“If I am walking in the market, I have this fear that maybe the person walking next to me is going to be a target of the drone. If I’m shopping, I’m really careful and scared. If I’m standing on the road and there is a car parked next to me, I never know if that is going to be the target. Maybe they will target the car in front of me or behind me. Even in mosques, if we’re praying, we’re worried that maybe one person who is standing with us praying is wanted. So, wherever we are, we have this fear of drones.”
It’s easy and comforting to dismiss this article as propaganda or by rationalizing about the “war on terrorism,” but there are at least two reasons you should not.
Firstly, no matter what your opinion on whether the strikes are justified, this war on terrorism is a real war, and war is hell.
Stop and think about what that means, what that really means.
If you need help, here is what William Tecumseh Sherman, Union General in the US Civil War and Commander of the Army from 1869-1883, had to say about war:
“You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it…”
“You have heretofore read public sentiment in your newspapers, that live by falsehood and excitement; and the quicker you seek for truth in other quarters, the better.”
“You don’t know the horrible aspects of war. I’ve been through two wars and I know. I’ve seen cities and homes in ashes. I’ve seen thousands of men lying on the ground, their dead faces looking up at the skies. I tell you, war is Hell!”
For all the official descriptions of precision “surgical strikes,” in war there is no such thing as zero collateral damage. Even if the physical damage can be limited, the psychological damage is profound and virtually boundless.
If nothing else, read this article and imagine what the people on the ground are going through. From the comfort of a prosperous, safe, stable and democratic country, I feel sure that we cannot imagine it, but we must try.
Because even if you believe the cause is just, the strikes justified, it is hypocritical and irresponsible to hide from the consequences. If, on the other hand, the consequences disturb you, then ask yourself if you can still support these actions, ask yourself if there is not another solution.
The second thing to remember is that while these drone strikes are happening in a remote and far-removed place today, the suffering of these people could be ours tomorrow. No matter where you live, drones could be in your future: drones used in any territory by governments, criminals or terrorists for “surgical strikes.”
After reading this article, that should scare the hell out of you.
The world is what we make of it. Let’s work to make it a world we want to live in.
William Tecumseh Sherman at Wikiquote