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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2899

Hiding under the cloak of 'collateral' damage is unacceptable

By Dr. Habib Siddiqui

War is ravaging Yemen and civilians, including infants, are getting killed. The situation is catastrophic.

As we have seen before with the US-led invasion of Iraq, no matter how much the missile-shooter, bomb-droppers and drone-attackers would have you believe about perfection of their war machines, gadgets and equipment, they simply have not perfected their deadly science. They are never precise, which leads to unintended consequences, what are conveniently dumped as the 'collateral damages'. Thus, we witnessed the cold-blooded murder of nearly a million Iraqis, old and young, and another quarter million or so in Afghanistan who had nothing to do with the WMD and 9/11.

The government of the state of Israel has been another terrible mass murderer of our time killing thousands of unarmed civilians in the Occupied Palestine and Lebanon. Under the pretext of targeted assassination of its enemies, it has killed many innocent souls.

And then there are, of course, war criminals like Bashar al-Assad (and his dead father Hafez) who don't mind killing everyone just to hold onto power. Bashar has killed more than half a million Syrians - mostly civilians. But who is counting!

And now Saudi Arabia has joined the civil war raging inside Yemen. It is bombing Houthis, or so it claims. However, as reported its bombs are dropping on civilians killing and maiming them. Just as we have heard many times from the government spokespersons of all those invading countries and mass murderers, the Saudi generals are claiming that the civilian casualty in Yemen was part of the 'collateral' damage.

Should we therefore keep silent and accept such killings as halal? Nope. Killing human beings who don't deserve to die is absolutely haram in Islam, and the Saudis should know this better than anyone. They ought to read the directives of the Prophet Muhammad (S) and his successors in matters of rules and regulations of war. They cannot pretend to be either oblivious or ignorant of such directives and must stop committing such crimes.

Since 9/11, drone attack has become quite commonly used tactics by the USA and Israel in its targeted assassination attempts. Such attacks have terrorized many survivors and made them PTSD victims for no fault of theirs. (For a good review of the drone technology, see Tom Engelhardt’s article: Hunting Humans by Remote Control,

After years of drone attacks inside Pakistan, esp. in the FATA region, resulting in deaths of some 4500 civilians, Pakistan's High Court has recently charged the former CIA station chief for Islamabad. Jonathan Bank is to face charges of murder and waging war against Pakistan. The charges are related to a December 2009 drone strike against North Waziristan in which three civilians were killed. After being pulled from Islamabad, Bank was appointed head of Iran operations; though in 2014 he was placed on administrative leave by the agency for abusive behavior.

Banks is no longer in Pakistan, and will be tried in absentia. It is a good start. I hope one day the international community will have the guts to put all those white collar criminals, mass murderers that approve and authorize such drone attacks from their presidential and ministerial mansions and offices, which have killed unarmed civilians.

- Asian Tribune -

Hiding under the cloak of 'collateral' damage is unacceptable
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