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Jun-08-2012 16:19printcomments

Coming Home to Roost

When a larger power rules a smaller nation, some form of violent resistance is to be expected.--Miko Peled

Obama and Wright

(MANAMA, Bahrain) - The past two weeks has seen an increasing media interest in America's use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s), better known as drones.

Medea Benjamin, writing in the Information Clearing House asks "Will Americans Speak Out Against Obama's Drone Warfare?"

Since that warfare involves only the Obama administration and military plus the people of targeted countries, the chances of critical Americans are slim.

Drones have been used to target supposed terrorists and militants in Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan, as well as for surveillance over other countries.

The Predator Drone has been in use longer than most people realize. It was first deployed to the Balkans in 1995, Iraq in 1996 and proved very effective in Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as Afghanistan.

Seumas Milne, writing in The Guardian, says "The undeclared drone war that has already killed thousands is now being relentlessly escalated."

According to Milne, "At least 15 drone strikes have been launched in Yemen this month, as many as in the whole of the past decade, killing dozens."

Such "summary executions" have been even greater in Pakistan:

    Since 2004, between 2,464 and 3,145 people are reported to have been killed by US drone attacks in Pakistan, of whom up to 828 were civilians (535 under Obama) and 175 children."

As long ago as May 2002 Richard Muller wrote "I sense that there is movement toward making assassination of ‘evil’ leaders into an acceptable part of U.S. foreign policy. That prospect is horrifying. Yet -- if the alternative is war?"

In other words, in order to save American lives, it’s acceptable to murder perceived enemies with flying robots rather than capturing and trying them.

"If the U.S. does turn to the Predator and other weapons of precise destruction as the perfect assassination machines...then we had better be prepared to defend ourselves against the same kind of attack, argues Muller.

Advances in technology may one day bring Predator-like weapons into the arsenals of rogue nations and terrorists, endangering in yet a new way our vulnerable homeland. Are we, to paraphrase Macbeth, teaching bloody instructions, which, being taught will return to plague the inventor? From Macbeth:

    If only this blow / Could be the be-all and the end-all right here,/ Only here, upon this bank and shallows of time,/ We’d risk it for the life to come. Only in these things,/ We are always punished here because we teach others / How to murder, and once they learn, they come back / To murder us.

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. of Chicago's Trinity United Church of Christ, and Barack Obama's pastor since 1988, told his congregation in a sermon on Sept. 16, 2001, that U.S. terrorism had precipitated Al-Qaeda's attack.

"We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards."

Wright concluded, somewhat famously, that "America's chickens are coming home to roost."

The lesson? "Violence begets violence, hatred begets hatred and terrorism begets terrorism." http://youtu.be/Qf3SNOmvxi0 for the audio of Rev. Wright’s sermon.

Concluded Muller, "The drone war is a predatory war on the Muslim world, which is feeding hatred of the US – and fuelling terror, not fighting it."

Obama criticized Reverend Wright and finally left Wright’s church. He should now listen.

Audio: Obama’s drones war on women and children:



Throughout his life as an educator, Dr. Paul J. Balles, a retired American university professor and freelance writer, has lived and worked in the Middle East for 40 years - first as an English professor (Universities of Kuwait and Bahrain), and for the past ten years as a writer, editor and editorial consultant

He’s a weekly Op-Ed columnist for the GULF DAILY NEWS . Dr. Balles is also Editorial Consultant for Red House Marketing and a regular contributor to Bahrain This Month. He writes a weekly op-ed column for Akbar Al Khaleej (Arabic). He has also edited seven websites, including bahrainthismonth.com, womenthismonth.com

Paul has had more than 350 articles published, focusing on companies, personality profiles, entrpreneurs, women achievers, journalists and the media, the Middle East, American politics, the Internet and the Web, consumer reports, Arabs, diplomats, dining out and travel. Paul's articles on Salem-News.com are frank and enlightening. We are very appreciative of the incredible writings Dr. Balles has generated for our readers over the years, and we are very pleased to list him among our most valued contributors.

Indulging the hard subjects that keep the world divided is our specialty at Salem-News.com, and with writers like Dr. Paul Balles on our team, we amplify our ability to meet challenges and someday, will see the effects of this exist in context with a more peaceful and generally successful world.

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