The US Continue To Drone On

Another US Drone over PakistanThe BBC Panorama program last night about drone attacks over Pakistan, painted a rather ugly picture of covert operations, run by the C.I.A., against supposed al-Qaeda operatives in the province of Waziristan.

According to the latest data compiled by the New America Foundation from reliable news reports, 337 C.I.A. drone strikes in Pakistan have killed an estimated 1,932 to 3,176 people since 2004, of which 1,487 – 2,595 were reported to be militants.

This means the average non-militant casualty rate over the life of the program is 18-23 percent. In 2012 it has been around 10 percent, down sharply from its peak in 2006 of over 60 percent.

Putting a Buddhist slant on these operations, it can clearly be seen that they are rather lacking in Wisdom, Courage and Compassion. I find it difficult to see any courage in attacking defenceless people, from the safety of a remote control centre, from an unmanned robot aircraft.

There is certainly little or no compassion felt for the innocent bystanders and citizens who are caught up in these lightning strikes, some of whom have been seen to be women and children. And where is the wisdom, when even the most moderate Pakistanis are turning against the U.S. purely because of these cowardly and seemingly often misdirected attacks.

It is past time for President Obama and his advisors to have a serious rethink. The war on terror was never really a war, it was the enforcement of an ideology, and the current methods and operations are only serving to stir yet more hatred, and encourage greater numbers of young Islamic men to rise up against their common foe.

Please have the courage to enter into dialogue with al-Qaeda, the wisdom to see that the emphasis must change from causing destruction to promoting development, and the compassion to stop these terrifying drone attacks on populated areas, no lasting peaceful outcome can ever be found down this path.

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