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Posts Tagged Violation of International Law

“Confronting Assad’s regime in Syria: Role of United States and Russia” By   Sherry Sharyl

“Confronting Assad’s regime in Syria: Role of United States and Russia”

 

By

Sherry Sharyl

 

 

 

 

Middle East has always remained the center of the world politics since World War II, end of
which created the UNO and in 1948 the State of Israel. After the birth of Israel, Middle East
became the battle zone where israel’s hegemony was to be promoted in order to bring major

militarily armed states of Middle East to a position where major powers of the world could
indoctrinate their own political and economic agendas in the region. Before that, this region
was famous for its natural resources and oil reserves and its Mediterranean trade route. Above
all, Israel and Palestine conflict, then the Israel’s traditional wars with its neighboring states
had become the persistent tension in the Middle East.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Recent developments in the region during previous years have depicted a different picture of
conflicts in the oil rich region. Since 2011, the civil war in Syria in order to confront Assad’s
regime has badly affected the security situation in the Middle East. Before the civil war,
Syrian people complained about the bad governance, raised unemployment, illiteracy,
corruption, poverty, lack of political freedom, under the Assad’s presidency. Then the Arab
spring in Tunisia, in 2011 has further added fuel to the fire, the syrian pro-democratic
demonstrator erupted the city of Deraa demanding the President’s Assad’s resignation. The
Assad’s government acted aggressively and crush the protestors by the use of deadly force.
Unfortunately, this anti-government protest spreads nationwide, thus resulting in never
ending civil war in Syria. This civil war has made easier for the world and regional powers
i.e, Russia, United States, Iran, Saudia Arabia and Turkey to interfere into the political
impasse in Syria by acting in support of (Russia and Iran) or by taking harsh steps (USA and
Saudi Arabia) against Assad’s regime not for the conflict resolution but for their own
interests. The logistical, financial and political support and interference of the external
powers for and against the Assad’s regime, has further fueled the sectarian conflicts,
terrorism, Rebellion movements and extremism. Thus, the civil war in Syria than turned into
proxy battleground because of the involvement of the world and regional powers.
Now the Assad’s regime has become the victim of the world’s major powers, thus it has
initiated a new cold war which is unlikely to get a promising end. The Syrian proxy war has
again results in the formation of two blocks along with their allied states, i.e, Russia( China,
Iran and Afghanistan) US ( Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Israel).

 

 

 

 

 

Syria is strategically and economically important to both US and Russia in the Middle East.
Russia along with China has increased its political, economic and military support to the
Assad’s regime. The primary goal of Russia is to protect and support the Assad’s regime
against the international intervention, Russia wants to counter the United States influence in
the Middle East and Russia has the vast economic interests in Syria. Syria is one of the
largest importers of military equipments, about 4 billlion dollars of arms contracts have been
signed between Syria and Russia. Besides military equipments, Russian oil and gas
companies has been invested in Syria. Soiuzneftegaz and Tatneft have been extracting oil and
gas in Syria since 2003, Stroitransgaz has built extensive natural gas pipeline and processing
plants. Currently it is constructing a second plant near the city of Rakka which will process,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

approximatly 1.3 billion cubic meters of gas. Russian companies are also constructing nuclear
power plant for the production of energy. Manufacturing companies of Russia i.e, Uralmash
which provides drilling equipment to the pertroleum company of Syria, Tupolev and
Aviastar-SP has provided passenger airplanes to the Syrian Air lines. Beside economic
interest, strategic interests of Russia in this region are of great importance. For this, the only
Tartus naval base of Russia in Syria is left, but it’s not a true military base because it is not
hosted permanently by the Russian army, its only purpose is to repair and resupply the ships to
the Mediterranean. Therefore, Russian government and the Russian exporters fear that the
regime change in Syria will lead to the loss of contracts and as well as economy and will
weaken the Russian influence in Syria, as well as in the Middle East.
The United States interest in Syria is quite different; it’s strategic rather than economic. The
main interest of United States is to counter the terrorism and the mushroom growth of
terrorist organizations within Syria and in the Middle East. US main aim is to counter ISIS
(Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). US with the help of its Kurdish Allies is countering ISIS.
Al-Qaeda have been sending its militants to the Syria to support the Assad’s regime.
Strategically, the civil war in Syria will have enormous impacts for the region and for the US.
Syrian alliance with Iran can brought major changes in the policies of Saudi Arabia and
Israel. Iran proliferate arms and other goods to fuel the militant organizations in Syria i.e,
Hamas in Gaza strip and Hezbollah in Lebanon and its allies. Beside this, Tehran keeps on
supporting Assad regime politically and militarily. The Russian influence in Syria goes all the
way back to cold war. Most importantly, US wants to protect its bosom friend Israel from
Iran’s and terrorist threats. Therefore, Iran, terrorism and Russia are the brutal and intractable
enemies of the US in the Middle East.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Therefore, the responsibility of war crime and crime against humanity must be held
accountable in Syria. The brutal chemical attacks, casualties of the innocent civilians,
violation of International humanitarian law by ISIS and other terrorist organizations, must be
punished. The use of Chemical weapons, by Assad against rebels and other civilians, must be
punished for their brutal act. By these unhumantarian acts, it has been concluded that Assad’s
regime in Syria is a threat to Syrian citizens as well as development in Syria. Both the cold
war rivals and their allied states should try to settle conflicts in Syria and help

