Drone Carnage, Children Slaughtered: The Moral Question Obama Can’t Evade

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Indeed, with what peace of mind can President Obama sleep when even children get slaughtered in the drone assaults that he now personally approves? Appallingly enough, as part of his drone adventurism he has decreed that everyone within the vicinity of the targeted object be deemed a combatant, even if civilian, and liable to be decimated.

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Doesn’t Obama’s conscience gets pricked when the Hellfire missile takes in its killer sweep a child playing with toys in his home or a mother feeding her baby in her compound?

It doubtlessly is a damning report that the researchers of an American universities have delivered on America’s drone adventurism. It succinctly brings out what a horrendous toll it has been exacting on innocent civilian lives and keeping the whole lot of the populace in the targeted areas in constant dread of drones and their fatal assaults.

The psychological impact on people is just terrible, it underlines. But will this report have any impact on the American strategists at all? Not even an outside chance.

At this time these times, civil society worldwide is up in protest against this American adventurism. It wants it to be stopped as this leads inevitably to the killing of civilians indefensibly. For this brutal collateral damage, even the UN human rights community is raising its voice increasingly loudly against the use of drone attacks by the American warlords to take out targets they deem a threat to American lives and assets.

The main plea of the dissenting voices is that the drones may be killing the terrorists, but no less are they mowing down innocent civilians who have nothing to do with terrorism. There indeed are very many voices that do not condone even the killing of terrorists in drone attacks, equating it with extrajudicial murder. They argue that no law, national or international, provides for the killing of a criminal or a suspect. Instead, every effort must be made to arrest them and bring them to justice in a court of law.

Nonetheless, all these pleas have fallen on deaf ears in Washington, so far. The decision makers over there remain unimpressed by the factual reality that these drone assaults are in fact proving counterproductive and creating more recruits for terrorism and extremism. Even as this drone adventurism is palpably giving a tremendous fillip to anti-Americanism worldwide, the American warlords yet stay unswayed. They are keeping up with it. Indeed, since the advent of Barack Obama’s presidency, they have further intensified it, raising a moral question that they must answer.

On what ground can they justify the killing of an innocent civilian even as collateral damage? The 9/11 holocaust was horrible, precisely because those slaughtered were no combatants but innocent civilians. And so has to be the killing of civilians in the drone strikes. Indeed, with what peace of mind can President Obama sleep when even children get slaughtered in the drone assaults that he now personally approves? Appallingly enough, as part of his drone adventurism he has decreed that everyone within the vicinity of the targeted object be deemed a combatant, even if civilian, and liable to be decimated.

The extent of his adventurism’s viciousness can easily be visualised from the destructive range of the Hellfire missile fired by drones. It not only destroys the struck target. It annihilates the compounds and assets in close vicinity and kills the human beings in and around them. Doesn’t Obama’s conscience gets pricked when the Hellfire missile takes in its killer sweep a child playing with toys in his home or a mother feeding her baby in her compound? What sin have they committed to meet such a tragic demise? Or do he and his war commanders think that the child, the mother and the baby should perish as they are not Americans and their lives are not even worth a dime?

Here there is certainly a moral question that is becoming increasingly compelling with each passing day and the American warlords can no longer evade answering it. So prompt they have always been in raising the issue of extrajudicial killings elsewhere in the world. And that promptness they have now to show in their own case. Of course, one could have no sympathy or compassion for those who kill and maim the fellow human beings in suicide bombings and terrorist blasts. But the murder of those having nothing to do with terrorism in the US drone attacks cannot be acceptable either and on no pretext could it be condoned or justified.


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