WDEL Blog: Allan Loudell

Human Rights Watch: U.S. drone strike in Yemen failed to follow Obama's new rules; civilians in wedding party killed

Imagine this scenario: A drone attack from some foreign nation kills innocent U.S. civilians participating in a wedding procession in the United States.

Could you imagine the white-hot, 24/7 U.S. media coverage in the hours and even days after such a tragedy? It would be like the Boston Marathon bombing coverage all over again.

Well, a report by Human Rights Watch concludes a U.S. drone strike in Yemen this past December killed at least a dozen people in Yemen, violating President Obama's newly revised rules designed to protect civilians.

Furthermore, Human Rights Watch reports the aerial bombardment was aimed at a line of vehicles that were part of a wedding procession in Yemen. HRW asserts the evidence indicates "some, if not all, those killed and wounded were civilians."

Granted, the report concedes some members of al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula MIGHT have been among the victims. (For you Vietnam veterans: Like the Viet Cong hiding among civilians in a village.)

U.S. officials continue to insist only Islamist militants were killed.

But a Yemeni journalist and academic - whom I've known for about a quarter of a century - and who teaches media issues at a Swedish university, makes the point about the U.S. popular media, virtually ignoring the story. Sure, U.S. serious newspapers have articles. But what about broadcast coverage? I don't watch much cable news, but I can't imagine this would be a major talking point on one of the nighttime cable interview shows.

Walid al-Saqqaf, former executive editor of The TIMES of YEMEN, raised the contrast above: What if the shoe were on the other foot?

Audio Here

This is why I get very frustrated with U.S. conservatives and liberals arguing about media bias. Seems to me nearly everyone misses the larger point: That many international stories get scant attention in U.S. media, even international stories involving the use of U.S. military force and apparent civilian deaths.

Posted at 2:59pm on February 20, 2014 by Allan Loudell

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Comments on this post:

Thu, Feb 20, 2014 7:41pm
I understand your frustration, Allan. I would guess that stuff like this probably happens every day but this is the rare occurrence that you actually heard about.

Thu, Feb 20, 2014 9:43pm
As I think all know by now, there is jokingly a 5th-floor at Langley where the C.I.A. runs the country, including running Obama. They do what they do, sort of an amped-up 24 series which played on Fox Network starring Kiefer Sutherland .... Most D.C. native accept this as a possibility; jockingly rumors abound in D.C. that they are not of this world. As you may guess, this is common joke material in D.C.; didn't know if it had yet reached Delaware...

It should be considered on the same level as UFO's. Maybe.. or maybe not.

But, on another note, having pointed out the very striking parallels on this blog with hard-fisted communist rulers and today's Republican Party, it should be as no surprise (yet it was), that Yanukovych in Ukraine was paying blogs of Red State and Breitbart to champion the cause of the hard-fisted Ukraine rulers... (Taking a lesson from Israel, no doubt)... One media outlet is confirming money changed hands to work sympathy for the hard-liners in those two blogs, which as we know, only appeal to the craziest of the crazies here in America....

But isn't it interesting that Republicans and ruthless Stalin communists have so much in Common?


I really don't have a read on Buzzfeed's credentials; they too could have been spoon fed this story, but as they say with lies, if they explain an unknown, they will probably be believed.... So I offer here, just so all out there are as informed as I...

Thu, Feb 20, 2014 11:05pm
And again, Babylon just keeps babblin' on.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Feb 21, 2014 8:04am
Kavips: Interesting.

Here I always thought Commies were more left-leaning and Fascists were more right-leaning, but apparently the Commies are "broadening their horizons" and find some sort of commonality with the right in the U.S. So maybe USA Today did get the 2000 election map correct when it labeled the ultra-conservative areas RED.

Mike from Delaware
Fri, Feb 21, 2014 8:10am
This can be the new theme song for the TEA/G.O.P., the old Russian song Meadowlands - heh heh.


Sun, Feb 23, 2014 4:22am
Since Obama doesn't play by the rules; how can he expect anybody else to play by his? The hypocrisy of the left strikes again!

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