Not A Bug Splat: Will This Heartwarming Image Create Empathy In US Military Circles?

Are human beings not more than specks on a screen? Pakistani artists install a massive portrait of a child to deter drone strikes.

In slang military terms, a human kill from a drone strike is often referred to as a ‘bug splat’ since, from an aerial view, people on the ground appear as tiny as insects.

Some of those killed in these attacks are indeed terrorists, but many are innocent and seen as ‘collateral damage’. The cameras on the US military drones flying over the fields of Waziristan in Northern Pakistan will now capture the massive image of an innocent little girl.

She will not be just another moving pixel on the screen soon to be ‘neutralized’. Instead, the girl will be the symbolic representation of hundreds of children who have either lost their families or their lives during the course of the American attempt to ‘save lives’.

Since 2004, the US government has carried out hundreds of ‘surgical strikes’ in Pakistan through their Predator Drones, resulting in thousands of civilian casualties. Human rights groups in Pakistan, and all over the world, have been in a state of diligent dissent against the program.

The Not A Bug Splat campaign has been launched by a group of artists from US, France and Pakistan, with support from the Foundation for Fundamental Rights (FFR), a non-profit organization based in Pakistan.

It is the latest in a series of attempts to highlight the negative aspects of drone strikes and introduce a sense of compassion towards the innocent victims. According to FFR, the unnamed child featured in the image, lost her parents and two young siblings in a drone strike.

Will this project help save lives of many such children?