John Kerry and President Obama want to continue droning on about violations of “international law” in the context of Crimea, Russia and Ukraine. Crimea just voted to become part of Russia, but since that decision doesn’t meld with our current administration’s geopolitical interests, they’re condemning it and saying that they won’t even recognize it.
But while they pretend to care about people in Ukraine, they turn a blind eye to the drone strikes they’ve ordered in Yemen just this month.
On March 2, a US drone strike slammed into a vehicle parked near the town of Shebwan in the Marib province of Yemen, reducing the car and its two occupants to rubble. This due-process free assassination of a suspected militant sleeping in his car kicked off a series of US drone strikes across Yemen over the next ten days, most of which have been entirely ignored by the US news media.
Fortunately, details about each drone strike can be found at the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which keeps a running list of US drone strikes as they happen.
While all recent drone strikes are potential war crimes that warrant attention and investigation, two in particular stood out to me.
On March 7, a suspected US drone strike killed 15 people…15!! That’s not to say that drone strikes are excusable as long as only a handful of people are killed, just that 15 people is a really high number that at the very least warrants further investigation by news outlets that possess the resources to do so. But to date, as far as I can tell, not a single US or Western media outlet has bothered to report on this strike.
The same goes for a drone killing carried out days later.
Obad Abdulla Al-Shabwani, a young man from the Al-Shabwan tribe in Wadi Abeeda was killed in the strike, according to Brigadier Abdulkhaleq Mohammed Saleh, the operations director for the Third Military Region in Marib. Saleh said Al-Shabwani was a militant with suspected ties to Al-Qaeda.
Al-Shabwani’s relatives denied his involvement in the group and told the Yemen Times that the16-year-old’s friends and relatives have also been recently targeted by drone strikes.
Mujahid Jabir Al-Shabwani, from the same tribe as Obad Al-Shabwani and a friend of Obad’s, according to relatives, was killed on March 3 by an American drone in the same area in which Monday’s incident took place.
Mohammed Saleh Maiqan, an activist and resident in Marib, told the Yemen Times that drones have been heavily present in the governorate, particularly in Al-Wadi and Raghwan districts.
Residents of Wadi Abeeda said there has been increased panic in the district as a result. Reports that drones target individuals based on the monitoring of cell phone conversations has led some residents to turn off their phones.
No one cares about violations of Yemen’s national soveriegnty or “international law,” and no one in the Obama administration seems to care that these predator drone strikes often kill people who aren’t connected to any form of terrorism. Besides that, do you think that the more the Obama administration kills their “suspected terrorists” in the Middle East, that terrorist groups would be more hard-pressed to recruit new members? They’re only stirring up a hornet’s nest by drone-striking anyone they think might be a bad person based on “secret” evidence.