WASHINGTON, October 19 (RIA Novosti) – A new report published by the UK Bureau of Investigative Journalism demonstrates that more than one thousand innocent people in Pakistan appeared to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, becoming victims of the US's latest war on terror, Alice Slater, New York Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation told RIA Novosti.
“The recent report on the US drone campaign by the CIA in Pakistan indicates that over 2,300 people were killed by US drones, with only 704 of those dead people actually named and identified,” Slater told RIA Novosti, stressing that less than half of those identified were actually militants, with only 84 of them claimed to be members of Al-Qaeda militant group.
“This means that we don’t even know who the more than 1,600 people who met their deaths by drone actually were,” Slater said.
“But we can be sure that many of them were children, grandparents, wives and other innocents who just happened to be in the wrong spot during the insane target practice of some computer nerd, sitting at his laptop in Colorado and playing with his computer joystick, impersonally targeting and assassinating people on the ground thousands of miles away merely on the US President’s say-so in this latest version of a trumped up war on terror that only benefits the corporate military-industrial complex that President Eisenhower warned against,” she asserted.
New statistics were released on Thursday by the UK Bureau of Investigative Journalism claiming that fewer than 4 percent of the victims of US drone strikes in Pakistan had been identified as members of Al-Qaeda. A greater number of victims were described as militants, but with little corroborating evidence.
International organizations and human rights groups have often criticized Washington over its drone operations that in many cases have led to the deaths of civilians.
“In the US, grassroots activists have been writing and protesting this illegal use of drones, which are being used in a number of other countries including Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya and Somalia,” Slater said.
“But right now, with new hostilities breaking out in the Middle East and deteriorating relationships with Russia, opinion polls show that the American public is war weary and believes that drones are a way to avoid sending more troops into battle to fight and be killed,” she added.
Slater noted that many governments have commented on the need to end the use of drones, prevent an arms race in outer space, stop the development of new kinds of warfare in cyberspace and the lethal use of robotics, and most importantly, to honor promises for nuclear disarmament.
“We must free up the intellectual and financial resources urgently needed to address poverty, catastrophic climate change, the threat to life on earth… There is no question that the looming existential problems threatening the survival of humanity are due to a failure of democracy. War machines and money machines, run by corporate forces and corrupting governments, are causing havoc on the earth,” she underlined.
The United States resumed its drone attacks in Pakistan in June. Washington says the airstrikes are part of an effort to eliminate a global terrorist threat. The legal basis for the strikes comes from a law signed by Congress after September 11, 2001 attacks, which gives the US president the right to use all necessary force against those behind the attacks on the United States.
In the past there has been controversy over the failure of US authorities and Pakistan to coordinate drone strikes within the country. Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has called for an end to the US drone strikes, accusing the US of violating the country's territorial integrity and basic human rights.