Yemeni Engineer Begs Obama to Stop Murdering His Family with Drones

Protecting the people that it hasn't accidentally killed yet.Credit: Defence Images / Foter / CC BY-NCLast year, Salem Ahmed bin Ali Jaber, a respected Muslim cleric in Yemen, gave a speech denouncing al Qaeda. Representatives from Al Qaeda came to speak with Jaber and his cousin in a private meeting. During this meeting, they were all incinerated in a drone strike by the United States.  

The New York Times reported the death of these two innocent civilians in February in the context of discussing John Brennan’s nomination to head the CIA.

Yesterday President Barack Obama met with Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. According to Reuters, Obama praised Hadi’s participation in the war on terrorism, while Hadi apparently appreciated Washington’s help reducing the power and presence of al Qaeda. If there was an mention of innocents killed as collateral damage, Reuters made no note of it.

Also yesterday, another drone strike killed four suspected al Qaeda operatives in the country. Perhaps someday we’ll find out if they actually were al Qaeda operatives, not just suspects. Hopefully they weren’t two al Qaeda operatives having a meeting with two unrelated civilians.

In any event, Jaber’s brother-in-law, Faisal bin Ali Jaber, has written a letter, distributed by human rights group Reprieve, begging Obama and Hadi to stop killing innocents in these drone strikes and warning that they are making enemies of the very communities they claim to be trying to protect:

Why, then, last August, did you both send drones to attack my innocent brother-in-law and nephew? Our family are not your enemy. In fact, the people you killed had strongly and publicly opposed al-Qa'ida. Salem was an imam. The Friday before his death, he gave a guest sermon in the Khashamir mosque denouncing al-Qa'ida's hateful ideology. It was not the first of these sermons, but regrettably, it was his last.

In months of grieving, my family have received no acknowledgement or apology from the U.S. or Yemen. We've struggled to square our tragedy with the words in your speeches.

How was this "self-defense"? My family worried that militants would target Salem for his sermons. We never anticipated his death would come from above, at the hands of the United States. In his death you lost a potential ally – in fact, because word of the killing spread immediately through the region, I fear you have lost thousands.

How was this "in last resort"? Our town was no battlefield. We had no warning – our local police were never asked to make any arrest. My young nephew Waleed was a policeman, before the strike cut short his life.

How was this "proportionate"? The strike devastated our community. The day before the strike, Khashamir buzzed with celebrations for my eldest son's wedding. Our wedding videos show Salem and young Waleed in a crowd of dancing revellers, joining the celebration. Traditionally, this revelry would have gone on for days – but for the attack. Afterwards, it was days before I could persuade my eldest daughter to leave the house, such was her terror of fire from the skies.

He concludes:

With respect, you cannot continue to behave as if innocent deaths like those in my family are irrelevant. If the Yemeni and American Presidents refuse to engage with overwhelming popular sentiment in Yemen, you will defeat your own counter-terrorism aims.

Read the whole letter here.

In Pakistan today, Secretary of State John Kerry is being pushed to give an end date for drone strikes in the country.

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  • Warrren||

    We must murder to prevent murder. Your sacrifices have been noted.

  • Paul.||

    Sacrifices? It was the least they could do.

  • Warrren||

    What's crazy is this guy writes as if Obama is sincere. As if these wars and drones strikes are about stopping terrorists instead of being a pretense in order to mulct the US population.

  • Paul.||

    It's happened repeatedly, where someone who is an "Obama Supporter" 'asks the president' for some such and such a tweak to policy, thinking that Obama will listen to the reasonable requests of his loyal fans.

  • Aresen||

    If the "Good Tsar" only knew what was happening....

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...begging Obama and Hadi to stop killing innocents in these drone strikes...

    Killing them with military jets means Obama would have to talk to the Pentagon, and he hates that. CIA drones are easier.

    Let's face it, this poor guy had the bad luck of being proximate to our Nobel Laureate-in Chief's "good" war.

