Sunday, June 5, 2011

Craning Our Necks At The High Ground

We are increasingly paying the price for applying a military solution to a law enforcement problem.

Imagine an alleged crime boss lived in your neighborhood. You know who and what he is but you are helpless to do anything about him because he is far more powerful than you. Perhaps you try to be as anonymous as possible an not attract attention. Or maybe you have no idea who he is or that he lives nearby.

One day two cars pull up to his house and suddenly, out of nowhere, missiles strike the house and the cars. The devastation is complete. The alleged crime boss is dead as well as his alleged lieutenants in the cars. Neighboring houses, including yours, are damaged or destroyed. A number of your neighbors have also been killed or injured.

Now imagine that another country was responsible for the attack and their response is an apology and maybe some money to the innocents, but also a claim of victory in killing the crime boss. And then you find out that your own government may have played a part in the attack.

So who would you be angry with and what would you be willing to do about it? What if it was the body of your family member lying in the rubble before you?

That is how I imagine the receiving side of drone attacks. I can't know for sure without experiencing it myself--not that I'd want to--but I can examine the moral issue. I think a huge part of the problem is the military response to an ideology, what we used to call the Global War on Terror. Given our current political environment, we're in too deep now to treat terrorism as a crime as we should be.

Despite the likelihood of creating more enemies, many of us think it's worth it because we get one or more alleged bad guys in each attack.

And then there's the irony of defending ourselves from terror by raining down terror from an aircraft controlled half a world away. And we're the good guys.

*** Update

And so it continues.


Tobias said...

We only have the rights we are willing to defend.

Those that toe the party line and fail to see the irony in sending drones to blow up a building in Yemen or Pakistan are choosing a fairytale to fit their reality.

There is no easy way to retake the high ground without a majority of citizens acknowledging that we are no longer there.

Shan said...

Well said. I think about this, too.

And since my ability to comment is intermittent lately, I wanted to say thanks for explaining why the Libyan situation has been troubling me. I am not nearly as up to date as I should be politically (but I wouldn't have said Paul Revere was out sending up warning shots and ringing bells... WTH?). So it was more of a moral sense that things have continued to go awry, for me. Bums me out that I'm right. Wasn't at all the change I'd hoped for.

Oh, and bacon and cupcakes? Like the candied bacon wasn't delicious... er... bad enough?!