I saw a link on Facebook recently that truly hit the mark. It said something like "Constant Guardian reader finally gives up on Obama and concedes he’s useless”. That’s a concession a lot of people, I suspect, would make. Maybe not out loud but in a small hidden place in their heads. So much hope was placed on Obama, he came with something unique, he spoke of talking with the US’s enemies rather than targeting them. He seemed to offer a fresh start after the dreary dimness of the Bush years.
It didn’t happen. Obama may be ending the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he’s used five times as many drone bombs as did his predecessor. He would claim these are ‘surgical strikes’ aimed at known militants, and he’d like to do the same in Syria; the record shows that these attacks are usually about as surgical as a physician removing your appendix with a hatchet. Figures vary as to how many people have died in these two foreign wars. There are those who put the number of Iraqi deaths due to the US invasion at more than 1,500,000 , and those in Afghanistan at more than 16,000.
Of course when we say Obama used or wants to use drone bombs, we don’t actually mean he has or would like to launch these bombs himself. But he was the one gave the OK for the war and/or its continuation, so clearly he shares in the guilt of those deaths. Pretty ghastly, eh?
Now - what about Ireland? Has the southern government had any hand, act or part in these deaths?
Well, the latest figures show that more than one million US troops passed through Shannon airport - that’s 665 per day - en route to US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In other words, the government of the twenty-six counties provided material support to US soldiers as they journeyed across the globe to leave one and a half million dead in Iraq and over 16,000 dead in Afghanistan.
Here’s a parallel of sorts, and one you’ll be familiar with. In 1984, the IRA tried unsuccessfully to kill Judge Tom Travers. They failed but in the attack his daughter Mary Travers was shot dead. Mary McArdle, who was found to have concealed the IRA weapons used, was convicted of murder and sent to prison. She was released under the terms of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement.
I have a simple question: when will proceedings for murder be initiated against the southern government for its part in the mass slaughter of thousands/hundreds of thousands of Afghan and Iraqi people? Louder, please - I’m afraid I can’t hear you.