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Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:17 PM

The Hubris of the Drones -- essay by Bill Moyers

February 12, 2013
by Bill Moyers and Michael Winship

Last week, The New York Times published a chilling account of how indiscriminate killing in war remains bad policy even today. This time, it’s done not by young GIs in the field but by anonymous puppeteers guiding drones that hover and attack by remote control against targets thousands of miles away, often killing the innocent and driving their enraged and grieving families and friends straight into the arms of the very terrorists we’re trying to eradicate.

The Times told of a Muslim cleric in Yemen named Salem Ahmed bin Ali Jaber, standing in a village mosque denouncing al Qaeda. It was a brave thing to do — a respected tribal figure, arguing against terrorism. But two days later, when he and a police officer cousin agreed to meet with three al Qaeda members to continue the argument, all five men — friend and foe — were incinerated by an American drone attack. The killings infuriated the village and prompted rumors of an upwelling of support in the town for al Qaeda, because, the Times reported, “such a move is seen as the only way to retaliate against the United States.”

Our blind faith in technology combined with a false sense of infallible righteousness continues unabated. Reuters correspondent David Rohde recently wrote:

“The Obama administration’s covert drone program is on the wrong side of history. With each strike, Washington presents itself as an opponent of the rule of law, not a supporter. Not surprisingly, a foreign power killing people with no public discussion, or review of who died and why, promotes anger among Pakistanis, Yemenis and many others.”

Rohde has firsthand knowledge of what a drone strike can do. He was kidnapped by the Taliban in 2008 and held for seven months. During his captivity, a drone struck nearby. “It was so close that shrapnel and mud showered down into the courtyard,” he told the BBC last year. “Just the force and size of the explosion amazed me. It comes with no warning and tremendous force… There’s sense that your sovereignty is being violated… It’s a serious military action. It is not this light precise pinprick that many Americans believe.”
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more: http://billmoyers.com/2013/02/12/the-hubris-of-the-drones/

ETA: video here http://billmoyers.com/segment/bill-moyers-essay-when-we-kill-without-caring/


If you watched Moyers' most recent show, this is basically a transcript of the last segment, AFAICT. The last para is memorable.

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Reply The Hubris of the Drones -- essay by Bill Moyers (Original post)
eppur_se_muova Feb 2013 OP
JuniperLea Feb 2013 #1
Ash_F Feb 2013 #3
indepat Feb 2013 #2
Uncle Joe Feb 2013 #4
KoKo Feb 2013 #5

Response to eppur_se_muova (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 05:22 PM

1. It's all war to me...

And splitting hairs to say one means of murder is worse than others seems pathetically disingenuous.

How many more innocents are killed by drones than by bombs or boots on the ground.

Fewer American soldiers die when drones are employed over boots on the ground... so fewer do die... but it's still war.

I think we would be better served to fight against all war instead of splitting these murderous hairs.

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Response to JuniperLea (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:58 AM

3. It's not war and people should stop calling it war. It is political killing.

Read the story.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Original post)

Tue Feb 12, 2013, 06:19 PM

2. The one thing a world power oozing with Christian fundamentalism will never be lacking in is:

infallible righteousness, a pure absolutely infallible righteousness oozing from every pore.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 02:33 PM

4. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, eppur_se_muova.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:32 PM

5. K&R...

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