Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Drones

     For something "top-secret" they sure are talked about enough.  As part of its new America-as-sniper role, drone-attacks are the self-justification of a military that doesn't know what to do with itself.  Without a war, without real enemies, without public backing, the enormous, adrenalin-pumped, attention-starved, American combat apparatus needs somewhere to go with its overfunded budget and superfluous power.
     Thus far, estimates have it that "only" forty-five civilians have been killed by drones, and this proclivity for destroying targets without loss of American lives or extensive collateral damage is the big claim to fame of drone technology.  But that figure has to be conditioned by our military definition of "civilian," which counts "all military-age males in a strike zone as combatants...unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent" (The New York Times, May 2012).  By this definition, if my son, Carmine, who is twenty-five and severely autistic--unable to step out of the way of an oncoming car, let alone defend himself against intentional, sadistic harm--were Iraqi or Pakistani and got killed by a drone, he would not be likely to be counted as a civilian.
     Why are targeted killings now considered acceptable?  Why has the Obama administration ordered such killings?  What can the rest of the world possibly think about such attacks, which don't even follow our own rules and procedures (e.g., the CIA is exempted from following rules for "fair killing" in Pakistan)?
    To whatever extent international resentment toward America after Bush's incendiary reign was calmed by Hilary Clinton's four hardworking years as Secretary of State, things surely must be moving backward again, since John O. Brennan's nomination as head of the CIA.  Brennan has a terrible track record (or a brilliant one, depending on how you view his counterterrorism strategies) as someone who tolerated, perhaps even encouraged, the imprisonment and torture (including waterboarding and the mysterious "disappearances" of terror suspects, who bypassed all manner of due process and were sent directly to chambers of unthinkable abuse, violating any definition of human rights) in the early 2000's, when he was deputy director of the CIA, and he is the progenitor of our current targeted killing policy.  The UN Convention against Torture requires that anyone suspected of authorizing or carrying out waterboarding should be prosecuted.  Why is Brennan being nominated for one of the highest military posts in the country, instead of being investigated for his authorization and overt advocacy of torture during the Bush campaign?
     The rest of the civilized world must be looking on in awe and dread as Americans continue to step outside the bounds of human decency and fairness in our international policy.  These countries are like villagers watching a band of tigers tear into adjoining settlements and maul and destroy inhabitants.  When will other countries be able to counter the use of such violence and force?  Who do we think we are, with all our military might, in the world?
     A parallel to drone attacks, inside the United States, is the government's rampant use of violence against American citizens and their businesses--like me, and Gibson Guitar, and Mountain Pure Water, and Midamor, and Duncan Outdoor Company, plaintiffs in an upcoming lawsuit against government officials, who have been overstepping the parameters of their jobs for years.  Are we not the victims of "targeted killings," too?  Is the stratagem so different from the one underlying drone attacks?  The "government"--whoever that is, these days--"suspects" one of us, you or me, of "something," and attacks, punishes, and depotentiates us, leaving collateral damage, which gets left out in the final calculations of loss.
     Where is the government's accountability?  Where is John Brennan's?  Where is Obama's?  Has our country gone completely mad?  When will the villagers of the world put their heads together, and throw nets over these lions who have crossed the line and are causing mayhem, ruining civilized landscapes, killing innocent people?  When will someone put a stop to our violence?  Because we can't expect lions to engage in self-reflection, or withhold primitive, bloodthirsty impulses, and say, "We're better than this," can we?
     For another take on this subject, check out the [funny] video from Mother Jones, by clicking below:
Drones and the American government's right to kill American citizens


           

2 comments:

  1. Most, many women today think of men as pigs, as in the feminist movement, which largely was and is idiocy, which has at a bit emasculated the male population into a no balls insanity. i.e.- look at the idiocy of the FBI and or supposed gov. We need to awake the still at large population that intelligence and intellect do matter, though not at the sacrifice of common sense, which seems to be lost on all the complicity in Washington. Money talks and BS walks, so to speak, unfortunately.

    Keep the faith, I believe people are truly waking up to the untruths.

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