Philosophy professor, social critic and activist Cornel West says that like Richard Nixon and George W. Bush, there is no way to avoid the conclusion that President Obama—due to his execution of foreign wars and direction of clandestine military operations overseas resulting in the direct and foreseeable death of innocent people—should be called out for what he is: a 'war criminal'.
Appearing on Tavis Smiley's radio program on Thursday, West said: "We’ve been talking about this for a good while, the immorality of drones, dropping bombs on innocent people. It’s been over 200 children so far. These are war crimes.”
"I think we have to be very honest," he said.
"... dropping bombs on innocent people. It’s been over 200 children so far. These are war crimes.”
A once ardent supporter of the president—campaigning strongly for Obama during his presidential run in 2008—West has been critical of a number of aspects of the president's policies since taking office, including his refusal to adequately address poverty in the United States even as his administration acted mightily to save large financial institutions and Wall Street banks.
West's comments on US foreign policy came as Smiley spoke about the ongoing confirmation process of John Brennan, Obama's nomination to run the CIA and chief architect of the ongoing drone assassination program and what the radio host termed the president's "license to kill".
"Let us not be deceived: Nixon, Bush, Obama, they're war criminals," West said. "They have killed innocent people in the name of the struggle for freedom, but they're suspending the law, very much like Wall Street criminals. The law is suspended for them, but the law applies for the rest of us."
Just this week in Afghanistan, five children were killed and five more wounded when a suspected missile from a US drone exploded in Kunar province. Four adult women were also reported killed in the attack along with a number of adult males who may or may not have been the intended targets.
Making the point, West concluded, "You or I, brother Travis, if we kill an innocent person, we're going to jail. And we're going to be in there forever."
You can listen to the complete exchange between West and Smiley below: