Trump is the New Droner-in-Chief

Obama killed hundreds, if not thousands, of innocent civilians during his eight years in the White House.
Trump is on pace to beat Obama's record in just two years.

As reported by Micah Zenko:

During President Obama’s two terms in office, he approved 542 such targeted strikes in 2,920 days — one every 5.4 days. From his inauguration through today, President Trump had approved at least 36 drone strikes or raids in 45 days — one every 1.25 days.

Do the maudlin math: despite his promises to reduce American intervention in foreign affairs and despite his oath to “preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States,” under President Trump, these deadly drone strikes have increased 432 percent over the reprehensible pace set by his predecessor.

Trump's critics like to point out where he lacks the will to keep his promises (like "draining the swamp"), but one promise Trump appears to be keeping is: “I’d blow up every single inch, there would be nothing left."
It isn't just the number is of drone strikes. It's also the rules under which they are conducted.

Under the loosening of the rules now under way, avoiding civilian deaths will no longer be an overriding priority. A place that fails to qualify as a war zone may be designated “an area of active hostilities” where rules of engagement can be eased...
A further change is that the CIA will once again be allowed to carry out lethal strikes, as opposed to using its drones only to gather intelligence. Indeed, it has already done so, killing Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, a son-in-law of Osama bin Laden, in northern Syria in late February. Because the CIA operates under covert authorities, it is not subject to the same legal constraints and transparency as the Pentagon.

So what does a "loosening of the rules" look like?
Well, you already know. You'll just be seeing it more often.

The U.S. drone aircraft fired missiles and dropped a 500-pound bomb outside Aleppo on Friday in an attack that the Pentagon said killed scores of al-Qaida militants but that local residents described as an assault on a mosque crowded with civilians.
U.S. officials said the strikes in the town of Jinah had killed "dozens" of militants at a meeting of the terrorist group. But local activists and a monitoring group reported that at least 46 people died, and more were trapped under rubble, when the attack struck a mosque during a religious gathering.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring network, described the scene in Jinah as a "massacre," saying the dead were mostly civilians. Photos from the area showed rescue workers pulling mangled bodies from a mound of rubble.
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Pricknick's picture

is not calling for these strikes.
He's only giving those that want them carte blanche.
America! Fuck yea!

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

For millennia, they have been sanctuaries.

We must resist the temptation to praise or excuse President Not Hillary simply because he is not Hillary.

Honestly, how do these people sleep--ever--knowing they bomb churches, weddings and funerals?

War is insane.

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Alex Ocana's picture

@HenryAWallace I think religious institutions should be taxed. While I can see the point of not bombing schools, hospitals, universities, waterworks, power stations, markets, aid caravans, wedding processions etc. I don't think religious buildings of any sect should have any special privileges or sanctuary status. If they are engaged in criminal acts, atrocities or war-mongering terrorism, which they frequently are, then I don't mind blowing them up anymore than blowing up an Israeli jet over Syrian air space. In fact, given the results of the sick shit Abrahamic based religions brainwash people to do:

Iraqi Girl (now a refugee in Jordan with family still in Mosul), who has published her teenage diary diary in Haymarket Press reports from Mosul on Dec. 26:

- 70% of the liberated areas are extremely destroyed , besides the five bridges connecting the two coasts of the city are now out of service !

- More than 120,000 displaced people from the beginning of the campaign in 16/10/2016 !

- 900 bomb car exploded in Mosul within the last two month ! which is equal to the estimated number of bomb cars that had exploded all over Iraq between 2003-2010 !

- There are no safe roads to escape from Mosul in contrast to what Iraqi government promise.

- Nearly a million of people are now lack of food and water. People in Mosul started to drink rain water and burn their furnishing to get warm !

- the estimated number of civilian victims since the campaign may reach several thousands.

- No humanitarian organization can reach the part of Mosul under the control of ISIS ( 70% of Mosul)

- nearly 150 injured civilians reach Erbil hospitals daily and then they were intimidated either to return to Mosul or go to the miserable Camps where people suffer starvation. https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1341918485859510&id=79...

I would say good riddance to religious pathology whether it be Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Consumerism or some other bullshit brand.

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From the Light House.

@Alex Ocana

And I don't think we should give school vouchers for parochial schools. Even if you believe churches should pay taxes, though you would not jail pastors for not paying taxes if the pastors had no way of knowing that churches were suddenly expected to pay taxes. Bombing is not even jailing, though. It is a death penalty.

