Tuesday, September 16, 2014

U.S. "Precision Strikes" in a Nutshell

Signe Wilkinson's latest cartoon for the Philadelphia Daily News is brilliant:

Cartoon by Signe Wilkinson

It depicts a U.S. warplane (or drone) coming in for the attack, with the Barack Obama at the controls, saying, "Target is in sight!"

The only problem is that the "target" is really multiple targets:

* good terrorist
* bad terrorist
* despicable terrorist

. . . as well as . . . 

* lives near a terrorist

. . . and . . . 

* deciding whether to be a terrorist

In other words, pretty much anybody and everybody gets lumped together with "terrorists"; the vaunted "precision" of U.S. military strikes isn't precise at all.

And if those people on the ground weren't our enemies before the Hellfire missile strikes, you can be sure they will be afterwards.

My only quibble with this cartoon is that instead of depicting Obama in the driver's seat, it should make it clear that the warplane is controlled by "Americans." ('Cause we all get to share in the responsibility, the blame, and the consequences of our government's killing spree in the Mideast.)

Related posts

The U.S. has a modus operandi for conducting military strikes while slipping past any genuine public accountability. It's worth a look at the Tuesday, October 29, 2013, New York Times account of a drone strike in Somalia the previous day: "Pentagon Says Shabab Bomb Specialist Is Killed in Missile Strike in Somalia." It's a case study in what's wrong with the U.S. drone wars.

(See October 28 in Somalia: Another Day, Another Drone Killing)

A September 5, 2013, U.S. drone strike in Pakistan killed six people - including Sangeen Zadran -- a "senior militant commander" who was "implicated in a long-running kidnapping drama involving an American soldier."

(See September 5 in Pakistan: Another Day, Another Drone Killing)

The press announced a flurry of drone killings in Yemen over the April 19/20 weekend -- that is, while the rest of us were observing Easter -- and just as with U.S. drone killings in Pakistan and Somalia, the U.S. modus operandi was on full display.

(See April 19 in Yemen: Another Day, Another Drone Killing )