In the heartland of the Taliban it is regularly taken for granted that Western notions of human rights are dismissed as an attempt to foist Christian values on a Muslim nation. Now, the reprehensible murder of a young bride is the latest fact emphasizing the systemic disregard for the rights of women in Afghanistan.
In the pre-dawn hours Thursday Hellfire missiles fired from a U.S. drone turned a farmhouse in rural Yemen into a smoldering heap of charred wood that served as a bier for at least eight of those “suspected militants.”
The NYU/Stanford study “Living Under Drones” goes beyond reporting estimates of the civilian casualties inflicted by the deadly and illegal U.S. campaign. It also documents the hell the Pakistanis endure under President Barack Obama’s policy, which includes a “kill list” from which he personally selects targets. The Obama administration denies that it has killed civilians, but bear in mind that it considers any male of military age a “militant.”
Federal agents convinced a naïve, violence-inclined 21-year-old Bangladeshi that he was a member of “al Qaeda,” giving the dupe fake bombs to blow up the Federal Reserve Bank of New York before swarming in and arresting him on October 17. As has become typical, government officials scrambled to put out press releases patting themselves on the back for their work protecting the “Homeland.”
Libyan rebels backed by the Obama administration and NATO governments committed a wide range of war crimes, including, in one case, summarily executing and torturing dozens of prisoners of war, possibly including strongman Muammar Gadhafi and his son, the non-profit group Human Rights Watch said in a newly released report. The new Western-backed government ruling parts of Libya out of Tripoli, meanwhile, has failed to investigate or prosecute the well-documented abuses.
In what might be called "Benghazigate," the controversy has continued over what the president and vice president knew, and when they knew, about requests for increased security at diplomatic posts in Libya, prior to the September 11 armed attack on the consulate in Benghazi that killed four Americans, including Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens.
Both classified documents and background statements by American and Middle Eastern officials confirm that most of the weapons sent to rebel forces in Syria are going to Islamic Jihadists, according to a report in Monday's New York Times.
On October 11, 16 "suspected militants" were killed in a U.S. drone strike in Pakistan. As has become standard operating procedure for such attacks, the unmanned vehicles were reportedly still buzzing over the site of the attack, keeping anyone from approaching the rubble and retrieving the bodies.
Major Nidal Hasan, the man accused of the Ft. Hood shooting, has appealed a ruling demanding that he shave his beard before going to trial. Hasan asserts that the beard is a constitutionally protected religious practice.
There might be one way to influence U.S. policymakers to postpone the airborne assassinations using drone strikes. Noor Khan has filed suit against the government of Pakistan for its cooperation with the governments of the United States and the United Kingdom on behalf of his father who was killed in a U.S. drone strike while he attended a tribal council meeting on March 17, 2011, in the northwest region of Pakistan.