For thousands of years, places of worship have been considered sanctuaries. If one is going to change that suddenly, fine, but give notice first. And that doesn't reach the "collateral damage" issue, also known as the very foreseeable killing of totally innocent people, be it a mosque, temple or church service or a funeral or wedding. In most circumstances, an action that I take that I can foresee will kill someone innocent is murder.

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Alex Ocana's picture

@HenryAWallace @HenryAWallace @HenryAWallace The issue of collateral damage from drones is apart from the privileged status of religious shrines. For example, having to pay taxes (in many countries) dedicated to indoctrinating (brainwashing) children to believe a bunch of garbage invented in the not so creative imagination of goat herders thousands of years ago. Beliefs which are founded in exclusion (ethnocide), racism, and genocide not to mention subjugation of women and children.

In other countries they allow these tax free scam artists to use roads and public services we have to pay for. So they can build shrines to some bloody nationalist maginary deity which one way or another always justifies whatever atrocity is being committed. Not just war, but "Dominion over the Earth".

And then they have the nerve to call non-believers as people without morals, as if without some white bearded Semitic dude or bearded Semitic prophet holding the keys to some imaginary torture chamber is needed for knowing and following simplistic rules of human cooperation which have evolved over millions of years. Like Jesus has some sort of patent on love? Et Cetera for the rest of the phony line-up of scam artists.

The final straw, for me anyway, is watching all this Syrian war footage with various sects of lunatics shouting Allah Uh Akbar every time they blow up a bunch of infidel kids in a neighboring school. Then, of course, the parents of the school children giving thanks to God and Jesus, or Allah for having their kids massacred. (or dying of cancer, or starving in Ethiopia).

So, to me, if all these maniacs, including the Jewish and Christian ones, are going to have a war and massacre each other and blow up schools, hospitals, bridges, water works, sewage treament plants, roads and poison the environment with depleted uranium, leave mines strewn around to blow up little girls carrying polluted water home. . . I have nothing that tells me that their shrines are somehow privileged sanctuaries.

Now today, according to a youth who purports to be tweeting from inside Raqqa reports that Daesh is conscripting one man or boy of any age 11-70 from each civilian family to defend the trenches surrounding Raqqah. Of course they use mosques as recruiting centers and schools as military headquarters, suicide truck fabricating centers and ammunition dumps. We all know that Raqqah still is where Daesh has its slave market for captured Yezidi girls and where there are almost daily beheadings, sometimes in mass. This isn't coming from MSM, its coming from people speaking in their native languages who are there, or have been there, have escaped, written diaries and uploaded videos and photos which withstand careful scrutiny.

Which brings us to drones, a completely different subject, and how to decide when, where, why to use them. For example, I have seen any number of clips of drones taking out moving suicide trucks manned by suicide bombers aimed at Syrians (Iraqis, Libyans of all ethnicities. Hooray, good use. On the other hand I have seen clips of horrendous massacres by drones. I have seen the same sort of good and bad usage of attack helicopters, missles, a whole array of weapons used by oppressors and defenders, capitalists and socialists, Christians, Jews and Muslims. The whole bunch of monsters managing this crap are granted almost complete impunity. From the weapons manufacturer, to the preacher of one brand or another of religion, to the politicians, to their shills on facebook and twitter and media, to the people who line up and vote for Clinton vs. Trump vs. Sanders (or Erdogan or Assad or who the fuckever).

They can all holy roller around or stick their butts in the air and their nose to the ground, or cry on some stupid wall, tax or not be taxed to sham people out of their money and into atrocities or, at best, sleep walking. I see no reason why their shrines should be any more privileged than their military headquarters and I see no reason why children should be in either place.

Note in edit: Since this thread is off the recent essays I may turn this into an essay tomorrow after a bit of revision).

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snoopydawg's picture

@HenryAWallace
After spending time in the trailers in this country after watching the drones drop bombs on weddings, the people who come to help them and peaceful villagers who were out collecting firewood or doing other tasks.
And the republicans just passed legislation that would make it easier for veterans who have mental issues buy guns. Anyone who is considered a person with mental problems is put on a list that would them ineligible to buy a gun.
I suppose that is one way to cut down on the amount of money spent on the veterans.
So many doctors and organizations wrote to congress and asked them not to pass the legislation, but the NRA wanted it passed.
It now goes to the senate.

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A noun, a verb and Putin.

of future drone murders.
If we still exist a few years down the line, let's check the numbers.

