Obama tries to defend his assassination drone program

This image shows former US president Barack Obama at a leadership summit in the Indian capital New Delhi on December 1, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Former US President Barack Obama has attempted to defend the unlawful use of assassination drones in his latest book.

In an excerpt from the book, A Promised Land, published in the Sunday Times ahead of its release on Tuesday, Obama said the evolving face of warfare meant that he had to resort to “more targeted, non-traditional warfare”.

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, the George W. Bush administration ordered 50 drone attacks while the Obama administration ordered more than 500 such strikes and carried out ten times more attacks with assassination drones.

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Obama ordered ten times more drone strikes than Bush

The tenfold increase compared to his predecessor, resulted in thousands of deaths in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Syria and Yemen, among other countries.

In his book, Obama justifies the part of his job of "ordering people to be killed" by saying that he preferred to educate the victims of US drone attacks.

Obama says the many youths killed by US assassin drones were "ignorant" young people from violent parts world, who were victims of "older men".

"[I] realized that around the world, in places like Yemen and Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, the lives of millions of young men ... (some of them boys ...) had been warped and stunted by desperation, ignorance, dreams of religious glory, the violence of their surroundings, or the schemes of older men. They were dangerous ... Still, in the aggregate, at least, I wanted somehow to save them— send them to school, give them a trade, drain them of the hate that had been filling their heads. And yet the world they were a part of, and the machinery I commanded, more often had me killing them instead," Obama wrote as quoted by media.

In the book, Obama claims that the changing nature of warfare required the use of new forms of battle technology to kill the enemy forces.

Obama also defended his authorization of the widespread use of US assassination drones in the world of Islam in the framework of the US-led occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq saying, Washington's rationale was "fighting terrorists on their ten-yard line and not ours.”

In 2016 alone, the Obama administration authorized the use of at least 26,171 bombs, amounting to an average of three bombs being dropped every hour, 24 hours a day, across Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Pakistan.

A recent report by Brown University in the US found that more than three million people, mostly Muslims, had likely been killed as a result of the US so-called war on terror initiated by Bush in the wake of the controversial 9/11 attacks on the United States and continued by Obama.

The report, released by the university’s Costs of War project, revealed that at least 37 million people, the majority of them civilians, had been displaced in Islamic countries targeted by the US war on terror 

The study noted that the 37 million figure of people displaced in and from Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, the Philippines, Libya, and Syria,was a “conservative estimate” and the real number might range between 48 million and 59 million.

It suggested "the scale of displacement across the eight countries surveyed likely reaches levels only seen in the Second World War". 

Many people blame the United States and the West for the violence, deaths and instability in regions occupied by the US and its allies.


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