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Drones: Instruments of State Terror

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"Drones, in principle, allow collateral damage to be minimized but because they can be used without danger to a country's own troops they tend to be used more widely." 

"One doesn't want to use the term ticking bomb but it's extremely seductive."

TBIJ reported harrowing narratives of survivors, witnesses, and family members. It provided detailed information on specific strikes.

SU/NYU said:

"US drone strike policies cause considerable and under-accounted-for harm to the daily lives of ordinary civilians, beyond death and physical injury." 

"Drones hover twenty-four hours a day over communities in northwest Pakistan, striking homes, vehicles, and public spaces without warning." 

"Their presence terrorizes men, women, and children, giving rise to anxiety and psychological trauma among civilian communities." 

"Those living under drones have to face the constant worry that a deadly strike may be fired at any moment, and the knowledge that they are powerless to protect themselves. These fears have affected behavior."

Targeted areas are struck multiple times in quick succession. The practice is called "double tap." It dissuades bystanders and professionals from helping. One group ordered staff to avoid struck sites for six hours before investigating. 

People in targeted areas are on their own to help. What they find is horrifying. Strikes "incinerate" victims. They're left in unidentifiable pieces. Traditional burials are impossible.

Firoz Ali Khan's father-in-law's home was struck. He graphically described what he saw, saying:

"These missiles are very powerful. They destroy human beings."

"There is nobody left and small pieces left behind. Pieces. Whatever is left is just little pieces of bodies and cloth."

A doctor who treated drone victims described how "skin is burned so that you can't tell cattle from humans." Another family survivor at the same site said his father was killed. "The entire place looked as if it was burned completely, so much so that even (the victims') own clothes had burnt." 

"All the stones in the vicinity had become black." Ahmed Jan lost his foot last March. He discussed challenges rescuers face in identifying bodies, saying: 

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I was born in 1934, am a retired, progressive small businessman concerned about all the major national and world issues, committed to speak out and write about them.

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