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May 24 2014

The Greatest Show On Earth

(4 PM – promoted by TheMomCat)



Tom Englehardt this morning on Facebook:

Can it be? More than a decade later, is it possible that somewhere in the world of power in Washington there are actually officials who have finally grasped that the drone war on terror is a war of terror, that no matter how many “militants” and “leaders” of al-Qaeda and al-Qaeda wannabe organizations it kills, it kills enough others to create whole ranks of people — family members, tribal associates — who want revenge. It’s been obvious for such a long time that the drone wars are a machine for the creation of more enemies and for the destabilization of societies, just not in Washington. Now, Reuters reports that some in Washington are starting to wonder about the efficacy of drone attacks (even as the use of drones, mostly but not totally unarmed ones) is spreading across Africa. I guess it’s never too late. Tom

“[A recent drone attack in Yemen with civilian casualties] was a stark reminder that a year after Obama laid out new conditions for drone attacks around the world, U.S. forces are failing to comply fully with the rules he set for them: to strike only when there is an imminent threat to Americans and when there is virtually no danger of taking innocent lives.

“Although Obama promised greater transparency in his speech at the National Defense University, U.S. lawmakers are increasingly critical of the secrecy surrounding the operations. Despite some spectacular drone hits that took out militant leaders in places such as Yemen and Pakistan, there are growing concerns in Washington that the net effect of the targeted-killing program may be counterproductive. ‘Collateral damage’ is seen as an al Qaeda recruiting tool that undercuts the main rationale for the drone campaign – to make Americans safer.

“‘It’s never a good idea to make more enemies than you get rid of,’ a former U.S. national security official said.

“In his speech on May 23 last year, Obama defended the drone program as effective while promising to narrow its scope, but he is showing no sign of relinquishing what has become his counterterrorism weapon of choice since he took office in 2009.”

Obama’s Drone War Shows No Signs of Ending

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