 

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CHILDREN KILLED IN DRONE ATTACKS IN PAKISTAN

 Youth Disrupted: Effects of U.S. Drone Strikes on Children in Targeted Areas

Since the George W. Bush administration’s first use of targeted assassinations via drone strikes, aimed at Al Qaeda and associated forces, in 2002, The Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ) reports at least 178 innocent children (up to age 17) have died directly as a result of U.S. drone policy.[1]

images-72TBIJ’s analysis — called the “best currently available public aggregate data on drone strikes” by legal experts at Stanford and NYU who recently released the in-depth report Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan[2], — finds that 176 of the 178 children killed in U.S. drones strikes were Pakistani. The two non-Pakistani children were killed in Yemen: U.S. citizen Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, 16, and his Yemeni cousin Ahmed Abdel-Rahman al-Awlaki, 17.

Misleading claims by the U.S. Government

The minimum count of 178 child deaths is far beyond any acknowledged count of civilian deaths from U.S. drone strikes by the U.S. government. John Brennan, President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser, has called civilian casualties as a result of the CIA’s secretive drone policy “exceedingly rare.”[3] Brennan said in August 2011, “Fortunately, for more than a year, due to our discretion and precision, the U.S. government has not found credible evidence of collateral deaths resulting from U.S. counterterrorism operations outside of Afghanistan or Iraq.”[4] Though from August 2010 through August 2011, TBIJ documented at least 101 civilians, including 13 children, were killed by drone strikes. Brennan also said  from August 2010 through April 2012, the U.S. “had no information about a single civilian being killed.”[5] TBIJ found that at least 107 civilians, including at least 16 children, were killed by strikes in that time. Finally, in January 2012, President Obama — acknowledging the CIA’s drone program for the first time — said strikes do not cause large amounts of civilian casualties.[6] TBIJ finds that at the time of Obama’s statement, at least 284 civilians, and at least 62 children, had died from strikes since he came into office in January 2009. Similar statements downplaying the amount of civilian casualties have been made numerous times by unnamed government sources, according to Living Under Drones.[7]

Two recent reports — Living Under Drones, and The Civilian Impact of Drones: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions,[8] by researchers at Columbia Law School’s Center for Civilians in Conflict — present seminal findings on how drone strikes affect civilian populations in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) of Pakistan. There is also valuable information contained in these reports on how drone strikes in particular impact children beyond the consequence of death.

Significant findings in Living Under Drones (direct passages):

–       In North Waziristan, extended families often live together in compounds that contain several homes, often constructed with mud. Most compounds include a hujra, which is the main gathering room for men and the area in which male family members entertain visitors. The hujra is often in close proximity to buildings reserved exclusively for women and children. As a result, the shrapnel and resulting blast of a missile strike on a hujra can and has killed and injured women and children in these nearby structures. (p. 25)

–       Drone strikes that kill civilians also exact a substantial toll on livelihoods by incapacitating the primary income earners of families. Because men are typically the primary income earners in their families, strikes often deprive victims’ families of “a key, and perhaps its only, source of income.” Families struggle to compensate for the lost income, often forcing children or other younger relatives to forgo school and enter the workforce at a young age. (p. 78)

 

Psychological Trauma

–       One man described the reaction to the sound of the drones as “a wave of terror” coming over the community. “Children, grown-up people, women, they are terrified. . . . They scream in terror.” (p. 81)

–       Interviewees also reported a loss of appetite as a result of the anxiety they feel when drones are overhead. Ajmal Bashir, an elderly man who has lost both relatives and friends to strikes, said that “every person—women, children, elders—they are all frightened and afraid of the drones . . . [W]hen [drones] are flying, they don’t like to eat anything . . . because they are too afraid of the drones.” Another man explained that, “We don’t eat properly on those days [when strikes occur] because we know an innocent Muslim was killed. We are all unhappy and afraid.” (p. 84)

–       One man said of his young niece and nephew that “[t]hey really hate the drones when they are flying. It makes the children very angry.” Aftab Gul Ali, who looks after his grandson and three granddaughters, stated that children, even when far away from strikes, are “badly affected.” (p. 86)

–       Hisham Abrar, who had to collect his cousin’s body after he was killed in a drone strike, stated:

When [children] hear the drones, they get really scared, and they can hear them all the time so they’re always fearful that the drone is going to attack them. . . [B]ecause of the noise, we’re psychologically disturbed—women, men, and children. . . Twenty-four hours, [a] person is in stress and there is pain in his head. (p. 86-87)

