Get used to them. There will be more.
All acts of mass murder are crimes against humanity, and require a gross debasing of other people.
On a recent visit to one of my favourite haunts in London, Gloucester Books, I flicked through the secondhand paperbacks and old magazines that were fading in the sun. The leading article in a National Geographic Magazine commemorated the crews of the US Eighth Army Air Force for their forbearance and sacrifice during WW2. Nothing unusual in that, but the honour extended to their bombing raids over German cities. The story focused mainly on the former pilots and had photos of young men running towards their planes, waves and smiles as they climbed in, each touching for luck an illustration painted on the side of some forties’ pin-up girl with red lips.
In response to reports that the Obama Administration has agreed to pay €1m to the family of an Italian aid worker who was killed in a US drone strike in 2015, Jennifer Gibson, Reprieve staff attorney, said:
“The Lo Porto family’s terrible ordeal shows that the secret drone program is nothing like as accurate as the US Government claims. Yet there are many more civilian victims who have yet to receive a public apology – notably Faisal bin ali Jaber, who lost two innocent relatives to a drone strike in Yemen.
There is every sign that Ethiopia is plunging into a crisis whose scale, intensity, and multiple and interdependent drivers are unprecedented since the founding of the regime in 1991.
The Ethiopian leadership remains in denial. The long meetings of its ruling bodies have culminated in a report on 15 years of national “rebirth”, in which it awards itself good marks, while acknowledging the existence of a few problems here and there.
Nonetheless, the odd warning signal may be heard – though very seldom – in counterpoint to the general complacency. Hailemariam Desalegn, prime minister and chairman of what is essentially the single party, has gone so far as to warn that the issues facing the regime are a matter of “life or death”, and that Ethiopia is “sliding towards ethnic conflict similar to that in neighbouring countries”.
‘Rule of Law’ Rhetoric Incompatible with Praise for Police Killings
Here’s the good news: today, President Roderigo Duterte of the Philippines spoke forcefully in support of the rule of law and human rights during his first state of the nation address. During his 100-minute speech, Duterte pledged that his administration, which took office on June 30, “shall be sensitive to the state’s obligations to promote, and protect, fulfill the human rights of our citizens…even as the rule of law shall at all times prevail.”
The bad news: Duterte made clear that his government’s “relentless and sustained” campaign against illegal drugs – which Philippine human rights groups have blamed for a “surge of extrajudicial killings of suspected criminals and drug offenders” – won’t end anytime soon. Instead, Duterte urged police: “Double your efforts. Triple them, if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, and the last pusher have surrendered or [been] put behind bars or below the ground.”