How Many Bombed Weddings Does It Take to Unscrew US Drone Policy?

Abdullah Muhammad al-Tisi holds a photo of his son, who was killed in a US drone strike in December. Credit: Human Rights Watch
Abdullah Muhammad al-Tisi holds a photo of his son, who was killed in a US drone strike in December. Credit: Human Rights Watch

At least 35 people were killed in Yemen over the weekend in a series of U.S. drone strikes. As usual, government authorities claim those targeted and killed were al-Qaeda members. At least three civilians were confirmed to have been killed, but the true number is unknown because the Obama administration insists on keeping that information secret despite the fact that a United Nations investigator in March said that the U.S. is legally obligated to investigate and report such information.

This is the most high-profile series of strikes since last December, when the U.S. bombed a Yemeni wedding party, killing 12 people and injuring 15, including the bride. Human Rights Watch said the massacre may have violated international law. Actually, both Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International concluded in separate investigations last October that the U.S. had violated international laws of war and international humanitarian law in its drone war.

So again, questions arise over the counterproductive nature of the drone program. McClatchy reiterates what many have been saying since the beginning of the Obama administration (emphasis mine):

“We’ve told the Americans that they’ve been going about things the wrong way,” the high-ranking Yemeni military official said last week, speaking only on the condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the topic. “When it comes to the current drone policy, there have been too many mistakes.”

…The strikes have long been controversial here _ many Yemenis view them as violating their nation’s sovereignty _ and popular opposition has only grown in the two years since the start of Hadi’s presidency. While American and Yemeni officials have defended them as key tools in the battle against AQAP, their frequency has left many Yemenis aghast. Local political analysts and tribal leaders in the provinces where they occur most often argue that the telltale buzz that precedes them terrorizes the local population, spurring many to sympathize with al Qaida.

After a September 2012 drone strike in Yemen that killed 13 civilians, including three women, a Yemeni activist named Nasr Abdullah 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.”

“Just six days ago, my village was struck by a drone, in an attack that terrified thousands of simple, poor farmers,” Yemeni activist Farea Al-Muslimi told the Senate Judiciary Committee last year.

“What radicals had previously failed to achieve in my village,” al-Muslimi said, “one drone strike accomplished in an instant: there is now an intense anger and growing hatred of America,” adding that he has ”seen Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula use U.S. strikes to promote its agenda and try to recruit more terrorists.”

The December bombing of the Yemeni wedding party prompted the Yemeni Parliament to vote unanimously for a stop to drone strikes. This would seem to prohibit further U.S. strikes, based on what UN investigator Ben Emmerson said about U.S. drone strikes violating Pakistani sovereignty without express consent of the government.

But the U.S. helped install Yemen’s current dictator and they’ll be damned if the parliament presumes to have a say in the matter.

I continue to be baffled by the belief in Washington that we can bomb a country illegally, kill and terrorize a population that is already living under a U.S.-installed dictatorship, and not generate the kind of hatred that takes the form of violent attacks against America.

22 thoughts on “How Many Bombed Weddings Does It Take to Unscrew US Drone Policy?”

  1. I thought I read that Obama promised to seriously roll back his capricious drone bombing after the latest wedding party massacre and the unanimous vote by Yemen's parliament to cease and desist. Another Obama lie. This is a man without a soul, a dangerous sociopath.

  2. This is, of course, the irreproachable and stainless moral posture from which we righteously denounce Russian "aggression".

  3. maybe just stop messing with america and you wont get blown up simple…. never should have slapped a country thats gonna punch you in the face period… so long story short they started it and we will finish it

    1. Thorax – This is not the 1960's. In case you weren't paying attention, there is no more "communist half" left. If you live in the US do you really want to be bombed "into oblivion?"

  4. ya and what exactly do you think americas response to that would be…………….. dont be stupid these cops and robbers game that were playing in the middle east is nothing not even a fraction of what we are capable of our military is ready to respond to anything thats a direct threat to the homeland and bomb us hahahahahahah please dummy name a war thats ever been fought on our soil that didnt involve us taking the country or fighting each other.not 1 we are to well protected we always and always will bring the fight to your doorstep not ours!!!!!!!

  5. Provoking attacks against the USA isn't a bug, it's a feature.

    The Washington goons, and the corporations whom they serve, WANT to provoke attacks against the USA, to keep the Warfare State gravy train rolling.

  6. If our military/industrial complex was shut down and we stopped supplying 35% of the weapons supplied to the entire world, America would collapse financially. War, and promoting wars, keeps the money flowing for American defense companies. Why else is America involved in conflicts that are none of our business or impact our national security? What other reason exists for America to instigate conflicts all over the planet, overthrow democratically elected governments and prop up dictators other than to guarantee a demand for our weapons? How does the phrase go – War is the health of the state? The last thing our defense contractors, and the politicians they finance, want is peace in the world. American citizens, on the other hand, are rapidly growing sick and tired of war and those that promote wars. People like Senator John McCain who constantly demands military intervention at the slightest excuse. Sooner or later, if America continues on the same path, it will be identified in the world for what it is becoming – a warmongering police state with no regard or respect for liberty, freedom or human life.

  7. Even though the government has acknowledged that the secretive program has exceeded its legal limits, violating Americans’ Fourth Amendment constitutional rights, the Obama administration aggressively pushed for its full renewal.

  8. You will be so surprised just how some very simple things can really improve the production quality of your home video. The internet has made this things even more easier too. You will be able to add some really nice special effects by using some good editing programs, which shall enhance the appearance of the video.eye on home

  9. Moving home can be a daunting task, particularly if you have a lot of furniture and belongings to relocate as well as yourself and your family. If you are buying a property, then you will have even more concerns about the move going smoothly, and on time. homes moving

  10. Company law is full of confusing terms, and if you don't know what they mean then setting up a company for making money at home can start to look genuine far more scary than it really should be. Read through this jargon buster of business law online and you should find it much easier to understand only what starting up is all about.public business law

  11. Bio-medical works is to watch all of the gear those are in use in the hospitals. Accountable the expertise is an excuse to not be accountable to your own actions. The mobile phone you are utilizing to make outgoing calls in addition to receive calls, the music you are listening to proper now with a tiny participant simply hooked up to your body, the 'private' pc that you carry round anyplace you go.

Comments are closed.