Bird’s Eye: Two pieces looking at the fallout of 00bama’s military strategy abroad: it seems that if you kill civilians arbitrarily, their surviving kin will hold a grudge. This may be news to the Pentagon, or the White House. And two lighter followups on out of this world: shots from an orbiting spacecraft, and a look down a space-time wormhole.
* How Drones Help Al Qaeda New York Times
“DEAR OBAMA, when a U.S. drone missile kills a child in Yemen, the father will go to war with you, guaranteed. Nothing to do with Al Qaeda,” a Yemeni lawyer warned on Twitter last month. President Obama should keep this message in mind before ordering more drone strikes like Wednesday’s, which local officials say killed 27 people, or the May 15 strike that killed at least eight Yemeni civilians.
Drone strikes are causing more and more Yemenis to hate America and join radical militants; they are not driven by ideology but rather by a sense of revenge and despair. Robert Grenier, the former head of the C.I.A.’s counterterrorism center, has warned that the American drone program in Yemen risks turning the country into a safe haven for Al Qaeda like the tribal areas of Pakistan — “the Arabian equivalent of Waziristan.
* Why They Hate Obama Juan Cole Informed Comment
The Pew Charitable Trust Global Attitudes Survey finds that most publics abroad have experienced substantial disappointment in Barack Obama. Indeed, Middle Eastern Muslims are hoping Obama will be defeated next November. But, the rest of the world isn’t experiencing buyers’ remorse about Obama for the same reasons as the American public. Not even.
Global disappointment with Obama focuses on three areas, according to the poll, with the Middle East respondents more disappointed than the Europeans.
They had expected him to seek the cooperation of others rather than launching unilateral policies.
They had expected him to do something about the declining situation of the Palestinians in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and he did not.
They had expected him to address the problem of climate change, and from their point of view, he did not.
Aside from not meeting their expectations, he also disappointed them with a new policy, that of throwing drones down on other countries without so much as a by-your-leave.
That these genuinely important issues are the basis of global disappointment with Obama shows how divorced from reality the great American Bubble Island has become, where the bubble-headed spew complete nonsense on the airwaves on certain channels 24/7.
* Lost Wormhole photo
* Astronaut Don Pettit’s Photos of Earth from the International Space Station Slate Magazine
The images, which look straight out of 2001: A Space Odyssey, as has been noted around the web, were taken 240 miles up in space by combining multiple 30-second exposure photos, and then stacking them together with imaging software. The resulting “star trail” images, as he calls them, essentially show the paths made by stars and earth lights over 10 to 15 minutes.