Unmanned: America's Drone Wars

Unmanned: America's Drone Wars

2013, Military and War  -   70 Comments
Ratings: 8.02/10 from 238 users.

The U.S. preferences are always to capture the terrorists because of the intelligence that can be gathered, but lots of the terrorist networks operate in a very remote regions and it's very difficult to capture them. However, of what we can discern from the pattern of drone strikes is that essentially Pakistan's been declared a no-capture zone. Captures automatically are not considered feasible.

If you just look at the numbers, there have been dramatically more people killed in recent years than captured. Three to four thousand people have been killed in targeted killings and only a handful have been captured. Despite all technological and human assets there's a lot of room for error. In drone attacks alone, over 300 children were killed. Those murders have to call into question the credibility of the kill-list methodology, because vast majority of strikes in Pakistan are against people whose identities the Government doesn't know.

Under the interpretations from the administration and the members of Congress, drone strikes could go on indefinitely against enemies who keep morphing into new enemies, but killing should be the exception not the rule. The U.S. should not have been using military force to attack innocent civilians let alone children. What kind of policy says it is legitimate and even sensible to assassinate a 16-year-old boy?

Before any strike is taken there must be near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured. That is not the case with the so called "signature strikes." Signature strike is a drone strike that isn't based on the identity of the target. These are strikes against people who "fit" the signature of what the U.S. Government says is a terrorist.

"In Unmanned: America's Drone Wars director Robert Greenwald investigates the impact of U.S. drone strikes at home and abroad through more than 70 separate interviews, including a former American drone operator who shares what he has witnessed in his own words, Pakistani families mourning loved ones and seeking legal redress, investigative journalists pursuing the truth, and top military officials warning against blowback from the loss of innocent life."

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2 years ago

this is crime and act of war, we all are citizens of second order , cattle for slaughter.... who is responsible for collateral damage of drone actions in other countries.....i understand completely, if till then innocent peoples whose children and relatives died in those attacks can easy become terrorists..... majority of terrorism attacks is just reaction on one or another actions and repressions against other sovereign countries, don't be mistaken, American and European military actions is not for freedom and democracy, its for interests of those in power.....first goes propaganda warfare to blacken some country and then army roll in ....

Paul Kersey
6 years ago

The USA has wonderful people, great ideas, and a solid Constitution...
But a government that is rotten to the CORE.
Imagine if China had bases here. I bet username LENNY would be first on board to want them out of here.
Our CIA has toppled so many governments throughout the years.
Rather than end their nation building or imperialism, they spy on EVERY citizen.
They can't trust their own citizens!
If the USA done bombs/murders/ and meddles overseas. They WILL turn on citizens.

Plane Brain Simulations Co.
7 years ago

To the Whole World. I am so sorry.

8 years ago

im so glad I finally got to watch this. Our govt is responsible for all this carnage. Sickening. I wish I could personally apologize to these people

8 years ago

'The U.S. preferences are always to capture the terrorists because of the intelligence that can be gathered,' That's why they (supposedly) executed an unarmed Osama bin Ladin and then dumped his body in the ocean/

9 years ago

Are we that desperate for a hero that we ignore the blatant actions of a warlord?
When people criticize Obama, all the mention is Obamacare. I'm starting to think OCare is the great distraction so no one really talks about the deaths he's sanctioned.
Notice how his tone changed with Libya and Syria.

Zafir Mohamed
9 years ago

collateral damage..

Nicholas Hewlett
9 years ago

as i suspected and should of done something about it . i will now!! Thanks to the documentary team and all the others !!

9 years ago

A very compelling documentary, no doubt about it. But certain considerations of the drone issue were not covered:
al Qaeda, its agents and operatives have declared themselves by words and actions to be America's enemy. Using Islamic dogma as a justification, al Qaeda, if unopposed, would wipe out our civilization.
The fact is the jihadists and Taliban insurgents use civilians as human shields. It's a very cowardly thing to do.
This tactic must be shown to be ineffective. We cannot be naïve about this.

