Death By the Numbers: Pakistan Counts the Toll of the Bush-Obama Drone War

As we all know, the Terror Warriors in the White House (of whatever political stripe) don't do body counts. They just kill people, make unsupported claims of "clean hits" on "militants," backtrack a bit later when eyewitness reports confirm extensive civilian casualties, promise "investigations" that kick the PR can way down the road -- and carry on killing.

But strangely enough, the people who are being killed by these well-wadded, massively protected elites do count how many of their sons and daughters and mothers and fathers are being slaughtered by American ordnance. Imagine that! It's almost like they are real people or something!

Pakistan is the latest target of the Terror Warriors; the progressive, anti-war, last-best-hope-for-world-peace Barack Obama has made it his special project to lay some heavy hurt on the Pakistanis, escalating the drone bombing campaign initiated by his much-emulated predecessor, George Widowmaker Bush. Indeed, the Obama administration is mulling expanding their expansion of the drone war into Pakistan's troubled -- but oil-rich -- southern province of Baluchistan. One begins to suspect that the progressive humanitarians in the White House have been drawing on the beserker fantasies of Ralph Peters for strategic guidance on the "Af-Pak" front.

In any case, every week brings new reports of deadly attacks in Pakistan's frontier regions, almost all of them involving the deaths of civilians. Americans generally hear little or nothing about these attacks beyond official snippets about "successful" attacks against the apparently endless, ever-replenishing supply of "top Al Qaeda and Taliban leaders." [Or to put it in reality's terms, the United States government and its progressive, humanitarian leaders regularly order, admit and applaud the "extrajudicial killing" -- i.e., murder -- of uncharged, untried individuals living within the borders of an allied country. As it saith in the Scriptures: These be your gods, O progressives!] But while Americans turn a deaf ear, in Pakistan the blood cries out, and is measured, as far as possible, by a government that is further shaken by each American attack and the violent extremism it engenders.

This week, Pakistani officials released stunning figures of the civilian death count in the American drone war: almost 700 innocent men, women and children killed so far -- as opposed to 14 actual, wanted extremist leaders. As the Pakistani paper The News reports:

Of the 60 cross-border predator strikes carried out by the Afghanistan-based American drones in Pakistan between January 14, 2006 and April 8, 2009, only 10 were able to hit their actual targets, killing 14 wanted al-Qaeda leaders, besides perishing 687 innocent Pakistani civilians. The success percentage of the US predator strikes thus comes to not more than six per cent....

According to the figures compiled by the Pakistani authorities, a total of 537 people have been killed in 50 incidents of cross-border US predator strikes since January 1, 2008 to April 8, 2009, averaging 34 killings per month and 11 killings per attack. The average per month killings in predator strikes during 12 months of 2008 stood at 32 while the average per attack killings in the 36 drone strikes for the same year stood at 11.

Similarly, 152 people have been killed in 14 incidents of cross-border predator attacks in the tribal areas in the first 99 days of 2009, averaging 38 killings per month and 11 killings per attack.

Now there's change you can believe in (to coin a phrase)! In just a few months in office, Obama has managed to raise the average kill rate achieved by Bush from 32 to 38 per month. And who can doubt that this young, capable, charismatic president will not increase that civilian slaughter rate even further as he ratchets up the drone war in the months -- and years and years -- to come?