Raining Hellfire from the Sky

Eerily reminiscent of 1984, bombs appear out of thin air to wreak horrible and terrific destruction. The US Government at the root. I know that there are better ways to promote economic security than waging violent conquest half way around the world.
Death at a Distance: The US Air War
by Conn Hallinan
Foreign Policy in Focus

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According to the residents of Datta Khel, a town in Pakistan's North Waziristan, three missiles streaked out of Afghanistan's Pakitka Province and slammed into a madrassa, or Islamic school, this past June. When the smoke cleared, the Asia Times reported, 30 people were dead.

The killers were robots, General Atomics MQ-1 Predators. The AGM-114 Hellfire missiles they used in the attack were directed from a base deep in the southern Nevada desert.

It was not the first time Predators had struck. The previous year a CIA Predator took a shot at al-Qaeda's number two man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, but missed. The missile, however, killed 18 people. According to the Asia Times piece, at least one other suspected al-Qaeda member was assassinated by a Predator in Pakistan's northern frontier area, and in 2002 a Predator killed six "suspected al-Qaeda" members in Yemen.

These assaults are part of what may be the best kept secret of the Iraq-Afghanistan conflicts: an enormous intensification of US bombardments in these and other countries in the region, the increasing number of civilian casualties such a strategy entails, and the growing role of pilotless killers in the conflict.

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