It was January 23, 2009, Obama’s third day in office.
Unbeknownst to those who were still celebrating his victory, Obama, with perhaps a tad too much pep in his step, whipped into action and ordered his first drone strike.
The bombs were dropped — same day delivery — on a small village called Gangi Khel in north Pakistan. In all, the missiles killed 25 people. Not one person, come to find out, was even potentially a terrorist.
In fact, the reported “compound” they bombed was not a compound at all. It was actually the home of a 14-year-old student named Faheem Qureshi.
Qureshi stood by as the missile ripped through his house and into the family’s guest lounge, where his two uncles, his cousin and his neighbors sat, talking and sipping tea.
Miraculously, he survived the blast and was admitted into the hospital with a fractured skull, shrapnel in his stomach, and completely blind. He was released a full forty days later with his vision repaired in one eye. It was only then that he heard that his two uncles and cousin had died.
Also, another bomb, Qureshi learned, on the same day his house was struck, hit the home of Malik Gulistan Khan — a leader of the village’s local peace committee. Khan died alongside his nephew and three sons, the youngest of which was only three.
These are only a few of the thousands of people who “got too close” to American drone missiles in the Middle East and Africa. Many of them innocent men, women and children.
Yet, the only lip service Obama has given the world of his “profound regret” of any “collateral damage” was after a strike committed on the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. And he only paid his respects because they accidentally killed two western hostages.
“Are we not the same human beings,” Qureshi asked an American journalist, with the help of a translator, “as these two westerners who were killed?”
“What we know of the US,” Qureshi later told the Guardian, “is this is what they do to people like me. They uproot us, they kill us, they target us, without any reason. They turn our lives upside down. Of course the U.S. is hated in that part of the world, and it’s hated more because of what they’ve done to people like me.”
Later, in December of 2009, the year ended in the same way it began.
According to the indie media company In These Times:
“On December 17, 2009, a cruise missile packed with cluster munitions (whose use is proscribed in much of the world) slammed into the small Yemeni village of al-Majalah, killing 59, including 21 children and nine women, five of them pregnant.
“…this kind of remote warfare would become the Obama administration’s signature approach to military engagement. Less than a decade after a U.S. ambassador had chided Israel for its policy of ‘targeted assassinations’ — describing them as ‘extrajudicial killings’ — Obama would not only sanction assassinations, he would take them to another level.”
Obama has, since then, approved tens of thousands of bombs that were dropped in a total of seven predominantly Muslim countries.
He’s also signed the NDAA into law, which made it legal for the American government to assassinate Americans without the need of a trial or even a charge. And then he assassinated four U.S. citizens with drones.
Do you remember what the Left’s reaction to all of this was? If not, I’ll remind you. They became the quietest crickets in the country.
Very strange. Because, we recall when Bush was president, you couldn’t throw a molotov cocktail without setting aflame an antiwar protester calling Bush a war criminal.
(Which, for the record, I agree with them. Like father like son.)
Let’s see here…
So why aren’t these same people out there protesting Obama’s illegal killing sprees? Well, that’s simple. It’s because they’re hypocrites.
If people are dying at the hands of a Democrat, it would appear, those deaths must be inherently justified. Only Republicans are not allowed to use the apparatus of the State to bomb brown towns to bits!
Before we go any further, full disclosure: I only distinguish the “Left” and “Right” out of formality.
They are, from an outsider’s perspective, basically the same beast.
But since they still think of themselves as different, we’ll play along.
Conservatives claim they want small government, but are OK with an enormously wasteful and endlessly destructive military.
They lambaste the Democrats for supporting welfare, but then fail to see any irony in the fact that they, too, suckle the teet of the Welfare State.
At the tippy-top of the pyramid, for example, they embrace it through vast amounts of corporate welfare. And, of course, at the bottom, they protect their Social Security welfare ponzi-scheme like it’s their only job.
We do have to give props to the Left. Because unlike the Right, the Left is at least honest about its love for abusing State power.
But the abuse is only acceptable, of course, as long as “the good guys” are doing it. (Meaning, as long as “their guy” is at the plate.)
Which is why, in case you ever find yourself at a stuffy dinner party, here’s some Champagne Leftist etiquette. (Hey, you never know.)
[Trigger Warning: Some of the content in this short guide will be offensive to those disconnected with reality.]
OK. First rule: Be the person who can dance on eggshells. Meaning, always keep the conversation light as a feather and stiff as a board.
For example, it’s not polite to bring up that Obama personally initiated a secret kill list, of which he closely oversees.
That might deeply offend someone.
Never imply that Obama started new wars in Iraq, Somalia, Nigeria and Libya.
And if it happens to slip out, definitely don’t bring up that he did it all without congressional approval. While it’s all true, it’s never going to be relevant to the conversation.
It would be considered impolite to point out that Obama started a covert drone war in Yemen. Because while everyone in the room will clearly have compassion for the poor souls of Yemen, Obama did what he had to do.
Don’t say, either, that he escalated the CIA drone war in Pakistan. And, oh yeah, in Afghanistan, too.
And, finally, don’t tell anyone that Obama deployed Special Ops missions to a befuddling 134 countries — more than twice as many as Bush’s 60.
Instead, talk about how many refugees we should let into the United States.
And there, you’ll see the hypocrisy: The Left’s hypocrisy, among many others, is that it speaks up for the refugees, but utters few words for the victims of the bombings.
It wants to help defend Muslims, but only from harsh words from the mouths of Trump and the Republicans. Not from the missiles being dropped on their villages.
And what’s the Right’s biggest hypocrisy? Well, they like war. Soo… they dislike the Democrats because… uhh… the Dems want to expand the role of government?
(Are we getting this right?)
If we’re being honest, Obama did precisely the same thing nearly all Republican candidates would’ve done in his shoes.
They would’ve, no doubt, let the Deep State carry them right into an ongoing — and nonstop — conflict in the Middle East, financing it all through debt, further impoverishing the country. And, of course, they would let the Fed maintain the wheel of the economic war machine. And the State would grow and grow.
Which is the same path the Crazy Train was already headed in.
War, you see, was necessary. As mentioned yesterday, the formula is simple: “War is the Health of the State.”
So… Left vs. Right?
You’re all a bunch of [expletive deleted] hypocrites.
Managing editor, Laissez Faire Today