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Ed Webb

Increasing numbers of Yemenis killed by America's drone strikes - 0 views

  • In America, drones are a fascinating technology in a videogame war where US soldiers neither put themselves at risk nor feel the blood on their hands of those they kill. This has made American policy makers arrogant and overbearing when it comes to even discussing drones, an attitude that history will not treat kindly. Like the McNamara policy in Vietnam of counting enemy corpses as a metric of success, the US drone policy in Yemen will embody America’s moral erosion in our times.
  • President Hadi’s support for the drones has made him a darling of the US — the American ambassador said in a press conference that the US’ relationship with Hadi was even stronger than it was with Saleh and that America would be happy if he ran in the presidential elections again in 2014 — but to the average Yemeni, it makes their first freely elected president in decades look like an American puppet. Remember, a main catalyst for the uprising that overthrew Saleh was that he was accountable to Washington rather than his own people. Local opponents to Hadi are thus amassing a political, legal and moral war chest against the president.
  • neither the Yemeni nor the American government has paid any type of compensation to the innocent victims of drone strikes, while AQAP has an extensive record of compensating the families of civilians inadvertently harmed during its operations. Indeed, AQAP has become an outlet for Yemenis bent on revenge after losing relatives to American missiles, making the drone program a crucial tool of AQAP’s recent recruitment drive
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  • In America, drones are a fascinating technology in a videogame war where US soldiers neither put themselves at risk nor feel the blood on their hands of those they kill. This has made American policy makers arrogant and overbearing when it comes to even discussing drones, an attitude that history will not treat kindly. Like the McNamara policy in Vietnam of counting enemy corpses as a metric of success, the US drone policy in Yemen will embody America’s moral erosion in our times.
Ed Webb

Questions on Drones, Unanswered Still - www.nytimes.com - Readability - 0 views

  • “I was struck by how afraid people are of the constant presence of drones,” said Ms. Knuckey, a co-author of a recent Stanford/N.Y.U. report20 on the drone campaign’s impact on Pakistanis. “They had the sense that they could be struck as collateral damage at any time.”
  • “The U.S. is creating a precedent by carrying out strikes in secrecy without accountability to anyone,” Ms. Knuckey said. “What if all countries did what the U.S. is doing?”
Ed Webb

Drone warfare's deadly civilian toll: a very personal view | James Jeffrey | Comment is... - 0 views

  • Both Pakistan and Yemen are arguably less stable and more hostile to the west as a result of President Obama's increased reliance on drones. When surveying the poisoned legacy left to the Iraqi people, and what will be left to the Afghan people, it's beyond depressing to hear of the hawks circling around other theatres like Pakistan and Yemen, stoking the flames of interventionism.

    I fear the folly in which I took part will never end, and society will be irreversibly enmeshed in what George Orwell's 1984 warned of: constant wars against the Other, in order to forge false unity and fealty to the state.

  • in Afghanistan, the linguistic corruption that always attends war meant we'd refer to "hot spots", "multiple pax on the ground" and "prosecuting a target", or "maximising the kill chain".
  • encroachment of drones into the civilian realm is also gaining momentum. President Obama signed a federal law on 14 February 2012, allowing drones for a variety of commercial uses and for police law enforcement. The skies above may never be the same. As with most of America's darker elements, such as its gun culture, there's profit to be made – the market for drones is already valued at $5.9bn and is expected to double in 10 years.
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  • Technological advancements in warfare don't have a good track record in terms of unintended consequences
Ed Webb

Cultural Clash Fuels Muslims Raging at Film - NYTimes.com - 0 views

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    For discussion on 9/17
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