Coming Home to Roost

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, shown here with his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, March 10, 2005.

Editor’s Note: The increased American drone activity has resulted in murders of more women and children than “terrorist” targets.  The death and destruction caused by these unpiloted drones is an invitation to payback, which Reverend Jeremiah Wright warned of and President Obama wrongly discredited during his presidential campaign.

Barack Obama, D-Ill., left, shown here with his pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago, March 10, 2005.


by Paul J Balles


When a larger power rules a smaller nation, some form of violent resistance is to be expected.–Miko Peled


The past two weeks has seen an increasing media interest in America’s use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV’s), better known as drones.


Medea Benjamin, writing in the Information Clearing House asks “Will Americans Speak Out Against Obama’s Drone Warfare?”


Since that warfare involves only the Obama administration and military plus the people of targeted countries, the chances of  critical Americans are slim.


Drones have been used to target supposed terrorists and militants in Afghanistan, Yemen and Pakistan, as well as for surveillance over other countries.


The Predator Drone has been in use longer than most people realize. It was first deployed to the Balkans in 1995, Iraq in 1996 and proved very effective in Operation Iraqi Freedom as well as Afghanistan.


Seumas Milne, writing in The Guardian, says “The undeclared drone war that has already killed thousands is now being relentlessly escalated.”


According to Milne, “At least 15 drone strikes have been launched in Yemen this month, as many as in the whole of the past decade, killing dozens.”


Such “summary executions” have been even greater in Pakistan:

Since 2004, between 2,464 and 3,145 people are reported to have been killed by US drone attacks in Pakistan, of whom up to 828 were civilians (535 under Obama) and 175 children.”


As long ago as May 2002 Richard Muller wrote “I sense that there is movement toward making assassination of ‘evil’ leaders into an acceptable part of U.S. foreign policy. That prospect is horrifying. Yet — if the alternative is war?”


In other words, in order to save American lives, it’s acceptable to murder perceived enemies with flying robots rather than capturing and trying them.


“If the U.S. does turn to the Predator and other weapons of precise destruction as the perfect assassination machines…then we had better be prepared to defend ourselves against the same kind of attack,” argues Muller.


Advances in technology may one day bring Predator-like weapons into the arsenals of rogue nations and terrorists, endangering in yet a new way our vulnerable homeland. Are we, to paraphrase Macbeth, teaching bloody instructions, which, being taught will return to plague the inventor? From Macbeth:


If only this blow / Could be the be-all and the end-all right here,/ Only here, upon this bank and shallows of time,/ We’d risk it for the life to come. Only in these things,/ We are always punished here because we teach others / How to murder, and once they learn, they come back / To murder us.


The Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. of Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, and Barack Obama’s pastor since 1988, told his congregation in a sermon on Sept. 16, 2001, that U.S. terrorism had precipitated Al-Qaeda’s attack.


“We bombed Hiroshima, we bombed Nagasaki, and we nuked far more than the thousands in New York and the Pentagon, and we never batted an eye. We have supported state terrorism against the Palestinians and black South Africans, and now we are indignant because the stuff we have done overseas is now brought right back to our own front yards.”


Wright concluded, somewhat famously, that “America’s chickens are coming home to roost.”


The lesson? “Violence begets violence, hatred begets hatred and terrorism begets terrorism.” for the audio of Rev. Wright’s sermon.

Concluded Muller, “The drone war is a predatory war on the Muslim world, which is feeding hatred of the US – and fueling terror, not fighting it.”


Obama criticized Reverend Wright and finally left Wright’s church. He should now listen.


Editing: Debbie Menon


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