This is the most vile thing I’ve seen attempting to legitimize drone strikes and to justify the vast expansion of “drones use”–“they’re here to stay”–by Obama.
Every other sentence attempts to justify the ambiguity of the sentence prior to it.
“In a time of war, civilian casualties are inevitable…relative minimization of civilian casualties.”
“Let’s first dispatch with the notion that drone strikes are illegal…”
“The almost supernatural effectiveness…one American drone operator…” waited until a father was done playing with his children before murdering him from his video game console. “So HUMANITARIAN!” I have nothing but contempt and derision for these evil people.
We are not at war. We are simply killing people with impunity in the Middle East.
And my gut tells me it’s just practice.
I will not vote for Obama and likely I will not vote period. The government of this country is unacceptable.
See Greenwald for more.
Here’s also a PBS show on the “ethics” of drone murder. Let me just say that if this passes for “ethics” then we might as well just admit we are lost.
Here’s the first answer to the question, “are drone strikes–killing–moral.” First, there is that pesky question that really precedes this one specific to drones: “is killing moral?” But let’s not worry that minor issue.
PROFESSOR EDWARD BARRETT (US Naval Academy Center for Ethical Leadership): If you believe that a society has a duty to reduce unnecessary risk to its combatants, then these systems do that, so that would be actually one moral obligation, and then also the state has an obligation to effectively and efficiently defend its citizens, and these systems are effective and efficient.
First, are you surprised that there is such a thing as a military “center” for “ethical leadership?” Don’t be. What that means is that this is where they make up excuses to kill people. It’s part of the war machine and its purpose is to help you (and your soldiers and commanders) feel that killing is okay fine.
Barrett’s last answer in the piece:
BARRETT: Perhaps more ethically challenging is the issue of autonomous lethal systems. The idea is that you can use software that recognizes the targets and then makes a decision that’s ethical to destroy targets, with no human intervention.
Hear that? He’s worried about how to make moral software. I don’t think he’s actually “challenged” by this–unless he’s “challenged” to find a reason that will pass muster with humans who don’t salute him.
People, there’s no question that there is absolutely ZERO that is “ethical” about this and it must be pretty clear that Ethics ain’t our strong suit. If we can somehow get by this first injunction, thou shalt not kill, all other systems are “go.”