The 16-year old son of a suspected terrorist who made the US government’s assassination target list was killed by a US drone strike one evening — two weeks subsequent to an American missile tearing apart his father’s body.
The boy — up to the the point where he was enjoying a outdoor, roadside meal by an open fire seconds before his own assassination — wasn’t on any target kill list that we know of.
The boy never made a threat to America.
And the boy was not aware of his father’s recent death.
The US Press Secretary’s response to direct media inquiries about the assassination of a minor is heartless:
I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children. I don’t think becoming an al Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business.
Mind you, the boy committed no crime.
Except, assuming you extend the Press Secretary’s logic, the young teen made a lousy choice in role models. Or the lousy role model chose the boy.
The assassination and government response occurred in 2012, during the President Barack Obama years. The Press Secretary was Robert Gibbs.
The dead boy was an American citizen named Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the son of Anwar al-Awlaki.
The younger al-Awlaki’s eight-year old sister, Nawar, was shot in the neck and killed in 2017 during a US Navy SEAL raid in Yemen.
I thought about this unnerving story after witnessing the justifiable outrage over The Trump Administration’s practice of separating migrant families at the southern US border — and then positioning this cruel policy as a bargaining lever to get funding for his border wall.
As much as I think Trump has neither the intellectual curiosity nor the emotional stability to serve as US President, I still won’t forget the selective outrage concerning the drone assassination of a boy.
I wish we all demonstrate consistent outrage towards dead children in US-led wars in the Middle East and Africa.
Depending on the report you read, at least 500,000 civilians have been killed in US wars since 2001, with many in that number representing children.
Wars that have been managed by Presidents Bush the Second (two times), Obama (ditto) and now Trump.
And let’s not forget how US warplanes created fertile ground for Libyan killing fields in 2011, helping to remove President Muammar Gaddafi from power and creating a state of bloody chaos that includes an ongoing ethnic cleansing campaign. Serving as the air force to insurgents aligned with jihadist organizations added even more kids to the global violent death toll and worsened the refugee crisis in Europe.
US missiles, refueling planes and intelligence gathering have collaborated to kill innocent children in Yemen and spark a deadly cholera outbreak.
If you ever want to read the disturbing details of these deaths, go to AirWars‘ site.
Based on the past 17 years of US-led warfare, we may see two more decades of brown and olive children killed in similar wars abroad.
So while you’re resisting this new level of low exhibited by Team Trump — and you should — don’t let the media take your attention away from children being killed by US policies of aggression elsewhere …
song currently stuck in my head: “a new day” – louie vega feat. caron wheeler