The issue of drones is actually getting some attention. This New York Times article was the headline story on Drudge Report. While I am glad that it is getting some attention, I still think most of the discussion is on the wrong track.
In the New York Times story, it talks about drone bombings in Yemen. Of course, they are also happening in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and probably many other countries. The article does discuss the possibility that these drone attacks are fueling hatred towards America. People, who have loved ones die at the hands of American bombs, tend to want to get revenge. This is known as blowback, something that Rudy Giuliani had never heard before.
I think there is a bigger picture that is missing in this whole thing. Whether we are talking about drone bombings, torture, or just war in general, we have to look at the morality of the whole thing. When you kill an innocent person with deliberate actions, we usually call that “murder” in our society. Does it make it any less wrong if it is done through the government?
It doesn’t matter if terrorist operatives are being killed. It doesn’t matter whether there is blowback or not. It doesn’t matter if people in a foreign country don’t like us or don’t act the way we want. None of this matters when it comes to killing innocent people. Dropping bombs, knowing that innocent people will die, is immoral. It is wrong, no matter how you try to justify it.
Even if the bombs are killing “suspected terrorists”, it is still wrong. The key word is “suspected”. None of these people are given a trial. None of these people are allowed to explain their side of the story. None of these people are allowed to identify themselves. Instead, their lives are just snuffed out, at the commands of U.S. politicians and U.S. military officers. It is murder.
I also get frustrated when I hear about how the government can now arrest Americans or that Americans are now part of a kill list. I hear that Americans have the right to a trial under the Constitution. But this is a complete misrepresentation of the Constitution, which is supposed to enumerate the powers of the federal government. I don’t see where the Constitution authorizes the federal government to kill innocent people, especially when there aren’t even any declared wars right now.
But regardless of what the Constitution authorizes, it is just plain wrong to murder innocent people. It doesn’t matter where they were born. Murdering an innocent person born in Pakistan is no more justified than murdering an innocent American.
I think a good way to look at this whole thing is to imagine it being done in America. Imagine that a criminal runs into a building. Do you think the police or military should drop a bomb on the building and celebrate because we got the bad guy? Or do you think it would be wrong because of the “collateral damage”?
It is ironic that Obama got in front of the cameras and shed some fake tears for the children who were murdered in a Connecticut elementary school. I have never seen him shed a tear for any of the children that died at the hands of his drone bombings. It is also ironic that Obama is talking about gun control. Instead of banning certain guns from the American people, I think we need to ban Obama and the rest of the politicians from drones and other weapons of mass destruction.