By Dr. Ismail Salami
In the midst of a crisis which has in recent weeks created a political chasm between Russia and the United States, there is an ongoing carnage in the name of combating terrorism against Yemen, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Somalia.
The story of the CIA-led killer drones which are killing women and children on a daily basis is a tale accorded inexcusably scant attention in media. Indeed it is being ignored.
Just recently, the US director of national intelligence James Clapper ordered US senators to remove a provision from a major intelligence bill that would require the president to publicize information about drone strikes and their victims.
The bill originally required the president to release a yearly report clarifying the total number of “combatants” and “noncombatant civilians” killed or injured by drone strikes in the previous year.
Reports clearly indicate the number of drone attacks on Muslim countries has increased tremendously since Barack Obama took office in 2009. Quite ironically, the man who was initially compared to Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize nine months later.
I for one always presumed that George W. Bush was a political retard who thought he was burdened with a messianic mission and that he felt he had to save the world. Quite naturally, the election of a colored president in the US engendered some false hope that there might appear tangible political upheavals in the country in its approach towards the world in general and toward the Muslim world in particular.
To the dismay of many, this dream was however shattered altogether to be ensued by an era of apocalyptic darkness and escalating mass murders in the international arena.
According to the New America Foundation, a Washington-based public-policy institute, Obama authorized 193 drone strikes in Pakistan alone from 2009 to 2011, that is, over four times the number of attacks that President George W. Bush authorized during his two terms.
To date, the liar-in-chief has only acknowledged that the United States has killed four Americans in drone strikes. According to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, Obama has launched over 390 covert drone strikes in his first five years in office and thousands of civilians have been killed in the strikes.
The drone warfare is indeed a war in disguise, a form of war meant to lull American public who are manifestly fed up with their government’s military interventions on the one hand and to vindicate their gory policies through a mechanism of invisibility on the other.
Contrary to their claims that the drones are only used to wipe out the al-Qaida elements in different parts of the Muslim world, their strikes have however proven to kill civilians. Women and children are unfortunately among the routine victims of their ‘targeted’ assassinations.
For the US government, war has taken a new shape, ranging from cyberwar to drone strikes, from assassinations to other forms of covert operations.
It is agonizingly sad to see that certain governments including Pakistan and Yemen have been even collaborating with the CIA, providing them with the space for their inhumane intrusion.
A known victim of the assassination drones attacks is Pakistan which had long declined to admit that it had been aware of the attacks and that it had even helped the US government. In 2011, ex-Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf acknowledged that his government clandestinely signed off on US drone attacks. It was actually part of a deal by Washington to help retain the Pakistani strongman in power.
A cable sent in August 2008 and later posted online by Wikileaks, then-US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson mentioned a discussion about drones during a meeting that also involved Malik and then-Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.
“Malik suggested we hold off alleged Predator attacks until after the Bajaur operation,” Patterson wrote. “The PM brushed aside Rehman’s remarks and said, ‘I don’t care if they do it as long as they get the right people. We’ll protest in the National Assembly and then ignore it.’ “
Yemen’s president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has also confessed that he “personally approves every US drone strike in his country and described the remotely piloted aircraft as a technical marvel that has helped reverse al-Qaeda’s gains.”
Further to that, there are third-party governments which are aiding and abetting Washington in carrying out its massacre of the civilians in Africa by allowing them to use their military sites in the country. According to a report by the German Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper, the Stuttgart-based supreme command of the United States Africa Command (US Africom) and the Air Operations Center (AOC) at the US air force base in Ramstein, in the state of Rhineland Palatinate, are directly involved in the drone attacks.
With a morbid mind, former US president George W. Bush, who was incapable of truth, commenced a series of invasions and military expeditions in the Muslim countries, caused inconceivable human losses and left a legacy of horror and bloodshed which came to be followed by his successor Barrack Obama. Then in order to keep up appearances and beguile the American public, Obama who was essentially expected to behave differently took the wars from the battlefields to the towns and exacted an irretrievable toll on the civilians under the banner of fighting terrorism.
By all standards, Obama is a brazen criminal and those who collude with him in perpetrating these acts of atrocity are no better. All of them are indeed under the watchful eyes of God and they shall meet their dismal reckoning.
As Noam Chomsky once said, “Wanton killing of innocent civilians is terrorism, not a war against terrorism.”