Letter to the Editor: Murder is still murder when committed by a drone

Letter to the Editor: Murder is still murder when committed by a drone

We are confronted by a US presidential second-term election cycle. We all must contend too with various interests. Do we have in play a version of ‘operation boot’? The 1952 US/UK regime-change operation in Iran. And do people regionally also view the late, recently murdered Major General Qasem Soleimani as an Iranian Che Quevara? Would Iran’s supreme Ayatollah be viewed as an Iranian Fidel Castro? How annoying for a rightist US administration: a Cuba in the Middle East. How much more death and devastation will flow out of our fossil-fuel dependency and the military powers of the main players, the chief one being the US?

Did it escape US notice that people killed at an airport by a drone-launched missile is an act of murder, remote or not, and murder (and multiple murders on the day) remains illegal and a crime? The US administration bases itself on law, doesn’t it? And there are no warnings. Likewise, the convoy attacked.

Those strikes followed a crowd assaulting the perimeter of the US embassy, destroying a guard hut of the US Iraqi embassy. And that came after at least 15 were killed in a drone strike following the death of a US private security contractor.

These escalations of violence in tit-for-tat bouts follow in turn the US being removed by the current US president out of the Iran nuclear deal and he has increased sanctions on Iran.

After authorising killing Soleimani, President Trump said he was directly threatening Iran that he would hit 52 high-value and highly regarded sites of culture if Iran retaliated to the drone strikes killing many, including Soleimani, a senior officer in the Iranian government. This is similar to threatening to bomb Westminster, the Louvre or the Vatican, and would be highly illegal, just like murder is. Imagine Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, the Acropolis flattened. And following urgent diplomacy, including by France, Iran notified Iraq’s head of state about an impending attack that then non-lethally took place upon two US airbases in Iraq.

As this went ahead, those killed were being buried. In Iran between five and seven million attended General Soleimani’s funeral — 56 died in a crush with 200 injured. Accounts came too of 176 killed in a Ukrainian air crash outside Tehran. We learn of an aerospace general relating on Wednesday, January 8 that Iran’s air defence shot it down. That was admitted to on January 11 by Iran’s government. At protests about such a delay, the UK’s ambassador was arrested. The UK showed surprise. A bit disingenuous given US/UK form on Iran. And Viktor Orban, Hungary’s PM would have us believe there exists an Anglo-Saxon axis of USA/Israel/UK, didn’t he say? Orban wants to join? How could military and civil action in Iran not co-ordinate on flights in and out? There needs to be a high-level investigation also covering any possible interference. Could we imagine France shooting down a German airliner out of de Gaulle because it was thought the UK were following through on threats to launch cruise missiles?

As hundreds die over interests vested in fossil fuel and supremacism, royal family appearances overwhelm the UK tabloids.

Tom Ryan
Doon
Co Limerick

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