A very strange story, that 6,000-word front-page New York Times piece on how, every Tuesday, Barack Obama shuffles “baseball cards” with the pictures and bios of suspected terrorists from around the world and chooses who shall die by drone strike. He even reserves for himself the decision of whether to proceed when the probability of killing family members or bystanders is significant.
The article could have been titled “Barack Obama: Drone Warrior.” Great detail on how Obama personally runs the assassination campaign. On-the-record quotes from the highest officials. This was no leak. This was a White House press release.
So the peacemaker, Nobel laureate, nuclear disarmer, apologizer to the world for America having lost its moral way when it harshly interrogated the very people Obama now kills, has become — just in time for the 2012 campaign — Zeus the Avenger, smiting by lightning strike.
A rather strange ethics. You go around the world preening about how America has turned a new moral page by electing a president profoundly offended by George W. Bush’s belligerence and prisoner maltreatment, and now you’re ostentatiously telling the world that you personally play judge, jury and executioner to unseen combatants of your choosing and whatever innocents happen to be in their company.
This is not to argue against drone attacks. In principle, they are fully justified. …. But it is to question the moral amnesia of those whose delicate sensibilities were offended by the Bush methods that kept America safe for a decade — and who now embrace Obama’s campaign of assassination by remote control.
Moreover, there is an acute military problem. Dead terrorists can’t talk.
Drone attacks are cheap — which is good. But the path of least resistance has a cost. It yields no intelligence about terror networks or terror plans.
(Excerpt) Read more at washingtonpost.com …
- Drone wars and state secrecy – how Barack Obama became a hardliner (guardian.co.uk)
- You: Barack Obama: Drone warrior (nation.com.pk)
- Barack Obama: Drone warrior (bangordailynews.com)
- Barack Obama: drone warrior – MySanAntonio (mysanantonio.com)
- Barack Obama’s war on terror is nastier and less ethical than George W Bush’s (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Obama’s kill list..All males near drone strike sites are terrorists (seeker401.wordpress.com)
- Scahill: Obama has ‘murdered’ people with drone strikes (rawstory.com)
- American drone attacks kill 12 in Pakistan (guardian.co.uk)
- We are sleepwalking into the Drone Age, unaware of the consequences | Clive Stafford Smith (guardian.co.uk)