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Drone Wars, Kill Lists: A Dark, Deplorable Chapter in America's History

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Historians will laud America as a world power, a nation and a people of resolve and creativity that accomplished many great things; its high points in medical breakthroughs, space exploration, sending a man to the moon, and the internet. But they will also include a special chapter to describe the era when this nation descended to one of the lowest points in its history -- that's right here, right now.

Most Americans have become quite familiar with President Obama's rapidly escalating use of drone wars that are indiscriminately killing both suspected terrorists and innocent civilians across Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen; those remote-controlled drones that routinely violate the air space and borders of nations. But they had no idea that this same President Obama, as recently reported by the NY Times, maintains a "Kill List" in the Oval Office by which he personally decides which person will be the next target.

What in the world is happening here in America? After G.W. Bush took us into the illegal, destructive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, we saw the emergence of one Barack Obama, a symbol of hope for our nation; he was the self-appointed agent of change who inspired America with the stirring words of "real change" and "yes we can." Well, apparently, that was no more than an illusion. Yes, we are seeing change come to America but, unfortunately, it's exactly the worst kind that we might imagine.

O.K. so now most everyone in America must be fully aware that this president is escalating the drone wars and is maintaining a kill list. So what is the reaction in America? The mainstream media, except for the NY Times who exposed the kill list, just yawned and looked the other way; even MSNBC, the liberal TV news outlet remained silent, not daring to criticize this president no matter what he does.

And what is the reaction of the American people? They watch as these drones are unleashed against other nations, as a kill list is routinely maintained in the Oval Office. It may be hard to believe this, but here is an article from the Washington Post that indicates that the great majority of Americans fully approve of this president's drone wars and kill list.

So what does this tell us when America has taken this dangerous turn in its history and it is met with nothing more than silence and a complete lack of concern? What it should tell the American people is that they better wake up and wake up fast. This government and this president have now opened up a new chapter in the escalation of unrestrained violence in the world. Right now it's a one-sided war with America launching all the drones on any suspected enemies in any nation that it believes harbors them. This totally misguided policy is going to open up the door to a world that is going to see a massive proliferation of these killer weapons of war by countless nations as they settle their differences by drone attacks rather than diplomacy and negotiations.

This proliferation of drone warfare begins a new, highly dangerous, phase in the War on Terror as those terrorists, many of which were created by America's drone wars, will suddenly be able to get their hands on relatively low-cost drone weaponry by which they will have the ability to strike back at America with their anger and fury; without realizing what it has done, this government is going to watch as the era of "Blowback" emerges. And this could get really ugly.

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This is not some kind of baseless warning. Check out link to an article by Nick Turse taken from about how drones are going to explode onto the world scene and create havoc and violence as never before seen. Right now we can't even begin to imagine what it's going to be like when these drones are commonly used by numerous nations of the world to settle serious disputes and threats.

As Turse points out, there are currently 50 nations that either have drones or are in the process of developing them. This is not rocket science and it will be very easy for any country to build drones by either developing or stealing the technology. Not long ago Iran came into possession of an American RQ-170 Sentinel drone and you can bet that they are in the process of reverse engineering, i.e., taking it apart and copying its design so that they can produce their own version.

One of these days soon the skies across many countries will be filled with drones from other countries, posing a danger to civilian populations and to the world's air traffic systems. Borders and airspace of countries will no longer mean anything as they will be violated on a constant basis. In the hands of terrorists these drones could be used over America, becoming an aerial version of IED's, Improvised Explosive Devices, used so successfully against U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

This entire scenario is being fueled by America's insatiable appetite for petroleum and its agenda to maintain control over the regions of the world that contain the greatest reserves.

There is no great secret to what this government's overall agenda and objectives are in this regard. This is a nation that represents a mere 5% of the world's population of over 7 billion people, but one that consumes 25% of its production of petroleum. It long ago decided that the only way to control these most critical resources is to establish and maintain a world network of military installations in the key regions of the world.

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This, of course, is not the way to take this country into the future. If America was that bright shining star paving the way for the rest of the world, it would be leading the world in the development of all the many new sources of energy, especially solar power, the most powerful energy that man has ever known, one that if developed over a period of time, could provide an infinite supply of this nation's and the world's energy requirements. That would be the logical, rational way to proceed. But that's simply not happening.

This government, now totally under the control of Corporate America and the Military-Security Complex, has no intentions of doing what is best for this country and the world. It has only one interest and that is the generation of massive profits through constant wars. So, instead of looking to the future and using creativity and innovation to develop new sources of energy it's far easier to use massive military power to control existing supplies of petroleum. Is that's what called American exceptionalism at work?

The American people face a serious dilemma as we approach the upcoming 2012 presidential elections. Do they vote for President Obama, who has clearly shown that he doesn't have the strength, conviction, leadership skills and the passion to energize and utilize the power of the American people in changing the direction of this country - but who, instead, has chosen to use the power of his office in overly aggressive military actions that are bleeding this country dry? Or do they vote for Mitt Romney, the weak-kneed flip-flopper who stands for absolutely nothing, is a tool of Corporate America and who would be putty in the hands of those who want to transform this nation and this society into the modern-day version of the Feudal System?

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Michael Payne is an independent, progressive activist. His writings deal with social, economic, political and foreign policy issues. He is a featured writer on Opednews and Nation of Change and his articles have appeared on many other websites (more...)

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