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divineorder's picture

@on the cusp @on the cusp

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A truth of the nuclear age/climate change: we can no longer have endless war and survive on this planet. Oh sh*t.

snoopydawg's picture

@Alex Ocana

I don't think religious buildings of any sect should have any special privileges or sanctuary status. If they are engaged in criminal acts, atrocities or war-mongering terrorism, which they frequently are, then I don't mind blowing them up anymore than blowing up an Israeli jet over Syrian air space. In fact, given the results of the sick shit Abrahamic based religions brainwash people to do:

For one thing, how would you know that people inside mosques or other places of worship has people in them who are planning on the things you wrote?
If they can be targeted for destruction then they should be able to destroy any places of worship in this country if members of our military are in them. After all those members of our military are planning to follow orders to go into countries and kill people and many of them haven't threatened us.

You called them brain washed people because they follow a certain religious belief.
Christianity has a rule in it that says Do Not Kill yet I remember soldiers who had
Kill a Gook for God written on their helmets. I think that a lot of people have been brainwashed with their religious beliefs.

Would all those atrocities have happened if this country hadn't involved themselves with overthrowing Assad and would the number of terrorists groups be as large as they are now if this country hadn't created Al Qaida in the first place or destroyed Iraq and fired its military members or any of the other countries that this country has inserted itself into?

I don't know if you are aware of how the Christian fundamentalists have taken over the military base in Colorado Springs, but they think that God says that their mission is to kill in god's name.
Yep, I strongly disagree with you.

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A noun, a verb and Putin.

Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg Not to mention modern militarism. There is no need for any bombing of any sort, mosques or not.

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snoopydawg's picture

@Big Al
and hope that my comment doesn't come across as believing in the war of terror.
I am totally against the bogus bullshit, illegal invasions.
I agree with Smedley Butler. The only reason for war is to defend this country if its threatened.

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Big Al's picture

@snoopydawg I was just rambling, don't mind me.

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snoopydawg's picture

that if they shoot at one of their jets again then Israel will destroy Syria's air bases.
There were so many comments about how Trump should just bomb their whole country and the Hell with their families.
I asked why it is okay for our country to bomb and kill innocent civilians, but it's not okay for them to kill American civilians. Or any other countries that are involved with this fucking stupid war on terror.
I bet my comment isn't going to be posted because that type of comment doesn't follow the USA USA, FUCKING USA!
I read about the mosque being destroyed by two bombs from a drone and blamed Obama for those people's deaths even though he isn't president anymore.
He set the precedent for the drone program and he is still responsible for any deaths from a drone, in my opinion.

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A noun, a verb and Putin.

Alex Ocana's picture

@snoopydawg Given how the "news" about all the atrocities (like the mosque bombing, if it happened" committed by Russia, USA, Syria and Kurds are coming from the phony, monsterous Al Qaedah affiliated "White Helmets", I have serious doubts to the veracity of such reports.

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From the Light House.

snoopydawg's picture

@Alex Ocana
and have since I first heard of them.
I don't understand why you think that I trust them and I don't see anything in my comment that relates to them unless you are talking about who bombed the mosque or if it happened.

Not only do they only operate in rebel-controlled areas but they are a source of propaganda about the war, indeed their very existence is an element in the larger propaganda campaign to rally international support for a “regime change” war in Syria. The “White Helmets” brand was conceived and directed by a New York-based marketing company named “The Syria Campaign,” which itself was “incubated” by a larger politically oriented marketing company called Purpose.
Along with managing the online and social media promotion of the White Helmets, the Syria Campaign has parallel efforts in support of “regime change” in Syria. One of these efforts has been to criticize United Nations and humanitarian relief organizations that supply aid to displaced persons living in areas protected by the Syrian government.

I have read other articles that say things like this and that many of the photos of children being helped after their area was bombed were staged and probably faked.

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A noun, a verb and Putin.

Strife Delivery's picture

The numbers only matter depending on the person in office:

When Bush kills poor, brown people around the world, that is bad.
When Obama kills poor, brown people around the world...that is totally different and necessary? ignore it, some other distraction?
When Trump kills poor, brown people around the world, that is bad.

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@Strife Delivery
started when I compared Obama's war to the poem White Man's Burden.

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That was fast.

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gulfgal98's picture

@Timmethy2.0 is a criminal enterprise run for the benefit of multinational corporations.

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"I don't want to run the empire, I want to bring it down!" ~Dr. Cornel West "...isn't the problem here that the government takes on, arbitrarily and without justification, an adversarial attitude towards its citizenry?" ~CantStopthe Signal