Personalizing the drone debate has given some degree of protection to President Obama who has often endured racist attacks and a level of ugly bitter personal criticism (much of it phony and/or based silly conspiracy theories) that the office of the presidency has not seen before.
Personalizing the drone debate has given him immunization to valid criticism that a targeted extra-judicial killing program that is not part of warfare but more like executions, that gives the government broad authority to kill not only foreign enemy combatants but American citizens, that often result in collateral damage – the death of innocent people who happen to be nearby, has the huge potential for abuse.
And that’s really what it’s all about – the precedent of Obama’s drone policy.
It has been disappointing to see liberals, actually maybe it’s better to call them Democrats, back down on criticizing Obama over the drone program
But consider this….What if a Republican wins the White House in 2016? What if he increases the drone program both number of drones and countries they are used in? What if he further softens rules of engagement making collateral deaths even more frequent? And what if he greatly increases the use of drones to the USA? Can a police state be far off?
Also expect drone technology to spread just like nuclear technology and chemical weapons leading to small drone wars between nations in other parts of the world such as Africa and the Middle East. We are starting to see this already.
If you are willing to give Obama a pass then it’s just hypocrisy to blame the next possibly Republican administration.
And back to collateral damage – it’s been estimated in Pakistan for 22 Al Qaeda targets killed there have been 800 innocent civilians (including at least 186 children) Can you live with that? http://www.policymic.com/articles/20992/predator-drone-strikes-36-civilians-are-murdered-for-every-terrorist-killed-by-a-drone
I can’t. I think it’s shameful and I think President Obama is shameful.