Check Out John Oliver on Drones

MQ-9_Reaper_2Last weekend, John Oliver, host of the HBO comedy news show Last Week Tonight offered a helpful reminder to the world at large that US drone strikes are still happening.

On the day this episode broadcast, four suspected militant were killed by a drone strike in northwest Pakistan. Earlier in the week, as Oliver noted, the US hit Pakistan (10 dead) and Yemen (two killed, some children reportedly injured) and barely anyone reported on it. Were the individuals killed in the strikes Al-Qaeda, militants of some kind? Sure, maybe. Or maybe not. Hard to tell — not that the US government wants us to tell.

Oliver’s funny, angry piece is a great summary of the lawlessness of the US’s drone policy, going from President Obama’s ill-advised drone striking the Jonas Brothers joke in 2009, to the fact that “imminent threat” and “civilian casualty” mean whatever the government wants them to mean.

The highlight in terms of gut punches is footage of Yemeni civilians testifying to the psychological terror that drones bring.

Watch it:

Or, send it to people who know less about drones than you do, so that they get the picture. Iraq and Syria are a fair distraction, but we need to remember that this stuff is happening, too. Oliver gets many props for summing up the dark absurdity of the drone program in such an accessible, and grimly hilarious fashion.



21 thoughts on “Check Out John Oliver on Drones”

  1. You always can publish something absorbing that does not waste minutes of your life like what you see on countless other sites. This is very interesting and I will be back for more. Thanks for sharing))((

  2. I think of living in countries under these things. I think of the numbers of citizens of those countries who have or are developing PTSD and the ever increasing numbers of pissed off people we are creating. And the millions upon millions of Americans who go about their lives each day whose sons/daughters will pay a very high price at the hands of those pissed off people. But then I come back to earth and realize we have done this, one way or another, since the inception of the country. But of course, "it's out freedom they hate" or so the saying goes.

    1. Well said. I fear for the younger generation of Americans when the blowback for our current meddling is paid to us.

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