Concluding his article (Part 1 was in the March issue) on foreign military and political intervention in West Africa, and how the USA has deployed drones in the region, Cameron Duodu says it is sad that the man who was supposed to represent the whole of humanity at the top of American politics, President Barack Obama, should, today, be portrayed as the enemy of humankind--because of his excessive use of drones to kill alleged enemies abroad, an action which is likely to encourage other countries to develop and use drones themselves. And what a world that will be?
IMAGINE THAT BY SOME QUIRK OF FATE, the president of the United States is a hawkish figure of the Dick Cheney type ... "Totuscheney'--as the American leader is known to his staff. And he wants to (whup the arse' of some 'rogue state' that threatens the interests of the United States in the Middle Ease." When I wrote these words in the March 2013 edition of New African, I was poking fun at Dick Cheney, the former US vice-president. But apparently, such notions are not a joke in Washington DC, where Cheney held sway between 2001 and 2009.
I don't, of course, flatter myself that either (a) the current "Potus" (President of the United States) Barack Obama reads my articles, or (b) that I have, unknown to me, been wired into Obama's brain-box. No, I joke not! For on 14 March 2013--a fortnight after the March issue of New African had been on the streets, the authoritative Washington publication, Politico, carried this headline: President Obama: I'm no Dick Cheney on drones! What?
Yes, according to the paper, Obama's "defence to Democratic senators complaining about how little his administration has told Congress about the legal justifications for his drone policy [was]: Dick Cheney was worse. That's part of what two senators in the room recounted of Obama's response when, near the outset of his closed-door session with the Senate Democratic conference ... Senator Jay Rockefeller ... confronted the President over the administration's refusal, for two years, to show congressional intelligence committees, Justice Department ... memos justifying the use of lethal force against American terror suspects abroad.
"In response to Rockefeller's critique ... the senators told Politico [that Obama] also tried to assure his former colleagues that his administration is more open to oversight than that of President George W. Bush, whom many Democratic senators attacked for secrecy and for expanding executive power in the national security realm. "This is not Dick Cheney we're talking about here,' [Obama] said ..."
So Obama realises that a "Dick Cheney" type of ruler could use drones carelessly and kill people "by heart" (as we in West Africa would put it). That makes the president's excessive use of drones even more reprehensible.
For, many people the world over see him as a moral superior of both Bush and Cheney, and what Obama is doing with drones around the globe is preparing a moral justification for a more murderous president (after him) to expand the "murder-by-drone" programme that he is pursuing. It is called the art of "setting a precedent".
Rand Paul to the rescue?
In fact, irony of ironies: the most serious attack on Obama's drone programme...