The CIA recently launched its first drone attack of 2012. Three people in North Waziristan were killed. If you haven't yet heard of these Terminator-style US drones, it is likely you will soon. Their usage in surveillance, modern warfare and covert ''counter-terrorism'' measures is rapidly expanding.
Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, are the new face of the war on terror and the latest attempt by the United States to circumvent international law in pursuit of its alleged enemies. After failing to fulfil his promise to close the military prison at Guantanamo Bay, President Barack Obama spent New Year's Eve signing the National Defense Authorisation Act (NDAA). The NDAA codifies the indefinite detention, without trial, of US citizens. The third part of this trinity is the increase in a multi-agency network of drones carrying out secret extrajudicial assassinations of suspected militants. In his inauguration speech, Obama said: ''As for our common defence, we reject as false the choice between our safety and our ideals.'' Yet these policies enshrine just such a false dichotomy.
Advertisement: Story continues below
Equipped with Hellfire missiles, Predator drones operate mainly in north-west Pakistan. New America Foundation has attempted to map the strikes, which have hugely escalated under Obama's presidency. Between 2004 and 2011, the foundation conservatively estimates 1717 deaths have resulted from drone strikes in Pakistan. It also estimates a 32 per cent civilian death rate.
Drones. To continue the wars. To continue the wars and pretend that they're something else. To make murder and assassination into a game. That's been the goal forever and a day.
Under Barack it becomes a possibility. Were Bush in office, we'd be rallying and marching and filing lawsuits and so much more.
But it's precious little Barack. You know, the little boy who's 'special' and can't match the accomplishments of other boys his age so all the adults just applaud and say, "Good job!"
He has put a happy face sticker on the bloody and dead.
That may be the most disgusting thing about him.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):