Obama’s defence of drone attacks - letter in Irish Times 290513

Obama’s defence of drone attacks

 

Wed, May 29, 2013, 00:04

Sir, – President Obama has defended his country’s drone attacks as a “legal, effective and a necessary tool in an evolving US counterterrorism policy” (World News, May 24th).

According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, President Obama approved 300 drone strikes in Pakistan alone between 2009 and 2012 that killed 2,152, including 290 civilians, 64 of whom were children. This is a higher death toll than the Bush administration in the period 2004 to 2009 which launched 52 strikes, killing 438, including 182 civilians, 112 of whom were children.

This comparison bears close scrutiny for those – including the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm and those who flocked to greet the President in College Green, Dublin in May 2011 – who feel that Obama represents a turn to a more enlightened page in US history.

Is it too much to expect of a celebrated Nobel Peace Laureate, that he abandon the heinous use of drones for whom innocent civilians are paying such a heavy price? – Yours, etc,

STEPHEN MCCLOSKEY,

Director,

Centre for Global Education,

University Street,

Belfast.