Welcome to the newest edition of The Why. “Why don’t we always know who we’re killing with drone strikes?” you ask? Good question. Timely too. (Besides, it’s fun to insert political stuff in between the questions about happy holes and Jesus. OK, we don’t get lots of questions about Jesus but you get the point, mmmkay?)
Just to clarify, the “we” in the question: “Why don’t we always know who we’re killing with drone strikes?” refers to the US. The fact that we in the US can even ask a question along these lines proves how special this country is and why people will risk their very lives to sneak into this country illegally.
Now, let’s get to the question. It would seem that realistically-speaking this question all comes out of recent events. President Barack Obama stated this past Thursday that the US had accidentally killed two non-combatants who were being held hostage by Al Qaeda.
PBS online contributors Sarah Childress and Priyanka Boghani say that this happened because when US officials “approve attacks, they often don’t know exactly who they’re going to hit.” (They did not mention that had no one been taken hostage in the first place and/or if the US was not solicited for help this wouldn’t have happened either.)
They note that the Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that “government drone strikes have killed . . . at least 488 — and as many as 1,124” civilians. Eight of which have been Americans.
Jameel Jaffer, deputy legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union, unsurprisingly claims that this accident shows there’s a “gap between the relatively stringent standards the government says it’s using and the standards that are actually being used.” (Google the word “accident” Jameel.)
President Obama also stated: “It is a cruel and bitter truth that in the fog of war generally and our fight against terrorists specifically, mistakes — sometimes deadly mistakes — can occur.” He also added that the operation in question was “fully consistent with the guidelines under which we conduct counter-terrorism efforts in the region, which has been our focus for years because it is the home of Al Qaeda’s leadership.”
Perhaps the real question we should be asking is why are we apparently the only folks to care enough to even be concerned about what some refer to as collateral damage? Why are we the only people to constantly second-guess and blatantly criticize the very people who literally pay to deal with terrorists? You can bet your @ss the real bad guys don’t give a sh*t about who gets killed. Indeed, isn’t that why we are fighting them in the first place?
You ask the questions. We provide the answers.
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