Stories about drone strikes

Just like George Bush, Obama’s mistakes, broken promises and war-crimes will also be forgotten

Following his yearlong campaign of racism, sexism, and sheer bigotry, Donald Trump’s victory has become a summons to reflect on the eight-year tenure of President Barack Obama. Indeed, in the shocking aftermath of the election, most of us have set our default mode to ardent fans ready to jump on every chance at glorifying the outgoing Obama administration.  Opinions on any outgoing politician are always polarising. In Obama’s case, many questions and promises remain. Was he able to strengthen the American resolve to fight the threat of global terrorism, or were his detractors right all along about his foreign policy being ...

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Welcome to the game of drones

The US President, Barack Obama, acknowledged on Friday that civilians should not have been killed in drone strikes. He went on to say that the US administration is now cautious on striking where women or children are present. Gee thanks, Mr President. It took President Obama close to eight years to acknowledge this fact. Drones might be the third most annoying thing in the sky after mosquitoes and plastic bags caught in the breeze. Despite being a nuisance, the US president loves them. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, not only has he launched more than eight times the drone strikes his predecessor did, ...

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Why should America accept Muslim refugees while Pakistan is sending back its Afghan refugees?

Donald Trump declares that it will be harmful for the Christian American majority if large influxes of Muslim minorities from all over the world enter the US. On the other hand, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) in Islamabad has claimed that the influx of poor Christians from across the country could lead to ‘demographic problems’ and ‘may affect the Muslim majority of the capital.’ Having said that, there is an outcry on social media over only one of these xenophobic and bigoted statements, Facebook activists in Pakistan seem to be very selective about their humanitarianism. America is perceived as the devil for bombing other ...

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Does Hillary Clinton have aggressive war policies?

Hillary Clinton recently announced that she would be running for the US presidential office for the next term. If she manages to win, she will be the first female president of the United States, which in itself is quite a feat considering the fact that the US has an extremely small percentage of female representatives in congress as compared to men. Clinton promises to be a ‘champion’ for Americans, but her popularity ratings have witnessed a sharp decline from a high of 67% to a mere 49% since her departure from the State Department. The question remains – how will she ...

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Why should Obama apologise for Pakistani drone victims?

On Thursday, April 23, 2015, United States President Barack Obama, apologised for the accidental killing of two western hostages – American national Warren Weinsteain and Italian Giovanni Lo Porto – in a drone attack in Pakistan. “As president and as commander-in-chief, I take full responsibility for all our counter-terrorism operations, including the one that inadvertently took the lives of Warren and Giovanni. I profoundly regret what happened. On behalf of the United States government, I offer our deepest apologies to the families.” What did happen, though? In a drone strike targeting an al Qaeda camp, the two aforementioned hostages were killed. These innocent civilians ...

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Falling for glittery dreams

His mother was his fulcrum. The centre point upon which his whole life balanced, precariously. His mother had never had an easy day in her life. Ravaged by poverty from a young age, she was bestowed in marriage to a man who was 20 years her senior.  Her main purpose in life was to be an avenue for procreation and to remain devoutly obedient to her husband; that was the way life was lived in these regions. If she had no choice in who she married, she could mould her children in any manner she pleased. Instead of being harsh on them, she chose to ...

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Relax Pakistan! Obama’s trip to India will not jeopardise Pak-US relations

Obama is finally in India for his second official visit since he commenced his second term in the office. The visit is important for various reasons. First and foremost, due to its powerful symbolism: Obama is the first US president visiting India, twice. Secondly, an American president’s presence at the Republic Day of the world’s largest democracy also sends a very powerful message. But there are some serious questions occupying the minds of those in India and Pakistan. Will the visit prove to be just a theatrical trip of smiles and handshakes or can India really get something out of the guest who is left with just two years ...

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Of drone strikes: “Did we just kill a kid?”

“Did we just kill a kid?” asked Bryant, a drone sensor operator. “Yes, I guess so!” replied the drone pilot. Brandon Bryant’s recent exposé of drone operations killing hundreds of innocent civilians during his service, which led to his post-traumatic stress and retirement, explains the dark side of the CIA led US drone operations in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. Adding to Bryant’s shock and surprise, his peers believed that they had killed a dog and not a kid that day, and thus it was nothing to worry about. Bryant worked as a drone sensor operator for the USAF from 2006 to 2011, mainly operating from a dark container ...

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Ethics in an unethical mirage

It is often said that national interests dictate the dynamics of international politics and that morality has no role to play in international relations. Proponents of this view are likely to argue that international politics hinges on pragmatic and practical issues. Alliances are then, the result of mutual benefit accruing to both parties; animosity is either the status quo or likely to occur where interests do not converge. On the other hand, we have Mr Woodrow Wilson, who argues that, “Interests do not tie nations together; it sometimes separates them. But sympathy and understanding does unite them.” It may be conceded that ...

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Drones, Pakistan’s worst kept secret

The current surge in drone strikes in FATA has reignited the infamous ‘drone debate’ and ‘Pakistan’s tacit agreement’ on intelligence sharing with the United States. Only a few months ago, Peter Bergen, a US expert on drones, had revealed that the CIA drone campaign in Pakistan may have finally come to an end. Not only Bergen, but even the current Nawaz-led PML-N government boasted of lobbying against drones and convincing the Obama administration to cease the strikes. Till June this year, one could believe these reports and revelations as there was a long hiatus in predator strikes. However, it was on June 11 when, negating such ...

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