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Offline Guest Blogger

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Remember
« on: August 06, 2013, 10:30:20 PM »

Off the keyboard of George Mobus


Published on Question Everything on August 6, 2013



Discuss this article at the Epicurean Delights Smorgasbord inside the Diner




The Clearest Evidence of Lack of Sapience


This day represents what, for me, is the clearest evidence that the human species as currently constituted lacks sufficient sapience to manage its own cleverness. This day, in 1945, the Americans, ostensibly the good guys in WWII(!), dropped the atomic bomb on a civilian population in Hiroshima, Japan just to show them we meant business. Two days later, one demonstration not being enough, we dropped a second bomb on Nagasaki. That should show them.


We were clever enough to figure out how to split the atom and do so in an explosive device. But we were completely without wisdom in doing so. And by ‘we’ I mean all of humanity. Yes I know that there are many who believed that the wisest course of action, at that time, was to drop the bombs. It was “conventional wisdom” that doing so ended the war sooner and saved American lives. And conventional wisdom is just that – conventional. It is what the masses think. Unfortunately the masses are deeply foolish.


Homo sapiens was the first species to display a radically higher level of judgment, moral motivations, eusociality, language, and abstract symbolic reasoning. But even so it was not the epitome of sapience. I have often suggested that the truer species name should be ‘calidus’ (clever) or even ‘pseudo-sapiens’. But the latter is not quite right since the capabilities listed are related to the brain capacity of sapience. So, what humans possess isn’t ‘false’ sapience, it is just ‘weak’ sapience. It is too new a capacity to have been honed by evolution for its role in modulating cleverness.


The evidence has certainly mounted over the years. Now here we stand having painted ourselves into an energy corner and seriously modified the atmosphere, hydrosphere, soils, and biosphere to our own detriment (along with that of many, many of our fellow passengers on Space Ship Earth). What remains really remarkable to me is that we actually knew enough early on to have prevented or very much lessened the current crisis. In WWII we were wildly ignorant of so many aspects of atomic power, including the political evolution that ensued. We rushed in, propelled by war (another piece of clear evidence) where wise men would have feared to tread. The precautionary principle applied equally to then and the recent events. But this situation is worse because we have actually gathered sufficient scientific information about the consequences that we should have known better. And, to a large extent we did, and do, know better. But because our collective judgment puts money over all, we ignore our own knowledge.


Each Aug. 6th I remember Hiroshima and what it represents, not as an historical event, but as a window into the nature of humans as we are. I remain ever hopeful that our species can provide the seeds of a much more sapient species in the future. The current one is no longer fit for the environment it has created.





Offline RE

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Re: Remember
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2013, 02:15:12 PM »
By the previously listed measure, using atomic weapons on Japan was one of the most raging successful things ever done in the history of military warfare.

If accelerating the extinction of Homo Sapiens is considered a successful outcome, indeed it was a raging success.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline Snowleopard

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Re: Remember
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2013, 03:26:23 PM »
By the previously listed measure, using atomic weapons on Japan was one of the most raging successful things ever done in the history of military warfare.

If accelerating the extinction of Homo Sapiens is considered a successful outcome, indeed it was a raging success.

RE

I guess i agree with both of you, somewhat.

From a military perspective atomic warfare was a success.    Atomic warfare capability does put humanity in danger of extinction directly, and also from nuclear power plants designed primarily to facilitate bomb making, secondarily to produce power, and with safety a tertiary concern.

As for FSA and the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki:  The Lords of Karma have yet to speak.

"A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest." -  Simon and Garfunkel

Offline agelbert

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The Clearest Evidence of Lack of Sapience
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2013, 04:32:19 PM »
Quote
The Clearest Evidence of Lack of Sapience

Quote
In 1887, Heinrich Hertz[2][3] discovered that electrodes illuminated with ultraviolet light create electric sparks more easily.

In 1905 Albert Einstein published a paper that explained experimental data from the photoelectric effect as being the result of light energy being carried in discrete quantized packets. This discovery led to the quantum revolution. Einstein was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921 for "his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect".[4]

Quote
Nuclear fission of heavy elements was discovered in 1938 by Lise Meitner, Otto Hahn, Fritz Strassmann, and Otto Robert Frisch.


The Clearest Evidence of Lack of Sapience is shown by Homo SAPs "priorities" according to Golden Darwin Award exhibits "A" and "B".

