Armed drones are weapons of war. They belong solely under the operational control of military combatant commanders who can be held fully accountable for their employment. They do NOT belong under control of anonymous unaccountable civilians safely located thousands of miles from the scene and engaging in political assassination with “acceptable levels of collateral damage”. The ONLY currently available way for enemies to retaliate against their use is by killing and maiming American soldiers on the battlefield — also by cowardly remote control — and they are doing a truly excellent job of that. While a very few very specific cases may warrant the use of these armed drones under current practice, their wide use by those waging their own separate wars is simple undermining the military battlefield commander’s mission and unnecessarily killing American soldiers.
Anyone who thinks that al Qaeda can be “decimated” by killing their leaders-of-the-moment also believes that the little boy on the beach can empty the sea into his hole in the sand. The ONLY way to defeat such an enemy is to render its support base ever less willing to render its support – by working to improve their condition.
Some day those machines WILL be used against us, and with the same rationale and “legality” WE establish today. Just what do we do when states like Iran start killing people inside the US whom they deem a threat to them? What this country needs most is people who know how to THINK.
The New York Times was eager to soften their drone story with establishment jargon describing weapons of war as “tools”. Then they promoted plucky violence-craving comments like “I prefer my terrorists dead” to their esteemed “NYT Picks” comments column, making sure it was well stocked with readers supportive of “remote-control killing”—even though most of the hundreds of comments posted expressed horror at this practice.
But then you come across this comment from “Solider” and all the paper’s efforts to promote the establishment view are thwarted. This one comment is a more informed and rational take on the situation than anything the NYT has written, or “picked”, for the masses to consume.
It reminds me that the crazed authoritarianism of the past ten years was not just 9/11 opportunism—indeed, much of it started about five years after that event. The promotion of unending fear and war by every institution from the NYT to the White House is their reaction to the subversion of hierarchy that the internet enables.
For example, the fact that we can read and appreciate the above comment.