There is something profoundly wrong with a society that isnít disturbed by Trumpís indifference to civilian deaths
By Matthew Rozsa
February 05, 2018 "Information Clearing House" - When I read of America bombing other countries, a line penned by former Salon contributor Glenn Greenwald comes to mind: "The worst and most tyrannical government actions in Washington are equally supported on a fully bipartisan basis."
Let's start, though, by looking at how Trump has escalated the use of military air power since taking office. While his administration has been opaque about the full sweep of his policy changes, Trump's boast of having "totally changed rules of engagement" appears to be at least somewhat rooted in truth, according to the Guardian. The president has considerably loosened the rules of engagement for bombing campaigns, and although it is unclear precisely how much they have changed, it's a fair bet that more civilians were killed in bombing campaigns in Syria and Somalia than would have been the case during the period when President Barack Obama maintained political control over those operations.
Nor are those the only two countries to experience the wrath of American military power since Trump took office. Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Yemen, Libya and Niger have all experienced American bombing campaigns since Trump took office, and as Foreign Policy reported, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria all saw drastically increased numbers of civilian casualties just in the first six months after Trump took office. Last month the Guardian reported that "in five attacks since July, more than 50 civilians appear to have been killed or injured. At least two involved US aircraft."
She added, "I'd like to say that remote killing is not a partisan issue, and so many things are not partisan issues that are portrayed as being completely partisan, and that's divisive. It divides the Americans where they're talking more about whether theyíre Democrats or Republicans than the actual issues."
Never Miss Another Story
Another part of the problem, as journalist and CorpsWatch Executive Director Pratap Chatterjee told Salon, is that drone technology isn't anywhere near as precise as its supporters want you to think. As a result, while Americans are misled into believing that drones are only taking out "the bad guys," the reality is much more complicated ó and tragic.
"Letís start with the kinds of coverage that you typically see in the media or the public, how wonderful and how accurate the video cameras are and how you can see anything on the ground and you can ascertain killers from across the world," Chatterjee told Salon. "The reality is in fact quite different, because remember the average drone flies between the predator drone or the reaper drone, flies between 10,000 feet and 30,000 feet above the ground; that is between two and six miles, if my math is correct. One of the problems is how accurately are you going to be able to see with a camera thatís two miles up, even if itís zoomed in."
"Imagine that wherever you live, there is trouble in town, there has been a serial killer on the loose and youíre worried about it and your neighbors are worried about it; would you trust your safety to a group of 20-year-old kids in rural China who donít speak English, donít know your neighborhood but have access to planes that are two miles above you and can watch and are then allowed to make decisions on their own or really, letís say, as a group," Chatterjee told Salon. "Thatís essentially what weíre doing, and I donít mean to say the group of people in rural China or rural Nevada are not literate. I just think thereís a tremendous cultural difference that is hard to bridge, and knowing kids in rural Nevada cannot actually read street signs or understand conversations in Pakistan unless they have linguist to help them who are online, and it is actually a much more complicated thing than you think."
So why aren't Democrats ó the same people rightly calling attention to Trump's immoral actions against undocumented immigrants and Muslims, or his obviously shady relationship with Russia ó not expressing similar outrage here?
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