Barbaric attacks by Obama administration

Dear Editor:

President Obama’s drone-strike program has come under increasing criticism from many quarters. A study by Stanford and New York universities showed that the civilian casualty rate from Obama’s drone strikes is between 90 and 95 percent. Another study by the Columbia Law School’s Human Rights Institute found that in Pakistan, as many as 98 percent of those killed by Obama’s drone strikes are civilians.

The United Nations has been arguing that Obama’s drone strikes violate international law. Lawyers for the British High Court have been insisting that Obama’s drone strikes are illegal. Recently, reports have been surfacing in the press about Obama’s “double tap” program, under which an American military drone fires a missile at a house or apartment building and then comes back a few minutes later and fires a second missile into exactly the same spot. The second missile kills the family and friends who come to help the wounded. The second missile also kills the firefighters and paramedics who come to tend to the wounded. This is clearly barbaric behavior on Obama’s part and is a war crime, too.

In almost all societies, paramedics and firefighters are looked up to as some of the most admirable people to be found in that society. Paramedics and firefighters work long hours, often for low pay, and are dedicated to the preservation of human life. Many are volunteers and receive no pay at all. For Obama, as commander in chief of the armed forces of the United States, to authorize and implement a program that targets paramedics and firefighters is unforgivable.

Christof Heyns, United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, said, “Secondary strikes on rescuers who are helping the injured are war crimes.”

Clive Stafford-Smith, the lawyer who heads the Anglo-U.S. Charity Reprieve, says that such strikes “are like attacking the Red Cross on the battlefield.”

Write Obama and demand that he immediately cease his double-tap program. Do it today before he kills any more rescuers.

George Newell