Thursday, May 30, 2013

More Empty Words

Just four days after Obama gave a grand speech outlining his new policy that drones would be used so carefully that no civilians would be killed or injured, we used a Hellfire missile to kill a Taliban leader in Pakistan and in the process killed six other people who happened to be nearby. We do not know who all of those people were.

Obama’s claim that Hellfire missiles fired from unmanned drones will only be used when there is “near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured — the highest standard we can set,” is another case of him giving us nice words and assuming that we are really stupid. If the Hellfire missile could be used with sufficient precision to meet that asinine criteria, it would not bear the name “Hellfire” missile. In this case the missile killed the target and six other people, several of whom are unknown to us.

Does that meet the standard that Obama set just four days previously?

Of course not. There were six other people around the target, and we did not know who they were. Either that, or we had such a poor view of the target that we did not know who was around him. In either case was there a “near certainty that no civilians would be killed” when that missile was fired? On the contrary, it pretty much had to be assumed that innocent people would die, and the missile was fired anyway.

Again, why do we assume that anything that Obama says has any actual meaning? In the words of Glenn Greenwald, “Few things are as unreliable as Obama's speeches and rhetoric.”

No comments:

Post a Comment