In reaction to Steven D’s fp story “What Drone Strikes? or See No Evil” and links to Emptywheel’s obsession with Obama’s drone killing of a “US citizen” in jihadist territory in the failed state of Yemen.

    “On Dec. 24, 2009, in the second American strike in Yemen in eight days, missiles hit a meeting of leaders of the affiliate group.
    News accounts said one target was Mr. Awlaki, who was falsely reported to have been killed.”

Sloppy reporting in quoted NY Times article. This was an attack by Yemeni ground forces. I do wish all those who condemn the Awlaki killing would read the history of Yemen as a failed state and as an abundant source for global jihad terror. Saudi Arabia has played a major role in the Yemeni wars between north and south. My comment:

    Of course, the drone hit on Anwar al-Awlaki was a vast improvement over an earlier failed attempt with a cruise missile in Yemen. Many members of the Awlaki tribe were killed. On 24 December 2009, Yemeni forces led a ground attack where it was claimed the preacher had been killed. Coincidental date?

    Fortunately, our long term ally Saudi Arabia gave permission for a US drone base in the kingdom.

Similar to the presence of OBL in the tribal AfPak region and the decision by President Clinton to take him out, IMO Anwar al-Awlaki was an identical threat to the United States in particular. We expect the President to protect its citizens on American soil, that is what he did as the planning of direct terror attacks came from these jihadist groups inside Yemen. Al-Awlaki clearly identified himself with the terror group as he is a member of the Awlaqi tribe and was “hiding” amongst them.

President Clinton’s Sudan raid and the Afghan cruise missile strike on Al-Qaeda training camps were very comparable to the fatal drone strike that targeted and killed the “preacher”.

The issue of 2nd amendment pertains to the US only, other nations have quite a different view and do limit that freedom for a variety of reasons. Even in the US, freedom of speech is limited when one directs a threat against the President. Some laws should be rewritten so the executive can act in a world where terror groups have an abundance of freedom to do harm to others. As always, financial resources are not unlimited to defend a nation. The situation in Mali is another example where jihadists combined with criminal gangs and murdered with impunity. This terror scourge of decades has been taken out by the French. Similar groups, an offshoot of Boko Harem, succeeded to murder their 7 international hostages this week. A family of six was abducted recently in northern part of Cameroon. We fear for their lives. If the world community doesn’t act, even with all its imperfections, more states will fail.

As far as drone strikes, I believe the number of strikes in the AfPak region has gone far beyond targeting top leaders of Taliban or Al-Qaeda. I find those strikes immoral and unjust.

And please don’t take a moral stand on the US as a great nation who acts on behalf of freedom. This illusion has been obliterated by successive regimes in Washington DC since the end of the second World War with the help of Congress. Indeed … We the People. How sad, we don’t have a moral compass in this divergent world where economic gain trumps all. From the individual citizen to communities, corporations, states and even UN organisations. You all made me pessimistic again, all about a single death of Anwar al-Awlaki.

As we take a principled stand about the killing of one terror suspect …

Isn’t Marcia overdoing it a bit? Come on, deal wit hit and look at the number of innocent people slaughtered by jihadists in Yemen. This failed state has been at war for many decades, also bred the Bin Laden family. My anguish by far is the botched regime change by western powers in Syria. The 70,000 killed and 1 million refugees will likely double this year.

My recent serie of 6 diaries Middle-East Policy