Unofficial government sources have been weighing in lately, all unequivocally in favor of continuing the attacks. For instance, a July 14 editorial in the Wall Street Journal says that
Far from being "beyond the pale," drones have made war-fighting more humane.This point of view may seem a bit strange, given that the "success" claimed on behalf of the drones has been rather spotty. In fact, according to Pakistani government sources, as of April 8 of this year, US attacks on Pakistan had killed 14 al Q'aeda terrorists and 687 civilians.
The success ratio -- with alleged terrorists accounting for nearly one-fiftieth of the people killed -- may have been slightly over-estimated in this government report, since one of the "high-value targets" allegedly killed in these attacks (and included among the 14) is Rashid Rauf, the alleged leader of (or at least an alleged key figure in) the supposedly dangerous transatlantic-airline liquid-bombing plot (which I have discussed at great length in the past: for a technical overview of the plot, see "Ludicrouser And Ludicrouser: The Alleged Liquid Bombing Plot, Revisited Again"; for an explanation of what this means, see "Inadequate Deception: The Impossible Plots Of The Terror War").
Rashid Rauf was reportedly killed in a drone attack in November of 2008, but his body has never been produced and his family's plea for the return of his remains was ignored by the Pakistani government; Rauf's family and his attorney say he may be dead, but they dispute the claim that he was killed then and in that manner.
You don't have to be a lunatic moonbat conspiracy theorist or a Pakistani terrorist-sympathizer to claim that Rashid Rauf probably wasn't killed in a drone attack. Long War Journal proprietor Bill Roggio, who usually gets inside information before the marginally-less-complicit-but-still-criminal mainstream press, declared back in April that Rashid Rauf is still alive and dangerous and plotting against us all.
If that's true, then the numbers would be more like: 13 terrorist leaders dead, and 688 innocent people. And that's giving the official statistician the benefit of every doubt. As Bill Roggio wrote just a few days ago,
Reports of senior al Qaeda and Taliban leaders killed in Pakistan have been highly unreliable. In the past, al Qaeda leaders Ayman al Zawahiri, Abd al Hadi al Iraqi, Abu Obaidullah Al Masri, Adam Gadahn, Ibn Amin, and Rashid Rauf have been reported killed in strikes, but these men later resurfaced. Similarly, Sa'ad bin Laden was recently reported killed, but he is now thought to be alive. And Abu Khabab al Masri was reported dead several times before he actually was killed in a July 2008 strike.Given all the billions we spend on intelligence gathering, and all the billions we spend on developing smart weapons, you might think we should be doing a better job of killing terrorists and sparing innocents. But that's a shallow criticism, because after a shaky start we did start doing a better job, as you can see when I break the statistics down chronologically.
According to the report from Pakistan which I mentioned above,
Two strikes carried out in 2006 had killed 98 civilians while three attacks conducted in 2007 had slain 66 Pakistanisfor a total of 164 civilian deaths -- and no terrorists were among the dead in either 2006 or 2007!
By contrast, according to the same report,
385 people lost their lives in 2008 and 152 people were slain in the first 99 days of 2009 (between January 1 and April 8)for a total of 537 innocent civilians killed, along with the "14 wanted al-Qaeda operatives".
It may not seem like much, but considering the opening phase of this campaign, these reports reveal a double-dose of success. The total of "wanted al-Qaeda operatives" allegedly killed has ballooned from 0 in 2006-7 all the way to 14 in 2008-9, and at the same time the number of innocents killed per terrorist has dropped from 164:0 (an infinite ratio) to only 537:14 (about 38:1) -- provided of course that Rashid Rauf and all the other terrorists described as dead are actually dead, and were actually terrorists.
Some people may have felt these improvements were good enough, but clearly Barack Obama was not among them. As we know, anything is possible for can-do Americans, and as the newest report from Dubai indicates, we have enhanced our performance significantly since the Pakistani report was compiled in April.
Here's the most amazing part: According to Gulfnews, the number of Pakistani civilians killed since the beginning of 2008 is now only 480! That's down by 57 since the total was 537 in April!
So think about this: In the last four months, we have continued bombing Pakistan, killing (or at least claiming to have killed) more and more "high-value targets", such as Osama bin Laden's son Sa'ad (who in addition to probably surviving the attack in which he was "killed", may not have had anything to do with terrorism at all, other than being sired by an undercover CIA operative), and Baitullah Mehsud (who in addition to probably surviving the attack in which he was "killed", has likely been the CIA's most powerful weapon in South Asia since Osama bin Laden died in 2001).
We have been able to do all this without killing any additional civilians, and -- even more amazingly -- we have managed to revive 57 innocent people who were dead back in April but who are not dead anymore!
This is the sort of "humanitarian intervention" we were always hoping for but could never achieve -- not under Republican scoundrels such as Bush, Bush and Reagan; not under Democratic scoundrels such as Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
Of all the presidents in the history of our great nation, only Obama The Wonderful has managed to turn America's awesome firepower into a healing force.
Clearly, none of this would be possible without Obama's brilliance. He's the first President we've ever had who has been smart enough to use our wonderful smart bombs to their maximum humanitarian potential.
Similarly, none of it would be possible without our fantastic remote-controlled planes and the computerized bombs they carry. The Wall Street Journal was right! Drones have made war-fighting more humane!
What? You doubt me? Oh, please!! You'd have to be awfully naive to think we could raise scores of people from the dead with conventional weapons!
To comment on this post, please click here and join the Winter Patriot community.
please help to put this article on Scoop's front page!