Are We Special, Or Just Shameless?

“There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.” –Howard Zinn

Damn. There’s so much that disturbs me in the following piece, I’m not sure where to start. First, the glaring, obvious idiocy and wrongness of valuing only American lives and no one else’s. And if that’s not enough, even the ACLU makes no peep over killing people pretty much indiscriminately by means of weaponized drones, just that we should treat all victims the same, with no favoritism. Equal opportunity murders.

Enlightened self-interest, is that what we call this? I think not. In what universe does this seem enlightened? And how in hell does antagonizing people for no good reason serve our national interest? By making more enemies, so our already colossal and relentless military/security industry can make even more money? That’s all we seem to accomplish here.

And (occasionally, selectively) saying we’re sorry will never cut it. If my child or my grandmother were being maimed or slaughtered, such an “apology” would be beyond the final, deadly, unforgivable insult.

+++++++++++++++

Obama Apologized for the Drone Killings of Two Western Victims. What About Everyone Else?

Common Dreams * Thursday, May 14, 2015

by Hina Shamsi, for Blog of Rights – ACLU

On Thursday, April 23, 2015 the president took full responsibility for the deaths of one American and one Italian hostage, as he expressed his apologies. Obama’s recent response to the tragic deaths of two civilians, U.S. citizen Warren Weinstein and Italian citizen Giovanni Lo Porto, in a January 2015 “targeted killing” strike in Pakistan, was remarkable and unprecedented — yet it should not have been.

The president publicly announced the men had mistakenly been killed as a result of a U.S. strike, and he apologized for their deaths.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/world/asia/2-qaeda-hostages-were-accidentally-killed-in-us-raid-white-house-says.html?_r=0

He promised a thorough independent review of their killings. And he said their families would be compensated. All of this was exactly the right thing to do.

But the contrast between the administration’s response to the deaths of these Western — and white — civilians and those of the many hundreds of non-Western civilians who have died in the administration’s lethal force program is stark and glaring. No other victim’s family has received official acknowledgement and an apology, let alone been promised an investigation or compensation.

That’s fundamentally unfair, and it increases the hostility against the United States in countries where the CIA and the Pentagon carry out their lethal strikes.

On Wednesday, we and other leading rights groups wrote to the president, urging him to “adopt the same approach to all other U.S. counterterrorism strikes in which civilians have been injured or killed — regardless of their nationalities.”

https://www.aclu.org/letter/civil-society-joint-letter-president-obama-drone-strikes

And we provided him with examples of 10 U.S. strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, with which the administration should start its investigation and acknowledgment. Each of these strikes has been investigated by rights groups, including Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the Open Society Foundations, and some by journalists.

http://www. amnestyusa.org/research/reports/will-i-be-next-us-drone-strikes-in-pakistan

https://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/yemen1013_ForUpload_1.pdf

http://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/sites/default/files/death-drones-report-eng-20150413.pdf

All show credible evidence of civilian harm.

They include the first known U.S. cruise missile strike in southern Yemen, in December 2009.

http://www.thebureauinvestigates.com/2012/03/29/the-civilian-massacre-the-us-will-neither-confirm-nor-deny/

That strike, which killed 14 alleged “militants,” also killed at least 41 civilians, including 21 children and nine women, five of whom were pregnant at the time. We and the Center for Constitutional Rights filed a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the legal basis for the strike, any investigation into it, and information about any compensation to victims.

https://www.aclu.org/cases/foia-request-records-relating-missile-strike-al-majalah-yemen

The government has refused to provide that information.

Our list of 10 strikes also includes one in Pakistan, in October 2012, in which a woman named Mamana Bibi, aged about 65, was killed while gathering vegetables in her family’s fields in a village in North Waziristan. Amnesty International and Reprieve investigated that strike and found that nine children were injured in it, including several of Mamana Bibi’s grandchildren.

http://www.reprieve.org.uk/case-study/nabila-and-rehman-family/

Of course, the Obama administration — and Congress and the courts — must do much more to ensure meaningful transparency about and oversight over our government’s “targeted” killing program. Together with Columbia Law Professor Sarah Knuckey, I recently wrote about the urgent need for robust oversight, and what a full, transparent, outside review of the entire lethal program should look like.

http://justsecurity.org/22685/full-transparent-review-u-s-targeted-killing-program-2/

What’s also important, and what our letter to President Obama emphasizes, is that there should be no distinction between the government’s response to the killings of Western and non-Western civilians. As we said of non-Western civilians who have died:

block quote

The families of those individuals are still seeking redress and accountability, and the continued refusal of your administration even to officially acknowledge their losses compounds their suffering.

block quote end

+++++++++

And yet again, I can’t provide the source URL or copyright info. Doesn’t matter if it’s given as open source or whatever. Sorry folks — guess if I knew what I was doing I’d be even more dangerous.

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About l. l. frederick

I'm pretty ordinary, so I find any number of things in the world interesting, among them: books, music, flowers, food, social justice, politics and (sometimes!) people. As for my writing, I've decided that I can be subtle and tasteful when our only problems are esthetic ones. Or when I'm dead, whichever comes first. In the meantime, read at your own risk.
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21 Responses to Are We Special, Or Just Shameless?

  1. Yes, we are indeed, quite shameless! This is exactly why I hardly post anymore. America’s hypocrisy knows no bounds and I have cussed, raged, ranted and become apoplectic over our deep and disgusting shit and it just keeps getting pumped out. If I did not stop, I would have had to have myself committed. Believe me! I AM your rage!!

