Let me start by pointing out the hypocrisy here. When Obama first ran for office, he ran on opposition to the invasion of Iraq. He also opposed Bush’s use of secret C.I.A. prisons and the warrantless surveillance of the Patriot Act. He attacked Bush for denying Guantanamo Bay detainees civil rights, and he promised to close the facility. He said he would ban “harsh interrogation techniques.” And many on the left, though I don’t recall Obama saying this specifically, really hated the use of drones and wanted it stopped. And he spoke of having a humbler foreign policy.
Well, Obama took over and lo and behold, he did none of this – except ban waterboarding. To the contrary, Obama became uber-Bush. His Justice Department tried to strip the Gitmo detainees of person status, in violation of the Constitution and international law. His Justice Department decided that military tribunals rather than civilian courts were just fine. And now, his Justice Department has not only decided that drones are cool, but they’re way cool and they should be used with reckless abandon.
The left has remained completely silent on these points, just as they cheered when he tried to bully Honduras (after saying we needed to stop interfering in Central America), just as they cheered when he sent troops to kill pirates, to fight rebels in Africa, to bomb terrorists in Somalia and Yemen, and to basically fight a Laos-type war in Pakistan, just as they pounded their chests when he bombed Libya, just as they are now screaming for him to bomb Syria. This is all the things the left hated about Bush, only on steroids. As an aside, they also used to fight things like land mines and the use of depleted uranium in shells... until Obama took over, now they’re cool.
Now get this, this is rich. When the Justice Department issued their memo on drones the other day, the left finally decided they need to say something. Said some ACLU hack:
“That memo coming out, I think, was a wake-up call. These last few days, it was like being back in the Bush days. It’s causing a lot of cognitive dissonance for a lot of people. It’s not the President Obama they thought they knew.”Cognitive dissonance my smoking rear end... try willful collaboration. You’d have to be willfully blind to somehow fail to see what Obama has been doing for four years and to only now understand that Obama=Bush.
Anyway, here’s the deal with drones.
First, the problem I’ve had with the left on this issue is that there is no logic to their reasoning. Leftists have opposed drones on principle, and the reason seems to be that they don’t like the idea of the American military killing someone without those people getting a chance to kill American soldiers. This is what they are saying when they whine about wars being fought by “remote control.” This is bull. There is no logic to this whatsoever, nor is there any morality to this. The idea that it’s only acceptable to kill someone if you endanger yourself in the process is, frankly, retarded thinking. And I think it comes from their anti-American sentiment in that they don’t want the American military to be able to fight without suffering casualties. This is as stupid as arguing that soldiers shouldn’t be allowed to use guns because it’s too easy to kill someone with a gun before they have a chance to try to knife you, and it’s immoral to argue that if we are going to go to war, then we need to take proportional causalities.
Over time, they’ve added a new strain to the anti-drone argument. This one holds that the problem with drones is that they are “indiscriminate.” This is, of course, nonsense. The US is not flying drones that are out there picking their own targets and fighting a war without human input. That’s the science fiction view, not the reality. And it doesn’t take a human pilot to be able to identify the targets that will be hit. So again, this is stupid.
Then they came up with the idea that drone strikes are evil because they are depriving terrorists of their constitutional rights. Only, they have no such rights. So the left hunted around until they found some dead terrorist with American citizenship and they claimed, “see, Bush is killing Americans with drones without due process.” The counter to this is, of course, that when you engage in armed combat against America, you really have no rights. Sadly for the left, however, before this issue caught on, Obama took over and they had to shut up for fear of hurting the image of their Warrior in Chief. So the issue went away.
BUT... now we come to what Obama is doing, and this is where the problem arises. Not only has Obama’s Justice Department decided that killing Americans is fine, but they went further. They decided that something called “signature strikes” are fine. Signature strikes are the racial profiling of the terrorism world. Basically, the CIA is allowed to blow you up if you engage in conduct that appears to be terrorism related even if it doesn’t have a clue who you are. In other words, Obama is letting the CIA blow people up because they are doing things that fit the profile of terrorist without any idea of who these people are or what they are doing. That actually is a violation of international law which doesn’t let you target non-combatants.
So the question now is, will the left stand by their supposed principles (fat chance) or will they continue their deafening silence to support Obama? To give you a sense, feminists haven’t said word one about the massive gender-based pay disparities in the White House, gays stayed silent for four years about Obama’s lack of support for gay marriage, environmentalists still won’t admit that Obama sold them out in Copenhagen, etc. etc.
I think conservatives need to turn up the heat here. Rand Paul is doing this and I’d like to see others do it too. Obama gets away with talking self-righteously but acting the opposite. It’s time to put an end to that. Make him choose... expose his left flank. Don’t think that by remaining silent, you will leave the door open for the next Republican president to do the same... the left doesn’t work that way.
Finally, there’s an interesting point someone made the other day which is worth tossing into the discussion. The thinking is that the reason Obama is using massive numbers of drone attacks is purely political: he wants to avoid capturing terrorists because he doesn’t want to deal with the headaches created by his rhetoric. Basically, he doesn’t know what to do with them, where to put them, or how to keep them without trying them, because his rhetoric wiped out all the options. Nor does he want to deal with the possibility of being in charge when a terrorist attack happens and people find out it could have been prevented if his administration had actually questioned the people they caught. Thus, he thinks it’s safer to kill them all. Interesting. Maybe they should have waited on that Nobel Peace Prize?