A) Cost effective renewable energy photoelectric devices perfected and massed produced over 100 years after the discovery of the photoelectric effect.

B) Nuclear fission bomb perfected and used in warfare 7 years after the discovery of nuclear fission of heavy elements. :cwmddd: 


Quote
The very genesis of the Manhattan project lay at the intersection of science and strategic policy, if not ‘diplomacy’, in its widest sense -- of negotiating a course of action seeking to ensure survival.

As we all know, Einstein, Hans Bethe, Edward Teller and a number of other
leading scientists had written to President Roosevelt to draw attention to the possibility of a weapon based on release of fission energy, on the one hand, and the danger of the Germans making it first, on the other.

(All but Teller  :evil4: were to repent later, after they saw what the atomic bomb did to Hiroshima and Nagasaki but it was too late by then for the genie was out of the bottle, as it were.

It is perhaps the biggest ‘if’ of history -- what would have happened if they too had, like Linus Pauling and Rotblat, decided to oppose, or opt out of, the atomic bomb project.)

http://www.nias.res.in/docs/NIAS_AAAS_WORKSHOP_ON_SCIENCE_DIPLOMACY.pdf



Historic Photo of Edward Teller in 1958  :P





These guys have a photo of Edward Teller TOO! :icon_mrgreen:





Historic Photo of Edward Teller in ET Planet of the Naked Apes Observation Flying Saucer




Hey Mking, CAN YOU "ADAPT TO THAT" ?  :evil4:
« Last Edit: August 07, 2013, 04:35:43 PM by agelbert »
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline funkyspec

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Re: Remember
« Reply #4 on: August 07, 2013, 04:45:44 PM »
The use of the atomic bomb during WW2 was most definitely NOT a military success. From the United States Strategic Bombing Survey:

"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

Plenty of senior distinguished US officers opposed the use of the atomic bomb during WW2 including:

General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Admiral Chester Nimitz
General Douglas MacArthur

and Admiral William Leahy (who served during WW2 as the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs before the position was so called), who said: "The use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons... The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."


Offline Snowleopard

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Re: Remember
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2013, 05:37:45 PM »
The use of the atomic bomb during WW2 was most definitely NOT a military success. From the United States Strategic Bombing Survey:

"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

Plenty of senior distinguished US officers opposed the use of the atomic bomb during WW2 including:

General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Admiral Chester Nimitz
General Douglas MacArthur

and Admiral William Leahy (who served during WW2 as the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs before the position was so called), who said: "The use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons... The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."

It must have been interesting back then, when flag officers were allowed to speak truth to power, without the following resignation.   Not that it had much effect.  Obviously the defence contractors were in charge even then.

We can't be sure if Japan would have surrendered quickly without the use of the bomb, despite the opinion of those officers.   Nonetheless  atomic warfare was a success for the USA military (&MIC) in growing its budget, growing its strength, and increasing its role in "peacetime", regardless of the effects on the ground.
"A man sees what he wants to see and disregards the rest." -  Simon and Garfunkel

Offline Randy C

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Re: Remember
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2013, 06:26:40 PM »
There were officers within the Japanese military that believed that Japan must be extinguished if it could not rise towards the top in world affairs.  Some were ready for Japan to fight to the last man.  After the second bomb dropped the emperor intervened and called an end to the war.

It is easy to play Monday morning quarter back on the end of WWII, but given the way the Japanese had fought I don't think many American service men were looking forward to shipping out of Europe and heading to Japan for an invasion.

Were it not for the fear that the Germans might develop such a weapon, the US might not have pursued it and the Soviets would not have had the help they had from Fuchs in developing their weapons.  Then the issue would have been how Stalin would have behaved in Europe without the believed US atomic deterrent.

One must also keep in mind that the atom bomb didn't win WWII, radar did.  It may have ended the war in the Pacific quicker but it didn't win it.

Offline WHD

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Re: Remember
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2013, 06:47:42 PM »
My sense is, both bombs were dropped to assure to the rest of the world, America will control the fate of the world, the next several generations. Empire, boys.  :exp-evil:

They dropped it because they could. And to show the world what would happen...

WHD

Offline agelbert

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Re: Remember
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2013, 07:42:32 PM »
Quote
They dropped it because they could. And to show the world what would happen...