    Thanks Linda!

    • Shelby, Is THAT what ‘total commitment’ is all about? Seriously, some days, a nice friendly padded cell sounds pretty good, I’ll admit. But … that wouldn’t help much either. And nowadays, don’t they prefer feeding us psychotropic drugs and giving us mentally and emotionally challenged folks our ‘freedom’ rather than taking care of us? After all, our power elites wouldn’t want to make us weak … not when they can make us helpless and hopeless instead!

      Lucky my blood pressure’s always low, I guess. Otherwise I might have imploded more than once. Still, I’m probably too damn pigheaded to quit yelling. So, sooner or later — apoplexy, here I come! Thanks for your comment, and take care of yourself! – Linda

  2. tubularsock says:

    What a happy post Linda, Tubularsock is so relieved that Obomber “. . . took full responsibility for the deaths . . .” so Tubularsock figures he’ll be going to jail. Right? What a noble gesture on our President’s part to admit he’s a murderer and take responsibility. Great.

    Well I guess that’s settled. Any more good news?

    Now just an aside: So you are saying that you and Shelby aren’t locked in a padded cell? Boy, that’s a surprise. It’s just one of those thoughts Tubularsock had awhile back and assumed it was a done deal. You are BOTH loose?

    Well, yes I am surprised.

    • Tubularsock, Yes, that is good newsabout Obama, now you mention it! Admitting guilt for two killings … out of what, thousands? But then, didn’t Reagan make noises about taking responsibility for the Iran-Contra fuckup — and he died in his bed. Hell, they’re clamoring to put his simpering mug on Mt. Rushmore ffor shit sake! Enough to make me lose my lunch, even now!
      Surprised? You? Hard to believe — I thought you knew damn near everything, even before it happens! Wait. Maybe that’s it — Shelby and I are only momentarily not yet in padded cells? Damn! And me with plants to set out yet … I’d better hustle.

      But thanks for your comment, and vote of … confidence! – Linda

  3. From my experience, Obama’s behavior is classic for a serial killer.

  4. sojourner says:

    Shameless and hypocritical! In reality, there are no words to describe this government. How does one describe this kind of insane monster?

    • Sojourner, I’d call it illegitimate, a tyranny.

      “A government that can, without trial, destroy you by simply putting on a list your name, or the name of an organization with which you are associated, is a tyranny. A government that invades other countries, and that feels free to murder people in any country it chooses, is a tyranny.” –Charley Reese
      Sounds kind of familiar, I fear. Thanks for your comment. – Linda

    • tubularsock says:

      Oh yes! Tyrannical Tyrants Tyrannically Tyrannizing Triumphantly. It is called the 5T Effect in scientific circles. Another Tubularsock scientific theory.

      Oh sure you can buy the highly expensive book, ALL THE SCIENTIFIC THEORIES YOU CAN STAND by Tubularsock. Buy your’s today!

      • Tubularsock, Oh no — another must-read tome to add to my mountain of books-pending! I either need to sleep less, read faster, or live to 275 to get through everything. Sounds like a winner though. Is there an ebook version — it’s getting crowded here.

      • sojourner says:

        How tremendously terrific and timely, it has turned me into a twisted, tiny tot of tempestuousness, Truly, truly I say, top notch and totally tried and true!

        Do you have it on books on tapes/cds? I could use it at bedtime instead of No Doze!;-)

        • ” it has turned me into a twisted, tiny tot of tempestuousness…”

          Oh wow Sojourner! No one’s ever said that about ** MY ** writing! But then, I’ve never been a god, a pope, or a highly-qualified presidential candidate either. Must be nice … and with Tubularsock’s luck, this may hit the NYT best-sellers list too. Which wouldn’t hurt the old campaign, eh?

          • sojourner says:

            Leave it to my personal hero, The Tube, The Man, to get me off track! I love alliteration!

            Tube on the NYT best seller list? Would the earth cease to turn? The momentous magnitude of such a monumental moment of mysterious mastery would mesmerize mainly the masses…. maybe!

            And don’t forget: “the rain in Spain stays mainly on the plains!”

            I can’t believe I’m this easily sidetracked. This is what my teachers use to say to my parents, “He’s so easily distracted, such a daydreamer, we don’t know what to do with him!” That’s when they put me away for a few years. No, wait, they never put me away! But they should have!!!!!

            • Consummately clever colorful commentary! Congratulations!

              Not sure what the precipitation patterns will be once global warming picks up speed — but we know there’ll be a hard rain somewhere.

              • sojourner says:

                “Not sure what the precipitation patterns will be once global warming picks up speed — but we know there’ll be a hard rain somewhere.”

                LOL!

                By my convoluted calculations, I ‘m continually confused, Californians can’t count constantly on the rains that casually fall continually on the plains in Spain! ‘Cause Californians are being criminally confined to a desert by cancerous creatures causing continual harm to the country!

  5. Sojourner, Can’t hit the ‘like’ button for some reason! Anti-alliteration gremlins? Thanks for bearing with me, I don’t always know when to quit while I’m ahead.
    Sure — our mighty candidate does most things without even breathing hard. Must be all the cross-country experience he racked up. I’ll have to try that in my next life. Or not … Crocs suck for running.

  6. Jay says:

    Good points, and scary to think of what’s to come.

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