9 years ago

This documentary is a reminder to people who do not question the actions of their governments abroad. The bottom line is there is no justification for sending armed drones into foreign countries in a pre-emptive manner. (might is not right, nor is fear based reasoning) All people need to remember is to follow the golden rule, and you will never go wrong. (how would I feel if a foreign country was bombing civilians in my country?)
Throuhgout this doc, you continuously hear how they were just terrorists, (labels) so the U.S actions were somehow alright. Another way of looking at this is, how can there be a crime if there is no victim? Since they are the victims from a pre-emptive attack, than it is obvious who is the terrorist, and who has been terrrorized.
P.S: This mindset was used by the Nazis as a defense at the Nuremberg trials after the second world war. This is precisely why George Bush Jr. and Richard Cheney are war criminals according to international law! (apparently, so is Obama; oops sorry, I forgot, he is a Nobel peace prize winner)

9 years ago

Nothing to hide in your eyes, might be offensive to other eyes. Look at this through government eyes, anything you own is up for grabs.....Control is the name of the game Sam....

9 years ago

the only thing you have to fear is...fear itself...hey when you have nothing to hide....take a gander is the way I look at it..

9 years ago

The more the US military does injustice in the world, the more justification there is for billions of funding to go to the military contractors....incl. big oil...and the more justification there is for rights violations, for "security", in the US and elsewhere.
There's no economic incentive for complicit US officials to seek justice or to behave humanely.

So....why are complicit US officials who have economic links to beneficiaries of endless "war" not exposed routinely? Who'd vote for, say, the representative from Boeing or Raytheon or BP or Halliburton or the rest?

Brad Lancaster
9 years ago

why do people care that the us president is doing such a terrible job? no matter who gets to be the president, they are elected to do a terrible job. don't wake up to the reality or what ever, just be educated and call it a beauty contest like it is. next election the democrats have to make it through the swim wear portion with hill dog, watch out! oh yeah and stop using face book and twitter, more than half our privacy concerns would be meet if people tried to have privet lives.. any way haven't watched the infomercial yet so hold on I'm going to do a post doc/infomercial comment at the end. Titled: Conspiracy of my farts; Silent, Smelly, & Warm.

9 years ago

It evoke the Vietwar & reminded me of the operation "Paperclip". Those NAZI psychotics must had fornicated since then? How one can differenciate one among the normal human beings?
The US sure is one of the places where fanatic nationalism can be seen. Left alone China.
Anyone can is intitled to pride murdering children is something else. I wouldn't pardon any of them because they didn't know what they were doing.
We heard that in 45-46. It's now in their gene, in their way of life.
Don't tell me they didn't know.

9 years ago

U.S. media has already sold their soul to protect Obama no matter what.
He is the great black hope to bring about socialism in America once and
for all. That is their goal and it doesn't matter if Obama were the
devil himself they are blind to anything but their own agenda and as all
communists believe.. the end justifies the means of getting there. The
documentary is good but the American people rely on main stream news to
tell them what to think and main stream media tells them Obama is
wonderful and that is all they will believe.

9 years ago

Shhh be quiet. Obama goons are listening.
Just give him another peace prize and go back to sleep

Ryan McAfee
9 years ago

if the u.s. public were totally aware of all of the innocent lives that have been taken and the absolute havoc that has created in these families lives maybe then we would realize that this reduces the importance of the human life. It turns human death more and more into a video game.

9 years ago

This is wrong on so many levels. We each have the right to exist. This is not the way we should be handling this and why would the general public ever trust the CIA to do anything good?

Kansas Devil
9 years ago

Well, if the rest of the world gets their own drones and decide to give the US a lesson, please be better than the CIA and avoid hitting civilians.
Makes a person wonder if the US will fall like Rome with the barbarians invading as drones.
Since I work for a multinational corporation in the avionics industry I occasionally consider where I work could be wrongly targeted.

9 years ago

Obama's legacy.

James Thomas
9 years ago

There certainly is a valid argument that Obama is presently the most deadly terrorist alive; and that the US government is a psychopathic, out-of-control, engine of mass-destruction that is a scourge and curse on mankind.

