The American Bear


IT WAS IN SEPTEMBER 2006 that I heard a drone for the first time, flying over the mud-walled village of Ali Khel, a couple of miles west of Miram Shah. It was a hot summer night, too hot in the house of the building-contractor friend with whom I was staying, so I had gone out to sleep in the open along with several laborers who worked for him. The men were telling me about their travels in Afghanistan, how they would cross the border to fight for the Taliban and then return after a week or two to North Waziristan to work and make some money. Then I heard the buzzing, far above our heads — like a bee, but heavier and unceasing, drifting in and out of earshot. The laborers said nothing. My Drone War | Pir Zubair Shah