Regular drone attacks by the United States have now become a norm in many countries. The use of drones has become one of the most controversial human rights issues in the world, sparking many human rights campaigns. Throughout the history, human rights have been jeopardized by the masses of society. They are effective tools that impose terror on the people that they fired against, creating more enemies for the United States with every innocent person that is killed.
The US has been using armed forces drones in the “War on Terror” for eight years. The vast majority of drone strikes have occurred in Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen. US officials have credited them with severely demolishing Al-Qaeda’s capacity in that region, though the drone strikes are intended for targeted killing, civilians casualties cannot be prevented and it has caused a lot of disruptions. A report was released by the Human Rights Watch, claimed that the U.S had made six “unacknowledgement” drone strikes in Yemen, which killed a total of 82 people, including 57 civilians. The report cites an attack that occurred somewhere in September 2012, in which 12 people, including three women and a pregnant women, were killed when believed to be affiliated with Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Such kinds of drone attacks are continuously violating the human rights. Some people might argue against other techniques for example bombers, land mines, and etc, where there fighters can’t really see in details who they are killing, and military are incapable of effectively identifying their intended target; and yet despite this glaring problem, they still use them to target individuals. Using drone strikes and saying they are killing extremists is pretty illogical because they have no idea who they are killing, and yet they are still trying to make it happen and claim that they do know.
Imagine drones hovering 24/7 in the skies, children and adults running around because of the fear of dying.This is happening right now in Waziristan, Pakistan. An 8 year old girl gave an interview to Amnesty International about the strike in Pakistan’s tribal regions. Her grandmother was killed in the drone strike and she said, “I wasn’t scared of drones before, but now when they fly overhead I wonder, will I be next?” Her uncertainty is clear. It’s pretty obvious that the death of her grandmother is surely tragic for her. One might ask did the grandmother do something that made the drone operator suspicious? How can other innocent civilians avoid her fate? Ironically the U.S doesn’t accept to compensate the families of innocent civilians. In fact the U.S government capes the killings in secrecy, refusing even acknowledge to its role. Another interview was taken from the communities in the tribal areas where one said, “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. Because of the noise we are psychologically disturbed women, men, and children. 24 hours, a person is in stress and there is pain in his head” This raises another point that by striking down the towns, U.S. government is not only eliminating the extremists but also increasing them. They cannot even gather in groups as that attracts drone missiles. That’s the reason why funerals are targeted; thus denying the right to live and die in peace. If someone’s family member is being exploded into thousands of pieces that splatter all over a person. That person will probably want to fight against the person who did it or at least stand against them.
One problem is that humans are often seem like “bugs” when they are viewed by drone , and like bugs, they are crushed by drone strikes. Recently, charity organization named Reprieve, along with the Foundation of Fundamental Rights (FFR), helped a group artists to install a giant portrait of a child victim of a US drone strike in Pakistan on a lush green field. The idea behind this step was to evoke empathy and humanity in drone operators when they spot the face a child and to spread awareness among people. Despite resolutions condemning blatantly in British Parliament and United Nations’ resolution against drone campaign, they still continue to hover in the skies, making those children even more terrified. The attacks are increasing day by day.
The irony is that nearly two thirds of Americans think that the U.S government should use drones in other countries against suspected extremists. However they are much less likely to say that the government should launch an airstrike in other countries against U.S citizens living abroad who are suspected to be affiliated with extremists group. They survey’s result is pretty shocking that the fact American are much likely to say that government should launch airstrikes against them. This raises another interesting point that they are unaware of casualties of civilians and shows that they are biased.
Drone strikes continue to wreck havoc on the civilians rather than targeting the extremists.. The use of drones raises some questions and it is extremely difficult for the civilians to live where drones 24/7 hovering over the sky. If the government of United States stopped to think about it, they would realize that drone strikes are not just about the killing of people who are affiliated with terrorist groups, but also about the international law and innocent people as well. Violating the international law and disrespecting the humans rights play fundamental role in this conflict. It definitely makes the global system more chaotic and unpredictable.
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"Between A Done and Al-Qaeda." (n.d.): n. pag. Human Rights Watch. Web. <http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/yemen1013_ForUpload.pdf>.
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