–       Noor Behram, a Waziri journalist who investigates and photographs drone strike sites, noted the fear in children: “if you bang a door, they’ll scream and drop like something bad is going to happen.” A Pakistani mental health professional shared his worries about the long-term ramifications of such psychological trauma on children:

The biggest concern I have as a [mental health professional] is that when the children grow up, the kinds of images they will have with them, it is going to have a lot of consequences. You can imagine the impact it has on personality development. People who have experienced such things, they don’t trust people; they have anger, desire for revenge . . .So when you have these young boys and girls growing up with these impressions, it causes permanent scarring and damage.  (p. 87)

Loss of Education Opportunities

–       One father, after seeing the bodies of three dead children in the rubble of a strike, decided to pull his own children out of school. “I stopped [them] from getting an education,” he admitted. “I told them we will be finished one day, the same as other people who were going [to school] and were killed in the drone attacks.” He stated that this is not uncommon: “I know a lot of people, girls and boys, whose families have stopped them from getting [an] education because of drone attacks.” Another father stated that when his children go to school “they fear that they will all be killed, because they are congregating.” Ismail Hussain, noting similar trends among the young, said that “the children are crying and they don’t go to school. They fear that their schools will be targeted by the drones.” (p. 89)

–       Children and teenagers who have stayed in school described how drones have affected their concentration and diminished their drive to study. Faheem Qureshi, the sole survivor of the first strike in North Waziristan carried out under President Obama, was one of the top four students in his class before the drone strike fractured his skull and nearly blinded him. Now, struggling with attention, cognitive, and emotional difficulties, he described how his studies have been affected:

Our minds have been diverted from studying. We cannot learn things because we are always in fear of the drones hovering over us, and it really scares the small kids who go to school. . . . At the time the drone struck, I had to take exams, but I couldn’t take exams after that because it weakened my brain. I couldn’t learn things, and it affected me emotionally. My [mind] was so badly affected . . . (p. 90-91)

–       Waleed Shiraz, who was disabled in a January 2008 attack that killed his father, described how the strike altered his goals and devastated his family. A political science major in college, Waleed “dreamt of either leading some school in Peshawar as a principal or becoming a lawyer or even a politician representing Pakistan.” When the strike took place, he was home on his first holiday from the National University of Modern Languages in Islamabad, spending time with his family and studying for exams. At the time, he planned to study languages. Since the strike, those plans have radically changed:

I can’t dream of going back to college. I am unemployed. No one will give me admission into college and who is going to finance it? We are unemployed and our financial situation is extremely poor. Out of the ten kanals of land we owned[1 ¼ acres], we have sold five [5/8 acres] and the remaining five sit idle because my two younger brothers are too young. They can’t go to school, because I can’t afford supporting them, buying their books, and paying their fees. They are home most of the day and they are very conscious of the fact that drones are hovering over them. [The presence of drones] intimidates them. . . . My education is wasted. (p. 91)

–       Mohsin Haq, 14, explained that some of his classmates have given up on school because “[t]hey are mentally disturbed. They can’t focus. They’re just too worried about their family. They’re not sure about anything, so school doesn’t make sense to them.” He also revealed his fears about the impacts on future generations, and his hopes for change:

[The children in my community] are very optimistic that someday, when these things do stop, they will continue with their life as they were before, start going to school again. They still dream about a bright future, about the aspiring people they want to be, the future administrators, the future principals of the schools, and teachers and future politicians. . . . Every family, everybody, they do want to think about their bright futures, their prosperous jobs, and their young kids. Butthey can’t think like that because of these drones, because of this uncertainty. (p. 92)

Breakdown of Community

–       Sameer Rahman, whose family’s house was hit in a strike, confessed that “there are barely any guests who come anymore, because everyone’s scared.” He also stated that he does not allow his children to visit other people’s homes when they have guests over, because he believes having guests makes it more likely that the house will be attacked. (p. 96)

–       Sadaullah Wazir, a teenager, told us that drones have “made life quite difficult [in that] more than two can’t sit together outside because they are scared they might be struck by drones. . . . We often discuss that too many people shouldn’t sit together outside because they are vulnerable then.” (p. 97)

 

Significant findings in The Civilian Impact of Drones (direct passages):

Psychological Trauma

–       In locations such as northern Pakistan, where drones often buzz overhead 24 hours a day, people live in constant fear of being hit. Michael Kugelman of the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars notes: “I have heard Pakistanis speak about children in the tribal areas who become hysterical when they hear the characteristic buzz of a drone. […] Imagine the effect this has on psyches, and particularly on young ones already scarred by war and displacement.” Unlike deaths and property loss, which may affect one or more families, the fear associated with covert drone strikes affects nearly everyone in a community. (p. 24)

–       According to media reports, the threat or prevalence of drone strikes in Yemen and Pakistan mean some parents are unwilling to send their children to school out of fear.

