On January 1, 2009, a US drone strike killed two senior al-Qaeda leaders, the first in what then President-elect Barack Obama had said would be a dramatic escalation of the aerial bombardment of Pakistan’s tribal area.
And escalate it did. The US launched 44 distinct drone strikes in Pakistan in 2009, far more than in previous years. The pinnacle of America’s drone achievements was in August, when they killed Tehreek-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) leader Baitullah Mehsud.
Much has been made of the successes, but while the strikes have been regular and they almost always are presented by Pakistan’s intelligence community as having killed “suspects,” the actual successes are few and far between, with only five confirmed kills of real militant leaders, and a handful of unconfirmed claims that usually haven’t panned out.
The vast majority of the deaths, around 700 according to one estimate, have been innocent civilians. With such a massive civilian toll and so little to show for it, it is no wonder that Pakistani people have been up in arms over the continued strikes.
But US officials have rarely commented on the drone strikes, except on those rare occasions when they actually kill someone meaningful, and seem completely ambivalent to the hundreds of innocent people killed in the meantime. The ultimate example of this was June 22-23.
On June 22, the US struck at a house officials called a “suspected militant hideout,” burying a few locals inside. When others rushed to the scene to rescue them, they launched another missile, killing 13 apparently innocent Pakistanis. When they held a funeral procession on June 23, the US hit that too, ostensibly on the belief that Baitullah Mehsud might be among the mourners. He wasn’t, but the attack killed at least 80 more people.
When announcing the December escalation into Afghanistan, President Obama reportedly also approved an escalation of drone strikes into Pakistan. It seems unlikely that the intelligence has gotten any better, however, and civilians across North and South Waziristan are in an understandable panic.
30 thoughts on “US Killed 700 Civilians in Pakistan Drone Strikes in 2009”
This is the same USA who screamed "blue murder"against the Sri Lankan Governments assualt on the terrorist Tamil Tiger Rebels in Sri Lanka.
Hillary Clinton was most vocal about the assumed killing of civilians – Where is she now?
I forgot of course that ONLY the USA has the right to kill civilians.
Way to go, Barry! I'm sure this is going to win all sorts of hearts and minds, and revenge will never cross anyone's mind over there (or any of the other places we murder people). I just can't express how happy I am with my new anti-war president. Thanks, Hopey!
A year of murder. Sadly, this new year doesn't look set to be any better for innocent people around the globe. Beware: the Feds might kill you, folks. It's what they do best.
Its scary, isen't it?
Living in a country that is not held to account for the murders it committs around the globe whilst preaching "human rights"to the like of the Chinese, Burmese and Sri Lankans – who have not killed half as many as the good old US of A?
"The vast majority of the deaths, around 700 according to one estimate, have been innocent civilians." Let us conservatively assume that these 700 innocent victims had 20 relatives or friends who are of capable of joining and supporting the resistance. That would be 14,000 people. Let us then assume that only 10% actually join the resistance and take up arms to avenge the murders of their 700 innocent relatives and friends. That would be 1,400 new "enemy" that the drone attacks, just by themselves, have created. To the military brass who ordered all the drone attacks: congratulations, you morons.
It must not be forgotten that the 1100 Gaza civillians killed Dec/Jan 2008/09 were killed only because Israel was given a green light from the incoming Obama administration.
Maybe the authorization didn't come from Obama directly but Obama's zionist cohorts gave Israel the assurance that Obama would not say anything until officially installed.
Can anyone imagine Israel launching any strike without knowing what Obama would do.
With Rahm Emanuel as Chief of Staff it is doubtful whether those communications would have been documented.
Compared to Obama, Bush was a choir boy.
As the New Year began yesterday I felt ashamed as I began to pray for good things for myself and my loved ones. The constant inhumane drone attacks will have no good result for the US, only creating more justifiable hatred, the vicious Taliban attack on families at the volleyball match yesterday is against anything written in the Qoran, the hundreds of cilivian Pakistanis who have died senselessly this year will never live to enjoy their families, the ruined schools where students will no longer study the things they need to learn in order to contribute to their country. How can I pray for my own good fortune when all this continues. May Heaven have some mercy on beautiful Pakistan.
It seems that the US want to take the war into Pakistan. They are trying hard to do so. There are about 3 millions Pakistani refugee inside their own country, due to US bombing. Most of those refugee will join the fight against the US and Iran will be happy to finance and support that effort against US. Just yesterday the federal judge acquitted Black Water guards from any charges regarding the killing of 17 Iraqi civilians, which will trigger retaliation against US troops in Iraq. Is there any wise people in 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Happy new year everybody.
No, they were not aquitted, he dismissed the case for the lack of evidence control by the prosecution. Due Process of the Law is for both heroes and rouges alike in this country.
The prosecution can still appeal but if they do have issues with evidence that evidence might be excluded should they prevail. Aquitted means they legally are not guilty. Proof of guilt has not been established in a court of law.
USA empire has killed so many innocents that Pakistanis justifiably see it as the top supporter of state-sponsored terrorism. No wonder the more drone attacks the USA launches, the more angry young lads flock to join Resistance and terrorist groups to fight against these Imperialist aggressions.
But Louis isn't that what **you** really want to do?
I am a Muslim and is hurt so much when to see barbaric killing just for oil this is not a terrorism this is innocent murders. committed by the world so called power because innocent people do not have the plane and bombs but they will never give up they have the faith on allah that scare the infidals.
may allash bless the die once and killers face the hell sure. The time is very very near just see the final chapter.
US in 2009 also approved predator drone strikes in Somalia. Very little press on that. Mention of some civilians killed…but no numbers were given. As usual, claim that some important terrorist were killed. Number of strikes not reported. Supposedly the strikes were requested by the Somalia (non) government.
Kinda hard to do when the governments of these countries are taking in payments from the US in order to look the other way when their people are being slaughtered.
Read the article on the Army using video games for recruting purposes. Our high tech push button, wiz-bang warfare is no more than a video game to US players. Defenceless Pakistanis suffer and die but for our kids its great fun.
US drone attacks are not only acts of cowardice they are clearly state sponsored terrorism.
And this is the sheer definition of terrorism.
The US striking fear into the hearts and souls of brown people all over the Middle East one drone at a time.
American are a bunch of terrorists.
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