This past week, I had to write a paper on the psychological determinants of the United States’ response to the attacks on September 11, 2001. I clarify the year because if y’all never noticed, the Benghazi attacks happened on the same exact day ten years later … eerie. Like most political science papers I write, I dove headfirst into the topic and justified my watching of movies before bedtime because I chose ones that had to do with 9/11. First, it was United 93. Very bad choice. Quite similar to the night I came home from going out and thought “I’ll just watch a short rom com and fall asleep while it’s playing.” I chose Hotel Rwanda. Three hours later, I was alone in bed bawling my eyes out because why is the world such a horrible place?!
The next night I chose Dirty Wars, a documentary about the continued American involvement in Afghanistan. I know that the news doesn’t talk about it as much as usual, but yes, we are still at war with Afghanistan. It’s been twelve years, four months, three weeks, and seven days since we invaded Afghanistan on the terms of ending the “War on Terror.” I highly encourage all of you to get on Netflix, take an hour-and-a-half break from House of Cards (trust me, if anyone knows how hard that is, it’s me) and educate yourself on the human rights’ violations that our government’s military is partaking in.
In 2011, a so-called terrorist threat, Anwar al-Aulaqi, was targeted and successfully removed from the picture, much like many other covert operations led out by top American military forces. The only thing that made this different from the assassination of Osama bin Ladin was that Anwar al-Aulaqi was an American citizen, as was his 16-year-old son Abdulrahman al-Aulaqi, whose death was officially stated as a “mistake” by the United States government. There were outcries from journalists and social justice groups following the two separate incidents; what happened to innocent until proven guilty? The response of the government was that the reasons for assassinating these two men — well, really one boy and one man — were too dangerous to let the public in on. So basically, we should really just trust the military and let them kill whomever they want, regardless of citizenship. Because the government is always looking out for the people, right? Except when they unlawfully assassinate us … it’s a cycle of complete bullshit.
Yesterday, the United States-led North Atlantic Treaty Organization held yet another drone attack, this time in eastern Afghanistan. Five innocent Afghan soldiers were accidentally killed. In the past five years, 1,000 drone strikes have occurred in Afghanistan alone, and these attacks account for one third of all civilian deaths in air strikes, although all of those numbers are just our best approximations due to sketchy reporting on the behalf of the U.S. Air Force. Though we often imagine our continued occupancy in Afghanistan to be a “keepers of the peace” situation, civilians are still dying every day due to military strikes. In 2013 alone, the United Nations reported that 2,959 civilians were killed, totaling to more than 14,000 civilians since 2012. Civilian deaths have risen since 2011 and all of this has occurred under the administration of President Obama, who campaigned on ending our involvement in both Iraq and Afghanistan. Nearly three out of four American fatalities in Afghanistan have happened during Obama’s term. Of the total U.S. deaths in the country, more than half happened in the past five years, while we have been in Afghanistan for more than 12 years (making it the longest U.S. military war ever). It doesn’t seem like our invasion of Afghanistan is slowing down to me.
Go watch Dirty Wars, pleeease. Too often do we forget about American involvements and the negative effects we are continually having on hundreds of thousands of peoples’ daily lives. Educate yourselves on our occupation of Afghanistan and on the sneaky things that the U.S. government — unfortunately, mainly President Obama — are up to in order to “protect us” and to “counter terrorism.” I guarantee you’ll be interested. And remember my friends, always question authority. While ignorance is definitely bliss, as college students, the world is about to be thrust into our hands, and we should prepare ourselves for the shit storm that we’re going to be taking on.
Mckinley Krongaus has been pretty tough on Obama lately, but it’s just out of love … for now … seriously, dude needs to cut it out with the drones.