Sunday, March 30, 2014

US Draws Flak from UN Human Rights Panel over Drone Strikes

Rabin Man Shakya

At a time when the United States and European Union have been chastising and condemning Russia for its 'illegal' takeover of Crimean Peninsula, a United Nations Human Rights Committee has called for more oversight and transparency in the program of targeted drone strikes carried out by the US and recommended the prosecution of all those involved in unlawful killings and torture overseas, particularly, "persons in command positions."

There is no doubt that Russia's takeover of Crimean Peninsula is an outrageous aggression. Russia's President Vladimir Putin claimed that Russian nationals in Crimea were in 'jeopardy'. President George Bush before invading Iraq also falsely claimed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Meanwhile, according to the New York Times, "In  a report released Thursday, the UN Human Rights Committee, a panel of 18 independent experts from different countries, expressed concern that the US government had not clarified the criteria or legal basis for drone strikes and called for independent oversight of the program. It also drew attention to the limited number of investigations into unlawful killings and the use of torture in overseas operations by the American military and private contractors."(The New York Times, March 28, 2014).

According to the New York Times news story, the panel said the responsibility of those who "provided legal pretexts for manifestly illegal behaviour should also be established" and urged the US government to declassify and release the Senate Intelligence Committee's investigation into the CIA's secret rendition activities.

Well, the history of big fishes swallowing the small ones is not new. Just look at the South Asia only. Sikkim was annexed into India and Tibet was taken over by China. And, yes, look at the US which has been firing deadly missiles into Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and so on.

Therefore, if past precedents are any guide, the big fishes will keep swallowing the small fishes, the big brothers will keep  controlling the lil ones.

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