Saturday, April 28, 2012

Droning on and on

Under the Obama Administration, the United States has upped the ante when it comes to unmanned drone attacks. And, along with the increased use of drones, come more innocents who end up dead.

President Obama defends his use of drones by claiming they are used to make targeted strikes at suspected terrorists on the other side of the world. What Mr. Obama, and other proponents of drone attacks, seem to forget is that bombs are not the most precise, discriminating killers. While you might very well be able to program a drone to drop a bomb on a particular building, you can't control who's in the building. You also can't control the collateral damage (read: innocent dead people) that results from an explosion.

The history of warfare can best be analogized as looking to see from how far away you can kill someone. We went from hand-to-hand combat to bows and arrows to guns to bombs to drones. War has become a video game for those who oversee the drone program.

But, for all the government's self-congratulatory backslapping after every death by drone, what would the reaction be if another country entered the United States and murdered one of their enemies of the state? What would the reaction be if another country conducted a "surgical strike" in the US that left innocent folks laying dead in the streets?

But, hey, we don't have to worry about that now, do we? I mean, we're talking about a bunch of brown-skinned people who worship their god in a different way. So what's the problem?

Calling someone an enemy combatant doesn't change the calculus. The US is entering another country for the purpose of killing someone without due process of law. In fact, without any consideration of any other country's laws. As Jeff Gamso is wont to point out, the United States is supposed to follow the rule of law - not the law of rule.

Where's the outrage? If it's okay for los federales to carry out extra-judicial (just love that term) murders overseas, what's to prevent another country from invoking the same principle and carrying them our in our streets? Oh, that's right - if someone were to do that here they would face the mighty wrath of the US military but since no one is willing to stand up to the big bully, the US is able to act with impunity.

Still the fact remains, murder is murder, no matter how much you might try to sugar coat it.

Click here to watch the live stream of the International Drones Conference this weekend.

H/T Democracy Now!

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