Thursday, April 23, 2015

Dante Explains Shit: Drone Strikes

I hate learning about the government. Ask me when is the last time I did one of those Dante Learns The Amendments. Its one of those things that I find boring and aggravating because there seems to be an answer to fixing the way it works but those things don't get done. Whatever you want from your government will get you the opposite and then you wait four or eight years and start over with someone else doing the same shit. Or worse.

Earlier president Barrack Obama issued an apology after a drone strike in Pakistan that killed an American development expert named Warren Weinstein and Italian aid worker Giovanni Lo Porto. They say this is the first instance of the U.S accidentally killing a hostage in a drone strike. Most people reading that just rolled their eyes. “As president and as commander in chief I take full responsibility for all our counter-terrorism operations. I profoundly regret what happened. On behalf of the United States government I offer our deepest apologies to their families.”

We have all heard of drones and drone strikes. There are drones that check weather, scan territory, and shot and kill thousands of innocent people. During the Bush administration, and take all of this with a grain of salt, there were 51 drone strikes. With Obama there has been 330. Of course I believe none of these numbers. Whatever they tell me I triple. Out of the 2,379 of the people killed only 84 of them were identified as members of al Qaeda. Remember them?

And how much does a drone in the military cost? Turns out a lot. The MQ-1B Predator which is no longer bought by the Air Force cost $4.98 million each one. The MQ-9 Reaper (fucking hell with these names!) is a low priced $13.77 million. In 1995 when these were first used they were meant for surveillance but then someone thought “Wow. We are using these to spy on folks. Would it be fucking up if we added missiles to them? No? Cool!”

So who pilots these things? The CIA and Air Force have a crew of drone pilots that control these from thousands of miles away. They get medals like other soldiers so all that Call of Duty your kids are playing are prepping them for the military. These “pilots” are also...yes I put that in quotes and yes I cut myself off mid-sentence even when writing. I used quotation marks because I kick ass at Galaga but I'd never call myself a starfighter...out loud.

These “pilots” also suffer from PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Imagine what its like for those thousands of people killed and injured from just being in the wrong country at the wrong time. I'm not happy with this presidency. Happy with none of them. Why? They are all either the same or worse. With Obama we all thought there would be this great change. And hope. Can't forget the hope. But when people talk shit about Bush, which I did...

...they paint him as this warmonger. He wasn't. For that you have to be clever. Obama showed up with a shit ton of promises that have not been kept. “He's Black! Okay, fine. He's half Black. But one drop rule. Its gonna be different. No way a Black guy born in Hawaii and raised in Chicago will behave like a few dozen other old White guys before him. Just you wait and see! Hope and change, bitches!”


You can check online for plenty of proof that he hasn't kept most of his promises. It could be because the Republicans keep stopping him. It could be because there are too many problems to fix. Or because he's a politician doing what politicians do: lie a lot. I know that may anger some people but an honest person has a hard time becoming a mayor let alone president of the U.S. I refuse to listen to or believe the apology of someone that knowingly sends machines across the globe that wipe out thousands of people. And this isn't all bullshit. 

But children's books about them are.

I know there are some people that hear something bad about Obama and go “Oh, you're just believing whatever the Republicans say!” This isn't a Republican or Democrat issue to me. This is a humans deserve to not die for dumb ass reasons issue. People are so tied to their political parties and will vote for them whether or not they believe in the person that they are voting for.

Pakistan's Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has demanded that the drone strikes stop. “The use of drones is not only a continual violation of our territorial integrity but also detrimental to our resolve and efforts at eliminating terrorism from our country.” The Peshawar High Court ruled that the drone attacks are illegal and violate the UN's charter on human rights and are war crimes. The Obama administration says “Naw...” and believe the attacks are accurate. There have been strikes at funerals. In 2004 there was one drone strike there that killed three militants, two civilians, and two others that no one is sure about. In 2013 there were 26 strikes killing 145 militants, four civilians, and four unknowns. The highest number of strikes was in 2010 and there were 122 of them. That's fucking unacceptable.

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