Pakistanis hold up a burning mock drone aircraft during a 2011 rally against drone attacks in Peshawar.
Why do “they” hate us? The answer ought to be so obvious that there’s no need to actually explain it. Glenn Greenwald (the whole post is well worth reading):
Far from believing that another 9/11 can’t happen, I’m amazed that it hasn’t already, and am quite confident that at some point it will. How could any rational person expect their government to spend a full decade (and counting) invading, droning, cluster-bombing, occupying, detaining without charges, and indiscriminately shooting huge numbers of innocent children, women and men in multiple countries and not have its victims and their compatriots be increasingly eager to return the violence?
…I realize that screaming “9/11” has been the trite tactic of choice for those seeking to justify the U.S. Government’s militarism over the last decade, but invoking that event strongly militates against the policies it’s invoked to justify, precisely because those policies are the principal cause of such attacks, for obvious reasons.
…Anwar Awlaki was once such a moderate that he vehemently denounced the 9/11 attacks, got invited to the Pentagon to speak, and hosted a column in The Washington Post on Islam — but then became radicalized by the constant post-9/11 killing of Muslims by his country (the U.S.).
There are plenty of intelligent people in the White House, the State Department, and the Pentagon. Why is our foreign policy so boneheaded?
“We are concerned that the use of such ‘signature’ strikes could raise the risk of killing innocent civilians or individuals who may have no relationship to attacks on the United States,” the members of Congress, led by Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), wrote Wednesday in a letter to Obama. “Our drone campaigns already have virtually no transparency, accountability or oversight. We are further concerned about the legal grounds for such strikes under the 2001 Authorization for the Use of Military Force.”
“The implications of the use of drones for our national security are profound,” they added. “They are faceless ambassadors that cause civilian deaths, and are frequently the only direct contact with Americans that the targeted communities have. They can generate powerful and enduring anti-American sentiment.”
UPDATE: Ibrahim Mothana: How Drones Help Al Qaeda
Anti-Americanism is far less prevalent in Yemen than in Pakistan. But rather than winning the hearts and minds of Yemeni civilians, America is alienating them by killing their relatives and friends. Indeed, the drone program is leading to the Talibanization of vast tribal areas and the radicalization of people who could otherwise be America’s allies in the fight against terrorism in Yemen.
UPDATE: Clive Stafford Smith: I Met a 16-Year-Old Kid. 3 Days Later Obama Killed Him
UPDATE: UN Investigator Says Drone Strikes May Constitute War Crimes
Killings may be lawful in an armed conflict but many targeted killings take place far from areas where it’s recognized as being an armed conflict. [If] there have been secondary drone strikes on rescuers who are helping [the injured] after an initial drone attack, those further attacks are a war crime.