Trayvon Martin vs Abdul Rahman al-Awlaki
Lauren Booth shared George W. Obama‘s photo.
That is precisely why President Obama’s statement is so appalling.
Allow me to explain. On October 14, 2011, another young American boy was senselessly murdered. His name was Abdulrahman al-Awlaki. He was born in Denver on August 26, 1995, six months after the birth of Trayvon Martin, making him just 16 at the time of his murder. His family, like Trayvon’s, described him as a happy teenage boy with a bright future. He shared Trayvon’s dark complexion and jet black hair, enough so that Barack Obama’s imagined son may well have looked just like him. Maybe Barack Obama didn’t know that when he ordered the drone strike that ended Abdulrahman’s young life at a family barbecue. Maybe that’s why there was no grief-stricken statement from the President, no protest on the floor of Congress, no calls for vengeance. Maybe that’s why Spike Lee never felt compelled to tweet “1600 Pennsylvania Ave.” to his bloodthirsty followers.
Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was never charged with a crime (nor was his American father Anwar, who was killed in another drone strike two weeks earlier). The Obama Administration, to this day, refuses to provide any evidence that Abdulrahman or anyone else at the barbecue it bombed was a threat to anyone or wanted for any crime. In fact, the Obama Administration lied and said that Abdulrahman was an al-Qaeda militant in his 20s until the al-Awlaki family came forward with photographs and a birth certificate (at which point the Obama Administration simply changed Abdulrahman’s description to “military-aged man”).
No, Abdulrahman was simply another in an increasingly and appallingly long line of innocent people killed by American missiles in a war our government still refuses to acknowledge. Another young life destroyed for reasons too illogical or too insidious for the government to admit publicly.
The circumstances around Trayvon Martin’s death have rightly generated national outrage, debate, and increased the momentum of efforts to overhaul the institutional injustice that has claimed far too many young lives in our country. The circumstances around Abdulrahman al-Awlaki’s death generated no national outrage, no national debate, and the executive branch’s unilateral war on anyone it declares an enemy continues unchallenged and underreported.
I do not mean to diminish the death of Trayvon Martin or what it represents. I am, however, begging those outraged at the death of Trayvon Martin to take a look behind the Obama Administration’s curtain and see what horrors are being done in their name and with their money.”
“With wall-to-wall coverage of the Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin trial over the past few weeks, one might be led to believe that the cable news networks actually give a damn about justice. One would, however, be sorely mistaken.
Reports TV Newser:
“The biggest beneficiaries of the Zimmerman trial coverage seem to be HLN and MSNBC, which are seeing higher ratings than typical during the hours for which it has covered the trial live. CNN has seen some hours do very well covering the trial (particularly in total viewers), and others where it has not. Fox News hasn’t really seen a ratings spike from covering the trial, although it remains the clear ratings leader overall.”
In other words, the jackals who run the mainstream media freakshow care less about justice than they do about boosting their ratings. To them, this isn’t about Trayvon Martin. It’s not about George Zimmerman. It’s not about racism, the justice system, or any particular core issue. To them, it’s merely about lining their own pockets. If the networks weren’t able to hijack and exploit this trial for their own gain, it would have probably been dropped weeks ago.
None of this is to imply that the Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin trial is undeserving of coverage or attention from the public. But the skyrocketing ratings definitely explain why this story has dominated the cable news landscape for the last several weeks. Such coverage also says a great deal about the networks when they direct endless amounts of attention to one murder – which took place with a weapon purchased by George Zimmerman – while simultaneously neglecting hundreds of thousands of murders, which took place with weapons purchased by U.S. taxpayers.
To be clear, the “hundreds of thousands of murders” being referred to here isn’t some imaginary number. Estimates of civilian casualties from the unnecessary invasion of Iraq in 2003 are, at a minimum, at least 100,000. That’s 100,000 taxpayer-funded murders of innocent human beings that never had to happen. And who is being held accountable? Did I somehow miss the trial of George W. Bush? Where is the media on this?
There has been no accountability, and it doesn’t help that the current President is aiding in the rewriting of history to cover up the crimes of his predecessor.
Reports Ewen MacAskill of The Guardian:
“Obama failed to mention Iraq once during his speech at the opening of the George W Bush library and museum in Dallas on Thursday. Instead, he opted for kind words about the man he once castigated day after day on the campaign trail, to cheers from Democratic supporters. In Texas, Obama spoke of Bush’s “generosity”, “strength”, “resolve” and “compassion”.”
If Bush authorizing the invasion of a non-threatening country and effectively slaughtering hundreds of thousands of people makes him “generous” and “compassionate”, someone had better give Merriam-Webster a call and let them know that they’ve been erroneously defining these words for decades. Or maybe the problem here isn’t Webster, but President Obama, who seems to be pulling an “Ace Ventura” and speaking a bit too much out of his ass.
