Saturday, April 8, 2017

Non-combatant Civilian Deaths Caused By U.S. Airstrikes Spike Under Trump


Washington's coalition Has Killed 5,000 Syrian and Iraqi civilians since 2014. This is a conservative estimate calculated by Airwars, a civil society group that tracks civilian casualties in Iraq and Syria. Between 8,000 and 11,700 have been attributed to the U.S. coalition though these claims have yet to be confirmed. The 4,834 fatalities caused by Washington warplanes includes about 700 children and 400 women. Non-combatant civilian deaths caused by U.S. coalition airstrikes has drastically spiked since Trump took office. Thus far, the Trump administration has killed 245 civilian non-combatants in Iraq and 378 civilians in Syria from February till April. This only takes into account confirmed and fair reports where there is a reasonable amount of evidence from multiple sources on the ground and does not account for ongoing investigations which may inflate these numbers. The spike in civilian fatalities caused by U.S. airstrikes is due in most part to the fact that the Trump administration has taken less precautions and, as much as it pains me to say it, has done less thinking and more knee jerk reacting than Obama. Trump has ordered airstrikes at a rate of one per day since he took office while Obama averaged an airstrike every 5.4 days during his two terms. Furthermore, Trump has discarded many rules of engagement that minimize civilian fatalities in airstrikes.

Trump was never less hawkish than his predecessor or Clinton. Even Trump's rhetoric on the campaign trail made Obama look dovish by comparison. He used the guilt by association fallacy to suggest that it was permissible to kill the families of ISIS fighters, a statement which, if followed to its logical conclusion, would mean, among other things, bombing families in European countries as well as 'ally' Gulf states such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan. It would also mean killing family members that may have shunned their ISIS relatives or just killing random people who Trump claims are related to ISIS fighters. As early as 2015 he suggested drastically increasing military spending which practically translates to more bombing, more boots on the ground, and more boogeymen to fight. To recall that Trump supporters thought this guy was an 'non-interventionist' is laughable on face value not only in light of his past statement on the Iraq war, which he made Howard Stern, or his past statement on the war in Afghanistan, or his flip flopping on the intervention of Libya, which is stuck in a state of perpetual anarchy, but also in light of the more probable motive that Trump simply criticized these police actions to score brownie points against his primary opponents. Trump doesn't really have any principles; his ideology is egotism. Whatever benefits Trump is good and whatever hurts his reputation is bad or FAKE NEWS! That is the extent of his rationale, and if you're too stupid to see that I feel sorry for you.

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