Ah yes, the same reason a two year old throws a rock at a bird. More evidence of lack of sapience... :emthdown:



Planet of the Naked Killer Apes

The best tools are weapons hunt prey and kill the competition - everything else is secondary. So it goes. Not much has changed in several thousand years. Stupid naked killer apes cannot tell the difference between a spear point and an atomic explosion. :iamwithstupid:
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline RE

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Re: Remember
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2013, 07:45:27 PM »

If accelerating the extinction of Homo Sapiens is considered a successful outcome, indeed it was a raging success.

RE

Certainly that wasn't a metric even under consideration at the time.

The fact it was not a metric is exactly the point of Mobus' article, that as a species we lack Sapience, or Wisdom if you will.  He uses the terms more or less interchangeably.

RE
Save As Many As You Can

Offline agelbert

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Re: Remember
« Reply #10 on: August 07, 2013, 08:34:48 PM »
Quote
and to win the war.

Dorian Gray could not have said it any better (or more rapaciously).

More evidence of unsustainability for you.  :icon_mrgreen:
Leges         Sine    Moribus      Vanae   
Faith,
if it has not works, is dead, being alone.

Offline WHD

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Re: Remember
« Reply #11 on: August 07, 2013, 08:46:52 PM »
Quote
Anything else is shoulda/woulda/coulda Monday morning quarterbacking.

Grieving for the people of those two cities, and the Imperial purpose behind that mass murder hardly befits such a metaphor.

Such callous disregard for murder, not to be unexpected from our most persistent troll.

WHD

Offline Surly1

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Re: Remember
« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2013, 03:35:33 AM »
The use of the atomic bomb during WW2 was most definitely NOT a military success. From the United States Strategic Bombing Survey:

"Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts, and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey's opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945, and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated."

Plenty of senior distinguished US officers opposed the use of the atomic bomb during WW2 including:

General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Admiral Chester Nimitz
General Douglas MacArthur

and Admiral William Leahy (who served during WW2 as the first Chairman of the Joint Chiefs before the position was so called), who said: "The use of [the atomic bombs] at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons... The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children."

Trying to prove a negative never works. Maybe this could have happened, maybe that, maybe the tens of thousands of Marines and millions of Japanese estimated to be killed in an invasion from the sea might have happened, none of this really matters in light of what DID happen.

Two bombs were dropped. The war ended. The purpose of those bombs was to end the war. They worked.

Anything else is shoulda/woulda/coulda Monday morning quarterbacking.

MKing,
Your assertion is a post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy.
Funkyspec cites the relevant evidence, which you dismiss by asserting, "The bombs worked."
The bombs were unnecessary. Many military leaders now revered as near demigods said so. To expend on Funkyspec's:

Quote
The REAL Reason America Used Nuclear Weapons Against Japan (It Was Not To End the War Or Save Lives)
Posted on October 14, 2012 by WashingtonsBlog
http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2012/10/the-real-reason-america-used-nuclear-weapons-against-japan-to-contain-russian-ambitions.html
Atomic Weapons Were Not Needed to End the War or Save Lives

Like all Americans, I was taught that the U.S. dropped nuclear bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in order to end WWII and save both American and Japanese lives.

But most of the top American military officials at the time said otherwise.

The U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey group, assigned by President Truman to study the air attacks on Japan, produced a report in July of 1946 that concluded (52-56):

Based on a detailed investigation of all the facts and supported by the testimony of the surviving Japanese leaders involved, it is the Survey’s opinion that certainly prior to 31 December 1945 and in all probability prior to 1 November 1945, Japan would have surrendered even if the atomic bombs had not been dropped, even if Russia had not entered the war, and even if no invasion had been planned or contemplated.

General (and later president) Dwight Eisenhower – then Supreme Commander of all Allied Forces, and the officer who created most of America’s WWII military plans for Europe and Japan – said:

The Japanese were ready to surrender and it wasn’t necessary to hit them with that awful thing.

Newsweek, 11/11/63, Ike on Ike

Eisenhower also noted (pg. 380):

In [July] 1945… Secretary of War Stimson, visiting my headquarters in Germany, informed me that our government was preparing to drop an atomic bomb on Japan. I was one of those who felt that there were a number of cogent reasons to question the wisdom of such an act. …the Secretary, upon giving me the news of the successful bomb test in New Mexico, and of the plan for using it, asked for my reaction, apparently expecting a vigorous assent.

