Skip to comments.Obama’s Drone Wars Undermine American Values
Posted on 04/29/2014 4:33:44 AM PDT by Kaslin
Earlier this month, CIA-operated drones killed as many as 55 people in Yemen in several separate strikes. Although it was claimed that those killed were militants, according to press reports at least three civilians were killed and at least five others wounded. That makes at least 92 U.S. drone attacks against Yemen during the Obama administration, which have killed nearly 1,000 people including many civilians.
The latest strikes seem to contradict President Obamas revised guidelines for targeted killings, which he announced last May. At the time he claimed that drones would only be used against those who posed a continuing and imminent threat to the American people, that there must be a near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured, and that safeguards to prevent civilian casualties were at the highest standard we can set.
None of these criteria seem to have been met. In fact, the threshold in Yemen is considerably lower than the president claims. In 2012 President Obama approved signature strikes in Yemen, a criteria for attack that is not based on actual or suspected wrongdoing, but rather on a vague set of behaviors that are said to be shared by militants.
This means that the individuals killed in the most recent drone attacks were not necessarily terrorists or even terrorist suspects. They were not proven to have committed any crime, nor were they proven to have been members of al-Qaeda or any terrorist organization. Yet they were nevertheless targeted for attack, and the sovereignty of Yemen was violated in the process.
Some may claim that we need to kill suspected terrorists overseas so that we can be safer at home. But do the drone attacks in places like Yemen really make us safer? Or are they actually counter-productive? One thing we do know is that one of the strongest recruiting tools for al-Qaeda is the US being over there using drones against people or occupying Muslim countries.
How can we get rid of all the people who may seek to do us harm if our drone and occupation policies continually create even more al-Qaeda members? Are we not just creating an endless supply of tomorrows terrorists with our foolish policies today? What example does it set for the rest of the world if the US acts as if it has the right to kill anyone, anywhere, based simply on that individuals behavior?
We should keep all of this in mind when the US administration lectures world leaders about how they should act in the 21st century. Recently, the US administration admonished Russian president Vladimir Putin for his supposed interference in the affairs of Ukraine, saying that violating the sovereignty of another country is not the 21st century way of conducting international relations. I agree that sovereignty must be respected. But what about the US doing the same thing in places like Yemen? What about the hundreds and even thousands killed by US drones not because they were found guilty of a crime, but because they were exhibiting behaviors that led a CIA drone operator safely hidden in New Mexico or somewhere to pull the trigger and end their lives?
What about a president who regularly meets in secret with his advisors to determine who is to be placed on a kill list and who refuses to even discuss the criteria for placement on that list? Is this considered acceptable 21st century behavior?
The Obama Administration needs to rein in the CIA and its drone attacks overseas. They make a mockery of American values and they may well make us less safe.
Obama drone wars are an example of American values, Obama has re- made them to match his own, and now this is what the world sees
That is what “fundamental reform” is about
I’m all for killing bad guys. There should be some oversight and rules of engagement, but I’m not knowledgeable enough to suggest what that would look like.The stats presented look excessive, but without knowing the rationale for each strike, I can’t comment.
No, it is asymetrical war fare. It is an effective way of dealing with the problem
If the enemies must hide behind women and children, then they become enemy combatants and are entitled to die along with the principles. They are not innocents. They are not civilians.
The NeoCon republicans and Liberal Interventionist democrats join to say Obama isn't killing enough with the drones.
The Realists, composed of republicans and democrats, say we should do(in this case kill with drones) what is in the US's interest but not do it for idealistic reasons.
How many of those drones are really under US military control?
If 3 “civilians” are killed along w 55 “militants”, it is the “collateral damage” of war.
If the numbers were reversed, I'd be more concerned.
These are an enemy who have chosen their battlefield tactics of IEDs and directing suicide bombers and shooters.
We are under no obligation to leave them untouched simply because they surround themselves with family as they plot and scheme.
At some point the families learn their fathers are a pariah.
Booo(Bleeping)Hoooo—and this is what’s wrong with dear Ron P.
They ain’t ‘peeple’—they are ENEMIES. Yes, we as a country and as a people have ENEMIES—and they want to kill each and every one of us singly or in huge chunks. Remember 9/11? That was a big chunk—and they ALL would do it again in a hot second if given the opportunity. Daniel Perle was a smaller chunk—but they would happily decapitate YOU if given the opportunity.
Some of these ENEMIES even carry US passports. So what??
We lack the guts to actually give our ENEMY a name. I wish we would, but I will take what I can get.
Don’t be deceived into thinking that our actions CAUSE anything over in the ME. They’ve only been at it for 1400 years or so, and don’t look like stopping anytime soon.
Wait till he starts using them on Americans.
There is something despicable, base and Un-American in a "soldier" sitting in an air conditioned bunker in Florida pushing a button and killing countless people on the other side of the world.
Be aware that this technology can and will be turned on us, either by our enemies or by our own government.
There is no honor, no victory, no security in this shameless warfare.
There’s the problem. What is due process for such actions? The left is famous for saying that GWB’s tactics would create more terrorists.
“Obama Undermines American Values”
What are American values in 2014? In a multicultural society, embracing “diversity”, can there be universal values?
your thinking is outdated. we must kill the enemy, that is make lifeless, the enemy where ever found.
The war is not your daddy’s war nor your grandaddy’s war. There is no sovereign, no law. To not use weapons and resources that seek out and kill the enemy is to submit.
Tanks, artillery, F22’s B17’s are all pretty much ineffective. Platoons of rifle or mortar armed infantry are of no use.
Drones are the truly effective weapons for use against a stateless enemy that moves like a ghost.
Yes, and they'll be truly effective weapons against you when you get too uppity.
don’t sweat the small stuff.... it’s paranoid