Political leaders call Obama “assassin” for use of drones

Former immigration minister Søren Pind calls the US president “worse than Bush” for allowing remote attacks against enemies

If you're heading across Funen, expect huge delays (photo: iStock)
July 25th, 2012 2:00 pm| by admin
facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestmail

Danish lawmakers are levelling unprecedented criticism at the US president, Barack Obama, for his use of remote-controlled attack drones in Pakistan, Somalia and Yemen.

Rasmus Helveg Petersen, Radikale foreign policy spokesperson, told Politiken newspaper that Obama’s actions mirror those of the terrorists he professes to be fighting against.

“It’s terrible,” said Petersen. “The United States has no right to carry out these types of executions of suspected political adversaries. It contravenes international law.”

Petersen added that executing political adversaries within another country’s borders was tantamount to terrorism.

The comments came after Søren Pind, of the opposition party Venstre, in an interview with the magazine Ræson, likened the drone attacks to “assassination”.

“I criticised George Bush for allowing torture during his presidency,” Pind told Politiken. “But what he is doing is much worse and violates the principals of the Western world.”

Representatives from the far-left Enhedslisten joined in bashing the US president and said it would raise the issue with parliament’s foreign policy committee.  

The attack drone issue has arisen following the disclosure of Obama’s involvement in some 261 drone raids against suspected terrorists in Pakistan alone.

During his eight years in office, President George W. Bush approved a total of 45 drone attacks.  

Critics of drone operations say that the US is killing its opponents without due process while at the same time putting civilians at risk.

Some 1,000 civilians have been killed by drone attacks so far, according to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism in London,

The US Embassy was unavailable for a response to the criticism.

The foreign minister, Villy Søvndal (Socialistisk Folkeparti), was reluctant to wade into the fray.

“I am not prepared to comment further than saying that we do not use drones ourselves and that International rules must be adhered to,” said Søvndal

Ole Wæver, who teaches political science at the University of Copenhagen, said that drone attacks exists in a kind of legal vacuum, but added that the criticism should be viewed as marking a new chapter in Denmark’s relationship with the US.

“There has been until now broad political agreement that we stood shoulder to shoulder with the US, but people are slowly realising that the world order is changing,” Wæver told Politiken.

Wæver added that many in Demark feel that Obama has not lived up to their expectations.

“A lot of Danes have felt themselves allied with Obama, but that is not a permanent show of support. He has used up his goodwill account.”

If you're heading across Funen, expect huge delays (photo: iStock)
Huge train delays across Funen
Train services across western Funen between Odense and Fredericia have craw...
Birthday gift: Queen Margarethe gets her own exhibtion (Photo: Danish Museum of National History)
Museums corner: Reign supreme: first the queen, then the tweens, next the machines
Margrethe II might have something to say about the line-up this month. For ...
Noma unseated from its number one position (photo: Antissimo)
World’s 50 Best Restaurants: Noma falls to third place
After spending four of the last five years in first place, Noma has droppe...
EADP have developed a spacecraft capable of deflecting an asteroid with very short warning time (photo: Urhixidur)
Armaged some funding! Danish NGO collecting funds for asteroid protection
The Danish NGO, the Emergency Asteroid Defence Project (EADP), is currently...
The pharoahe is ready to kill it with his rhymes (Photo: Krik Barvender)
Early-June music: In the hands of the pharoahe
Pharoahe Monch Wed 3 June, 22:00; Pumpehuset; 200kr Pharoahe Monch, a 42-...
More Copenhageners are ready to spend the big bucks on their holiday (photo: iStock)
Copenhageners travelling the most this summer
When it comes to forking out for a holiday somewhere, Copenhageners have th...