For each Al Qaeda and Taliban terrorist killed by US drones, 140 innocent Pakistanis also had to die. On average, 58 civilians were killed in these attacks every month, 12 persons every week and almost two people every day.--PESHAWAR: Of the 44 predator strikes carried out by US drones in the tribal areas of Pakistan over the past 12 months, only five were able to hit their actual targets, killing five key Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders, but at the cost of over 700 innocent civilians.Howie P.S.: Glenn Greenwald points out some other unintended consequences of the current efforts to counter "terrorism" in "The backfiring of the Surveillance State." GRITtv, video (21:52), asks "Is Yemen the New Front in the “War On Terror”?":
According to the statistics compiled by Pakistani authorities, the Afghanistan-based US drones killed 708 people in 44 predator attacks targeting the tribal areas between January 1 and December 31, 2009.
The US State Department had announced a $5 million head money reward for information leading to Baitullah, making him the only Pakistani fugitive with the head money separately announced by Islamabad and Washington.
Suddenly the newspapers and cable news shows are talking about Yemen as the newest site for Al Qaeda. Yemeni authorities have been ramping up attacks against militants, with U.S. aid, and after the failed attempt to bring down a U.S.-bound airplane over Christmas, the rhetoric has just grown more incendiary: John McCain said, “The government of Yemen is going to need our help in combating Al-Qaeda. There needs to be significant effort made at improving their economy.”>
So what’s really going on? Abdul-Ghani Al-Iryani, a political analyst, spoke to us from Sana’a, Yemen, and then Michael Bronner, investigative journalist and Vanity Fair contributor, and Christoph Wilcke, Human Rights Watch Senior Researcher, Middle East and North Africa Division, join us in studio to discuss the situation further.