This predator drone is one that would be used in targeting killings, such as those that have claimed the lives of thousands of innocent civilians in the Middle East. Photo credit: Wikimedia Foundation

Earlier this year, two innocent hostages—one American, one Italian—were killed by a US-led unmanned drone strike meant to target al-Qaeda. By some estimates, the drone strikes that President Obama has authorized have murdered more innocent people than the 9/11 attacks. As war rages on across the Middle East and the US continues to fire unmanned strikes that are killing civilians, it’s worth looking back and discovering how this technology came to be... and how it could be put to positive uses instead. See this documentary.

Graffiti on Pakistani walls asks no one in particular “why you killed my family”—no one in particular, because there’s really no one to ask. Except the White House, the Pentagon and the CIA.

The Council on Foreign Relations reported last November that more people had been killed by drone strikes than on 9/11, and that President Obama had given the order for 90 percent of these operations. Drone attacks have been particularly devastating in Pakistan, where people live in constant fear of death. In addition to the physical destruction drones wreak on communities, the psychological toll is enormous.

How did we get here? To understand how drones came to be so prevalent in modern warfare—and to what positive uses these killing machines might instead be put—don’t miss this PBS Nova documentary, Rise of the Drones.


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