War Crimes and Misdemeanors
HEY PRESIDENT OBAMA: The Nobel Peace Prize committee is calling. They want their medal back.
The coveted award, which many felt was premature, at best, when bestowed during the president’s first year in office, was seriously tarnished in the eyes of many by his escalation of the war in Afghanistan and other military endeavors.
But Obama’s role in waging drone warfare—particularly in Pakistan and Yemen—has made a mockery of the prize that Alfred Nobel said should go to the person “who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations.”
Obama’s drone attacks—according to a May investigation by The New York Times, Daniel Klaidman’s new book Kill or Capture, and other sources—are arguably in direct violation of U.S. and international law, and immoral to boot.
The drone attacks started out with clear rules: Only target those who represent a direct threat to the United States. Those rules soon went out the door—a senior U.S. official called it a “little liberalization that went on in the kill lists,” according to The Washington Post, while a former counterterrorism official said that “the elasticity of that has grown over time.”
This article has been sitting on my desk for almost a year now waiting for attention. I am glad I finally uncovered it. It deserves attention. Like all previous presidents there are things I like and also dislike about our current one. I thank him for at least getting us started down the path of universal healthcare. Even if what he is finally implementing was for the most part a Republican plan from a couple of decades ago and one that had already been implemented in the State of Massachusetts. I guess getting even that through this totally obstructionist GOP House was still quite a feat.
One of the things I very much dislike about our current president is his use of robot drone warfare. They say, and I believe rightly so, that the drone program is the best recruiter for Al Qaeda. But what scares me even more it the concept of having “no skin in the game”. When a country has robots to kill their enemies they have no risk of lost of life of their own so it is easier to hit the “kill” button. Every thing about this drone program is veiled in secrecy. We simply don’t know what the process is to order a kill of a person and resulting collateral damage (that means innocent lives).
Yes, we appear to presently be the only country to have killer drones at our disposal. But how long do you think that is really going to last? What happens when our enemies, whoever they are at the time, decide to strike us with robot killers. Are we really ready for that scenario? I’m sure one result would be that we would launch our killer robots on them and then things would likely escalate beyond that.
I watch enough sci-fi movies to see the utter consequences of killer robot drones. Why can’t those currently in power, especially Mr. Obama realize that his present actions will likely have dire future consequences?