In Pakistan, there have been several reports of drone strikes that have damaged or destroyed local schools. Ten-year-old Nadia was at school when a drone strike hit her house, killing her mother and father. Having moved in with an aunt in a nearby town, Nadia told Center for Civilians in Conflict she had “no source of income with my parents gone… my aunt looks after me now and I help her in the house… but I want admission to school. I want an education.” (p. 25)

Intelligence Failures

–       An Army investigation found that a February 2010 air strike mistakenly targeted vehicles carrying over 30 civilians in Uruzgan Province, noting there were critical failures related to the collection, analysis, and reporting of intelligence gathered by Predator drones. These included “inaccurate reporting from the crew of the unmanned Predator aircraft to the forces on the ground…that the vehicles contained only military aged males,” when in fact they contained children. (p. 32)

–       “Data crush” may result in mistaken targeting of civilians, if analysts and decision-makers miss an important detail that is obscured by the flood of information. For example, a US investigation cited information overload as one reason for mistakes in a US military targeting operation against a convoy in Afghanistan, which left 23 civilians dead. Solid reports that children were present in the targeted convoy were lost amidst the vast swirl of data coming in from drones overhead. (p. 41)

 

Drone strike that resulted in most child deaths

A U.S. drone strike on a madrassa, or religious seminary, in Bajaur Agency of Pakistan’s Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) in October 2006 resulted in what is most likely the highest child death count since U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan began, in 2004. Of the 80 to 83 civilians killed as a result of the strike, 69 were children ages 7 to 17, according to The News International.[9] The attack on the school, alleged[10] by Pakistani officials to have been a Taliban training camp harboring a militant leader[11], occurred at a time when militants were to meet with tribal elders to discuss a peace agreement.[12] A Pakistan Inter-Services Intelligence official said the strike “effectively sabotaged the chances for an agreement” in the area.[13] The Pakistani military initially took responsibility for the strike but later indicated it was the fault of the U.S. government. An aide to then-President Pervez Musharraf said, “We thought it would be less damaging if we said we did it rather than the US. But there was a lot of collateral damage and we’ve requested the Americans not to do it again.”

 

Drone strikes and the destabilization of Pakistan

Many current and former Pakistani and American officials have spoken about drone strikes undermining Pakistani national sovereignty and the country’s democratic standing. High Commissioner of Pakistan to the United Kingdom Wajid Shamsul Hasan told TBIJ[14], “What has been the whole outcome of these drone attacks is, that you have rather directly or indirectly contributed to destabilizing or undermining the democratic government. Because people really make fun of the democratic government – when you pass a resolution against drone attacks in the parliament, and nothing happens. The Americans don’t listen to you, and they continue to violate your territory.” Pakistan’s ambassador to the United States, Sherry Rehman, has said drone strikes are a prime recruiting tool for militants.[15] Pakistan’s foreign minister has called U.S. drone strikes illegal and counterproductive.[16] Many members of Pakistan’s parliament have echoed these sentiments.[17] Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan is possibly the most notoriously outspoken Pakistani official critical of the U.S. drone policy there. He has opposed U.S. drone strikes for a host of reasons, most notably because he believes strikes will not lead to peace in Pakistan’s most violent areas.[18]

 

Names of children killed in U.S. drone strikes

(Information taken from The Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s database[19] of drone strikes and corresponding casualties.)

 

Name                                      Age                 Date

Unknown                               10                   June 17, 2004

Unknown                               16                   June 17, 2004

Unknown(3 girls)                 unk                 November 5, 2005

Abdul Wasit                           17                   December 1, 2005

Noor Aziz                                8                      December 1, 2005

Unknown                               unk                 February 6, 2006

Unknown (5-6)                     unk                 February 13, 2006

Najibullah                              13                   October 30, 2006

Adnan                                     16                   October 30, 2006

Inayatullah                            15                   October 30, 2006

Iftikhar                                   17                   October 30, 2006

Wali-ur-Rahman                   17                   October 30, 2006

Rahman                                  13                   October 30, 2006

Fazal Wahab                          18                   October 30, 2006

Jamroz Khan                          unk                 October 30, 2006

Talha                                      8                      October 30, 2006

Sakirullah                               16                   October 30, 2006

Nimatullah                             14                   October 30, 2006

Shafiullah                               16                   October 30, 2006

Qari Sharifullah                     17                   October 30, 2006

Shabir                                     15                   October 30, 2006

Shehzad Gul                           11                   October 30, 2006

Zabihullah                              16                   October 30, 2006

Wilayat Khan                         11                   October 30, 2006

Kitab Gul                                12                   October 30, 2006

Hizbullah                                10                   October 30, 2006

Naeemullah                           17                   October 30, 2006

Noor Mohammad                  15                   October 30, 2006

Ziaur Rhaman                        13                   October 30, 2006

Inayatur Rahman                  17                   October 30, 2006

Shaukat                                  14                   October 30, 2006

Ameer Said                            15                   October 30, 2006

Darvesh                                  13                   October 30, 2006

Abdul Waris                           16                   October 30, 2006

Saeedullah                             17                   October 30, 2006

Siraj                                        16                   October 30, 2006

