the Pakistani media, and a self-flagellating narrative. It is totally unsupported by the facts. This was particularly supported by the Associated Press which did wide ranging research and interviews inside FATA which massively discredited Pakistani media and civil society groups: AP IMPACT: New light on drone war's death toll - Boston.com

    The Long War Journal - Charts on US Strikes in Pakistan
    The Year of the Drone | NewAmerica.net

    Moreover lets move to the next argument which involves their efficacy and their impact on civilians. The first and most salient point is that since so few civilians are killed it actually has had an incredibly reduced impact on the civilian population at large compared to lets say the Pakistani Army offensives which aimed to accomplish the same thing. In fact drone strikes are more opposed outside FATA than inside them eight times more supportive, and only a minority 48% think they are killing civilians frequently which is in stark contrast to the rest of the country ("Four Myths about Drone Strikes" by By Shehzad H. Qazi & Shoaib Jillani). Many journalists have substantiated this point in field research, with several Afghani/Pakistani native journalists working for FP going to Waziristan and reporting on the efficacy of drone strikes and the fact that many in the tribal belt actually support them as a superior means than the Pakistani military or air strikes.

    Finally the most repeated claim, and the one with almost no evidence to support it is that we are merely creating new terrorists or militants. This trope has become pervasive over the last decade, but it rarely has any evidence in fact and shows no understanding for the demographics of militant groups, their recruitment pools, or the situation they are involved in. A detailed study by the RAND corporation between 2004-2010 found that there was a negative correlation between drone strikes and militant recruitment. In other words there is no evidence at all that drone strikes or the lack thereof had an impact on recruitment and that other factors as is usual contributed to this (http://patrickjohnston.info/materials/drones.pdf).

    To sum up my position I'll quote Zmarak Yousefzai, a US based Afghan and Pakistani national security expert writes: "Nevertheless, by yet another comparison of hypocrisy, those who are loudest about casualties from U.S. drone strikes have rarely protested the far higher numbers of civilian casualties as a result of Pakistan Army operations or Taliban violence in the Swat Valley and FATA. Silenced in this double standard are the varying motives of different parties as well as the voice of the Pashtun people in these tribal areas. At least one voice -- that of this native Pashtun -- is speaking out to say that there are serious downsides to these drone strikes, but they may be a necessary evil and the lone option to combat those who are responsible for the severe suffering of our people - like Malala Yousafzai."

    Voice of a native son: Drones may be a necessary evil - by Zmarak Yousefzai | The AfPak Channel


    Moreover the Pakistani government has very recently conceded that relatively few civilians have died in US drone strikes confirming what most military analysis and eyewitness reports have been saying all along.

    "The Ministry of Defense released figures to lawmakers saying that 67 civilians were among 2,227 people killed in 317 drone strikes since 2008. The remainder of those killed were Islamist militants, the ministry said. "

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/31/wo...ikes.html?_r=0

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    Re: Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits - human rights groups say

    Quote Originally Posted by rjay View Post
    Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits, human rights groups say - The Washington Post

    "Two influential human rights groups say they have freshly documented dozens of civilian deaths in U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, contradicting assertions by the Obama administration that such casualties are rare.

    In Yemen, Human Rights Watch investigated six selected airstrikes since 2009 and concluded that at least 57 of the 82 people killed were civilians, including a pregnant woman and three children who perished in a September 2012 attack. "


    Is it time to stop the drone attacks?



    After we kill the last terrorist we can think about stopping drone attacks.

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    Re: Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits - human rights groups say

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    What's "flippant" is thinking killing children and civilians in other countries will prevent people in other countries from wanting to kill children and civilians in ours.


    Twisted, cyclical, costly, and deadly logic.
    Drones are an effective way to dramatically reduce the number of children and civilians killed, which they have already done. There also remains no evidence that drone strikes have had a substantive impact on militant recruitment in any measurable way.

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    Re: Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits - human rights groups say

    Quote Originally Posted by mak2 View Post
    And what? Send in the Marines? The B52's?
    I asked these guys whether they would prefer to see their friends and kids killed. Seemingly they would, though they are too timid to admit it.

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    Re: Drone strikes killing more civilians than U.S. admits - human rights groups say

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    What you're advocating won't stop the cycle, it will merely perpetuate it. Bombs, destruction, and death will breed only further bombs, destruction, and death.

    The intellectual dishonesty of your argument is your false dichotomy where you pretend it's either violence or nothing.
    That is a common refrain but it is almost never true. The greater, or more sophisticated application of violence is more frequently the source of an end to conflict than any other measure.

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