Barak Obama entered office in 2009 on the shoulders of the masses in the aftermath of an era of war ushered in by G.W. Bush.
The slogans of ‘Yes, We Can’ carried with it not only support but hope that the world will witness a change in US foreign policy which had turned so many against it. Promises of closing the notorious torture facility of Guantanamo Bay that held prisoners as young as 13 and some as old as 98.
A facility that revealed the most despicable face of society that turned a blind eye to Bush’s torture, kidnapping and even murder of men and boys; which we now know a majority of whom to be innocent. Promises of extending a hand to the Muslim world that was ripped apart by two wars – Iraq and Afghanistan. Promises of democracy and transparency.
We were all deceived and many remain deceived. During the first year of the Obama administration, Obama personally authorised a Tomahawk Cruise Missile Strike on a tiny village in rural Yemen called al-Majalah, killing 21 children and 14 women.
Silence… the world knew nothing because that was part of the deception.
When Yemeni journalist Abdulelah Haider Shaye investigated the one sided attack on the civilian village, the story recounted was horrific. Village elders spoke of how they had to pick up parts of bodies because they were torn to shreds. When Shaye revealed the US strike he was imprisoned by the US backed Dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh. After tremendous outrage, Saleh pardoned Shaye, only to receive a call from Obama himself to keep the whistle-blower journalist in prison. To date, he remains imprisoned.
Yet Obama’s bloody trail doesn’t stop there. Under the Obama administration, drones have become the weapon of choice. Remote controlled planes piloted from Nevada flying in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. In Pakistan alone, 474 to 881 civilians including 176 children have been snuffed out with no reasons, no answers and no accountability. These deaths are ‘justified’ by a drone policy that classifies all males of “fighting age” killed in drone attacks as “militants.” Drones are being actively flown over Africa from bases in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Niger and Seychelles. Under Obama, the US has effectively declared the world a battlefield authorizing the use of drone strike decided during ‘terror Tuesday’ meetings in which Obama plays the prosecutor, judge and executioner.