America Loves Drone Strikes

This graph shows everything we need to know about the geopolitical reality of Predator Drones (coming soon to the skies of America to hunt down fugitives?).

The American public loves drone strikes:

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The American public does not approve of the extrajudicial killing of American citizens. But for everyone else, it’s open season.

But everyone else — most particularly and significantly, the countries in the Muslim world — largely hates and resents drone strikes.

And it is the Muslim world that produces the radicalised extremists who commit acts like 9/11, 7/7, the Madrid bombings, and the Bali bombings.  With this outpouring of contempt for America’s drone strikes, many analysts are coming to believe that Obama’s drone policy is now effectively a recruitment tool for al-Qaeda, the Taliban and similar groups:

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Indeed, evidence is beginning to coalesce to suggest exactly this. PressTV recently noted:

The expanding drone war in Yemen, which often kills civilians, does in fact cause blowback and help al-Qaeda recruitment – as attested to by numerous Yemen experts, investigative reporting on the ground, polling, testimony from Yemen activists, and the actual fact that recent bungled terrorist attacks aimed at the U.S. have cited such drone attacks as motivating factors.

After another September drone strike that killed 13 civilians, a local Yemeni activist told CNN, “I would not be surprised if a hundred tribesmen joined the lines of al-Qaeda as a result of the latest drone mistake. This part of Yemen takes revenge very seriously.”

“Our entire village is angry at the government and the Americans,” a Yemeni villager named Mohammed told the Post. “If the Americans are responsible, I would have no choice but to sympathize with al-Qaeda because al-Qaeda is fighting America.”

Many in the U.S. intelligence community also believe the drone war is contributing to the al-Qaeda presence in Yemen. Robert Grenier, who headed the CIA’s counter-terrorism center and was previously a CIA station chief in Pakistan, told The Guardian in June that he is “very concerned about the creation of a larger terrorist safe haven in Yemen.”

“We have gone a long way down the road of creating a situation where we are creating more enemies than we are removing from the battlefield,” he said regarding drones in Yemen.

Iona Craig reports that civilian casualties from drone strikes “have emboldened al-Qaeda” and cites the reaction to the 2009 U.S. cruise missile attack on the village of al-Majala in Yemen that killed more than 40 civilians (including 21 children):

That one bombing radicalized the entire area,” Abdul Gh ani al-Iryani, a Yemeni political analyst, said. “All the men and boys from those families and tribes will have joined [al-Qaeda] to fight.

And al-Qaeda’s presence and support in Yemen has grown, not shrunk since the start of the targeted killing program:

Meanwhile Yemen Central Security Force commander Brig. Gen. Yahya Saleh, nephew of ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, told Abdul-Ahad that al-Qaeda has more followers, money, guns and territory then they did a year and a half ago.

All at a time when Yemen is facing a “catastrophic” food crisis, with at least 267,000 children facing life-threatening levels of malnutrition. Hunger has doubled since 2009, and the number of displaced civilians is about 500,000 and rising.

As U.S. drones drop bombs on south Yemen villages and AQAP provides displaced civilians with “free electricity, food and water,” tribes in the area are becoming increasingly sympathetic to AQAP.

Let’s be intellectually honest. If a country engages in a military program that carries out strikes that kill hundreds of civilians — many of whom having no connection whatever with terrorism or radicalism — that country is going to become increasingly hated. People in the countries targeted — those who may have lost friends, or family members — are going to plot revenge, and take revenge. That’s just how war works. It infuriates. It radicalises. It instils hatred.

The reality of Obama’s drone program is to create new generations of America-hating radicalised individuals, who may well go on to be the next Osama bin Laden, the next Ayman al-Zawahiri, the next Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The reality for Obama’s drone program is that it is sowing the seeds for the next 9/11 — just as American intervention in the middle east sowed the seeds for the last, as Osama bin Laden readily admitted.

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17 thoughts on “America Loves Drone Strikes

  1. Exactly. In fact, imperialism & colonization are basically the main drivers behind extremism in the Middle East and other Asian regions. Lets put it this way, or in American lingo … if someone invades an American’s home illegally, the American has the right to bring out his/her rifle to protect his/her property and shoot the invader. As the study suggests, Americans are brainwashed to consider themselves as the special ones deserving special rights. In my opinion, the attitude that has infested Israel for years has seeped into the US; one of the main reasons why other countries (including allies) dislike and distrust the US govt.

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  3. Terrorists were able to construct their own cruise missiles, as we in the U.S. found out in 2001. No lesson was learned here from the experience. I have the idea that drones are even more amenable to imitation or possibly capture by small groups, although nothing has happened yet (that I know about).

  4. Let’s say you’re a regular guy [5'10", 165 lbs.] out in the middle of nowhere and you are quite hungry. Armed with your hunting knife, you see an animal of prey.

    As you stealthily approach the animal, you notice [out of the corner of your eye] a competitive hunter who also is stalking the same prey. He is 6’10″, 290 lbs., and in perfect physical condition. Although also armed with a hunting knife, he has a magnum .44, an uzi, two grenade launchers, a three hundred pound cross bow, a sniper’s rife, and a few other weapons hanging of off him.

    Who gets the prey?

    This is what it has ALWAYS come down to, and people accept it. I have no idea why, but people do accept it as the way it is.

    This is why the collective version of mankind is insane, by definition.

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  10. The Internet is a wonderful thing. You get to read all sorts of information, some of it utter crap some of it interesting. The point being there are millions of perspectives, we are no longer dependent on the old model of the mass media…framing events for us.

    One article I read said that Israel for example create terrorists by design. They arrange for certain people to have their whole families killed, leaving behind a angry, bitter and vengeful survivor who has nothing left to lose. So these will go on to become suicide bombers. Similarly with the lawless prisons created by the US in Guantanamo…they are all designed to recruit terrorists. The US is a welfare/warfare economy…they need wars because they make domestic populations easier to control and manage. New laws restricting individual liberties are enacted empowering the state and those who control the state machinery. The technology which goes into developing drones is funded by tax dollars…these drive the defense contractors profits and the opportunity cost of using the funds on social projects is lost. Chomsky said they are shrinking the cage floor so that we are all more restricted, chasing fewer opportunities and competing, fearful. The perfect control mechanism.

    Off Topic:

    I always accepted that the US had sent men to the moon. It was unquestioned. Recently I very skeptically started to read articles about the possibility of the US faking the whole event. I thought the people thinking like this must be crazy conspiracy theorists with too much time on their hands…what possible reason can there be for doubting this??!!

    But the more I read the more doubtful did the NASA/US moon landings become. Perhaps they did go but the film that they made about it was made on earth. I do not know. If they faked that what else have they faked? What other lies are we fed? The reality we live under is all fake/false..if millions of people start to see this…they are in big trouble. People need to be distracted, drugged, scared…they need to stop finding the truth on the internet and confine themselves to ‘officially sanctioned’ ideas. The Internet is dangerous.

    • Let’s say the U.S. didn’t go to the moon? Who cares?

      The reality of life is that you have no control over what is happening outside of yourself. Even if you understood the truth of what was going on, you do not have the tools to decipher it.

      So let it go and concentrate on what you can know, and that is what is in your heart. Once you do this, then only helping other people becomes important, and all these other things recede into the background.

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