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Letters: Drones -- a fatal policy option

October 07, 2012
  • A Pakistani villager holds a wreckage of a suspected surveillance drone that crashed in Pakistan last August.
A Pakistani villager holds a wreckage of a suspected surveillance drone… (Shah Khalid / Associated…)

Re "Living with death by drone," Opinion, Oct. 4

Vietnam should have taught us that foreign wars are costly and futile. Instead, we learned to make them acceptable by careful monitoring of news (no more body counts) and minimizing our own casualties by using drones in place of troop encounters. As a result we are killing civilians, and the pious statements about how we are careful and regret the loss of innocent lives do not prevent us from doing it over and over again.

Has our war on terrorism made terrorists of us?

Don Tonty

Los Angeles

Op-Ed article writer Jennifer Gibson offers no suggestions on how the U.S. can go after the terrorists who live and hide among the civilian population in places such as North Waziristan, Pakistan. Until that same civilian population rises up against the terrorist elements that live among them, I am certain that drone attacks will continue to be the weapon of choice against those who plot to kill our service men and women.

The attacks on the U.S. on Sept. 11, 2001 directly targeted civilian men, women and children.

Nothing Gibson has written convinces me that our military or civilian leadership is targeting innocent civilians in North Waziristan or anywhere else.

Mike Kilgore

Mar Vista

Gibson's riveting firsthand account of the effect of drone warfare in North Waziristan cements my belief that a substantive discussion of this type of warfare is imperative. The report "Living Under Drones," for which Gibson was a researcher, states that 74% of Pakistanis consider the U.S. an enemy, not surprising after reading that since 2004, according to one study, more than 880 civilians have been killed in drone strikes.

Will our president and Congress please step up and address the legal and ethical questions related to drone warfare?

Marilyn Schafer

Los Angeles

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