HIDDEN WOUNDS

2011-2013

This is not the usual story of death and destruction, the usual story of war. It is not, because it embodies a page of war on which very few lines have been written, if any at all. The story of unmanned aerial bombardments is not the past, nor yet the present; robotics applied to warfare represents the frightening future that the war industry is approaching with extreme greed.

Ten years after the start of these attacks (May 2004), a serious institutional discussion on the legality of using these devices has only just begun. Amnesty international released its first comprehensive report on the use of drones in Pakistan in October 2013 at the same time as Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations has only recently expressed significant doubts about the legality of such attacks on the soil of a nation to which war has not been formally declared.
The resulting picture is between grotesque and chilling, and as is often the case, the few answers found raise even more questions.
In fact, on 18 October 2013, Mr Ben Emmerson, the United Nations special envoy, strongly emphasised how the United States operates drone attacks by benefiting from a legislative vacuum, which consists in the absence of the legal capacity to determine responsibility in military actions of this kind.  
The first drone attack in Pakistan was carried out in June 2004 and has not stopped since.
In almost 10 years there have been 381 confirmed attacks with an estimated 3207 deaths, but this is only the most optimistic reconstruction based on what is known about these attacks, and what is known is very little.
In fact, Mr Emmerson puts his finger on the well-established fact that these attacks are veiled by a total lack of transparency.
A quality that is bound to be lacking since these military actions are carried out under the control of the CIA, an agency that is supposed to have deleted this word from its statute and vocabulary. The Obama administration, for its part, in order not to contravene the principle of coherence that it boasts so much about, has secreted all the information in its possession regarding civilian victims.
What happens in this land is a well-kept secret.

The story we should be interested in, the story that should make us think, is not so much about the dead, who remain dead, as it is about those who remain alive, those who live in fear, those who face loss, who have had a loved one, a relative, a parent or even a child taken from them, people left to drown their despair in that feeling of helplessness that is most rampant among those left behind by these machines among the survivors.
These are the feelings that can distort people and poison minds. It is these actions that can make retaliation as cowardly as terrorism plausible.
What the people of North Waziristan have been experiencing for years is a state of perpetual terror, a terror that permeates dreams, a terror that does not let you sleep.