Despite the praiseworthy aspects of former President Barack Obama, his abysmal record concerning civilian casualties in wars abroad, as well as his broad use of drone strikes and other legal methods of war meant that he will be long-remembered, not as the “hope” and “change” president, but one who helped to further ISIS’s agenda by breeding an entire new generation of terrorists.
Now, President Trump seems set on rivaling that record.
According to an investigation conducted by The Daily Beast, the number of civilian casualties caused by U.S. raids under President Trump in the war against ISIS is on pace to double that of those carried out by President Obama.
“Airwars researchers estimate that at least 2,300 civilians likely died from Coalition strikes overseen by the Obama White House—roughly 80 each month in Iraq and Syria. As of July 13, more than 2,200 additional civilians appear to have been killed by Coalition raids since Trump was inaugurated—upwards of 360 per month, or 12 or more civilians killed for every single day of his administration.”
This independent investigation conducted by The Daily Beast was necessary because the Coalition itself consistently under-reports the number of casualties, effectively erasing the reality of the war. Still, even the Coalition’s doctored numbers show that President Trump is quickly outpacing the over-seas body count by the day.
The escalation of civilian deaths may not be related to Trump alone. The war has escalated to extreme levels in many places like Mosul and Raqqa. These heavily populated cities are frequent targets by both air and land strikes. The Coalition’s leaders say that Trump isn’t to blame at all, and rather it is due to an escalation in war tactics.
“Remarkably, when I interview families at camps who have just fled the fighting, the first thing they complain about is not the three horrific years they spent under ISIS, or the last months of no food or clean water, but the American airstrikes,” said Belkis Wille, Iraq researcher for Human Rights Watch. “Many told me that they survived such hardship, and almost made it out with the families, only to lose all their loved ones in a strike before they had time to flee.”
It is deeply saddening to know that the murder of innocent civilians in lands far away is an issue that both Democratic and Republican leaders can wholeheartedly get behind.