Ten more people have been killed by a US drone strike against suspected militants in Pakistan, with the aircraft firing its missiles into a gathering mourning one of two fighters killed in a similar atttack the previous day.
Two Pakistani intelligence officials say four missiles were fired at the village of Mana Raghzai in South Waziristan near the border with Afghanistan on Sunday morning.
At the time of the attack, suspected militants had gathered to offer condolences to the brother of a militant commander killed during another US unmanned drone attack on Saturday. The brother was one of those who died in the Sunday morning attack. The Pakistani officials said two of the dead were foreigners and the rest were Pakistani.
It brought to 12 the total number of people killed in two days and was the sixth American drone strike over the last two weeks. The US government considers the drone campaign a vital tool in the war against al-Qaida and the Taliban.
Paul Harris of The Guardian puts the president's slaughter of civilians in some context:
Yet it is the drone programme and "kill list" that have emerged as most central to Obama's hardline national security policy. In January 2009, when Obama came to power, the drone programme existed only for Pakistan and had seen 44 strikes in five years. With Obama in office it expanded to Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia with more than 250 strikes. Since April there have been 14 strikes in Yemen alone.Those of you prepared to re-elect Barack Obama because he is the lesser of two evils in an election match-up with Mitt Romney should note that even the lesser of two evils is still "evil."
Civilian casualties are common. Obama's first strike in Yemen killed two families who were neighbours of the target. One in Pakistan missed and blew up a respected tribal leader and a peace delegation. He has deliberately killed American citizens, including the radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki in September last year, and accidentally killed others, such as Awlaki's 16-year-old son, Abdul-Rahman.
The drone operation now operates out of two main bases in the US, dozens of smaller installations and at least six foreign countries. There are "terror Tuesday" meetings to discuss targets which Obama's campaign manager, David Axelrod, sometimes attends, lending credence to those who see naked political calculation involved.
Yet for some, politics seems moot. Obama has shown himself to be a ruthless projector of national security powers at home and abroad, but the alternative in the coming election is Republican Mitt Romney.
"Whoever gets elected, whether it's Obama or Romney, they are going to continue this very dangerous path," said Radack. "It creates a constitutional crisis for our country. A crisis of who we are as Americans. You can't be a free society when all this happens in secret."
And given the slaughter Barack Obama orders on a weekly basis, given the Bush administration surveillance state apparatus Obama has expanded, given the fascistic and secretive tendencies this man has, he is most definitely evil and belongs in a Gitmo jail cell next to George Bush, Dick Cheney, Condi Rice and Donald Rumsfeld.
Axelrod, the political operative, attending the "Terror Tuesday" meetings.
That tells you everything you need to know about the policy and the people involved.