This week US president Barack Obama used his inauguration address to proclaim that a “decade of war is now ending.”
Hours earlier a US drone dropped missiles over Yemen, killing two people. The US carried out 447 drone strikes last year in Afghanistan alone.
US officials claim to have nearly finished a detailed rulebook governing targeted-killing operations.
Rather conveniently, the manual won’t cover Afghanistan or Pakistan. The rulebook will however legitimise targeted killing—also known as assassination. And it will lay out rules for killing people outside war zones.
So under George W Bush state killing and torture was on an ad hoc basis. Under Obama the policy is formalised with a guide book, partially to stop CIA agents being sued.
Obama swore his oath of allegiance on Martin Luther King’s bible.
The hypocrisy could not be starker. In 1967 King condemned “computerised plans of destruction” being used in Vietnam by the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world of his day.”
The alternative King pointed out was recognising that, “These are revolutionary times.
“All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wombs of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born.”