Drones: the ugly war or terror itself?

Although 14 years have passed since the “War on Terror,” initiated to seek revenge for the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks and “punish those responsible,” it is still raging on.[1] This war declared against the entire Islamic world on the pretense of ‘Fighting Terrorism’, keeps growing and expanding like a monstrous wave, swallowing more Muslim countries on its path.

This ugly war, which was allegedly initiated to neutralize a handful of terror leaders, has led to millions of innocent Muslim civilians being killed, injured, crippled or forced from their homes and lands.

One of the most insidious players in this war is the unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), or drones, which was first used in Afghanistan in 2001. They then were used in Yemen in 2002 and in the invasion of Iraq in 2003, followed by Pakistan in 2004 and Somalia in 2007.

Today, UAVs have become the most effective means of spreading war over Islamic territories and in the execution without trial of Muslims in particular.

What’s interesting is that the dovish-appearing Obama Administration has permitted many more UAV attacks than the hawkish Bush Administration, and is still continuing to increase those numbers.[2]

Moreover, one of the most concerning aspects of the UAV attacks is the fact that the majority of them take place in Muslim countries other than Iraq and Afghanistan, which are declared as “war zones’ by the U.S.

The U.S. secret state apparatus regard every adult Muslim male living in these regions as a potential terrorist, and target them with Hellfire missiles fired by drones, without any questioning or trial. These attacks, which are reportedly orchestrated by the CIA, and are nothing short of ‘war crimes’, have today become an important part of unofficial U.S. foreign policy.

The UAVs keep their intelligence activities and carry out attacks easily in countries such as Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and Somalia where the U.S. does not have a direct war, without any accountability or reaction from the respective countries. But how?

The answer to that question is worrisome; officials of Muslim countries either approve these attacks by the US on their own lands,[3],[4] or else ignore them and remain silent.

Although hundreds of women, children and innocent civilians have to date been slaughtered[5], these rulers’ attitudes remain essentially unchanged. Others responsible for these attacks include the rulers of Muslim countries, although they do not want to accept it.

When and how can these attacks end?

It is clear that these attacks, ongoing since 2001, have largely failed to eliminate al-Qaeda, the Taliban or any such terror organization. On the contrary, the blowing to pieces or burning to death of large numbers of civilians, including women and children, and the way that people rushing to help are then struck by secondary Hellfire missiles, has resulted in more recruits for radical organizations, ready to kill and take revenge. Moreover, they have led to the emergence of ISIL today and most likely, some other radical organization tomorrow. It is not possible to guarantee that these organizations will not appear in the U.S. or Europe.

First and foremost, Muslim leaders must put an immediate end to their explicit or implicit approval of these attacks in their countries. It is also essential that they act together with the leaders of neighboring brother Muslim countries to put an end to the killings, damage and wickedness caused by this vile war.

Furthermore, they should stand up to radicalism, which is the result of a gross misinterpretation of Islam by following the beautiful morality of the Qur’an. When they act as one and show their firm stance against radicalism these radical elements will find no shelter in their countries, and will consequently be consigned to the trash heap of history, where they rightly belong.

If that does not happen and if leaders insist on acting as small units rather than as one, then they will continue to be used by the secret state apparatuses of the US and Europe, which will make them responsible for the blood of innocent Muslims.

It must not be forgotten that the European states, which until 70 years ago were fighting to annihilate one another, are now more-or-less capable of acting in a state of solidarity. The most significant motivation behind that is the desire to avoid any repetition of the deaths, starvation, poverty and suffering caused by those wars; this desire is set above the interests of individual countries and the Europeans have now assigned the greatest importance to human life, human rights, the right to life and democracy.

Therefore, such a unity is more than possible and urgent for Muslim countries, which should be the leaders of love, peace and compassion, in line with the Quran, the real source of these beautiful values.

Another very important point is the fact that no radical ideology can be destroyed through guns and bombs. Errors can only be exposed by telling people the truth, through ideas. When Muslim countries come together in such a unity, radicalism can be effectively countered with the support of opinion leaders and religious figures who are known for their moderate opinions in the Muslim world. Radical elements will thus be deprived of the space to survive and of supporters, and will thus cease to be a threat. Much of the fighting and conflict in Islamic lands, including Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria will come to an end; all it needs is for the leaders of Muslim countries to say out loud that ‘acting as one’ with the beautiful, compassionate, loving, peaceful soul commanded in the Quran, and not regard the idea as ‘out of reach and impossible.’

[1] Heyns ridiculed the US suggestion that targeted UAV strikes on al-Qaida or allied groups were a legitimate response to the 9/11 attacks. "It's difficult to see how any killings carried out in 2012 can be justified as in response to [events] in 2001," he said. "Some states seem to want to invent new laws to justify new practices. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jun/21/drone-strikes-international-law-un
[2] https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1kShgViFLXq51MzqhTt89_2P96bs0krP4khWCCAbRuP0/edit#gid=1
[3] Pakistan's former president Pervez Musharraf has admitted giving permission for the CIA to launch drone attacks inside his country, directly contradicting repeated claims by the Pakistani government that it has never authorised drone strikes. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/12/musharraf-admits-permitting-drone-strikes
[4] https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=7nsuAAAAIBAJ&sjid=7YkFAAAAIBAJ&pg=2811,1484648&dq=targeted-killing&hl=en
[5] https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1P1TSWNwr1j-0pX022Q2iLEZd2-IGoswD08unYSvCYaU/edit#gid=9

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2016-02-04 22:54:51

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