Shakira was one year old when Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Barack Obama ordered the 2009 drone strike in Pakistan’s Taliban-infested Swat valley that nearly killed her. With two other burned little girls, she was put in a trash bin to die. A volunteer doctor with House of Charity discovered the three babies and attempted to save them. Two of the little girls died from their injuries, but Shakira, who is now four, lived to be disfigured.
CNN reports that Shakira arrived in Houston last week with her caretaker for a series of surgeries that “will make it easier for Shakira to grow older.” (“She will never look fully normal,” CNN adds.)
Just to put this in context: In August 2010, TIME magazine featured a mutilated Afghanistan woman on its cover to illustrate the misogynist horrors visited on Afghan women by the religious zealots in the Taliban. The story made the explicit case that U.S. troops were necessary for protecting women from the Taliban. How things have changed since then! “Look, the Taliban per se is not our enemy. That’s critical,” Vice President Joe Biden recently told Newsweek.
Perhaps TIME should plaster Shakira on its cover—alongside sixteen-year-old Muhammad Tariq, the Pakistani anti-war protester who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in late October—for a story about Pakistani children and the horrors of murder-drones. Or does that not fit the liberation narrative?