Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Sarah Waheed: The Malalas You Don't See

"On October 24 in Northwest Pakistan, two children were injured in a drone strike authorized by the President of the United States. Other kids have been killed by similar strikes; Americans do not know their names. Unlike Malala Yousafzai, the teenager from the Swat Valley, who was shot by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education, Madonna did not dedicate a song to them, nor has Angelina Jolie spoken out on their behalf. No mass vigils have been held in their honor. Instead, people like Time magazine columnist Joe Klein defend such drone attacks as justifiable pre-emptive measures to protect “our” children, with such chilling statements as “the bottom line is: in the end, whose four year old gets killed?” This is not so different from a recent remark by former White House press defending the assassination of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki by saying that children of alleged terrorists are fair game in the US line of fire. Given the recent Washington Post report showing that secret kill lists are expanding under the euphemism “disposition matrix,” such rationalizations for the killing of children are disturbing. Obama himself has used his drone policy as a punch line for a joke—and too many liberals laughed along with him.

The media attention paid to the horrific attack on Malala Yousafzai—and the close tracking of her recovery—is certainly justifiable. Among the more poignant condemnations was that of Malalai Joya, the youngest woman to be elected to the Afghan parliament, whom Malala held up as a role model. But Malala’s plight has also been exploited, and not just by Americans who continue to support military intervention against the Taliban. Some of Pakistan’s liberal elite have used it to justify drone attacks in the name of “a higher good.” Journalist Beena Sarwar has tweeted that drone attacks amount to the lesser of two evils. One Pakistani at a vigil for Malala held up a sign reading Drones Kill So Malala Can Live. This false choice, between the drones and the Taliban, is as limited as George W. Bush’s rhetoric of “you are either with us or against us.” The nihilistic thinking of “my violence is better than your violence” also fuels the Taliban. As despicable as was the attack on Malala Yousafzai, it does not justify the drone attacks in the tribal areas of Pakistan, which continue to kill civilians like her."
Read the rest here.

Comment: Sarah Waheed makes a strong and convincing argument aimed at an American populace that has just returned the drone killer to another four years in the White House.

As I watched that vociferous fool (the man never seems to stop talking) standing with his family in front of an adoring audience I wondered what his daughters lives might be like if they were stalked by drones.

I think Waheed may think the same and even more of the same as she reaches for common decency and understanding when she ends her article with a pathetic (what else can it be?) plea for Americans to see the common humanity of those innocents killed by Obomber's drones:
"If there is any doubt about the morality of drone strikes, imagine a reverse scenario. If Pakistan’s intelligence agencies were launching drone strikes into the rural Midwest with the purpose of targeting extremist militias—and in the process were killing American children with impunity—it is doubtful that most Americans would stand for it. The children injured in drone strikes are just as much victims of the ongoing war as Malala. And unless a political solution is seriously pursued instead of a secretive military one, more lives will be needlessly lost."
In the main, I think her plea is lost on the vast majority of Americans.  It is damning thing to say but it is true.

If you doubt me just look at the fools who stayed true and blue to Obomber knowing he is a war criminal, an assassin of American citizens, and a drone killer of innocent children.

Even those who voted Republican could care less about who is killed in the phony "war on terror" that persists.

I expect very little from any of them - if anything even close to being humane.

The empire and its contents are selfish and brutish.  It cares very little for those it kills to secure its stuff.  All that matters is that it gets its stuff.


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