Malala meets with Obama (& Malia) & asks US to end drone strikes.

Via Waylon Lewis
on Oct 12, 2013
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President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter, Malia, meet with Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban a year ago, in the Oval Office, Oct. 11, 2013.  (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter, Malia, meet with Malala Yousafzai in the Oval Office. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

What a week. First she inspires Jon Stewart to silence (a rare thing), and in so doing inspires the world...and now she talks to the man himself.

Malala meets Barack Obama and asks him to end Drone Strikes.

“I thanked President Obama for the United States’ work in supporting education in Pakistan and Afghanistan and for Syrian refugees. I also expressed my concerns that drone attacks are fueling terrorism. Innocent victims are killed in these acts, and they lead to resentment among the Pakistani people. If we refocus efforts on education it will make a big impact.”

~ Malala Yousafzai

“She’s sixteen.

A life of purpose is a truly amazing and inspirational thing.

And Malala is a truly amazing and inspirational person.”

There is an argument for drones—after all

Screen shot 2012-11-09 at 11.30.42 PM

On the same note: “Can anyone give me a legitimate reason why a drone strike is different, morally or otherwise, from other means of waging war (B-52’s, attack helicopters, cruise missiles, etc)? Unless you can demonstrate that drones kill more civilians per strike (or have some other major problem with them), then the argument needs to be against the war itself, not the means.”

And: “Think of it this way. We could either put a bunch of boots on the ground to take care of an enemy, or use a single drone strike. By using soldiers you’re endangering their lives along with the trauma that comes with warfare.

The fact of the matter is, it shouldn’t be needed, but it is. This isn’t some fantasy world where inspirational quotes is going to change brainwashed or greedy or violent people. There are many who wouldn’t hesitate to kill you even if you offer them love and hugs. It’s sad, it really is, but even though drones seem impersonal or whatever, they work for their intended purpose.”

And… “So, instead of saying ‘Stop the drone strikes,’ maybe say ‘Stop the war?’ There’s an incredibly important distinction there. I’d say that if we’re going to be in the war anyways, we’re much better off using drones. I’d rather there not be a war, but saying ‘I’m anti-drone’ sort of implies that you’re pro-war.”

And: “Obama didn’t ask for the Nobel prize. The Drone program, as morally questionable as it is, has been the very successful. The terrorist groups that have been targeted by it have had their leadership decimated. Im pretty sure he cares more about doing his actual job (being the leader of the most powerful military the world has ever seen) than the award. And for having such power, the drone program seems like a lesser of the many evils.”

So: “Drones do a bit more good than many realize, but the criticism against them is far from unfounded. They are better than fixed wing aircraft, which are less discriminate in their attacks, but they still have a record of ‘firing in error.’ Of course, this has tragic results. But one must remember what was happening in that region before the step up in air intervention. There was a serious problem of paramilitary groups, namely Pakistani Taliban, exercising their own governments. This resulted in horrific human rights violations. They executed police officers in droves (Link NSFL), and we weren’t quite sure if the nuclear armed government would survive. We still aren’t.”


Above choice quotes from reddit, for and against. Great dialogue over there.


In any case: Drones are fueling anti-American sentiment, and therefore helping the Taliban and other terrorists. They are not worthy of President Obama’s legacy.

  • Malala said she was honored to meet Obama and that she raised concerns with him about the administration’s use of drones, saying they are “fueling terrorism.”
  • These strikes were begun by President George W. Bush and have increased substantially under President Barack Obama.
  • Surveys have shown that the strikes are deeply unpopular in Pakistan, where they have contributed to a negative perception of the United States.

Fun fact:

Mr. Obama’s ambassador to Pakistan, Cameron P. Munter, has complained to colleagues that the C.I.A.’s strikes drive American policy there, saying “he didn’t realize his main job was to kill people,” a colleague said. [He has since quit in protest, how many Americans know about this?]


For more: Jon Stewart’s 3-second reaction to Malala Yousafzai words gave me chills & made me cry. {Video}


About Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of elephant magazine, now & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat." Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword's Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by "Greatist", Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: "the mindful life" beyond the choir & to all those who didn't know they gave a care. | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, is now available.


2 Responses to “Malala meets with Obama (& Malia) & asks US to end drone strikes.”

  1. envisionhealing says:

    This article is really disjointed and not very informative. What exactly is your point of view? How much time did you put into this piece? I love your prose but some of your "news" articles and opinion pieces leave a lot to be desired. I would like to see less cut and paste and more thought-provoking synthesis.

  2. Linda V. Lewis says:

    The whole war has been a disaster for all involved, and the West pulling out will leave Afghanistan a disaster. For an inside view of the situation read, The Dogs Are Eating Them Now. It is no wonder that so many American and Canadian soldiers return with PTS. How ordinary citizens of Afghanistan survive at all speaks to their choiceless grit.