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On Inauguration Day, US Drones Strike Yemen

Barack Obama was sworn in for a second term as President of the United States yesterday [Jan 21, 2013]. Ironically while the crowd was cheering his inauguration line “A decade of war is now ending”, more than three drone strikes hit Yemen, killing suspected militants and what Reuters described as “Qaeda-linked militants” (whatever that means), some of whose bodies were charred beyond recognition.

Adam Baron, a freelance journalist based in Yemen, tweeted:

@adammbaron:
the same day barack obama proclaimed that “a decade of war is now ending,” #yemen's mareb province saw its 4th drone strike in 3 days.

Gregory D Johnsen, author of the book The Last Refuge: Yemen al-Qaeda and America's War in Arabia, tweeted:

@gregorydjohnsen:
Hard to square this: “A decade of war is now ending” http://nbcpolitics.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/01/21/16626094-obamas-inaugural-speech-the-full-text?lite … with this: Drone strike in #Yemen (Ar) http://almasdaronline.com/article/40678

He added:

@gregorydjohnsen:
Current US strategy in #Yemen seems to be predicated on idea that US can kill enough AQAP members to dissuade others from joining

@gregorydjohnsen:
Two of those targeted in weekend drone strikes by US in #Yemen were brothers of AQAP fighters who had already been killed

@gregorydjohnsen:
@nk Since US has started bombing #Yemen in De. 09 – AQAP has more than tripled. Drones aren't, in my view, only reason but a major one

Managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine Blake Hounshell also tweeted:

‏@blakehounshell:
“A decade of war is now ending.” Applause. (Drone strike earlier today in Yemen.)

Web artist Josh Begly tweeted:

@joshbegley:
“A decade of war is now ending.” (With a long weekend, in honor of Dr. King, constellated by four US drone strikes in Yemen.)

Writer and photojournalist, Dustin M. Slaughter tweeted in dismay:

@DustinSlaughter:
As @BarackObama is being sworn in, here's a list of children in #Yemen, #Pakistan killed by US #drones: http://ow.ly/gZL5S #MLK #Inaug2013

With Obama's inauguration on MLK Day, I find it important to note how much King would be protesting our nation's first Black President. From drone bombings to Guantanamo to warrantless wire-tapping, surveillance of U.S. citizens, and increased deportations, the Obama administration is not the change we want to see in this world, it is the problem, writes Jonathan B. Tucker on Facebook

Monday, January 21, was also Martin Luther King's Day – the great man who in 1967 said “When scientific power outruns moral power, we end up with guided missiles and misguided men.” Many tweeps shared the tweet saying that while King had a dream, Obama has a drone.

Immortal Tech drew the analogy between the two leaders:

‏@ImmortalTech:
Dr. King said “I have a dream.” Not, “I have a Drone & a Kill list with Americans on it but you can't see it or know how you there.”

Although Obama pledged to end the “war on terror” and to restore respect for the rule of law in US counter-terrorism policies, the use of drones has dramatically increased during his time in office.

Glenn Greenwald, a columnist and blogger for the Guardian, tweeted:

@ggreenwald: Many suggested that when Obama said “a decade of war is now ending”, he meant to add: “and a new one is beginning” http://is.gd/sLFwpz

Micah Zenko, Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, tweeted earlier:

@MicahZenko:
Panetta on drone strikes today: “The reality is its going to be a continuing tool of national defense in the future.” abcn.ws/WmU4Oi

Just a day after Obama had won the re-election, US drones hit Yemen – a move which was translated as four more years of drones for the country. With the nomination of the Drone Czar John Brennan to head the CIA, the drones are likely to increase as well. It is worth pointing that their effectiveness has been greatly debated in eradicating Al-Qaeda in Yemen, whose members have increased since 2009. US drones have certainly been breeding anger and resentment towards the US administration.

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