Filmmaker Robert Greenwald who has returned from a trip to Pakistan reports that done strikes by the United States are causing civilian casualties, particularly among children in Pakistan and Yemen.
"During my recent trip to Pakistan as part of our upcoming documentary film, Drones Exposed, I was struck most by the stories told to me by children who had experienced a U.S. drone strike firsthand. The impact of America’s drone war in the likes of Pakistan and Yemen will linger on, especially for the loved ones of the 178 children killed in those countries by U.S. drone strikes," he wrote for the Huffington Post.
"War Costs’ latest video brings attention to the children who have died as a result of drone strikes. The video names some of the children who perished in these strikes, and points out the obfuscation tactics of American officials who will not own up to the significant amount of civilian casualties that have occurred due to this legally- and morally-dubious policy," he said.
"In addition to the video, War Costs offers a report detailing the effects of drone strikes on children. The findings come mainly from the diligent investigative reporting of TBIJ and the groundbreaking reports on the impact of drone strikes by Stanford and New York University researchers (Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians from U.S. Drone Practices in Pakistan) and researchers at Columbia University (The Civilian Impact of Drones: Unexamined Costs, Unanswered Questions)," Greenwald explained.
"In an effort to compel answers about why these innocent civilians have died without acknowledgement or explanation from the U.S. government, War Costs is calling on the U.S. House of Representatives to debate and pass Rep. Dennis Kucinich's bill that calls for more transparency regarding U.S. drone strike policy," he said.
FACTS & FIGURES
The United Nations has identified the U.S. as the world's number one user of "targeted killings" largely due to its drone attacks in Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The CIA and the U.S. military have used drones to target and kill those Washington describes as “suspected militants” in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia and Libya.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta believes that it’s not enough to continue the drone strikes and commando raids in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia, but they’ve got to expand “outside declared combat zones” to places like Nigeria, Mali and even Libya. Wired.com
In 2008, after Barack Obama won the presidency in the U.S., the drone strikes escalated and soon began occurring almost weekly, later nearly daily, and so became a permanent feature of life for those living in the tribal borderlands of northern Pakistan.
An October report on the secret U.S. drone war in Pakistan says the attacks have killed far more civilians than acknowledged, traumatized a nation and undermined international law. In "Living Under Drones," researchers conclude the drone strikes "terrorize men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities."