Monday, October 8, 2012

Living With Death By Drone

Source: LA Times

People in the United States imagine that drones fly to a target,launch their deadly missiles with surgical precision and return to a U.S. base hundreds or thousands of miles away. But drones are a constant presence in the skies above the North Waziristan tribal area in Pakistan,with as many as six hovering over villages at any one time. People hear them day and night. They are an inescapable presence,the looming specter of death from above.

And that presence is steadily destroying a community twice the size of Rhode Island. Parents are afraid to send their children to school. Women are afraid to meet in markets. Families are afraid to gather at funerals for people wrongly killed in earlier strikes. Drivers are afraid to deliver food from other parts of the country.

With Foreign Policy Speech, Romney Runs for Obama's Second Term

Source: Wired - Danger Room

At the Virginia Military Institute, Romney will portray Obama as well-intentioned but naive when confronting the world. “We cannot support our friends and defeat our enemies in the Middle East when our words are not backed up by deeds,” Romney will say, according to the advance text provided by his team. That means putting Iran “on notice” that it can’t have a nuke; ensuring the Syrian rebels get weapons to overthrow Assad (sort of, more on that in a second); signing free trade deals; and, crucially, coaxing the Middle Eastern upheaval in a pro-American direction. And for perhaps the first time in his campaign, Romney has a huge opportunity to make this case, as the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi stands as perhaps the greatest intelligence and security failure of the Obama administration.

But more often than not, Romney accepts the policy framework that Obama created. On Iran, he’ll propose “new sanctions” and to “tighten the sanctions we currently have,” which is the cornerstone of Obama’s Iran policy (along with cyberattacks). On Afghanistan, he “will pursue a real and successful transition to Afghan security forces by the end of 2014,” which is the cornerstone of Obama’s Afghanistan policy. On Libya, Romney will “support the Libyan people’s efforts to forge a lasting government that represents all of them,” which is the cornerstone of Obama’s Libya policy. Perhaps most surprisingly, Romney will recommit to negotiating peace between Israel and Palestine, which was a cornerstone of Obama’s Mideast policy before it crumbled into dust.