Abdus Samad                                    17                   October 30, 2006

Rahmatullah                          14                   October 30, 2006

Qari Abdul Karim                  19                   October 30, 2006

Alam Nabi                              11                   October 30, 2006

Jamshed Khan                       14                   October 30, 2006

Qari Ishaq                              19                   October 30, 2006

Zaheeruddin                          16                   October 30, 2006

Taseel Khan                           18                   October 30, 2006

Ismail                                      12                   October 30, 2006

Jannatullah                            13                   October 30, 2006

Salman                                   16                   October 30, 2006

Luqman                                  12                   October 30, 2006

Ihsanullah                              16                   October 30, 2006

Mashooq Khan                      16                   October 30, 2006

Numair                                   14                   October 30, 2006

Bakht Muneer                       14                   October 30, 2006

Gul Sher Khan                       15                   October 30, 2006

Shahjehan                              15                   October 30, 2006

Mohammad Salim                 11                   October 30, 2006

Khan                                       21                   October 30, 2006

Rahatullah                             17                   October 30, 2006

Yahya Khan                           16                   October 30, 2006

Inayatur Rhaman                  16                   October 30, 2006

Shahbuddin                           15                   October 30, 2006

Ikramullah                             17                   October 30, 2006

Abdullah                                18                   October 30, 2006

Ziaur Rahman                        17                   October 30, 2006

Ghulam Nabi                          21                   October 30, 2006

Qari Alamzeb                         14                   October 30, 2006

Mohammad Yaas Khan        16                   October 30, 2006

Sultanat Khan                                   16                   October 30, 2006

Nawab                                                17                   October 30, 2006

Mashooq Jan                          15                   October 30, 2006

Razi Mohammad                   16                   October 30, 2006

Saifullah                                 9                      October 30, 2006

Khalid                                     12                   October 30, 2006

Noor Mohammad                  8                      October 30, 2006

Kalilullah                                9                      October 30, 2006

Shoaib                                                8                      October 30, 2006

Asadullah                               9                      October 30, 2006

Sohail                                      7                      October 30, 2006

Ilyas                                        13                   October 30, 2006

Fazel Hakim                           19                   October 30, 2006

Mohammad Yunus               16                   October 30, 2006

Ziauddin                                 16                   October 30, 2006

Fazel Wahab                          16                   October 30, 2006

Azizul Wahab                         15                   October 30, 2006

Maulvi Khaleefa                    unk                 October 30, 2006

Mohammad Tahir                 16                   October 30, 2006

Possible children                   unk                 June 19, 2007

Unknown (3 children)         unk                 February 29, 2008

Unknown (3 children)         unk                 May 14, 2008

Unknown (3 children)         unk                 July 28, 2008

Unknown                               unk                 August 30, 2008

Unknown (3-4 children)      unk                 September 5, 2008

Unknown (8 children)         unk                 September 8, 2008

Unknown                               unk                 October 3, 2008

Unknown (3 children)         unk                 October 3, 2008       

Unknown (1-4 children)      14.5                October 9, 2008

Possible students                  12-18             October 23, 2008

0-3 children                           unk                 October 26, 2008

Unknown                               unk                 November 14, 2008

possible children                   unk                 November 29, 2008

Azaz-ur-Rehman                   14                   January 23, 2009

Maezol Khan                          3                      January 23, 2009

Noor Syed                              8                      February 14, 2009

Unknown (3 children)         unk                 April 1, 2009

Unknown (3-4 children)      unk                 April 4, 2009

Unknown (2 children)         unk                 April, 19, 2009

Unknown (10 children)       unk                 June 23, 2009

Ibad Ullah                              unk                 August 11, 2009

Mohammad Arif                    unk                 August 11, 2009

Abdul Qadeer                                    unk                 August 11, 2009

Hazart Ali                               unk                 August 11, 2009

Syed Wali Shah                     7                      August 21, 2009

Unknown (5 children)         unk                 August 21, 2009

Unknown (3 children)         unk                 September 8, 2009

Sakeenullah                           15                   November 20, 2009

Zenullah Khan                       17                   December 31, 2009

Wajid Noor                             9                      January 3, 2010

Ayesha                                    3                      January 8, 2010

Naila                                       10                   February 24, 2010

