On numerous occasions while flipping through the news channels, I’ve seen reports of growing Islamic fundamentalists overseas that hate America for their freedom, for their way of life. Due to this promoted perception, many Muslims in America become target of hate crime, considered to be a threat to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms that Americans believe in and hold on to so strongly. Little do they know that the same rights and freedoms they believe should be upheld by everyone are not being upheld for others abroad.
America has been instrumental in violating both international and national law by conducting drone attacks on foreign grounds and using them as tools of surveillance within U.S. soil. Not only are these drones being used to target “militants”, but they are also being used against the people the government has intended to protect.
Since 2002, America has been using drones to attack Al-Qaeda and other militants that are a threat to national security. Total casualties by drone strikes in Pakistan alone counts for over 3000 killed, over 800 of which were innocent civilians. Yemen and Somalia have faced over 800 casualties with over 200 being innocent civilians.
The argument made by the U.S. is that there are no geographical constraints in the war on terror. Citing Article 51 of the UN Charter, the American government says that the ensuing “war on terror” follows alleged terrorists wherever they may be found and that the war has no temporal limitations. Even still, the use of lethal force has rules and requires proof when being carried out. Yet these drone attacks are presuming those targeted as guilty without any proof, making them reasonable targets by their status rather than action.
Following the guise that Article 51 provides, the U.S. has gained notoriety in establishing “black sites” around the world. This is an initiative facilitated by the CIA that establishes secret prisons in countries involved in the program to detain enemy combatants who may pose as a threat to U.S. sovereignty. Reason that the American public hears little of these establishments in their media is so that the U.S. government can manipulate and break code of ethics on how to deal with prisoners detained in these prisons.
All the while this is going on, hate crimes against Muslims are starting to erupt. Muslims are being attacked in mosques and in places they have been working for years for their livelihood. In addition to this, the stereotypical image of muslims that the media has created has put people of other religions in the crossfire of these hate crimes. This probably makes one wonder, why are Muslim’s being attacked on the outside and the inside? The answer is a simple one, media censorship. Flagship news publications over time have blatantly admitted to have formed partnerships at the federal level to withhold information from the public on such topics as the drone-assassination program, secret prisons, torture and unlawful surveillance of the U.S. public.
In 2011, America tried carrying out one of the most daring operations, against one of its own citizens. It was a planned killing of American citizen Anwar Awlaki, alleged recruiter of terrorists. Both him and his 16-year-old son were killed without arrests, trials or presumptions of innocence being made. No news channel in America reported of this maneuver.
While the rest of the world continues to watch casualties and deaths being produced by U.S. drone strikes, the American citizens are left in the dark, unknowing of the dangers being brewed by their government. Their media outlets pour an onslaught of images of "radical" muslims from around the world, feeding their citizens an image of anger, resentment and threat towards U.S. sovereignty. Muslims that have been affected by drone strikes or other crimes perpetrated by U.S government become easy recruits for the actual radically minded, Al-Qaida. The U.S. citizens have no idea where the anger and resentment is coming from and hence associate Islam to be this way. It would be wrong for me to assume that all U.S. citizen's operate within this mind-frame, but I can easily see why one would fall into this trap of misguidedness. It is important for transparency to be attached with all actions of the government so that people can remain informed and chose sides carefully because continuing on to the current path of an eye for an eye is surely to turn the whole world blind creating more and more misinformed and misguided individuals.