CNN runs this story. We read this loud and sensational story of a man that murders without a conscience. Hard for most of us to fathom. CNN brings a few sensational aspects of the story such as “killing doesn’t seem to affect him” and the fact that he admitted to killing “more than” 30 men as an enforcer for Mexican drug gangs.
CNN and we, the reader, take a certain smug comfort in our distance from that kind of brutal reality.
Besides this particular story, media often sensationalize serial murderers or murders that happen to have an element of shocking brutality or, in some cases, the perpetrator or the victim is much like the imagined audience. A middle class yuppie perhaps. A young mother. An attractive young student. Another element that makes a great news story is where killers kill without knowing or caring who they are killing. It provides a 'monster' element. It adds to the shock value.
But then there is a killer at large, in our midst, that kills far more than any of these identified psychopaths and certainly kills without the benefit of knowing who he is killing. That serial killer is the President of the United States. Ted Bundy is estimated to have killed 30 people, Jeffery Dahmer, 17, and John Wayne Gacy, over 34. Barack Obama? The tally isn't in yet.
Aside from the vast numbers of people that have been killed by American and NATO bombs over the past decade, let us just consider victims of Obama's ongoing campaign of drone bombing in several different countries.
NBC released a report that exposes that the CIA “didn't always know who is it was killing” when human beings had been targeted on the ground. NBC reviewed classified CIA documents for a 14 month period beginning in September 2010 and lists 114 drone strikes that killed as many as 613 people. The reports states, “About one of every four of those killed by drones in Pakistan between Sept. 3, 2010, and Oct. 30, 2011, were classified as "other militants,” the documents detail. The “other militants” label was used when the CIA could not determine the affiliation of those killed, prompting questions about how the agency could conclude they were a threat to U.S. national security.”
The report also highlights so called signature strikes where drone operators may kill people on the ground based on vague information.
As we can see here the victims had a signature consistent with terrorists. (They were carrying camera equipment which was mistaken for weapons.) It's not hard to see why so much emphasis in placed on keeping 'classified' information under wraps.
According to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, there has been a total of 370 drone strikes in Pakistan since 2004; 318 of those under Obama. Between 2,548 and 3,549 people perished in those killings and 168 to 197 of those victims were children. In Yemen, between the years 2002 and 2013, 240 to 349 have been killed in confirmed drone strikes. The report indicates an additional 80 to 99 “possible extra” strikes in Yemen over the same period.
Western media, in its true solopsistic point of view, did run reports last month with some alarm that four Americans had been killed in drone strikes. Their outrage is mitigated by an allegation that these Americans posed some threat to U.S. National security.
The Brutality of Bombing
Currently, there is much noise in the press about allegations that the Syrian government has used chemical weapons. They seem to have evidence? These vague reports of poison gas follow alarm at Syrian success against the rebels with the help of Hezbollah. The poison gas allegation follows a bizarre incident where John McCain sneaked into Syria through Turkey to pose with the rebels. Additionally, the Americans are signaling increased mayhem by staging international military exercises in Jordan. The Americans will remain after the exercise are over. An official stated, “It was decided the assets would remain in place,”. The USA has also formally announced they will be arming the Al Qeada extremists and this follows a similar initiative announced by the European Union. The Europeans are especially eager to announce they have proof of the Syrians use of chemical weapons.
You'd almost think they were up to something.
If we have the capacity to consider reality outside the view of the militarized West and we look at the alarm raised when NATO members issue reports that are far more likely to be false than true (that Assad has used poison gas on civilians), we might then consider the horror and terror that is caused by the dropping on bombs on populated areas. Who's to judge what is worse, poison gas or bombs?
We might remember back to the gleeful news reporting on Baghdad when the campaign of 'shock and awe' commenced against the people of Iraq and we might take a moment to reflect on the reality that human beings are crying in terror under that sensational firepower. We might also ask ourselves how the dropping of bombs on people is less brutal than any other type of atrocity. A strong argument can be made that this is the worst of war crimes and crimes against humanity.
The official narrative not only turns a blind eye to the dropping of bombs on civilians, it glorifies it.
We might also ask a civilian in war torn Afghanistan or Iraq about how shocked he or she is at the murders committed by Jeffery Dahmer, Ted Bundy, or John Wayne Gacy. In reality, these murderers are boy scouts in comparison to the almighty war machine we glorify with such gusto.
The ugly truth is – if we turn a blind eye or support these atrocities, we are different to the shocking serial killers we love to hate - in degree; not in kind.