The Foleys and the other families have every right to be skeptical that these changes to government policy announced by the White House will actually happen and every right to question whether news organizations will live up to the new culture of safety that we are trying to establish. As always, we need to live up to the promises.
This week, the White House revealed it really does care about civilians being killed by drones -- at least when they're Americans or Westerners. On Thursday, President Obama expressed "profound regrets," and described as "uniquely tragic," a January drone strike in Pakistan that killed two al Qaeda-held hostages -- one American, one Italian. But while certainly tragic, it's far from unique. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates that, under Obama, drones in Pakistan alone have killed between 256 and 630 civilians, with at least 66 of them children. In fact, the first drone strike of his presidency reportedly killed at least nine civilians. In the wake of this week's announcement, the president ordered a review of what lessons can be learned from these latest deaths. One we already know: Some innocent lives are apparently more valuable than others.
Today, more than ever, I am extremely proud to be Australian. At a time of deep crisis, the people of Sydney have shown me that equality, tolerance and non-violence are not just hipster rhetoric. We stand together as people supporting other people in the most human of ways, and we say #IllRideWithYou.
While untrained domestic lone wolves have been inspired to undertake violent attacks, unlike their more sophisticated foreign counterparts, they often die or are captured shortly after initiating violent confrontations, with more limited casualties. Still, even untrained loners can kill dozens if a nexus of factors align.
Forager war narratives document an aspect of human experience that has been overlooked in the study of human evolution: the costs that warfare imposed on women. Many of these problems remain with us to this day. Thus, understanding how these problems shaped our past may help us address them in the present.