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Imagine that you’re walking home from the local bazaar, kicking up dust on the lone stretch of road in your village, happy because nestled in your plastic bag lies some scraps of goat meat, a rare but warming site at the dinner table. While walking, you proudly practice reciting the holy prayers in Arabic, though you don’t understand the meaning behind the words you’re uttering. You love cricket, and sometimes go out to watch the older boys play in the lone dusty, rocky field, and though you understand that the game came from the Brits, you wouldn’t be able to locate England on a map because it would probably be the first or second time you’ve seen one. You’re wearing the standard white and white garb of shirt and pants, and you courteously offer ‘Saleymaleykums” – the universal Muslim greeting – to village elders, and take care to greet the ones who have accompanying bodyguards with Kalashnikovs hanging from their shoulders with special deference. Sometimes they allow you to hold it, and you shutter with envy whenever you feel the weight of power nestled in between your scrawny arms. It’s as cool as having a car.

Just as you are about to round the corner you see clouds of dust rising approximately from the area of your home – they’re not the fire-induced, billowing sort, but dark enough to force you to pick up your pace. You round the corner and see a crowd of white-garbed men surrounding your mud-brick house which is now in shambles, among which the strewn bodies of your mother and little sister are buried.

Now, look up. You see something in the sky*, a plane for sure, but you’re unsure because it didn’t seem large enough to fit a man. And if you had super-vision, you would realize that there were no windows either, but just a tiny orb of a camera attached to the underbelly. Back on earth the men are muttering to each other and agreeing that the Americans and their puppet Pakistani government are responsible for the carnage and destruction. You feel something stirring in you – raw, blind anger, probably – and swear to avenge their deaths. You want to strike back – but at who? Or rather, what? – and even if your fantasy of possessing a super-accurate bazooka that could snipe any plane out of the sky became a reality, the falling wires, metal, and glass raining down from above would not satiate your bloodlust for real, guilty flesh. What would you feel then?

Link to what life is really like in Waziristan, the NW corner of Pakistan and current battleground for the War on Terror.

*In all likelihood catching sight of a Drone would not be possible as they usually fly above 30,000 feet.


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