UNMANNED: America’s Drone Wars

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This is the highly anticipated documentary from director Robert Greenwald investiagates the impact of the U.S. Drone Wars, at home and abroad.

According to Brandon Bryant, a former USAF drone sensor operator, now a 27-year old veteran, getting into the drone program was weird. They were literally told “we kill people and break things.” On a clear day a drone operator can read the license plate on somebody’s car.

On October 28, 2011, there was a rally in Islamabad, Pakistan. Thousands of Pakistanis came together to protest the United State’s drone attacks in their country. People came from all over to the rally to send a message. They were fed up and resentful because of the attacks. Among the huge group was one young man named Tariq Aziz. Two days later this young man left to pick up some players for a soccer game. Some of his cousins were riding along in the vehicle. On their way, they were attacked by a drone strike. The bodies of Tariq and his cousins were badly burned. Some young men, who were also going to the game but in another car, saw what happened and removed the charred bodies. Nobody could believe that a sixteen-year old who just wanted to talk about football would have been murdered.

There are dozens of other stories similar to Tariq’s. The drones strike people who fit the profile of what the US government defines as a terrorist, be this real or imaginary. In a number of cases, they’re not really sure whom they are hitting; they are just following orders given by the CIA.

In North Waziristan, for instance, life is not longer enjoyable because everyone is terrified of what might happen. People don’t feel safe even in their own homes. Innocent civilians are being killed and private property is being destroyed. The number of psychiatric patients has increased dramatically because people are living in constant fear and anxiety. After the attacks, the news reports that terrorists have been killed but the reality is that it’s small children, women, and elderly people who are murdered. The people of North Waziristan claim that they will never forgive their enemies and that the United States is their enemy because it has killed their loved ones.

Because of the attacks, many young men have decided to join the war against the United States to take revenge. The more innocent people the US kills, the stronger Al Qaeda becomes. The Taliban doesn’t need to go out of their way to recruit suicide bombers anymore because the outrage over the drone attacks has caused a huge spike in suicide bomber recruits.