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

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.”




  • Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    Huge fire at Novo Nordisk – building “cannot be saved”

    A fire broke out at a Novo Nordisk site in Bagsværd on Wednesday morning. There have been no casualties, but the fire is “extensive and spreading”, and Novo’s administrative building “cannot be saved” say emergency services.

  • Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Digitization is the secret ingredient in Chinese restaurateur’s growth adventure

    Publisher Jesper Skeel and Korean BBQ restaurant chain owner Zen discuss the ups and downs of independent entrepreneurship and how to crack the Copenhagen market, from both an international and Danish perspective.

  • Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    Pro-Palestinian demonstrations divide Copenhagen society

    As popular protests of the Israeli offensive in Gaza erupt around the world and in the media, from university campuses to the streets of major cities, discord is escalating between demonstrators, the general public, authorities and politicians.

  • Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Denmark leads 15 member states in call to outsource EU migration policy

    Just one day after the EU finally landed its New Pact on Migration and Asylum following four years of tough negotiations, a group of 15 member states, led by Denmark, issued a joint call for greater efforts to outsource migration policy and  prevent migrants from arriving at EU borders in the first place.

  • How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    How to lead Danes IV – Cultural Bypassing

    Many of us Danes, despite being well-educated and well-travelled, often lack experience in navigating cultural differences at work. This can lead to ‘cultural bypassing’, where we believe we are at a level of enlightenment where we no longer are burdened by the risk of making cross-cultural mistakes. As their manager, you can help your Danish colleagues by acknowledging cultural differences in the workplace.

  • Denmark’s Climate Minister wants to expand green agriculture bill

    Denmark’s Climate Minister wants to expand green agriculture bill

    Legislation to cut the sector’s emissions could “kill two birds with one stone” if it also combats fertiliser run-off in Denmark’s marine environment, says Climate Minister Lars Aagard, marking a potential shift in the green negotiations.