Prof. Seth Steinbacher
Is killing through drones, considered ethical? Regular drone attacks have now become a norm in many countries. They are effective tools that impose terror on the people that are fired against, creating more enemies for the United States with every innocent person that is killed. Throughout history, human rights have been jeopardized by the masses of society. The use of drones has become one of the most controversial human rights issues in the world, sparking many human rights campaigns. The US Republican Senator Lindsay Graham said on February 20, 2013 that “4,700 people had been killed in drone strikes.” (“The Real Reason for US Drone Attacks”, 1. Qtd). Is it really ethical? Does this massive killing makes America a better place? Drone strikes used by the U.S government violate the human rights where the civilians cannot live and die in peace.
Drones are unmanned aerial vehicles, nowadays known as predator planes, are effective tools that impose terror on the people they are fired against. The US has been using armed forces drones in the “War on Terror” for eight years. The vast majority of drone strikes have occurred in many countries including Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan, and Yemen. US officials have credited them with severely demolishing AL Qaeda’s capacity in that region, though the drone strikes are intended for targeted killing, civilians’ casualties cannot be prevented and it has caused a lot of disruptions. A report was released by the Human Rights Watch, claimed that the U.S had made six “unacknowledged” drone strikes in Yemen, which killed a total of 82 people, including 57 civilians (Weber, Peter 1). The report cites an attack that occurred somewhere in September 2012, in which 12 people, including three women and a pregnant women were killed, who believed to be affiliated with AL Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. On the other hand, Peter Bergen and Katherine Tiedemann in their journal “Washington’s Phantom War: The effects of the U.S. Drone Program in Pakistan”, point out interesting facts about the drone strikes killing more civilians than “high-level leaders” of the Taliban and al Qaeda (1). The authors also mention compelling point that not a single strike had ever targeted Osama Bin Laden before he was killed. Drone attacks are considered to be helpful from US point of view but they kill innocent people in remote areas, especially the tribal areas of Pakistan. US officials claim that predator drones are used to target terrorists but in reality, the attacks have mostly lead to civilian casualties. According to Amnesty, in October 2012, a 68-year-old grandmother named Mamana Bibi with her grandchildren, was killed in a drone strike as she was picking vegetables in the family’s fields in North Waziristan in northwestern Pakistan (2). Just like Mamana Bibi, many other innocent laborers are killed in multiple strikes in villages. On July 2012, 18 laborers, including a 14 year old boy were killed in drone strikes on a village closer to the border with Afghanistan (“US Must be Held to Account for Drone Killings in Pakistan”, 2). Does a 14-year-old boy deserve to be killed by a drone just because he with the other laborers were about to enjoy an evening meal at the end of a long day of work? Like all Americans and every other nation in the world, people of these drones affected people of different countries, have the same amount of right to protect the sovereignty of their country and live their lives without being in a terror of becoming a victim of predator drones Some people might argue against other techniques for example bombers, land mines, and etc, where the fighters can’t really see in details who they are killing, and they are incapable of effectively identifying their intended target; And yet despite this glaring problem, they still use them to target individuals. Using drone strikes and saying they are killing