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How Can Anyone Still Like Obama?

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In this country President Obama still enjoys a hallowed reputation which he earned way back in 2008. A reputation as a man of peace, which earned him a Nobel peace prize the following year. It could be argued that there has never been a less deserving winner, until you realise Henry Kissinger somehow got his hands on the award back in 1973.

On Tuesday a major article appeared in The New York Times discussing the Obama administrations (counter) terrorism methods.

For those who don’t know, the favoured weapon of the administration is the drone, a UAV controlled from a base in Nevada to unleash horror on civilians and enemy combatants alike. It has been used in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia in Obama’s escalation of Middle Eastern wars.

Obama loves this weapon with all his heart, and from reading the article clearly enjoys choosing the people that the drones will send to their doom. Here’s an excerpt from it:

"Mr. Obama has placed himself at the helm of a top secret “nominations” process to designate terrorists for kill or capture, of which the capture part has become largely theoretical. He had vowed to align the fight against Al Qaeda with American values; the chart, introducing people whose deaths he might soon be asked to order, underscored just what a moral and legal conundrum this could be.

Mr. Obama is the liberal law professor who campaigned against the Iraq war and torture, and then insisted on approving every new name on an expanding “kill list,” poring over terrorist suspects’ biographies on what one official calls the macabre “baseball cards” of an unconventional war."

So how do Obama and his team decide on who dies and who survives for a while longer? According to the report about once a week about 100 national security members meet to go over PowerPoint biographies of suspects, when a target is selected the nominations go to the White House where Obama gives them his seal of approval.

Drone attacks have caused destruction and civilian casualties at every turn. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism has recorded drone strikes in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. In Pakistan at least 2,500 people have been killed by drones, at least 484 have been civilians. That doesn’t sound like a lot, that’s because the Obama administration has deliberately blurred the lines between militant and civilian. As Glenn Greenwald and NYT reported, a militant is defined by the Obama administration as ‘all military aged males in a strike zone’; this allows them to stretch the truth of who a militant is.

The noxious tactic used by the US is called the double strike. One drone missile attacks a contingent of people, as more people rush to help the victims of the first strike a second missile is launched killing them as well. An example of this took place on May 16th 2009 in Waziristan (Pakistan) when 29 people were killed in this manner.

So whilst you talk about how cool Obama is by appearing on chat shows and cracking jokes remember what the man is doing. Sanctioning extra judicial murder via remote controlled machines, picking targets and signing their death warrants. If this was George Bush people would rightly be furious, but this is St Obama, Nobel peace prize winner.

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