Trump keeps another campaign promise. During the race for the presidency, Donald Trump said he would “go after the families” of terrorists. On Sunday, his 10th day in office, he did just that: he killed 8-year-old Nawaar al-Awlaki, the daughter of US citizen Anwar al-Awlaki, an accused al Qaeda operative killed by Barack Obama in 2011. (Obama later killed al-Awlaki’s teenage son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, in what the US called a “mistaken” drone strike on an open-air cafe. Abdulrahman was not even alleged to have any connection to terrorism.)
"She was hit with a bullet in her neck and suffered for two hours," said the eight-year-old's grandfather, as Reuters reports. Nawar died in a ground raid that also saw the first US serviceman killed in the vicious US-Saudi war against Yemen. The Saudis are trying to re-install one of their puppets in Yemen, after he was ousted by Houthi rebels. The Houthis are sworn enemies of al Qaeda, and had greatly reduced the terrorist group’s presence in Yemen before the United States — ostensibly also the sworn enemy of al Qaeda — joined with the Saudis in a ruthless onslaught that has killed thousands of civilians and brought millions of people to the brink of starvation. The US-Saudi war also opened the door for al Qaeda to flourish again in Yemen.
And so now the US is carrying out more and more operations in Yemen — against al Qaeda. (While arming and supporting al Qaeda and related forces in Syria.) No, it doesn’t make sense — outside the brutal logic of imperial machinations, where violent extremist groups are just counters to be played, this way and that, on one side or the other, in the never-ending game of domination.
Trump has not skipped a beat in taking up the counters that Obama left behind. It was the Peace Prize President who enmeshed the United States neck deep in the Saudis’ bloodbath —while expanding the death-drone policies of George W. Bush (who killed an American citizen in the first US drone missile attack in 2002 — in Yemen). Now the game goes on, most likely with renewed force, as Trump pursues his stated intent of becoming even more directly involved in the imperial bloodletting in the Middle East.