Off Target

A study by Stanford University and New York University has found that 50 innocent civilians are killed for every alleged militant/terrorist by U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan.

3 thoughts on “Off Target

  1. Does anyone remember Lt. William Calley? Wasn’t he court-martialed for killing innocent civilians? Oh, wait – that was up close and personal, completely different.

  2. During the 19th century, the British Empire had a 2+1 Naval policy: meaning, if the nations with the 2nd and 3rd strongest navies allied against Britain, the UK Navy could defeat their combined strength.

    Then WWI left the UK bankrupt, with massive debts to the US that they could not repay, and the UK Navy was kept at parity with the relatively small (by 19th century standards) US Navy. Not exactly the old 2+1.

    The colonies still had to be policed, but RA and RN Forces were no longer affordable. Or necessary. The UK used the RAF which, at very low cost, dropped poison gas on rebellious colonial villages and killed every single villager, terrorising the other colonial villages into submission.

    But using the RAF to drop poison gas was not an option against a major European enemy, since that would provoke retaliation in kind, resulting in a depopulated Europe. So, when the war that Britain declared in ’39 finally went from Sitzkrieg to Blitzkrieg in ’40, the British Expeditionary Force was defeated in a few weeks.

    And by the end of ’47, the British Empire had passed into history.

    The US, now bankrupt, has a leader who is trying to terrorise the neo-colonies into submission as cheaply as possible, analogously to the UK between 1915 and 1939. Only, unlike colonies, neo-colonies have no fixed boundaries. Nor are there formal Imperial Laws that make it clear which villages are subject to being exterminated and which are not.

    The British Empire only lasted 20 years after they switched from RA and RN enforcement of colonial laws to cheap RAF enforcement. It’s not clear how much longer the US neo-Empire will manage to persist supported primarily by drones and the USAF attacking enemies without air defences.

    Rome lasted 400 years after everyone wrote it off as decadent and on the verge of total collapse.

    So I guess it’s safe to say the US neo-Empire has between 20 and 400 years left to run.

    Every patriotic Americans naturally hopes for at least 400 more years.

    Everyone else is hoping that 20 years will prove pessimistically long.

  3. That’s not exactly what it says, Ted. Not that I approve of drones, but getting your numbers wrong undermines your message.

    You ran with

    “The number of ‘high-level’ targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low—estimated at just 2%.”

    but specific to civilians, on the same page

    “June 2004 through mid-September 2012, available data indicate that drone strikes killed 2,562-3,325 people in Pakistan, of whom 474-881 were civilians, including 176 children”

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