Morality Suffering

Drones, Sandy Hook Shootings and the fair price of Terrorism

Before you read this, I advise you that some images are graphic in nature.

I first learnt of the Newtown school shootings on the internet. As I read the details, I could not help but feel terribly sad and sorry. I am not an american,and yet I cried because what had transpired was horrible and incomprehensible on all accounts. Those little children deserved the best. I have a few little ones in our family so I know if that tragedy had befallen them what I would feel like and what I would likely do.

Image from Reuters
Image from Reuters

Families were devastated, crying people everywhere.  I read article after article. I read hundreds of comments scattered across the blogosphere about who was to blame and what should we do. Anger, frustration, shock, sadness, outcry, moderation, everyone had something to say, everyone felt connected. Little angels was the word used almost everywhere, Facebook feeds were filled with 20 stars and a message “20 little angels went to heaven”.

In another part of the world, a silent aircraft hovers over rugged terrain. It is a U.S drone, flying over the mountainous region of Afghanistan. Its target is a single male, housed at the specific location at which the drone is about to strike. Thousands of miles away, in new mexico, a young but very well trained u.s officer is controlling the man-less drone as it draws closer to the target location.  This pilot has had a good record, is experienced and is one of the very best in his work. The drone has arrived closer to the target. The officer paints the house with the targeting laser and releases the hell fire missile from the drone. He and a second officer watch as the missile approaches its target. Just then they see a child coming on top of the roof of the house, but by then it is impossible to detract the missile. They watch as the hell fire missile hits the target with a loud explosion.

“Did we just kill a child?” the first officer asks already feeling uneasy.

“Yes I think we did.” says the second officer.

“Command, was that a child?” sweating, the first officer asks his superior just to be sure.

“No, it was a dog.” came the chilling reply.

A dog on two legs.

After a few weeks, the first officer whose name is Brandon Bryant, leaves his job. He has trouble sleeping. He can’t get rid of the images of dead people in his head. The people who were not terrorists but were killed in drone strikes as collateral damage. Women and children, slaughtered. Officer Bryant is seeking medical help now.

What officer Bryant could not say was that he had seen an angel on that rooftop, a little angel that got murdered by a man less – precision – strike – machine.

afghan-crying-over-family-dead1 child_khost

As the smoke is lifted, more details pour in. If you look at the record of Drone strikes only in the area of Waziristan, you will find that 176 children have died so far by drone strikes alone. Widen the area, and you get another chilling picture. Out of the 3000 U.S drones strikes that hit, 1000 struck civilians rather than “terrorists”. That means for every 2 terrorists, one civilian, one angel was killed. Is that a fair price?

Would it be a fair price to kill a child or a woman, if Charles Manson had been hiding in that house? Or is it because the value of a life of an afghan child or Pakistani child is no more than a stray dog? I know that is not the case for many out there but for some, this has been the case all along.


An afghani women mourns her children. The drone strikes left dead 19 women, seven men and the rest children all under 15 years of age. This is village of Azizabad in the western province of Herat, August 23, 2008.
An afghani women mourns her children. The drone strikes left dead more than 80 people. Which consisted of 19 women, seven men and the rest children all under 15 years of age. This is village of Azizabad in the western province of Herat, August 23, 2008.

Hearts connect out of tragedy, my heart weeps for the children and their families who were victims of Sandy Hook. I feel the same for my country and the children who are mindlessly killed because of surgical strikes. 9/11 has passed, I could understand that the people behind that deserved this punishment, but do their children deserve this punishment too? Do you think a 6 year old child could conspire to blow the World Trade Center?

There are little children all around the world, they need to see love, they have a right to live. They live in america and they live in Pakistan, they live in Afghanistan, they live in Somalia. But unlike America these angels do not have a face, they have no names, no one is there to capture their death, or grieve with their families. No, CNN, or BBC covers these stories. No one knows about the silent cries of these little children. Only a few ever find their story heard on the media. But just because they live in Afghanistan or Pakistan does not mean their life has any less value. They are all precious, they all deserve life.

It is my hope that you can see that what happened in Sandy Hook, happens here every other week. You have seen 20 families devastated. I wish you could see the thousand innocent families who see their children, their loved ones die instead of a terrorist. They have no place to go, no one to ask for justice. Yet the U.S continues to strike with drones.

