Back in the day, Christmas brought with it an unofficial truce during times of war, allowing troops to celebrate the holiday, maybe even with their families back home.
Thanks to technological advancements in warfare, this is no longer necessary. Armed drones enable soldiers to extrajudicially assassinate their targets from the safety of military bases thousands of miles away. This way they can get home to their families just in time for supper.
Perhaps this is why the Obama administration chose Christmas Eve to launch two drone strikes in Yemen, the first in 47 days, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ). Investigative journalist Kevin Gosztola reports:
On Christmas Eve, a US drone attacked a vehicle and killed at least two suspected al Qaeda militants in the southern Bayda province of Yemen. The attack happened in the early evening in the country. It was believed a “mid-level al Qaeda Yemeni operative,” Abdel-Raouf Naseeb, was one of the men killed.
A second US drone strike took place later in the night. Gulf News reported five “unidentified people” were killed in an attack on a motorcycle. The story quoted a Yemeni senior security official, who said, “Four of the people died at the scene and the fifth suffered heavy injuries and died later on in hospital. We do not know whether they are members of Al Qaida or not. Shiher residents suspect that there are outsiders.” TBIJ noted the strike on the Hadramout province, an area believed to be a “main operating base of al Qaeda,” was the first one in 15 weeks.
So there you have it. Nothing says “Merry Christmas” like murdering brown people in far away lands with flying killer robots. Surely, Jesus would approve.
The President also may have launched a cyberattack against Iran on Christmas day. The New York Times reports that the US and Israel “have been engaged in a shadowy struggle of computer sabotage with Iran in a broader dispute” over Iran’s nuclear program, which evidence shows is being used strictly for civilian purposes. This comes on top of crippling sanctions implemented by the US and its allies, which have thus far led to food shortages, inflation, unemployment and unmeasurable misery for Iran’s population of 75 million. The death of an Iranian teen with hemophilia has been directly linked to the sanctions, which have resulted in drug shortages throughout the medical field.
Let us remember this suffering as those at the receiving end of our war machine nervously await what the US has in store for them come New Year’s Eve.