I Just Don’t Care About Drones

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I’ll make this quick since I’m trying to recover from a painful visit to the dentist at the moment and will likely short out my laptop by drooling on it.

God bless Cesca for taking a reasonable and nuanced approach to the subject of the DOJ memo on the justification for drone strikes and the ongoing use of the drones themselves. God bless him because I’m glad he’s putting forth the effort and trying to carefully dissect an issue that’s much more complex than many seem to be willing to acknowledge. God bless him because he’s doing it so I don’t have to — which is good seeing as how I genuinely don’t give a crap about drones strikes or the legality or illegality of killing Americans who’ve taken up arms against the U.S.

During the lead-up to the 2012 election, I went on more than a few tears against single-issue voters — the people who were so obsessed with one pet injustice that they were willing to ignore political reality and sacrifice a generally good thing on the altar of the perfection they demanded. I get that a lot of educated voters have one or two sine qua non issues in mind when considering a candidate to represent them and this country, but to throw everything out the window just to make a point — one that can potentially have unintended, incredibly damaging consequences — makes you no better at problem-solving than a three-year-old. If you’re anywhere left-of-center on the political spectrum and agreed with a lot of what Barack Obama was doing but just couldn’t vote for him because he hadn’t done enough for marijuana legalization, or hadn’t taken what you considered a firm enough stance on gay marriage, or allowed for the use of drone technology in killing America’s enemies, you need to reorganize your priorities — especially considering what a Romney administration would’ve looked like.

Personally, I don’t spend as much time as many on the left do fretting over and occasionally shrieking about America’s supposedly illegal drone war and what some see as our adventures in imperial assassination. I’ve said this before but this is one of those times when it’s worth repeating: I have a limited reservoir of outrage and therefore I have to be judicious about how I spread it around. While I absolutely acknowledge the dangerous ground we’re treading on by authorizing the killing of American citizens without due process — there’s no doubt that eventually an administration I have less faith in than the current president’s will get the keys to the drones — I simply don’t get worked up to the point of spending countless hours and pages of copy railing against it. As Cesca said yesterday, there’s precedent for what Obama’s doing and beyond that it’s difficult to defend those who’ve decided to join Al Qaeda and wage war against the United States, even if they happen to be American citizens.

Drones are nothing more than the next advancement in combat technology. While there are ethical considerations when it comes to the use of them, as there were with all weapons that came before them, they’re no more dangerous than anything else we’ve created to kill each other over the millennia. They can be scary in the sense that they remove the risk to those using them to wage war — and there will absolutely come a time when they’re smaller, faster and are used more and more here at home — but you simply can’t stop technological progress. Attempting to regulate it is one thing; fighting it tooth and nail is something else entirely. Drones are here to stay so you’d better get used to them. If screenwriter David Goyer, who penned the story for Black Ops II, is correct in his vision of the not-too-distant future, a sizable portion of our military air defenses will eventually be unmanned.

So, no, I just don’t spend my nights awake in a cold sweat wondering whether the Obama administration is going to send a Hellfire missile from a drone through my bedroom window. And I damn sure don’t worry about whether he or anyone else — Democrat or Republican — is going to do the same to someone who’s chosen to join an enemy of the United States overseas. Those enemies are going to have to be taken out one way or another and a drone often beats sending in thousands of ground troops or even a handful of special forces.

You want to pitch a fit about drones and kill lists? Be my guest. I’m sure it’ll cost me my “Liberal Injustice Fighter” merit badge, but I sincerely am not willing to freak the hell out over either subject.

  • Awreally

    Yeah daddy was a trained killer (see SEALS) and probably killed some people (I’m sure they asked for it and were deserving of a violent death) so why should I be outraged at our indiscriminate killing of thousands of innocents now? I mean its not like that kind of thing will ever happen to my innocent Inari, so fuck ‘um. Non-empathy for the fate of others just happens to be one of the many calling cards of sociopaths. Congratulations you sick fuck.

    • http://twitter.com/BarryBummer Barry Bummer

      You got some nerve calling anyone else a sick fuck.

    • http://twitter.com/chezpazienza Chez Pazienza

      Oh God was that an amusing little rant. Feel all better now? Can I get you a tissue to dry those angry tears?

      • http://twitter.com/BarryBummer Barry Bummer

        If you go through his commenting history you can see that it’s all pretty much the same unhinged tone, regardless of the context. Lots of tough talk and fuck yous to various people, though he seems to have taken a year off and just came back for this special little missive. Time off for good behavior, maybe?

  • drsquid

    The thing about drones is that they’re better than the alternatives of rather indiscriminate Tomahawks under Clinton, or Shock an Awe and 160,000 boots on the ground under Bush.

    But, yeah drone opponents. Keep telling yourself that you’re more special than furrin people, since it was only when someone born in Las Cruces went and joined al Qaeda that y’all cynical bastards decided to make any noise. So yeah, what Fabius said.

  • Christopher Foxx

    authorizing the killing of American citizens without due process

    That people aren’t aghast and offended by that idea, they they write columns which basically boil down to “Meh. Whatever.” is frightening.

    • Christopher Foxx

      And that comment gets nothing bu down votes. Really? The idea that the President has the “authority” to kill anyone without due process or any kind of review doesn’t bother anyone?

  • Fabius_Maximus

    The funny thing is, seen from a non-US perspective, that the outrage begun only after a US citizen was killed by a drone strike. But of course, it was only “hadjis” being killed before that. They don’t matter, right?

    • Scopedog

      Sadly, Fabius, I’m afraid that you’re right. All of the moaning and groaning over the death of a US citizen (who pretty much said f**k his home country and joined Al Queda), and yet there’s barely a blip over the fact that the Taliban and their allies are killing children and innocents each and every day.

      But no, DRONZES!!!

      I’ve got my own worries about drones, but honestly, I’m more in agreement with Chez than I am with Greenwald and co.

      • http://twitter.com/tlavely Tony Lavely

        Can I agree with both Chez and Cesca?