an interview on Fox News Sunday, counterterrorism advisor John Brennan assured that unmanned strikes on terrorist suspects were not only effective but also “in full consent and cooperation with our partners internationally.” A few days later, nine militants were reportedly killed by a drone strike in Pakistan. From Reuters:
In Saturday’s strike, a drone fired missiles at a compound in the Shawal area of North Waziristan, killing the nine, said the officials who declined to be identified.
A Pakistani parliamentary committee recently demanded an end to drone strikes on Pakistani territory as part of its recommendations for how its relationship with the United States should change.
The question here isn’t of sovereignty, due process, or the rule of law. Governments make a mockery out of each despite being trusted as their sacred guardian.
The real question is where is the outrage?
According to judicial expert Judge Napolitano,
In his three-plus years in office, Obama has launched 254 drones toward persons in Pakistan, and they collectively have killed 1,277 persons there. The New America Foundation, a Washington think tank that monitors the presidential use of drones in Pakistan, estimates that between 11 and 17 percent of the drone victims are innocent Pakistani civilians.
Using reductio ad absurdum, doesn’t every individual on Earth have the capability of carrying out an attack on the U.S.?
Not only has Obama escalated the drone program which serves no defensive purposes whatsoever, the majority of Americans, including his democratic base, have actually embraced the policy. From the Washington Post:
The survey shows that 70 percent of respondents approve of Obama’s decision to keep open the prison at Guantanamo Bay. He pledged during his first week in office to close the prison within a year, but he has not done so.
Even the party base appears willing to forgive that failure.
The poll shows that 53 percent of self-identified liberal Democrats — and 67 percent of moderate or conservative Democrats — support keeping Guantanamo Bay open, even though it emerged as a symbol of the post-Sept. 11 national security policies of President George W. Bush, which many liberals bitterly opposed.
168 young lives have been struck down; never to become adults and productive members of society. Their killers never see justice since the U.S. government has declared itself immune from any prosecution while actually have the nerve to suggest the program is “legal, ethical, and wise.”
One is reminded of former Secretary of State Madeline Albright grossly declaring on 60 Minutes the half of million children who died as a result of the sanctions of Iraq put in place following the country’s invasion of Kuwait were “worth it.”
Extreme as it may be to say it but there is a special place in Hell reserved for someone who can utter such callousness.
It also doesn’t help when highly distinguished political hacks posing as economists openly declare that wars are good for the economy. Government consumes capital with every dime it spends. The effect is intensified when all that is produced are weapons of destruction. If the seemingly unending reports of casualties have turned war into something of an acceptable norm, the great fable that World War II actually got the U.S. out of the Depression has justified societal eradication on a grand scale as some type of economic elixir.
How self identified progressives can support President Obama after rightly being critical of George Bush’s war crimes shows just how deep seated the political game is in the country’s psyche. Not only has Obama escalated domestic wire tapping, continued to conceal information based on its sensitive manner, financed the overthrow of Libyan dictator Gadaffi and bombed the country’s oil infrastructure as a subtle blow to China, and kept Guantanamo Bay open but he has solidified the executive branch’s ability to carry out assassinations without any regard to providing evidence of criminality or adhering to basic notions of justice. Congress, in total disregard for its duty of checking unbound executive power, has only played the role of a helping hand by granting the presidency the authority to detain and jail indefinitely.
It isn’t hard to imagine the outcry from the leftist anti-war movement if a Republican administration had adopted such a totalitarian measure. The fact that neither the Democratic Party nor its enablers in the media have uttered a peep over Obama’s continuation of Bush’s major policies is a sure sign of non-existent difference in America’s two major political parties.
And therein lies the real truth. That the U.S. government is run by one party; that is the party of big government at home and abroad.
Together, it has slowly chipped away at once was a considerable reluctance on the public’s part to go to war. Peace is no longer considered a normal state of affairs. War casualties no longer evoke emotional protest. They are met with an inhuman, cold indifference.
How is a generation raised in an era of constant war ever going to truly realize the value of a human life? Why would it ever consider peace as a viable alternative? Years of conditioning and looking to the government for safety comes at a cost, as any relict of liberty still remaining in private life is swept away. The state feeds off the panic it deliberately implants. War is ultimately just another means of control.
H.L. Mencken, like always, was accurate in identifying how the herders in Congress keep the sheep tame:
“The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.