As they celebrated last week’s drone strike that killed al Qaeda big shot Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen, Obama & Co. continued to lie about the dangers workers face from this escalating campaign. U.S. bosses claim that “surgical” drone strikes, using unpiloted aircraft, avoid civilians. They say that drones offer a low-cost, politically low-risk means of prosecuting their “war on terror” without engaging U.S. troops. Finally, White House hypocrites preach that they apply the strictest “moral” and “legal” standards in deploying the drones.
But history tells us that wars cannot be won by remote control. The drones represent an early stage of a bloody, high-risk strategy that could soon have “allied” U.S. and Pakistani armies shooting at each other. They cannot possibly replace the ground troops the U.S. bosses will need in their war to control the areas with huge reserves of oil and natural gas and the pipelines that transport them. (It’s for this reason that the U.S. “withdrawal” from Iraq moves at a snail’s pace; there are 30 U.S. bases that need to be secured there.)
Moreover, the drones won’t help the hundreds of thousands of workers in Pakistan on strike against poverty pay, unpaid wages and brutal working conditions (see CHALLENGE, 10/5). They won’t benefit those who suffer from the capitalists’ austerity policies across Latin America, Africa, Asia and Europe. And they certainly won’t relieve the racist unemployment, home foreclosures and worsening healthcare faced by tens of millions of U.S. workers. The trillions spent on war only exacerbate these problems for workers everywhere.
In fact, the Pentagon uses drones both to pinpoint high-level targets and to spread terror through indiscriminate slaughter. John Brennan, Obama’s top advisor on terrorism, finds his boss’s robot assassins faultless: “There hasn’t been a single collateral death because of the exceptional proficiency [and] precision…that we’ve been able to develop” (Los Angeles Times, 6/29/11).