Sunday, August 12, 2012

Is bombing drone-strike respondents actually intended to conceal the reality?

Visiting the site of an airstrike in the southern town of Jaar that took place in May, reporters interviewed eye-witnesses who said an American aircraft destroyed a house on the main street, killing one man inside. But when dozens of civilians rushed to the scene, another strike hit.
Neither the US government, nor the Yemeni government will comment on these airstrikes or the casualties associated with them.
In a hospital near Jaar, NPR spoke to a young boy who was injured and badly burned from the May airstrike. Another man Ali Al Amoudi said a strike “hit his house and three others just a few weeks ago in the town of Shaqra, just down the road from Jaar. His 4-year-old son and 6-year-old daughter were hit. They died in his arms on the way to the hospital.”
from US Airstrikes in Yemen Kill Civilians, Survivors Vow Revenge Against America

It seems to me that the purpose of the follow-up strikes is to prevent people from providing firsthand accounts of who is actually killed in these strikes.  One of the few cases in which we were able to verify who was actually killed was the case of Anwar al-Awlaki's son, who was killed while having an going-away barbecue outdoors at night (see this entry). So, based on this incident, the effect of drone strikes is to create a fear of attending any sort of gathering, i.e. to destroy society, or what Obama's drone-targeting coven smirkingly calls "crowd kills," and follow-up strikes would seem to be intended to conceal this.

By the way, note how these drone strikes, to which more Americans are beginning to object as they get a whiff of the reality (thanks largely to Jeremy Scahill and NPR) have tapered off now that the election is approaching.  At least I haven't seen any reports lately. It's interesting how this supposedly imperative activity can be discontinued when it threatens Obama's popularity just before an election.