The Obama Drone Doctrine
Vijay Prashad: President Obama plans to expand the use of drone attacks as a way to project US power
“This committee report doesn’t just tie Canadian aid to mining interests, it would actually restructure CIDA to better serve the interests of the corporate sector,” says MiningWatch spokesperson Catherine Coumans. “Aid money is meant to address poverty, not to promote the commercial interests of Canadian mining companies. Nor should it subsidize the obligations of mining companies to provide benefits to affected residents and rehabilitate damaged environments.”
that CIDA consider offering loans and utilizing “other financial instruments” to support corporations, the promotion of revolving door exchanges between CIDA and the private sector to enhance the agency’s ability to serve Canadian corporate interests, and that CIDA engage in changing institutions, regulations, policies, and democratic oversight in developing countries to foster Canadian investment, particularly “in developing countries with significant natural resource sectors.”
“Rather than directing resources and political pressure towards stripping down the legal framework in other countries, the Canadian government should oblige Canadian mining companies operating overseas to meet strong environmental and human rights standards, including respect for free prior and informed consent,” says Coumans. “The government should also ensure that people who have been harmed through the activities of a Canadian company have access to justice in Canadian courts.”
“I couldn’t sleep last night,” Jihan told me the next morning. “That thirteen-year old child we saw was in front of my eyes.”
“Doctors with private clinics don’t have CT scan or X-ray machines, so we need to arrange a hospital for him, which is very risky. [Hussein’s family] won’t accept taking him to the hospital. They will be scared that he will be arrested, so, really, I don’t know what to do,” she told me, pressing her iPhone against her forehead. “It’s a very big decision, taking him to the hospital.”
“There has been a lot of damage and hurt, the people won’t forget it very soon,” Jihan told me. “Even if we got our freedom tomorrow, the people need time to be healed.”
“Every day we’re documenting and seeing these violations, so we’re under a lot of pressure. In the end, we are human beings. We get affected, we get hurt. The leaders and the human rights activists, we can’t show the people that we’re affected and broken from inside. If the people see that we are collapsed internally, what kind of strength will they get from us? Sometimes I get broken from inside, I disappear for a few days, but I try my best to fight depression. I try to keep busy and not think about it.”
“I think that they will target me very soon,” she said. “At any time they might raid my home and arrest me.” She fears most the possibility of torture. She’s documented enough cases to know just what she might be forced to endure. But she adds, “I do believe that getting freedom and democracy for the coming generation is very important, and highlighting the violations that are happening in the country is very important. Freedom is not something easy to get -- we have to pay and to sacrifice for it. Fear of arrest won’t stop me from doing my humanitarian job. I won’t give up.”
"OK, now the inauguration's over, let's get to work. First of all, these drone attacks are criminal atrocities killing scores of innocent people. We can organize a protest march to--"***
Super-savvy prog: "Hush your mouth! We can't undermine the president right now. We've got to help the Democrats get control of the House in 2014! Or do you want the evil Rethuglicans to keep blocking everything? Wait until after the mid-term elections, then we'll put the pressure on."
"OK, we took back the House in 2014 with a slate of anti-abortion, pro-war, entitlement-slashing, deficit-hawk, Blue Dog Democrats. You said it was the savvy thing to do, the lesser evil to replace the anti-abortion, pro-war, entitlement-slashing, deficit-hawk Republicans. NOW can we go after Obama -- for the state terrorism of the drone campaign, the 'extrajudicial' murders, the 'disposition matrix,' the torture and imprisonment of the truth-teller Bradley Manning, the support of the brutal coup and murderous repression in Honduras, the fracking, the off-shore drilling, the 'Grand Bargaining' with Social Security and Medicare, the protection of CIA torturers, the global arms dealing, the growing prison population, the growing economic inequality, the ever-more draconian 'security apparatus', the bail-out of the oligarchs and the--"
Super- savvy prog: "Bite your tongue! We can't undermine the president right now! It will hurt the chances of his Democratic successor if we make Obama look bad! Or do you want Paul Ryan to be president? What kind of selfish moral purist are you?"
"The weight of evidence clearly indicates that sanctions caused massive human suffering among ordinary Iraqis, particularly children. We, the US and UK governments, were the primary engineers and offenders of sanctions and were well aware of this evidence at the time but we largely ignored it or blamed it on the Saddam government. [We] effectively denied the entire population a means to live."
”Yes, I agree,” he replied, “I feel very ashamed about it ... Before I went to New York, I went to the Foreign Office expecting a briefing on the vast piles of weapons that we still thought Iraq possessed, and the desk officer sort of looked at me slightly sheepishly and said, 'Well actually, we don't think there is anything in Iraq.' "