The Pentagon says American airstrikes in Somalia have killed no civilians since President Trump accelerated attacks against Shabab militants there two years ago.
Amnesty International investigated five of the more than 100 strikes carried out in Somalia since 2017 by drones and manned aircraft, and in just that small sampling found that at least 14 civilians were killed.
The Pentagon says airstrikes by the American-led coalition fighting the Islamic State killed at least 1,257 civilians in Iraq and Syria as of the end of January.
Airwars, a university-based monitoring group, estimates that those strikes killed at least 7,500 civilians in those countries.
Those disparities show how poorly the American public understands the human cost of an air war fought largely by remote-controlled drones. Drones have been the main weapon in the counterterrorism fight for more than a decade. They kill extremists without risking American lives, making combat seem antiseptic on the home front. But the number of civilians killed in these attacks is shrouded in secrecy.
Warrug.com recently received a shipment of rugs from Peshawar, Pakistan including some new designs woven in Pakistan. The weavers are Afghan Turkmen who have settled permenantly in Pakistan after being refugees. This summer they produced three rugs featuring Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s or drones).
The second rug, below, #1580, features armed Predator drones.
Below is the third rug of the set, and it is particularly interesting because the drones are colored red, white and blue. I didn’t notice this important color choice until photoshopping (rather GiMP’ing) the border photo when I noticed the interlocking red, white, and blue border.
Today’s New York Times Metropolitan section has a story by Tammy La Gorce about the show ‘Art Amongst War’ at The College of New Jersey’s Art Gallery. The show is curated by Deborah Hutton, and it features an array of art made by Afghan artists including 5 war rugs loaned by warrug.com, including the one in Times’ story. The show includes fine paintings, beautiful needlework, historical and contemporary video, installation art and some beautiful and haunting photographs.
“The anonymous weavers of six 1980s and 1990s-era “war rugs” — carpets whose motifs include land mines, guns and soldiers — may have had no formal training, learning from their relatives, but they have incorporated the grim realities of life in a war zone into their traditional craft.”
Predator Drone from TBD1’s Flickr set
Warrug is looking for essays for its series of upcoming publications. Please contact warrug.com with ideas if you are interested.
Tribesmen began battling the foreigner militants they had previously sheltered early last month after the foreigners tried to kill a tribal leader.
“The people in South Waziristan have risen against the foreigners. They have killed about 300 of them and they get support from the Pakistan army, they asked for support,” Musharraf told a military conference on global counter-terrorism in Islamabad.