Malala Yousafzai Stands Up to Obama on Drone Strikes

October 16th, 2013

At age 16, Malala Yousafzai has already achieved prominence as one of the world’s top political activists, possibly of all time. At age 11, she began her battle for a woman’s right to pursue an education in the Taliban-controlled Swat Valley region of Pakistan. She became such an outspoken icon for women’s rights that she was shot in the head on the way home from school by radical gunmen affiliated with the Taliban. However, bullets couldn’t stop Malala’s activism, as she regained her health and continued speaking out.

Last Friday, Malala Yousafzai met with President Obama at the White House. The President granted the invitation to honor her for her work on behalf of women’s rights. However, while she was there, she didn’t hesitate to challenge Obama on his illegal and immoral drone war in Pakistan. She asked him to reconsider the program in light of the fact that innocents often die in the strikes, resulting in blowback that fuels recruitment for terrorist groups.

Unimaginable Bravery

Heroic tales throughout history champion those who take bullets in battle, yet keep on fighting. Radical psychopaths wanted to silence Malala by killing her in cold blood. Little did they know that their grisly plan would backfire, as the young girl shook off the bullet wounds and kept spreading her message of freedom for women.

It’s extraordinary for such a young girl to have achieved such worldwide notoriety for selfless activism. However, for her to have suffered through a gunshot wound to the head, only to continue her work afterward, certainly earns her a mention among names like Ghandi and Martin Luther King, Jr. She is truly an impressive, bold young lady.

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Standing Up to the Most Powerful World Leader

Bristling with nuclear weapons, drones, and the most powerful military in the history of the world, the United States is a fearsome world power. The US president is typically referred to as one of the most powerful people on the planet. President Obama is no exception, as his hawkish foreign policy and relentless drone campaigns have decimated the countryside in Pakistan.

Malala Yousafzai could have easily just showed up at the White House and accepted the accolades. Instead, she took the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the Pakistani people, who are suffering immensely under Obama’s drone war. In a statement about her White House visit, referenced in the above-linked article from McClatchy DC, Malala said, ”I… 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.”

Malala Yousafzai, time and time again, demonstrates an unmatched level of bravery and selflessness. At just 16, her actions have already changed the world. Bullets couldn’t even stop her quest for peace and freedom.

For standing up to President Obama’s illegal and immoral drone war, Malala Yousafzai has earned a Silver Circle Rebel of the Week award.

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About the Author: Barry Donegan

is a singer for the experimental mathcore band , a writer, a self-described "veteran lifer in the counterculture", a political activist/consultant, and a believer in the non-aggression principle.