Human Rights / Politics / War

Chris Woods and Col. Ann Wright: Morality and Legality of Drones

SAMSUNG CSCThe following is from a talk at American University on the morality and legality of drones:

It is no longer up for debate, Chris Woods, London-based investigative journalist, said, that drones and their use in warfare make the likelihood of war greater. This is our modern war – remotely piloted drones being controlled by someone thousands of miles away from the battlefield.

What has characterized these drone wars so far – carried out primarily by the United States but also by Britain and Israel – has been a dirty business. We’ve seen tactics such as targeting of first-responders – neighbors and rescuers running in after a drone strike to help the wounded. When these people rush in, another strike is launched – called a double tap. The triple tap – the targeting of funerals for those who died in the first and second strikes – has also become common-place. What this means, Woods says, is that people must now decide to help their neighbors, and risk getting hit themselves, or look the other way when they hear cries for help. It has even been found that rescue teams from hospitals will delay arriving in an area by 2-3 hours in order to avoid being targeted. We have – at best – an indifference about the civilian casualties caused by the United States, Woods said. At worst, it is just disregard for their lives.

Joined by Woods was Colonel Ann Wright, who spent 29 years in the US Army and Army Reserves before resigning in 2003 in protest of the invasion of Iraq. We have now, Wright said, a president who is chief prosecutor, judge, jury, and now executioner – citing the four American citizens killed in Yemen as part of the Obama administration’s “Kill List”. And this kill list is carried out through the drone program. Despite the administration’s line that drones are “precision weapons”, used to “surgically” take out enemy targets, in reality, they kill civilians at an alarming rate. In Pakistan alone, the United States has carried out 370 drone strikes, of which 318 were during the Obama administration. The total number killed in those strikes is estimated to be somewhere between 2,548 and 3,539 people, with children numbering from 168-197.

Full discussion below:

<br /><a href=”http://www.ustream.tv&#8221; style=”font-size: 12px; line-height: 20px; font-weight: normal; text-align: left;” target=”_blank”>Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream</a>

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