Novelist Who Finds Obama 'Elegant' Can't Understand How He Could Lead Such A 'Brutal' Drone War


Photo: AP

In the most recent issue of The New Yorker, photographer and writer Teju Cole describes President Barack Obama as “an elegant and literate man with a cosmopolitan sense of the world” who is “in the line of Jefferson and Lincoln.” He then openly wonders how it is that the Noble Peace Prize winner and distinguished author oversees a targeted killing program that has claimed the lives of hundreds of civilians, many of whom were women and children.

“How on earth did this happen to the reader in chief?”, Cole writes.

From The New Yorker:

[Drones] are insufficiently discriminate: the assassination of the Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud in Pakistan in 2009 succeeded only on the seventeenth attempt. The sixteen near misses of the preceding year killed between two hundred and 80 and four hundred and 10 other people. Literature fails us here.

Since “law seems to be getting us nowhere,” Cole expresses his exasperation by rewriting the opening lines of seven classic books. 

One is Franz Kafka’s The Trial: “Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was killed by a Predator drone.”

Check out “A Reader’s War” >

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