By Glenn Greenwald
February 05, 2015 "ICH" - "The Intercept" -
“Living Under Drones: Death, Injury and Trauma to Civilians From US Drone Practices in Pakistan”, NYU School of Law and Stanford University Law School, 2012:
The most immediate consequence of drone strikes is, of course, death and injury to those targeted or near a strike. The missiles fired from drones kill or injure in several ways, including through incineration, shrapnel, and the release of powerful blast waves capable of crushing internal organs. Those who do survive drone strikes often suffer disfiguring burns and shrapnel wounds, limb amputations, as well as vision and hearing loss. . . .In addition, because the Hellfire missiles fired from drones often incinerate the victims’ bodies, and leave them in pieces and unidentifiable, traditional burial processes are rendered impossible. As Firoz Ali Khan, a shopkeeper whose father-in-law’s home was struck, graphically described, “These missiles are very powerful. They destroy human beings . . .There is nobody left and small pieces left behind. Pieces. Whatever is left is just little pieces of bodies and cloth.”
A doctor who has treated drone victims described how “[s]kin is burned so that you can’t tell cattle from human.” When another interviewee came upon the site of the strike that killed his father, “[t]he entire place looked as if it was burned completely, so much so that even [the victims’] own clothes had burnt. All the stones in the vicinity had become black.”. . .
The constant orgy of condemnation aimed at this group seems to have little purpose other than tribal self-affirmation: no matter how many awful acts our government engages in, at least we don’t do something like that, at least we’re not as bad as them.
In some instances, that may be true, but even when it is, the differences are usually much more a matter of degree than category (much the way that angry denunciations over the Taliban for suicide-bombing a funeral of one of its victims hides the fact that theU.S. engages in its own “double tap” practice of bombing rescuers and funeral mourners for its drone victims).
To the extent that these denunciation rituals make us forget or further obscure our own governments’ brutality – and that seems to be the overriding effect if not the purpose of these rituals – they are worse than worthless; they are actively harmful.
UPDATE: One tweeter, responding to this article, made a point harshly though succinctly:
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Palestinians to become ICC member from April 1, UN confirms:
Palestine will join the International Criminal Court on April 1, announced UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Tuesday. The Palestinians will be able to sue Israel for war crimes, a move the Israeli administration has consistently opposed for decades.
By Finian Cunningham
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