by David McElroy
It takes a special kind of hypocrite to cry public tears over the death of 20 innocent children when you’re the one bombing civilians and causing far more death and injury than what we saw in Connecticut last Friday.
Barack Obama got a lot of political mileage from the emotion he showed when he made a statement Friday about the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Some people have quietly suggested that it was political theater and the tears were faked, but I have no reason to think that. He might very well have been upset about the murdered children. But does he cry for 7-year-old Syed, who his drones killed in 2009? Does he cry for 6-year-old Sameeda, who was badly injured by one of his drones in 2009? Does he cry for any of the innocents caught up in his immoral and indecent violence?
A recent study by the law schools of Stanford University and New York University concluded that only 2 percent of the people killed in Obama’s drone strikes are “high-level” targets. Although the Obama administration claims that it’s “exceedingly rare” for innocent civilians to be killed in these attacks, nobody else accepts that fiction.
The Stanford/NYU report accepted figures from the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London, which concludes that somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,500 to 3,300 people have been killed in the strikes, of which 500 to 900 have been innocent civilians.
At a memorial service Monday for victims of the Connecticut shootings, Obama asked whether there is an alternative to the kind of violence that struck Friday.
“Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?” he asked.
The only thing we can be sure of is that Obama — and most Americans — seem prepared to accept “such violence on our children year after year after year” as long as those children live far away and they don’t look like us. We might not want to accept violence on our children, but it’s just fine on their children.
Where is the widespread outrage over this? Even though children are statistically very safe from gun violence in U.S. schools, we’re seeing rage and hurt here over 20 of our own dying. But there’s almost dead silence over the deaths of far more children around the world — and it’s our tax dollars killing them. And the man who’s been doing the killing was just re-elected for another four years. (And if you voted for Mitt Romney, don’t feel morally superior. He completely agreed with Obama on this issue. He said in one of the debates that he had no problem with the current use of drones.)
When 20 American children are killed, it’s a tragedy. When hundreds of Pakistani children are killed by our drones, it’s just foreign policy.
Can you see the hypocrisy? Can you see the double standard?
It’s time for Americans to quit being so provincial and self-centered. It’s time for us to admit that the deaths of innocent children in Pakistan or Afghanistan or Iraq are just as tragic as the deaths of innocent children in Connecticut or California or Texas.
We either need to clean up our own blood-stained hands or else dry our tears and quit pretending to care about murdered children.