Last November a New Zealander known as Muslim Bin John was killed by a US Drone strike. At the time he was apparently travelling in a colony of cars with Al Quaeda operatives in Yemen.
You would expect that the extra judicial killing of a New Zealander by a foreign state would attract some sort of response from the Government. One of their jobs is to try and help New Zealanders overseas.
Mr bin John’s death was met with disdain from our elected representatives. John Key basically said that Mr bin John was associating with terrorists and deserved it. In Parliament questions put to the Government by Kennedy Graham was met with cackling and heckling by the tory backbenchers. Stephen Joyce seemed completely disinterested that a New Zealander had been killed. The inhumanity of some of our elected representatives makes you wonder. You can watch the performance in this video.
Graham asked Joyce if any agency of the New Zealand Government provided information to the United States or its allies that could have assisted in the killing of the New Zealand citizen. Joyce answered a different question and said “there was no New Zealand involvement in, or prior awareness of, this operation at all.” This makes you wonder how the US found out about Mr bin John’s travel arrangements and location.
The grandmother of another man killed at the same time as Mr bin John was told by Australian Police that the attack occurred while the men were in a mosque. If so this makes the attack that much worse.
The use of drones do not cause the precision killing of bad guys only. The repeated murder of children in Pakistan caused artists to create the picture shown above to tell the drone operators that the next drone kill bug splat may be a child. The killing of people in a wedding party in Yemen a few months ago is an example of what happens. As Kennedy Graham mentioned opinion polls taken in Europe suggest most people there oppose the use of drones to kill.
Instead of obsequiously accepting these killings as being legitimate the Government should be asking the Americans to explain and stop. The random killing of innocent people is by definition a terrorist attack.