Such abhorrent revisionism by Obama for Bush only seems explainable if one understands just how much Obama has behaved like Bush since taking office, especially with regard to foreign policy, where Obama is responsible for building up his own pile of innocent human corpses. Hundreds have been slaughtered by his administration’s use of taxpayer-funded aerial death robots (aka “predator drones”). Many of these casualties have been children. And in Yemen, the Obama administration even executed two U.S. citizens – a father, Anwar al-Awlaki, and his son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki – without due process. Again, where’s the accountability? Where’s the mainstream media coverage?
To reiterate, none of this is to imply that the Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin trial lacks significance, especially if it was racially motivated. One report last year from the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement found that in the first six months of 2012, the police, security guards, and self-appointed “agents of justice” killed 110 African-American men, women, and children – which balances out to be about 1 killing every 36 hours. But if racism is what concerns the public, the ongoing “War on Terror” should be right up at the top of the list, as it is clearly one of the most blatantly racist campaigns of this generation.
Reports Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian:
“Many Americans can (a) say that they oppose the targeted killings of Americans on foreign soil while simultaneously (b) supporting the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki in Yemen because, for them, the term “Americans” doesn’t include people like Anwar al-Awlaki. “Americans” means their aunts and uncles, their nice neighbors down the street, and anyone else who looks like them, who looks and seems “American”. They don’t think those people – Americans – should be killed without charges by the US government if they travel on vacation to Paris or go to study for a semester in London. But the concept of “Americans” most definitely does not include people with foreign and Muslim-ish names like “Anwar al-Awlaki” who wear the white robes of a Muslim imam and spend time in a place like Yemen.
Legally – which is the only way that matters for this question – the New-Mexico-born Awlaki was every bit as much of an American citizen as the nice couple down the street. His citizenship was never legally revoked. He never formally renounced it. He was never charged with, let alone convicted of, any crime that could lead to the revocation of citizenship. No court ever considered revoking his citizenship, let alone did so. From a legal and constitutional perspective, there was not a single person “more American” than he. That’s because those gradations of citizenship do not exist. One is either an American citizen or one is not. There is no such thing as “more American” or “less American”, nor can one’s citizenship be revoked by presidential decree. This does not exist. But the effort to depict Muslims as something other than “real Americans” has long been a centerpiece of the US political climate in the era of the War on Terror. When it was first revealed in 2005 that the Bush administration was spying on the communications of Americans without the warrants required by the criminal law, a Bush White House spokesman sought to assure everyone that this wasn’t targeting Real Americans, but only those Bad Ones that should be surveilled (meaning Muslims the Bush administration decided, without due process, were guilty).
This decade-long Othering of Muslims – a process necessary to sustain public support for their continuous killing, imprisonment, and various forms of rights abridgments – has taken its toll. I’m most certainly not suggesting that anyone who supports Awlaki’s killing is driven by racism or anti-Muslim bigotry. I am suggesting that the belief that Muslims are somehow less American, or even less human, is widespread, and is a substantial factor in explaining the discrepancy I began by identifying. Does anyone doubt that if Obama’s bombs were killing nice white British teenagers or smiling blond Swiss infants – rather than unnamed Yemenis, Pakistanis, Afghans and Somalis – that the reaction to this sustained killing would be drastically different? Does anyone doubt that if his overhead buzzing drones were terrorizing Western European nations rather than predominantly Muslim ones, the horror of them would be much easier to grasp? Does it really take any debate to know that if the 16-year-old American suspiciously killed by the US government two weeks after killing his father had been Jimmy Martin in Sweden rather than Abdulrahman al-Awlaki in Yemen, the media interest and public outcry would be far more substantial?”
The type of “othering” Greenwald refers to here of Muslims undoubtedly also applies to African-Americans, evident by their treatment on the domestic front in the only war currently outlasting the “War on Terror”: the “War on Drugs”. But as mentioned previously, the big cable news networks have no genuine interest in core subjects like racism. If they did, they’d give more coverage to the racism of U.S. foreign policy. They’d give more coverage to the racism of the “War on Drugs”. And they’d do this alongside coverage of issues like the case of Trayvon Martin. But instead, these networks have one main priority, which is ratings, and they will apparently go to any length to achieve them. If that means peddling incorrect or speculative information about the Zimmerman-Trayvon Martin trial, so be it. If that means selling a destructive and unnecessary war to the public, so be it.
It never ceases to amaze me that people still give CNN, FOX, and MSNBC their attention after these three networks have lied to them without a shred of remorse time and time again. They deceived their viewers about the 2003 Iraq invasion; they deceived their viewers about the 2011 bombing of Libya; and they continue deceiving their viewers about Iran’s non-existent nuclear weapons program, as well as the U.S.-backed “revolution” in Syria.
To see such an important trial being exploited in such a way, and to see many of the aforementioned stories regarding U.S. foreign policy being ignored or drastically neglected, is nothing short of disheartening. I long for a day when these networks are treated like the snakeoil salesmen that they are and ignored instead of wielding the undeserved power to set the national conversation, but until that world comes, we all have to deal with the reality of their hideous existence.”
Posted on 15/07/2013, in politics and tagged AbdulRahman, Al- Awlaki, bush, drones, foreign policy, Fox News, Lauren Booth, Obama, trayvon Martin, war on terror, zimmerman. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.