By Bill Maher
There's been a lot of talk about the Obama administration's drone policy -- the one that was denied for years but now is begrudgingly acknowledged with the insistence that there have been no "conclusive" civilian casualties. Isn't America wonderful, developing an unmanned robotic plane that can shoot missiles into populated areas and kill only the bad guys? Why, it sounds almost too good to be true.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism reports that the zero civilian casualty count claimed by the Obama administration is a little, let’s say, hopeful -- the number is more likely between 474-884 killed in Pakistan alone since 2004 -- with over a thousand more people injured.
And a Stanford/NYU report says our drone strikes have had a "damaging and counter-productive effect" and have likely resulted in civilian Pakistanis being less likely to help us find and eliminate terrorists.
In a recent poll, three out of every four Pakistanis said they now consider the United States an enemy. The other one out of four recognized the pollster as American and cut off his head. And who can blame them? Imagine living under the constant threat of imminent demise -- like that new sitcom about men with babies.
The study says,
"Drones hover 24 hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles and public spaces without warning… Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves."
You may argue that waging war with machines where you get to kill the enemy and anyone standing near them without bodily risk to yourself is immoral. But so is terrorism. On the other hand, are we just repeatedly whacking the beehive with a stick and creating more enemies who want to sting?