Between the Lines

The Drones of Mordor

It’s like something out of The Lord of the Rings: a vast empire ruled by a king known as “B’arack”—an Orcish name if ever there was one—sends out its mechanical murderers to wreak destruction far and wide.  They strike from the air, whistling over homes huddled against the hills, dropping down on children as they sleep in their beds, dreaming of a nonexistent future.

To call such people assassins is inaccurate: A real assassin is highly trained and very exact; he just wants to take out a particular person and prefers things not to get messy.  A silencer, an expert aim, a single shot—and it’s done.  Not so with B’arack’s drones: They murder at random, scattershot death riding the winds of chance—for every “terrorist,” a half-dozen innocents are blasted to bits in their tracks.

According to a recently leaked internal government report, the number of victims in Pakistan alone stands at 746 people, 147 of whom were confirmed as civilians.  Of those civilian deaths, 94 were children.  One in five drone victims was a civilian, with more than 12 percent children.  Worldwide, the death toll is somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000.

The majority of those killed had nothing to do with Al Qaeda or any other terrorist organization: They were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time.  If males of a certain...

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