In his latest Truth in Media Moment, independent investigative journalist Ben Swann examines a recent report released by the United Nations Human Rights Council demanding answers from the U.S. and other nations responsible for drone strikes on sovereign countries in southeast Asia -- more commonly referred to as the Middle East -- and Africa. The study examined 30 individual cases where civilian harm took place even though the targets of these strikes were terrorists.
The report, by international lawyer and human rights expert Ben Emmerson, specifically questions the legality of one state encroaching on the sovereignty of another in pursuit of terrorism and with the intent to kill. Emmerson further calls on the U.S. and allied nations to publicly investigate and explain these strikes. After all, the United States would not condone a foreign nation violating its sovereignty in such a way, and the American people would certainly be outraged -- and rightfully so.
But, where is the outrage over these strikes? Why aren't the American people calling on their government to explain its actions? It's America's tax dollars that are being used to kill innocent people in the pursuit of a single individual or small group suspected of terrorism.U.S. officials have already made it clear time and time again that so called "collateral damage" doesn't concern them. Four Americans have even been killed, but the U.S. made it clear that it is ok because they were only targeting one American. This is a program with zero accountability and apparently no restraint. Americans are forced to pay for programs Swann calls "nothing less than barbaric," so why aren't more citizens speaking out against these drone strikes?
The answer may be both simple and yet something we do not want to admit to ourselves. These strikes are happening overseas and therefore do not affect us. They are happening in nations many Americans don't have sympathy for.
When we think of the Middle East, we think of images of suicide bombings, American flags burning, pictures of known terrorists, and radical militant groups. We have been conditioned to view the world through certain lenses, and we fail to make any distinction between Islamic extremists and innocent civilians who only want to live out their lives in peace.
For many, America has to be the good guy, the hero in this story. We are the defenders of liberty -- the shining light in a world of darkness. We cannot view it any other way because that would be unpatriotic.
The mainstream media doesn't report on these strikes and when they do, they only report on general information such as where the strike took place and the total number killed. They often fail to mention that the strike was intended only for one person and yet dozens of fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, sons, and daughters died for no reason other than they were at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Forgive me, but I fail to recall the story of the hero archetype who needlessly sacrifices innocent people just to take out a single antagonist, sometimes without evidence the person truly is a villain.
Photo Credit: AP Photo / K.M.Chaudary