I see people actually supporting drone strikes. I guess they do not know what they are advocating for. If the life of little angels is the fair price to kill a terrorist than yes, continue droning us. But if you can, then put yourself in the shoes of a father whose son has been killed and labeled as collateral damage, what would you do? If you can put yourself in the shoes of an innocent man who lives in his county (not in a war zone) but looks over his shoulder, prays for the safety of his children, because he does not know when the drone strikes next, and he is afraid that his family might get killed in the action, what would be your response?

What would you do? If your child died in a drone strike and the army just shrugged shoulders and told you that it was necessary collateral damage, deal with it. What would you do?

As some one said, war is terrorism with a bigger budget. I am sure this is not true always but in this war, more harm has been done than good.

Stop the drones, every little child deserves life. You may not have been able to stop the massacre at Sandy hook but I urge you to see the massacre that has been going on for 11 years now. With enough people, the policies may change, they must change or else little angels will keep dying. You felt sad for 20 children, please see the misery of thousands of children and their families.

Is there no peaceful solution left? Is the drone attack the only sensible option left? How many more innocents need to die? Who is to blame and who needs to answer?

These are all questions which are more bigger than me. I hope there is some solution, I hope there is a better way, I hope there is peace, I hope that a little angel stays a little longer on earth.

By John A. David

A student of theology, a bible teacher and a graphics designer. I ramble a lot about Christian faith, apologetics and atheism.

11 replies on “Drones, Sandy Hook Shootings and the fair price of Terrorism”

I used to be a red-letter Republican that would blindly and wholeheartedly support whichever candidate bore that “R” next to his or her name. This was largely due to my fundamentalist religious upbringing. Right, wrong, or indifferent, there is a strong correlation (in the United States) between the Republican party and evangelical Christians.

I drifted from the Rs (and the church) when I could no longer stomach the hawkish and insane foreign policy ideas they promote. This was the tip of the iceberg when I drifted from theism to humanism…

Unfortunately, President Obama has not proved himself much better in terms of drone policy…

I hope this post is widely read. These drone strikes have to stop.

Personally, I have made it plain on my site that I am not a “fan” of President Obama and the direction he is taking this country. I do believe that here in america, abortion has helped to devalue life, and this is another agenda Obama has greatly supported. So if he has no feelings about babies in the womb, then why anyone else? As for the drones, if they cannot be more precise in their targeting, then I agree 100% they should be sidelined, but I would like to point out that the terrorist intentionally position themselves amongst innocent people, especially children. My choice would be to take the high road and risk our own lives to get these people, a people who are so evil they position themselves amongst the innocent, hoping it will result in tragedy. Now that is an evil beyond what I can understand, but from the sounds of it, the drones are matching that evil. Again, there are many things I do not like about the direction my country is going. She is turning her back on God, and losing her soul. No wonder these things are happening. Our government has kicked God out of our schools, and yet when something like this happens, there are always those who want to blame God. I, too, intend to reblog this article. If it is as bad as you say, then I want to support your cause. I don’t have the answer on how to reach evil people who hide amongst the innocent. Your country threw a fit when we finally got Osama bin Laden, and he certainly deserved it.

I don’t have that answer either Allen, I just don’t see the sense of gunning down innocent lives just to get one bastard. Is Osama’s life worth the death of 20 innocent children? Is it worth compared to the life of your son or mine? I certainly don’t think so.

There are sensible ways to avoid the damage, if a terrorist takes 20 hostages in bank, blowing the bank to kill the one terrorist is not a sensible option when you know innocents are trapped inside.

I don’t want to comment on politics, either Pakistani or american, I just know that no country is a saint. But we should protect what we can. Thank you for your support my dear friend. I am not against justice, but I am all against blind mindless killing.

“Blessed are the peacemakers for they shall be called the sons of God.”

I have a son who has risked his life in the effort to stop Osama from orchestrating more blind mindless killing, and yes, I did support my son in his decission, even though I knew his life could be sacrificed. I know he at least had a choice, and these victims do not. I am with you brother, in the great desire for peace. Unfortunately, I do not see lost man ever finding the answer to that riddle. I don’t mean to sound negative. If anyone has the answer I would love to hear it. In the meantime, I guess we pray, love, shine our light, and mourn. Your words are a great light, brother. It is an honor to support and promote your words. Blessed are the peacemakers. Amen.

I'd love to hear your thoughts, feel free to leave a comment. Thank you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s