To defend himself against accusations of war crimes, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that the United States had been the subject of such accusations on numerous occasions.
Last week, Israel dropped at least two 2,000-pound bombs on the Jabalia refugee camp in Gaza, killing dozens of people and wounding hundreds. Experts identified the bombs as Boeing GBU-31 or GBU-56 aircraft supplied by the United States.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said: “These are disproportionate attacks that could amount to war crimes.”
In 2016, the State Department warned US officials that they could be convicted of war crimes for selling bombs used in Yemen that caused significant damage and civilian casualties in Saudi Arabia.
In Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and in the numerous other wars in which it was involved, the United States was frequently accused of war crimes against civilians, especially in Iraq and Afghanistan. But no need to worry.
Shortly before involving the United States in these two wars, which were as useless as they were disastrous, George W. Bush removed his country from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court, following the example of Russia, China, Iran, and other countries, among others. Israel.
Democrats and Republicans alike
Thus, the United States has carried out drone assassinations since the early 2000s. UN Special Rapporteur Philip Alston believes that these are extrajudicial and extrajudicial executions, which are criminal acts under international law.
Moreover, the Pentagon refused to carry out these tasks. The US drones, which killed terror suspects and innocent civilians nearby (collateral damage), were piloted by CIA personnel in front of their computer screens.
Deadly US drone strikes began under George W. Bush, and continued under Barack Obama and Donald Trump. Without due process, the suspects were executed after the US administration decided they deserved to die.
The statistics compiled by the NGO Bureau of Investigative Journalism (BIJ) are revealing. From 2004 to March 2020, 13,694 US drone attacks on targets in Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Afghanistan killed between 8,845 and 16,794 people; Among them were 910 to 2,181 civilians, including 283 to 451 children.
Trump hits the spot
While in office, Trump dramatically increased the frequency of drone strikes and relaxed rules governing targeting. The result: an increase in the number of innocent civilian casualties. In the case of Somalia, for example, there were as many US drone strikes (40) in the first half of 2020 as there were between 2007 and 2016. Trump has quadrupled the number of attacks in that country compared to the number ordered by Bush. And Obama.
US impunity has opened the door to other countries whose drones can do the same. I’m thinking in particular of Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Turkey.
Joe Biden put an end to all that. Pursuant to a presidential directive issued in October 2022 he was granted The New York Times, CIA drone operators must now get permission from Biden to target a jihadist outside a war zone. They must also have “near certainty” that civilians will not be killed or injured. The rules restore restrictions on drone strikes that Trump eased in 2017.