While I understand that in theory drone strikes keep troops off the ground, I also think they cause great harm. First of all, people are killed by a faceless attacker. But are they really faceless? No…someone exists behind the computer where the strike is executed. That is beginning to cause great psychological harm to those who are sitting at a computer and launching these strikes again, against a faceless “enemy.” Indeed there may be more deaths than the physical ones that are obvious to see…what of those who die just a bit more with each key stroke?
Gary Hart, who I probably would have voted for for President had I been old enough to vote when he ran, had some good points about this in the Huffington Post today:
Expediency is never a justification for unconstitutional and immoral actions. This is so even where self-defense and national security are concerned. It has proved incredibly easy to assassinate someone (and his family) half a world away. And that is what makes this new style of warfare so attractive… and so dangerous. The Obama administration is creating precedents it will live to regret and inviting retaliation, using both drones and computers, as they become available to most nations in the world.
So even if we believe in the long term this is better for our country because we are keeping more troops on the ground, the idea of a drone or a computer based attack on one of our large cities should be enough to deter us from widespread use of this.
So we should call on the President and those in congress to tread lightly here and to cease the use of drones. Let us pray that cooler heads will prevail and that we can all live in peace.