Moral Low Ground

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Nawar Al-Awlaki, 8-Year-Old American, Killed in US Yemen Raid

Her teen brother — also an innocent American civilian — and her US-born radical Islamist father were killed in separate drone strikes under Obama in 2011

Eight-year-old American girl Nawar al-Awlaki was shot through the neck and died a slow, painful death as US forces bombed and raided homes harboring al-Qaeda fighters in southern Yemen on Sunday morning.

Mainstream media reports of the first major American attack on Yemen since Donald Trump became president focused on Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William “Ryan” Owens, who was killed in a mission in which “almost everything went wrong,” according to one senior US official.

But two Americans died in Sunday’s attack, and one of them was a little girl who joins her older brother — also an innocent American child — and her father, an American radical Islamist cleric, as fatal victims of US bombs and bullets. The dawn raid by US forces targeted a powerful family involved with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), considered by Washington to be the most dangerous al-Qaeda branch. President Trump, who during the 2016 presidential campaign said he would kill terrorists’ families, did just that — it is unclear exactly how many civilians perished in Sunday’s attack; one local official said 16 people, including eight children, were killed. Medical personnel said 30 civilians were killed, including at least 10 women and children, ages 3-13.

Nawar al-Awlaki, also known as Nora, was one of those children. Her grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki, told Reuters the girl “was hit with a bullet in her neck and suffered for two hours.”

“As Nawar was always a personality and a mind far older than her years, she was reassuring her mother as she was bleeding out; ‘Don’t cry mama, I’m fine, I’m fine’,” the girl’s uncle, former Yemeni government minister Ammar al-Awlaki, said, according to Middle East Monitor. “Then the call to the dawn prayer came, and her soul departed from her tiny body.”

President Trump, while offering his “deepest thoughts and humblest prayers” to the loved ones of the slain SEAL, did not mention Nawar, or any of the other civilians killed in the attack, which apparently partially fulfilled his promise to not only kill terrorists’ families, but to “bomb the shit out of” America’s enemies. “I’d blow up every single inch, there would be nothing left,” Trump said on the campaign trail in November 2015. “We’ll get Exxon[Mobil] to come in there and in two months… I’ll take the oil.”

Nawar isn’t the first al-Awlaki, or even the first child from the family, to be killed by the US In 2011, her father, radical American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, was killed by a drone strike. Two weeks later, Al-Awlaki’s son, 16-year-old Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, born in Denver, Colorado, was killed, along with his 17-year-old cousin and several other innocent Yemenis, in another drone strike as they dined at an outdoor restaurant in his ancestral homeland. When pressed on the legality and morality of killing American citizens without affording them the due process of law guaranteed under the Constitution, Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs retorted that the slain teen “should have a far more responsible father.”

Responsible father or not, Nasser al-Awlaki has now buried his son and two of his grandchildren. “Why kill children?,” asked Nasser. “This is the new [Trump] administration – it’s very sad, a big crime.”

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