Obama Calls for Peace and Comity at Home, But Favors Wars and Killer Drones Abroad
President Barack Obama made an eloquent plea for sanity and peace following the latest deadly assault on police officers -- this time a gunman with an assault rifle shooting and killing three cops in Baton Rouge and wounding another three, one critically injured.
He struck just the right tone, condemning the killings but also warning against politicians and media talking heads using the incident to stir up more divisions. As he put it:
Someone once wrote, “A bullet need happen only once, but for peace to work we need to be reminded of its existence again and again and again.”
The president continued:
“My fellow Americans, only we can prove, through words and through deeds, that we will not be divided. And we’re going to have to keep on doing it “again and again and again.” That’s how this country gets united. That’s how we bring people of good will together. Only we can prove that we have the grace and the character and the common humanity to end this kind of senseless violence, to reduce fear and mistrust within the American family, to set an example for our children.”
It was a moving call to bring this violence-plagued feuding country together -- people respecting the police, and police respecting the people, black, brown, red, yellow and white.
And yet I found myself wondering, why did the president say this only applying to the violence in our own country? This is, remember, the same president who chairs weekly meetings to decide who will be killed next somewhere in the world by our high-tech drones -- remotely piloted killing machines with grotesque names like Predator and Reaper, armed with their obscenely but aptly named Hellfire missiles. Victims who include not just suspected or alleged “terrorists” but also innocent members of their families, including young children, not to mention the all too many innocents who either happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, or who are simply victims of targeting errors or “intelligence” errors.
How can this president, who is so quick to approve bombing campaigns in Libya, Syria, Iraq and Somalia, or to send in Special Forces death squads to countries like Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and elsewhere, or to extend a war launched in 2001 by his predecessor against one of the poorest nations in the world -- Afghanistan -- for not just the eight years of his own violence-plagued presidency, but into the next one, be so eloquent about not turning to violence in the US?
Curious about his use of an unattributed quotation, I googled the line, and readily discovered it had been penned by Colum McCann. a writing professor at New York’s Hunter College, a native of Dublin, Ireland, and author of several novels, including Let the World Spin and TransAtlantic.