A plethora of articles have been written highlighting the Obama Administrations expanding drone war, the United States’ unchecked militarism, and the laundry-list of deaths Obama’s ‘because we can‘ remote-controlled imperial policy has caused:
A little Pakistani girl named Shakira who was burned beyond recognition by a U.S. drone and left for dead in a trashcan, the children of Dande Darpa Khel village, in North Waziristan, who were surrounded by their parents’ charred bodies, not knowing they were dead, after a U.S. drone attacked their mud house; killing not only their mother and father but their 7 year-old brother Syed Wali Shah. In the district of Datta Khel an airstrike killed four people who were living in one large room including Naeemullah, a boy of 10 or 11, “his body burned and wounded by missile pieces and burns.“ In November a U.S. drone killed a 16-Year-Old Pakistani boy named Tariq Aziz, and his 12 year-old cousin, days after he attended anti-drone organizing meeting; Aziz had been documenting U.S. drone strikes near his home and had lost his cousin 18 months earlier.
Obama’s covert drone war has reached even Somalia, with deadly results; in September the southern Somali port city of Kismayo was attacked by US drones, killing at least nine civilians, including women and children.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has documented at least 306 strikes from remotely piloted drones that have killed, until now, 2,959 people, 175 of them children. Over 85% of these strikes have been launched by the administration of US President Barack Obama.
Stephen M. Walt of Foreign Policy writes that just “the last two decades, less than ten percent of U.S. history, account for more than 25 percent of the nation’s total wartime.” Yet still, many Americans look at Obama’s extensive, far-reaching, drone apparatus with child-like awe, this ability to strike an alleged ‘enemy’ from a distance, much like a video game.
Greg Miller for the Washington Post writes:
“In the space of three years, the [Obama] administration has built an extensive apparatus for using drones to carry out targeted killings of suspected terrorists and stealth surveillance of other adversaries. The apparatus involves dozens of secret facilities, including two operational hubs on the East Coast, virtual Air Force cockpits in the Southwest and clandestine bases in at least six countries on two continents.”
And lest we forget the highly publicized, and quickly forgotten, extra-judicial killing of Anwar Al-Awlaki and his son – Glenn Greenwald writes for Salon:
“Two weeks after the U.S. killed American citizen Anwar Awlaki with a drone strike in Yemen — far from any battlefield and with no due process — it did the same to his 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki, ending the teenager’s life on Friday along with his 17-year-old cousin and seven other people.”
And yet still we see that outright war-crimes are being dismissed by the mainstream media as simply “adventurism” – liberal pundits see Obama’s covert drone-war as simply reckless foreign policy instead of what they are: crimes against humanity. Because the Commander-in-Chief is now of the Democratic flavor we see that those who once denounced the former Bush Administration for abusing human rights are now singing Obama’s praises, despite irrefutable evidence that the Obama Administration has not only continued Bush policies but furthered them.
Just as they were for the Bush Administration, the people of the “third world” are expendable; the children that are found burned, charred, left for dead in trash-bins and rubble heaps in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia are a necessary sacrifice, in order to carry out the Obama Administrations military and imperialist objective – the objective in this case being to tighten the United States’ grip on the Middle East and North Africa.
A member of Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki’s memorial page writes, profoundly:
“What line is left [for Obama] to cross? The answer is: one line – numbers.”
(Crossposted on Roqayah Chamseddine’s blog The Cynical Arab)