  • Paul.||

    This is true. It's like, "why wait on hold to talk to a human rep on the phone when I can just check my balance electronically in two seconds?"

  • Calidissident||

    Cytotoxic says they had it coming in 3, 2, 1 ...

  • Dweebston||

    We can't know whether these alleged civilians weren't in fact themselves Al Qaeda terrorists, ergo we must err on the side of caution and vaporize the building.

  • Hugh Akston||

    The world will never be safe until Lyle and Cytotoxic are the last people left alive on a smoldering cinder of the ruined earth. Then they'll have to decide which one of them is the terrorist and which the patriot.

  • ||

    It doesn't matter what this man who is *supposedly* from Yemen says. If he believes the drone strikes are making more enemies, Cyto knows better than him.

    Canada is a better vantage point to know the facts on the ground in Yemen than...the ground in Yemen is, apparently.

  • Paul.||

    We must water the ground in Yemen with blood of Al Qaeda so the tree of liberty can be planted somewhere.

  • Hugh Akston||

    With respect, you cannot continue to behave as if innocent deaths like those in my family are irrelevant.

    Pretty sure that's exactly what he's gonna do.

  • Paul.||

    I hardly call it pretending.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Yeah, he'll hit the golf links, have a few drinks and a fat steak, smoke a cigarette and review the KILL MATRIX for his next hit. LAUNCH.

    With respect to the Yemeni: please do not respect the child-murdering war criminal.

  • Doctor Whom||

    They must have been terrorists. My Obot friends tell me that only terrorists ever get drone-struck (when said Obots acknowledge drones at all). Also, blowback is an isolationist, loonytarian myth.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Obama Administration definition of drone-dead 6-year-old Yemeni: TERRORIST until proven otherwise, and all evidence will be destroyed.

  • fish_remote||

    TELL HIM TO FUCK OFF.......OBAMA HAS A NOBEL PEACE PRIZE!!

    And much like "The Ark of the Covenenant" it (the prize) will lay waste to ALL who challenge or stand opposed to it!

  • Paul.||

    The peace prize is telling him to fuck off.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Two alQaeda walk into a KFC.

    End of joke/KFC.

  • Paul.||

    Obama would never drone strike a KFC because KFC is fucking delicious. Why would Obama want to blow up a KFC?

    Wait... did I just go racist?

  • Invisible Finger||

    I shoulda said "mosque". I wanted to say "bar" but there's something inaccurate about that.

    This is why I am not funny.

  • PapayaSF||

    No, some of the 9/11 hijackers were known to visit strip clubs.

  • Dweebston||

    Only to get a nice hatechubby going for their mission. Nothing like viewing Western decadence up-close and in pasties to elicit the inner jihadist.

  • Invisible Finger||

    But the US would never drone a strip club.

  • AlmightyJB||

    I used to like KFC, but all of the KFC's around here or gross anymore. Sucks 'cause I love fried chicken.

  • Ted S.||

    Why, then, last August, did you both send drones to attack my innocent brother-in-law and nephew?

    Because fuck you, that's why.

  • fish_remote||

    Intelligence reported that there was a dog in the vicinity...

  • Aresen||

    "Why, then, last August, did you both send drones to attack my innocent brother-in-law and nephew? Our family are not your enemy."

    YET.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    But you are Obama's enemy. Stop expecting anything else from him.

  • ||

    It's amusing that this guy thinks a letter to a sociopathic megalomaniac is going to sway said megalomaniac at all.

  • Dweebston||

    He likely thinks his letter will sway voters, which is even funnier.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    The progressives and neo-cons will double down on their support for Obama's Global War on Terror.

  • R C Dean||

    During this meeting, they were all incinerated in a drone strike by the United States.

    Good shoot. Totality of circs. At least the drone operators got to go home that night.

  • Aresen||

    Maybe Obama and Christie and Boehner and King and Pelosi can pass it around for laughs at their next meeting to discuss the care the Great Unicorn Rider takes in authorizing these strikes.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    Get out the whips, chains, and Steely Dans. Don't forget to invite Hillary.

