Drones. What a strange word it is. Webster's first definition of a drone is "a male bee, stingless and makes no honey." The second meaning, "a remote control mechanism," is the deadly definition.
That kind of drone, a U.S. pilotless aircraft has, since 2006, killed approximately 14 al-Qaida leaders and at least 700 civilians, a 50:1 ratio of innocent victims to targeted enemies. "Drones are for cowards," one former soldier remarked.
Pakistani officials, such as Qamar Zaman Kaira, the nation's information minister, said that the drone attacks "are counterproductive," and that they "don't produce the desired results." If our own leaders, including David Kilcullen, a former top adviser to U.S. Army Gen. David Petraeus, are admitting that drones kill innocents and Pakistani leaders are saying it -- so why are we still using them and are they still worth it? And what are we doing there anyway?
To truly help the Pakistani people, the administration could end its use of drones and invest in humanitarian and economic aid efforts -- for us and them. According to the National Priorities Project, we in Pittsburgh have spent $677.6 million for total Iraq and Afghanistan war spending since 2001. For the same amount of money, the following could have been provided: 167,349 people with health care for one year or 814,900 homes with renewable electricity for one year or ... a hundred other things from your own wish list.
George W. Bush's wars have become Barack Obama's wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, with the addition of Pakistan. It is more than we can bear.