Politics

Shootings of Newtown Children Provokes Outrage, Foreign Kids Killed by U.S. Drones Doesn't

| by Michael Allen

Several journalists and commentators have recently written about the different reactions of Americans to the murder of 20 children in Newtown, Connecticut and the kids murdered in foreign lands by U.S. drone attacks.

While Newtown has drawn an outpouring of sympathy and outrage from Americans and the U.S. media, there has been a deafening silence for the equally precious children killed by U.S. weaponry in Pakistan and Yemen.

George Monbiot, journalist for The Guardian, wrote this week:

Most of the world's media, which has rightly commemorated the children of Newtown, either ignores Obama's murders or accepts the official version that all those killed are 'militants'. The children of north-west Pakistan, it seems, are not like our children. They have no names, no pictures, no memorials of candles and flowers and teddy bears. They belong to the other: to the non-human world of bugs and grass and tissue.

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Political philosophy professor Falguni Sheth wrote on the blog translationexercises.wordpress.com:

The shooting in Newtown, CT is but part and parcel of a culture of shooting children, shooting civilians, shooting innocent adults, that has been waged by the US government since September 12, 2001. And let there be no mistake: many of 'us' have directly felt the impact of that culture: Which 'us'? Yemeni parents, Pakistani uncles and aunts, Afghan grandparents and cousins, Somali brothers and sisters, Filipino cousins have experienced the impact of the culture of killing children. Families of children who live in countries that are routinely droned by the US (government). Families of children whose villages are raided nightly in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Gleen Greenwald, who writes for The Guardian, noted:

The violence and rights abridgments of the Bush and Obama administrations have been applied almost exclusively to Muslims. It is, therefore, Muslims who have been systematically dehumanized. Americans virtually never hear about the Muslims killed by their government's violence.

They're never profiled. The New York Times doesn't put powerful graphics showing their names and ages on its front page. Their funerals are never covered. President Obama never delivers teary sermons about how these Muslim children "had their entire lives ahead of them - birthdays, graduations, weddings, kids of their own." That's what dehumanization is: their humanity is disappeared so that we don't have to face it.

Progressive filmmaker Robert Greenwald created this video (below) showing the brutal realities of children killed by the U.S. military abroad, while the Obama administration falsely claims how drone strikes are so "precise" and civilian deaths are rare.