Unknown                               14                   March 31, 2010

Fatima Khan                          unk                 May 21, 2010

Nisar Khan                             unk                 May 21, 2010

Naeem Khan                          unk                 May 21, 2010

Unknown                               unk                 May 21, 2010

Unknown                               unk                 August 14, 2010

Unknown (3 orphans)         unk                 August 23, 2010

Unknown (4 children)         unk                 September 8, 2010

Naeem Ullah                          10                   October 18, 2010

Unknown                               unk                 November 16, 2010

Ismael Mohammed               unk                 March 17, 2011

Atif                                          12                   April 22, 2011

Unknown (2 children)         unk                 April 22, 2011

Unknown                               unk                 August 16, 2011

Unknown (2 children)         unk                 August 22, 2011

Tariq Aziz                               16                   October 31, 2011

Waheed Khan                                   12                   October 31, 2011

Unknown                               unk                 February 9, 2012

Osama Haqqani                     13                   August 21, 2012

 

 

 

 

 


[1] http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/category/projects/drones/

[2] http://livingunderdrones.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/Stanford-NYU-LIVING-UNDER-DRONES.pdf

[3] http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/the-efficacy-and-ethics-us-counterterrorism-strategy

[4] http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/12/world/asia/12drones.html

[5] http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/04/brennan-drone-attacks.html

[6] http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/31/world/middleeast/civilian-deaths-due-to-drones-are-few-obama-says.html

[7] Living Under Drones; Chapter 5: Strategic Considerations; Appendix C

[8] http://web.law.columbia.edu/sites/default/files/microsites/human-rights-institute/files/The%20Civilian%20Impact%20of%20Drones.pdf

[9] http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=4043&Cat=13&dt=11/5/2006

[10] http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D03E7DB1F3FF933A25752C1A9609C8B63&pagewanted=all

[11] http://tribune.com.pk/story/229844/the-day-69-children-died/

[12] http://www.thenews.com.pk/TodaysPrintDetail.aspx?ID=3912&Cat=13&dt=10/29/2006

[13] http://www.ipsnews.net/2011/08/why-pakistani-military-demands-a-veto-on-drone-strikes/

[14] http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/08/03/us-drone-strikes-undermine-pakistani-democracy-says-top-diplomat/

[15] http://www.thenews.com.pk/Todays-News-2-123425-Drone-attacks-serving-to-recruit-new-militants-Sherry

[16] http://tribune.com.pk/story/441107/better-understanding-with-us-on-drones-says-hina-rabbani-khar/

[17] http://tribune.com.pk/story/54883/drone-attacks-hit-all-time-high/

[18] http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/1210/12/ampr.01.html

[19] http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/category/projects/drone-data

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Greenwald Drone Film Opens In Pakistan

 

 

Last month, protesters in Multan, Pakistan, expressed their anger about U.S. drone strikes.

 

Greenwald Drone Film Opens In Pakistan

Oct 23, 2013

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In a unique film premiere for victims of drone strikes, Pakistani leader Imran Khan will host a screening of Robert Greenwald‘s new documentary “Unmanned: America’s Drone Wars” in Islamabad this Friday (25 Oct). Khan is the most popular political leader in Pakistan, and the elected leader of the region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, where drone strikes are clustered. His former wife, the London-based, Jemima Khan, is co-executive producer. One of the deaths examined in the film is that of an innocent 16 year old Pakistani, Tariq Aziz, on October 31, 2011

 

. The victim had testified one week earlier at a public hearing, or jirga, in Islamabad where hundreds of people rallied and listened to eyewitness accounts of drone attacks in the tribal areas of Waziristan. 

 

Aziz was targeted by an informant at the hearing, says Clive Stafford Smith of the London-based Reprieve

 

, a leading monitor of the strikes and their human rights impacts. The US relies on paid informants for gathering intelligence used in targeting in the remote tribal highlands region. Featured in the documentary is a former US drone technician, Brandon Bryant, who was told by his superiors that, “we kill people and break things.” Bryant was captivated by becoming a James Bond-style operative. 

 

The US drones policy comes under severe attack this week with reports from the United Nations rapporteur, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International all being released in the same period. Both the film and the new reports strike heavy blows at the credibility of United States’ claims that the drone strikes are mistake-proof and aimed solely at known terrorist threats. The CIA has stretched the legal definition of “imminent threat” to include young males “associated” with jihadist groups, however vaguely, in virtually any theater of the Long War against terrorism. 

Pressure against the US drones policy has caused the strike rate to be “dropped drastically in recent months”, according to the New York Times

 

. In addition, President Barack Obama and Congress have grappled over how to “rein in” the drift towards an imperial presidency. 

 

The relative success of the anti-drone campaign suggests that US military policies can be opposed effectively even where massive costs and ground troop numbers are not in question. The anti-drone phenomenon consists of an unusual spectrum of anti-war groups like Code Pink, independent journalists and film-makers, civil liberties and human rights lawyers, and many professional counter-insurgency advocates who oppose using air strikes as a substitute for intervention on the ground.

The documentary will screen in Washington D.C. on October 28 and in New York City on October 30. For information screenings email: Hamida@bravenewfoundation.org, or request

 

 a free copy.