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    The gun oil, the GUN OIL!!

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    The NSA has first rights to the internet feed!

  • Hugh Akston||

    Seriously, though Mr. Ali Jaber, come back when you're the Yemeni head of state, then Obama might listen to your complaints about dead whatevers.

    Probably not though. More likely he'll sit there while you rattle of the names of all the innocent people who have died for the sake of the American military-intelligence-industrial complex, looking grave and concerned while thinking of how to thank you for your help in the Global War on Terror in a way that makes him look the most Presidential.

  • R C Dean||

    looking grave and concerned while thinking of how to thank you for your help in the Global War on Terror in a way that makes him look the most Presidential that he's running late for his golf game that day.

  • PapayaSF||

    I wonder if the best tactic at this point would be to call off the drone strikes, saying that we've crippled Al Qaeda and made our point, but that if there are any more Al Qaeda attacks against us the droning will resume.

  • Dweebston||

    Indulging my libertarian fantasies for a moment, I'd see every one of the pols behind this farce go to the wall for their part in it.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    The droning will continue until morale improves.

  • Aresen||

    The droning will continue until morale improves they stop hating us.

    FIFY

  • ΘJΘʃ de águila||

    What about all those JOBS that are created by the drone program?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Stay the fuck away from the people we need to kill.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    Aw, you're not even trying.

  • Calidissident||

    Don't say we, fucking Canadian.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    With respect, you cannot continue to behave as if innocent deaths like those in my family are irrelevant.

    SICK BURN.

  • Juice||

    Obama: "Challenge accepted."

  • Dave Krueger||

    That's preposterous. If they were innocent, the U.S. wouldn't have killed them. The very fact that they're dead proves that they weren't innocent.

    Hey. That logic was good enough for Vietnam, so it should work just as well in Arab countries, shouldn't it?

    Now let's get back to the really important stuff like political sex scandals and George Zimmerman's speeding tickets.

  • Hyperion||

    Yes, that's it. It's just like how the police would never shoot a dog unless they were in imminent danger of death. Those dogs all had it coming.

  • Juice||

    Our family are not your enemy. In fact, the people you killed had strongly and publicly opposed al-Qa'ida. Salem was an imam. The Friday before his death, he gave a guest sermon in the Khashamir mosque denouncing al-Qa'ida's hateful ideology. It was not the first of these sermons, but regrettably, it was his last.

    Someone needs to clue him in on the actual nature of AQ.

  • MappRapp||

    Youve got to admit thats eome pretty cool stuff.

    www.Anon-Top.tk

  • Agammamon||

    "Last year, Salem Ahmed bin Ali Jaber, a respected Muslim cleric in Yemen, gave a speech denouncing al Qaeda. Representatives from Al Qaeda came to speak with Jaber and his cousin in a private meeting. During this meeting, they were all incinerated in a drone strike by the United States."

    Hmm, who were the (foul, disgusting) people, earlier today, who were saying that double strikes were ok because the strikes were directed at people who were only helping our enemeies?

  • Boomer||

    Please don't Judas me
    Treat me as you like to be treated
    Please don't blacklist me
    Leave me as you'd wish to find me
    Don't analyze me, sacrifice me
    Please don't Judas me.
    Please don't chastise me
    Show me just one shred of kindness
    Try to help me see
    Guide me in my eyes of blindness
    Don't despise me, categorize me
    Please don't Judas me.
    No, no don't Judas me
    No, please don't Judas me
    Please don't head shrink me
    Don't disguise your innuendos
    Tell no lies to me
    I can see the way the wind blows
    Don't debase me, annihilate me
    Please don't Judas me.
    Please don't number me
    Don't betray my trusted promise
    Please don't anger me
    I find it hard to bear no malice
    Don't frustrate me, manipulate me
    Please don't Judas me
    No, no don't Judas me
    No, please don't Judas me

    ~Nazareth

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