I debated whether or not to post this, especially so close to the election. However, with both major canidates apparently in agreement, I guess this won’t be considered too partisan. Beside which, I’d like to think if my kids ever read this, the logic won’t be foreign to them as it’s nothing I won’t say to them.
I have a problem with our use of drones. We are in effect assassinating people, and we’re not hiding our thoughts on them as leaders. If they were Joe Shmoes, why bother? Where does it stop? What happens in situations where/when people and institutions we designate as terrorists are voted into power? Hamas?
What is to stop them from targeting our president? The trend I see is one where it is much easier and cheaper to play offense than it is to play defense. On the face of things, this would seem to argue for the get them first approach so many take. I argue it should lead us to an approach of refusing to play the game. It’s not a winnable game. From where I sit it looks far more likely it is a game to see who loses less, and I prefer not play a game for losers’ bragging rights.
Take a stand. Stand for something other than the ability to kill with nothing but a thought and a button push.
I say this not as a pacifist, but merely as somebody who never wants to see military might used without a clear end point. I said it before Afghanistan and Iraq. There is no end to this path, and we drag the world with us as we head down it.
I am not saying ignore real threats. The article even points out the #4 guy now is probably not as effective as the one we killed 5 times ago. So where does it stop? We have declared war on a group not a person nor a state. If they change the name of the organization does that take them off the list? Hamas A is OK? As we see nations fall in the Middle East with other institutions as powerful to the individual as any state we recognize, does this “declare war” model still work? I am thinking tribes, but I am sure there are others.
Are people talking about hating the U.S. to a crowd inciting riot a problem worth targeting? burning a flag? What if they are just crazy and talking to their lawnmower?
We went after those who hit us on 9-11. If there is another one we missed who shows in the cross hairs, take him. They did something huge. The problem is we are willing to snipe for an ever expanding list…at what point do we arrive where we are on the drug war with too many “legit” targets to effectively handle? Arresting pot users under the “they broke the law!” logic gives pretty full prisons. At some point we become worse than those we fight.
This is the moral race to the bottom we find ourselves on now as we seek to take away any sense of safety they will ever feel anywhere. The problem is when you take away everything from a group, there is nothing left to threaten to take away. Does it feel good to destroy the lives of those who hate us, even if their threat was justified by things we have done to their families and friends (who had it coming too no doubt).
I just can’t see a good end following this path.
On the personal front, I drove by the house I grew up in today. It was wierd ot have trouble finding it after having lived there for a decade. Between that home and my current one, I spent 10 years never living in the same place for more than 2 years with all but two being less than 18 months. Even looking at it run down, I was startled by the sense of “home” I still feel when I think back to those days. How simple life was with difficult school and hours of soccer and chess after to grow to teenage years of soccer, school and dating in that order…I miss that life, and I hope my kids get the same feelings I have when I think about the home in which I grew up..