When Bush was President, I thought the people who said, “He’s our President and so we need to support him,” were idiots. Now Obama is President, and although I certainly would never subscribe to that idiotic point of view, I do have a hard time reading, watching, or speaking criticism of him. I know he’s doing the best he can with the chaotic state that is our country. (Would I have given Bush the same benefit of the doubt? No. I am as partisan as those idiots I referenced above.)
But then there are the drones, that my friend Curtis keeps begging me to write about. I haven’t wanted to, because of the above. Is Obama doing the best he can?
No. An unequivocal no.
Drones are both immoral and bad policy. Immoral:
(CNN) — U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan have killed far more people than the United States has acknowledged, have traumatized innocent residents and largely been ineffective, according to a new study released Tuesday.
The study by Stanford Law School and New York University’s School of Law calls for a re-evaluation of the practice, saying the number of “high-level” targets killed as a percentage of total casualties is extremely low — about 2%.
Bad policy – from the same article:
Based on interviews with witnesses, victims and experts, the report accuses the CIA of “double-striking” a target, moments after the initial hit, thereby killing first responders.
It also highlights harm “beyond death and physical injury,” publishing accounts of psychological trauma experienced by people living in Pakistan’s tribal northwest region, who it says hear drones hover 24 hours a day.
Drone strikes may be one of the most effective ways of creating new terrorists. If I had one of those things hovering above my house I think I’d become a terrorist too. At the very least, I would hate America.
Obama has authorized more than six times as many drone strikes as Bush, in all his eight years in office. I try to put myself inside his head, as I do when I read all the Snowden revelations about how much we’re spied on.
I just can’t get there. What is he thinking?