During his recitation of the relevant facts, I had been conscious of a feeling of depression and so I voiced to him my grave misgivings, first on the basis of my belief that Japan was already defeated and that dropping the bomb was completely unnecessary, and secondly because I thought that our country should avoid shocking world opinion by the use of a weapon whose employment was, I thought, no longer mandatory as a measure to save American lives. It was my belief that Japan was, at that very moment, seeking some way to surrender with a minimum loss of ‘face’. The Secretary was deeply perturbed by my attitude….

Admiral William Leahy – the highest ranking member of the U.S. military from 1942 until retiring in 1949, who was the first de facto Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and who was at the center of all major American military decisions in World War II – wrote (pg. 441):

It is my opinion that the use of this barbarous weapon at Hiroshima and Nagasaki was of no material assistance in our war against Japan. The Japanese were already defeated and ready to surrender because of the effective sea blockade and the successful bombing with conventional weapons.

The lethal possibilities of atomic warfare in the future are frightening. My own feeling was that in being the first to use it, we had adopted an ethical standard common to the barbarians of the Dark Ages. I was not taught to make war in that fashion, and wars cannot be won by destroying women and children.

General Douglas MacArthur agreed (pg. 65, 70-71):

MacArthur’s views about the decision to drop the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were starkly different from what the general public supposed …. When I asked General MacArthur about the decision to drop the bomb, I was surprised to learn he had not even been consulted. What, I asked, would his advice have been? He replied that he saw no military justification for the dropping of the bomb. The war might have ended weeks earlier, he said, if the United States had agreed, as it later did anyway, to the retention of the institution of the emperor.

Moreover (pg. 512):

The Potsdam declaration in July, demand[ed] that Japan surrender unconditionally or face ‘prompt and utter destruction.’ MacArthur was appalled. He knew that the Japanese would never renounce their emperor, and that without him an orderly transition to peace would be impossible anyhow, because his people would never submit to Allied occupation unless he ordered it. Ironically, when the surrender did come, it was conditional, and the condition was a continuation of the imperial reign. Had the General’s advice been followed, the resort to atomic weapons at Hiroshima and Nagasaki might have been unnecessary.

Assertions that the bombs hastened the end of the war are part of the revisionist history and mythmaking that became necessary to disguise the fact that in 1945 the government of the FSA officially adopted the ethic of the Mongol Horde, the wanton and unnecessary destruction of women and children, as offiicial policy.

Which continues fully in force through today, witness war by drone, the "double-tap," and other warfare by technology practices which future historians will roundly condemn, should any be left to write it.
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

Offline jdwheeler42

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Re: Remember
« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2013, 04:50:08 AM »
Assertions that the bombs hastened the end of the war are part of the revisionist history and mythmaking that became necessary to disguise the fact that in 1945 the government of the FSA officially adopted the ethic of the Mongol Horde, the wanton and unnecessary destruction of women and children, as offiicial policy.

Which continues fully in force through today, witness war by drone, the "double-tap," and other warfare by technology practices which future historians will roundly condemn, should any be left to write it.
Come, come, now, who's being revisionist?  Are we forgetting the bombings of Dresden and Tokyo, to name two?  The wanton and unnecessary destruction of women and children was official policy LONG before Hiroshima, and in terms of total TNT equivalent dropped, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not even the worst bombings of World War II, they just accomplished in a single bomb what took hours of conventional bombing, of course not counting the radioactive aftereffects.
Making pigs fly is easy... that is, of course, after you have built the catapult....

Offline Surly1

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Re: Remember
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2013, 06:58:03 AM »
Assertions that the bombs hastened the end of the war are part of the revisionist history and mythmaking that became necessary to disguise the fact that in 1945 the government of the FSA officially adopted the ethic of the Mongol Horde, the wanton and unnecessary destruction of women and children, as offiicial policy.

Which continues fully in force through today, witness war by drone, the "double-tap," and other warfare by technology practices which future historians will roundly condemn, should any be left to write it.
Come, come, now, who's being revisionist?  Are we forgetting the bombings of Dresden and Tokyo, to name two?  The wanton and unnecessary destruction of women and children was official policy LONG before Hiroshima, and in terms of total TNT equivalent dropped, Hiroshima and Nagasaki were not even the worst bombings of World War II, they just accomplished in a single bomb what took hours of conventional bombing, of course not counting the radioactive aftereffects.

Fair enough. But to assert that Fat Man and Little Boy did not usher in a new age featuring weapons of mass destruction is disingenuous at best.

