Nine-year-old Nabila Rehman rested her head on the table.
Nabila, a shy girl with startling hazel eyes and red streaks in her dark hair, along with her father Rafiq and 13-year-old brother Zubair have told the story of the day when a drone fell from the sky in their village in North Waziristan so many times that by Tuesday morning the tale was rote — even if this particular retelling was before U.S. lawmakers, at a briefing which was the first opportunity for members of Congress to hear directly from Pakistani victims of American drones.
It was Oct. 24, 2012, the day before the Islamic holy day of Eid-al-Adha in North Waziristan. Zubair, Nabila, their little sister, five-year-old Asma and some of their cousins were all in the fields beside their house as their grandmother, 67-year-old Momina Bibi, showed them how to tell when the okra was ripe for picking.
Zubair knew the drones were circling overhead; he has known their distinctive buzzing since he was even younger — a methodical zung, zung, zung, he says.
Photo: Jason Reed/Reuters
Our drone wars have real consequences for the innocent. We can’t keep up this murder by remote control and pretend it has no effect on hearts and minds. Attacks such as this make people pick up arms, not put them down.