I foolishly voted for Obama, twice. However in the last year I can no-longer see a picture of him, or hear his voice, without feeling emotionally and physically sick. He is the antithesis of a genuine progressive.

Muhammad Tahir
9 years ago

After watching this Video I hate US more, and it takes my 'green' for US into 'Red' for US by 80%. Like it or not, one day you people who press the trigger will live in agony and pain for the rest of your natural life.

9 years ago

Just wait, until they use Drons against Us Citizens. We know Us people are not bad, but the Us Goverment is the head of evil in the world.

9 years ago

Yes, you'd think capturing Bin Laden alive would have been super high priority with the Pentagon, what a rich intelligence asset! But no such luck, live soldiers are just as clumsy as drones, they've all played the same video games. One has to wonder why they dumped the body in the ocean.... so nothing remains of one of the greatest myths of this century?

9 years ago

America,...... please leave other countries alone and they will not bother you either ....?

9 years ago

US is a lying, criminal, terrorist state.

Nigel Watson
9 years ago

I don't know who has the greater degree of cluelessness here, the makers of this docu or far too many of the commenters; especially the Pakistani native who has apparently all the info he needs for a lifetime - no room in his cup, that's for sure.
Quark, how do you ever get any new info in order to update your POV on anything? If you use the system you tout here when buying a new car, I expect you'd come home driving your brand-spanking new, 1953 Henry J (a great car... in '53).
The filmmaker throws out as fact that the U.S.'s "preference" is to capture and put on trial, but, you know, some of those slippery types are just so darn hard to corral that we have no choice but to kill them from Kansas (then punch out and go home to the wife and kids for a comfortable evening at the old hacienda).
Why do you think the USA's "preference" was to fill Usama full of lead, then drop him into the middle of the Indian Ocean (per Islamic 'tradition' - give me a break)? In this case, it doesn't matter what we say we did because it's all fiction; one more false-flag to add to a very long list.
For all who care, do a search on "Pakistan drones collateral damage." Turns out we off 9 'citizens' for every terrorist (that we created in the first place). NjW

9 years ago

America, keep on the lookout for drones overhead. And it is far more likely that the drones won't have to travel more than a 200 miles to find you.

9 years ago

There is no proof to suggest that the drone strikes breed hatred for US amongst the victims, the fact is that the overwhelming majority of those killed in drone strikes are terrorists associated with Al-Qaida and Taliban. There is a long list of non-Pakistani Arab Salafi terrorist leaders who have been killed in Pakistan (my earlier and much longer post is awaiting moderation in which there is the link to that list).

If drones produce hatred for America then why doesn't the dozens of suicide bomb attacks in Pakistan create similar hatred for the Taliban in Pakistan? Why don’t the Christians and Shias bombed in Pakistan take up arms and take revenge from the Taliban militants? The answer is simple, those who become Taliban follow the ideology of Salafist Islamism who believe in a return to the times of 700 AD Arabia where the land is to be ruled by a “pious” mullah, minorities & dissenting voices eliminated, women suppressed and trapped in homes and schools bombed. This ideology is coming from land of the house of Saud and even if the US and NATO leave Afghanistan in the next couple of years, this ideology will not go away.

Harry Nutzack
9 years ago

well done doc. clear, concise, and to the point. no politics, no declarations of "good and evil", just facts, and testimony to back them up. a superb illustration of why this policy is entirely counter-productive. were i a young waziri, i could very easily see these experiences inspiring me to take up arms against those who perpetrate these attacks. why do we still insist that we can "win hearts and minds" by killing children and mothers?

9 years ago

I for one support the drone program, the war on terror and the NSA.

9 years ago

I suppose that our CIA can easily justify killing of barefoot boys playing soccer in the dirt with drones on the suspicion that they may grow up to be terrorists someday. This soccer mom would love to hear Obama's spin on this. Don't they realize that they and their children will hate the USA and the rest of the west until they die because of things like this? Is this the start of some new "No Child Left Behind" policy in the middle east? Pakistan has nukes; how stupid can we be pissing them all off like this?