 

Robert Greenwald

 

Follow Robert Greenwald on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/robertgreenwald

 

 

UNMANNED: AMERICA’S DRONE WARS

 


 

SECRET WARS AND NO ACCOUNTABILITY: 5 REASONS WHY 2013 IS ALREADY YEAR OF THE DRONE

 
Posted by Linsey Pecikonis

 

 – February 12 | Add your reaction

 

 

For a war-weary American public, President Barack Obama’s inaugural address last month sounded perfect. “ A decade of war is now ending,” the president said. “We, the people, still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”

 


 

DRONE MAKERS AND CONGRESS, WORKING TOGETHER TO GET PAID

 
Posted by Jaide Garcia – December 04 | Add your reaction

 

The U.S. House drone caucus

 

 is becoming an increasingly popular topic as the U.S. government looks to unmanned aerial vehicles for solutions to its problems at home and abroad. The technological advancements displayed by UAVs are undeniably impressive, but the motives behind them are questioned, mostly by privacy advocates for now. Continual pressure on the federal government from drone manufacturers and their defenders in Congress to open U.S. airways to drones helped push the passage of the FAA Modernization and Reform Act, which was signed earlier this year.

 

 


 

ROBERT GREENWALD APPEARS ON ‘THE THOM HARTMANN SHOW’ TO DISCUSS DRONES

 
Posted by William Melton

 

 – November 27 | Add your reaction

 

 

The Obama administration maintains that drone strikes are precise, yet hundreds of innocent people have died in drone attacks.

 

 This is a clear disconnect between what we’re being told and what we’re finding. It’s time for a deeper investigation; the evidence doesn’t match the claims. 

 

 

 


 

MR. PRESIDENT: HOW DO YOU DEFINE PRECISE?

 
Posted by Robert Greenwald

 

 – November 19 | 1 reaction

 

“I want to make sure that people understand actually drones have not caused a huge number of civilian casualties…. For the most part, they have been very precise, precision strikes against al- Qaeda and their affiliates. And we are very careful in terms of how it’s been applied.”

– President Obama

 

, January 2012

 

I have interviewed many people over the years of doing documentaries.  Currently in Pakistan filming with victims of drone attacks (ahead of the film, follow my trip at warcosts.com

 

Facebook

 

 and Twitter

 

), I have never had a more haunting and harrowing experience than looking into the eyes of person after person, children and adults, and hearing them talk about their homes, villages and families destroyed by drone attacks. The pain is palpable, their fear still radiates. And even a question about the CIA sets off terror alerts in peoples’ eyes.

 

 


 

A CANDIDATE WHO WILL TALK ABOUT DRONES

 
Posted by Robert Greenwald

 

 – November 16 | 33 reactions

 

 

So, yes, a candidate for president talks about drones in detail, with great awareness about how they are counterproductive to United States security concerns. Problem is, the candidate is running for president of Pakistan.

 


 

WHY I AM GOING TO PAKISTAN

 
Posted by Robert Greenwald

 

 – November 14 | Add your reaction

 

In March 2009, I went to Kabul as part of my work on Brave New Foundation’s documentaryRethink Afghanistan

 

. My trip was an effort to understand the realities of life in an unrelenting warzone, and to find voices that weren’t yet heard eight years after U.S. forces invaded the country. In the same spirit, I am going to Pakistan to investigate what life is like for those living under drones.

 

 


 

WHEN THE DEFENSE INDUSTRY AND CONGRESS ARE INDISTINGUISHABLE: DRONE EDITION

 
Posted by John Amick

 

 – November 13 | Add your reaction

 

It’s moments like this that underscore the near, if not complete, evaporation between the interests of the war industry and the public entity that’s supposed to have oversight over it, the U.S. Congress. Read this post from Colorlines’ Seth Freed Wessler

 

 and try to describe where the drone lobby and industry end and where the House of Represenatives Unmanned Systems (or Drone) Caucus begins: 

 

 

 


 

GROUNDBREAKING REPORT AND VIDEO ON DRONE STRIKES DOCUMENTS HARM TO PAKISTANI CIVILIANS AND U.S. SECURITY

 
Posted by John Amick

 

 – November 13 | Add your reaction

 

Brave New Foundation has the honor of releasing a video to accompany a seminal report by human rights law experts at Stanford and New York University law schools. The report, entitled “Living Under Drones

 

” presents chilling first-hand testimony from Pakistani civilians on the humanitarian and security costs of escalating drone attacks by the United States. The report uncovers civilian deaths, and shocking psychological and social damage to whole families and communities – where people are literally scared to leave their homes because of drones flying overhead 24 hours a day.

