Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Thinking About Drone Strikes


How can we, as a society, get to a place where our government is not using drone strikes against merely "suspected terrorists" abroad, and prevent the eventuality that drone strikes against potentially innocent "suspected criminals" domestically will become an accepted practice? I want to get involved in an organization that is making real progress towards this goal. If a suitable one doesn't exist, it may be time to create one.

The previously fictional, dystopian reality of people living smaller lives, afraid of stealthy government forces flying through their skies, targeting and killing all those who might oppose it,  is already being experienced in some areas of the world, in our name. It is an unacceptable situation.
It is my intention to do something, at the very least speak my mind, in an attempt to have some effect on this trend.

The way our government is currently executing the "War on Terror" guarantees a new generation of terrorists 20 years from now. It's the ultimate dream of the Military Industrial Complex. A self-fulfilling prophecy of violence and hatred, fed by a society that is either too polarized to organize effective opposition, or too afraid to speak out openly with any strength of conviction, for fear of government reprisals or public scorn.

I currently have no idea what the polling data show with regard to public opinion of drone strikes abroad. I'll admit that I've been intellectually lazy in this regard. My sense, however, is that we've become collectively apathetic. When it comes to national security concerns, we seem to have this idea that the government holds all the cards, all the information, and all the power. In fact, when it comes to most of our officials, even those on the intelligence committees and in oversight capacities, it's mostly the blind leading the blind, shooting first and asking questions later, letting God sort it out, and praying that the next big attack doesn't happen during their watch.

I am ashamed of our country's overseas drone policy. Unsubstantiated strikes that kill scores of innocent civilians should be considered crimes against humanity. 

Unless we are willing to accept strikes that might, unfortunately, kill a few of our own innocent family members in our own neighborhoods, we should not be willing to condone them in the neighborhoods of others. And the day our government is willing to use lethal drone strikes in our own neighborhoods, against its own citizens, is the day that we all should ensure that government is no longer allowed to stay in power. A few years ago, I might have left out the "in our own neighborhoods" part of that last statement, but nowadays, omitting that might make that statement seditious, because we're already bombing and killing our own citizens, aren't we. 

Of course my aim would be to work within the framework of our current government system to change our government's policies on the use of drone strikes, both domestically and abroad, for what that is worth.