TERRORISM | Barack Obama har kommit lindrigt undan när det gäller protester riktade mot hans politik på det utrikespolitiska området.
Speciellt tydligt är det när det gäller hans användande av drönarattacker i kampen mot terrorister i andra länder. I EU-länderna har protesterna varit näst intill obefintliga.
Ronald Reagan kallades ofta för teflonpresidenten eftersom hans image aldrig verkade ta skada av kritiken på hemmaplan. Obama verkar ha samma förmåga på det utrikespolitiska området.
Man behöver inte vara konspiratorisk för att anta att protesterna skulle varit betydligt mer omfattande om en republikansk president använt drönarplan i samma omfattning som Obama.
Var finns alla demonstrationer med krav på att Obama skall ställas inför rätta för krigsförbrytelser och kränkningar av de mänskliga rättigheterna?
Detta var vardagsmat för både premiärminister Tony Blair och presidenterna Reagan och George W. Bush. Inte ens partier på vänsterkanten som t.ex. Vänsterpartiet verkar vara intresserade av att protestera.
Mark Bowden skriver i The Atlantic om drönarattackerna:
The list is the product of a rigorous vetting process that the administration has kept secret. Campaigning for the White House in 2008, Obama made it clear (although few of his supporters were listening closely) that he would embrace drones to go after what he considered the appropriate post-9/11 military target—“core al-Qaeda.” When he took office, he inherited a drone war that was already expanding. There were 53 known strikes inside Pakistan in 2009 (according to numbers assembled from press reports by The Long War Journal), up from 35 in 2008, and just five the year before that. In 2010, the annual total more than doubled, to 117. The onslaught was effective, at least by some measures: letters seized in the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden show his consternation over the rain of death by drone.
The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, a left-wing organization based in London, has made a strenuous effort, using news sources, to count bodies after CIA drone strikes. It estimates that from 2004 through the first half of 2013, 371 drone strikes in Pakistan killed between 2,564 and 3,567 people (the range covers the minimum to the maximum credible reported deaths). Of those killed, the group says, somewhere between 411 and 890—somewhere between 12 percent and 35 percent of the total—were civilians. The disparity in these figures is telling. But if we assume the worst case, and take the largest estimates of soldier and civilian fatalities, then one-quarter of those killed in drone strikes in Pakistan have been civilians.
Everyone agrees that the amount of collateral damage has dropped steeply over the past two years. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that civilian deaths from drone strikes in Pakistan fell to 12 percent of total deaths in 2011 and to less than 3 percent in 2012.
No civilian death is acceptable, of course. Each one is tragic. But any assessment of civilian deaths from drone strikes needs to be compared with the potential damage from alternative tactics. Unless we are to forgo the pursuit of al-Qaeda terrorists entirely, U.S. forces must confront them either from the air or on the ground, in some of the remotest places on Earth. As aerial attacks go, drones are far more precise than manned bombers or missiles. That narrows the choice to drone strikes or ground assaults.
Sometimes ground assaults go smoothly. […] In fact, ground combat almost always kills more civilians than drone strikes do. Avery Plaw, a political scientist at the University of Massachusetts, estimates that in Pakistani ground offensives against extremists in that country’s tribal areas, 46 percent of those killed are civilians. Plaw says that ratios of civilian deaths from conventional military conflicts over the past 20 years range from 33 percent to more than 80 percent. “A fair-minded evaluation of the best data we have available suggests that the drone program compares favorably with similar operations and contemporary armed conflict more generally,” he told The New York Times.
Tidskriftsomslag: The Atlantic, september 2013