Although President Donald Trump faces criticism for a recent botched raid on Yemen, it would be more accurate to blame the military-industrial complex and the Wall Street investors who support the endless profitable expansion of U.S. warfare.
The Jan. 28 raid, the first military action carried out under the Trump administration, left one Navy SEAL and 15 women and children dead, according to Yemeni sources. The Pentagon claims the attack, carried out with the help of Emirati military forces, killed 14 militants, but the soldiers failed to capture or kill their main target, al-Qaida leader Qassim al-Rimi.
Among the dead was 8-year-old Nawar al-Awlaki, the daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen accused of working as an al-Qaida propagandist. The elder al-Awlaki had the dubious distinction of being the first U.S. citizen killed by a U.S. drone strike, back in September 2011. Anwar’s 16 year-old son, Abdulrahman, was also killed in a U.S. drone strike even though he apparently had nothing to do with terrorism.
The U.S. policy of using unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, to carry out remote killings began under President George W. Bush, but saw a dramatic expansion under President Barack Obama. It was Obama who oversaw the killings of al-Awlaki and his son, along with at least 524 other drone strikes. That’s 10 times the number ordered by Bush. In fact over 26,000 bombs were dropped under Obama last year alone.
Although U.S. intelligence agencies claim only around 117 civilians were killed in Obama’s drone strikes, other estimates are far higher.