 

 


 

NEW REPORT HEATS UP SPOTLIGHT ON DRONE POLICY IN THE MEDIA

 
Posted by Nathan Gammill

 

 – November 13 | Add your reaction

 

 

Living Under Drones

 

, a new report by human rights law experts at Stanford and New York University, counters the common rhetoric that the use of drone stikes is a precise and effective tool for making the U.S. a safer place. The report, along with a video produced by Brave New Foundation

 

, aims to open up public discussion on the incendiary U.S. drone policy in Pakistan incorporating the devastating, virtually hidden side effects. Above, John Amick discussed with RT America

 

 the importance of Living Under Drones in a media climate more or less dry of any critical reporting on the issue.

 

 


 

THIS IS IT: AMERICA NEEDS TO HEAR OBAMA, ROMNEY TALK ABOUT DRONE STRIKES IN LAST DEBATE

 
Posted by John Amick

 

 – November 13 | Add your reaction

 

If the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee – and a member of Congress – claims unfamiliarity with possibly the major plank of U.S. drone policy, as Debbie Wasserman-Schultz did last week

 

 when asked about President Obama’s “kill list” of those open for assassination based on U.S. intelligence, then what makes anyone believe the average American voter has a grasp on the killing done in their name in the likes of Pakistan and Yemen?

 

 


 

LAW AND ORDER: SVU FEATURES ‘DOUBLE-TAP’ PROCEDURE OF DRONE STRIKES

 
Posted by Jaide Timm-Garcia – November 13 | Add your reaction

 

Law & Order: SVU recently ran an episode

 

 that was likely inspired by the Stanford and NYU report, Living Under Drones

 

, about U.S. drone attacks currently taking place in Pakistan. In the episode, a character plotting a terrorist attack in the U.S. reveals that her father was killed by a “double-tap” strike in North Waziristan.

 

Robert Greenwald

 

Robert Greenwald is a producer, director, political activist, and the Brave New Films + Brave New Foundation founder and president. He is currently focused on the WAR COSTS (WarCosts.com) investigative campaign to challenge runaway, wasteful war spending – particularly in relation to job creation; KOCH BROTHERS EXPOSED (KochBrothersExposed.com) to illustrate the Kochs’ effort to buy democracy and control public policy from every direction; and CUENTAME (MyCuentame.org), which is at the forefront of investigating corruption at private prisons. He has also produced and distributed short viral videos and campaigns like RETHINK AFHANISTAN (2009, RethinkAfghanistan.com), SICK FOR PROFIT (SickForProfit.com), FOX ATTACKS (FoxAttacks.com) and THE REAL MCCAIN (TheRealMcCain.com), which were seen by almost a million people in a matter of days.

 

Greenwald is also the director/producer of IRAQ FOR SALE: THE WAR PROFITEERS (2006), a documentary that exposes what happens when corporations go to war and WAL-MART: THE HIGH COST OF LOW PRICE (2005), a documentary that uncovers the retail giant’s assault on families and American values and OUTFOXED: RUPERT MURDOCH’S WAR ON JOURNALISM (2004). He also executive produced a trilogy of political documentaries: UNPRECEDENTED: THE 2000 ELECTION; UNCOVERED: THE WAR ON IRAQ (2003), which Greenwald also directed; and UNCONSTITUTIONAL (2004).

BRAVE NEW FILMS (BraveNewFilms.org), Greenwald’s new media company, uses film to tell stories that build movements and influence debate about the most important issues of the day. Brave New Films released the THE BIG BUY: TOM DELAY’S STOLEN CONGRESS in May 2006 and recently produced two TV series: ACLU FREEDOM FILES and THE SIERRA CLUB CHRONICLES – which can be seen on Link TV, Court TV (ACLU) and via the internet.

In addition to his documentary work, Greenwald has produced and/or directed more than 50 television movies, miniseries and feature films, including: The Book of Ruth (2004), based on the best selling book by Jane Hamilton; The Crooked E: The Unshredded Truth About Enron (2003); The Burning Bed, starring Farrah Fawcett as an abused housewife; Shattered Spirits, starring Martin Sheen, about alcoholism; and Forgotten Prisoners, about the work of Amnesty International. Greenwald also produced and directed the feature film, Steal This Movie, starring Vincent D’Onofrio as 60’s radical Abbie Hoffman, as well as Breaking Up, starring Russell Crowe and Salma Hayek.

Greenwald’s films have garnered 25 Emmy nominations, four cable ACE Award nominations, two Golden Globe nominations, the Peabody Award, the Robert Wood Johnson Award, and eight Awards of Excellence from the Film Advisory Board. He was awarded the 2002 Producer of the Year Award by the American Film Institute. Greenwald has been honored for his activism by the ACLU Foundation of Southern California; the L.A. chapter of the National Lawyers Guild; Physicians for Social Responsibility; New Roads School, Consumer Attorney’s Association of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy and the Office of the Americas. Greenwald has lectured at Harvard University for the Nieman Fellows Foundation for Journalism and speaks frequently across the country about his work.

Follow Robert Greenwald on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/robertgreenwald

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