My point was that we began a moral slide when we decided to accomplish with two weapons which formerly took hours or days.
The moral slide continues.

Both Jaded Prole and I are privileged to know personally at least one man who has put his body into the gears of the machinery of war in order to stop it. for him, it is a moral imperative. This he has done at great cost, both personally and to his family. By comparison, like most of us, I sit silently complicit, unable to summon the courage needed. But I do not accept what is being done every day, all over the world, in our names.

Here's an example of your tax dollars at work, and the good work done by the military industrial complex to secure "the American way of life:"

Bureau Investigation Finds Fresh Evidence of CIA Drone Strikes on Rescuers
If proved, US targeting of rescuers who respond to scene of earlier explosions are clearly "war crimes"
by Chris Woods with additional reporting by Mushtaq Yusufzai


The Bureau’s field researcher found five double-tap strikes took place in mid-2012, one of which also struck a mosque.

A field investigation by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in Pakistan’s tribal areas appears to confirm that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) last year briefly revived the controversial tactic of deliberately targeting rescuers at the scene of a previous drone strike. The tactic has previously been labelled a possible war crime by two UN investigators.

The Bureau’s new study focused mainly on strikes around a single village in North Waziristan – attacks that were aimed at one of al Qaeda’s few remaining senior figures, Yahya al-Libi. He was finally killed by a CIA drone strike on June 4 2012.

Congressional aides have previously been reported as describing to the Los Angeles Times reviewing a CIA video showing Yahya al-Libi alone being killed. But the Bureau’s field research appears to confirm what others reported at the time – that al-Libi’s death was part of a sequence of strikes on the same location that killed up to 16 people.

If correct, that would indicate that Congressional aides were not shown crucial additional video material.

The CIA has robustly rejected the charge. Spokesman Edward Price told the Bureau: ‘The CIA takes its commitment to Congressional oversight with the utmost seriousness. The Agency provides accurate and timely information consistent with our obligation to the oversight Committees. Any accusation alleging otherwise is baseless.’

Tactic revived

The Bureau first broke the story of the CIA’s deliberate targeting of rescuers in a February 2012 investigation for the Sunday Times. It found evidence of 11 attacks on rescuers - so-called ‘double-tap’ strikes – in Pakistan’s tribal areas between 2009 and 2011, along with a drone strike deliberately targeting a funeral, causing mass casualties.

Reports of these controversial tactics ended by July 2011. But credible news reports emerged a year later indicating that double-tap strikes had been revived.

International media including the BBC, CNN and news agency AFP variously reported that rescuers had been targeted on five occasions between May 24 and July 23 2012, with a mosque and prayers for the dead also reportedly bombed.

The Bureau commissioned a report into the alleged attacks from Mushtaq Yusufzai, a respected journalist based in Peshawar, who reports regularly for NBC and for local paper The News.

Over a period of months, Yusufzai – who has extensive government, Taliban and civilian contacts throughout Waziristan – built up a detailed understanding of the attacks through his sources.

His findings indicate that five double-tap strikes did indeed take place again in mid-2012, one of which also struck a mosque. In total 53 people were killed in these attacks with 57 injured, the report suggests.

Yusufzai could find no evidence to support media claims that rescuers had been targeted on two further occasions.

No confirmed civilian deaths were reported by local communities in any of the strikes. A woman and three children were reportedly injured in one of the attacks. Yusufzai says: ‘It is possible some civilians were killed, but we don’t know’.

However a parallel investigation by legal charity Reprieve reports that eight civilians died in a double-tap strike on July 6 2012 (see below), with the possibility of further civilian deaths in a July 23 attack.

Islamabad-based lawyer Shahzad Akbar says Reprieve’s findings are based on interviews with villagers from affected areas.

‘On both occasions [in July] our independent investigation showed a high number of civilians who were rescuers were killed in the strikes,’ says Akbar.

While some 2012 double-tap strikes appear to have been aimed at al Qaeda’s Yahya al-Libi, Reprieve believes both July attacks were focused on killing another senior militant, Sadiq Noor.

Noor is deputy to militant leader Hafiz Gul Bahadur. Both men are long-time targets for the CIA because of their support for the Taliban’s Afghan insurgency. Noor had falsely been reported killed on at least two previous occasions. It is not known whether he survived either of the strikes.

Read the rest here:
http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2013/08/01-4
"It is difficult to write a paradiso when all the superficial indications are that you ought to write an apocalypse." -Ezra Pound

 

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