Sunday, October 2, 2011

What We've Become

Prospective Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry says he is open to sending the U.S. military to Mexico to help fight the drug cartels.

“It may require our military in Mexico working in concert with them to kill these drug cartels and to keep them off of our border and to destroy their network,” Mr. Perry said during a campaign appearance here.

“I don’t know all the different scenarios that would be out there,” he said. “But I think it is very important for us to work with them to keep that country from failing.”

This is the same type of thinking that pushed us over the moral edge when we decided to declare a Global War on Terrorism and use the military to fight it. The war was not against a state, but against a small organization whose members were out in the global hinterlands. The enemy in this war became so conflated and the definition of a terrorist so expansive that Congress has to pass a bill that declared Nelson Mandela wasn't a terrorist so he could travel to the United States.

Our military has been involved in Afghanistan for ten years. We helped overthrow the Taliban and installed a government that cannot exist without our continued presence. We used to drop bombs and shoot cruise missiles. Technological advances have given us the ability to use remote controlled aircraft to stay over a target for a long time and then hit it with a missile.

That target, as we witnessed recently, can even be an American citizen, a decision cleared by U.S. government lawyers. And how hard can that be these days? During the Bush Administration John Yoo said the President's constitutional authority was broad enough to order the massacre of a village. He also helped provide legal justification for "enhanced interrogation techniques", better known in other circles as torture. So clearing the extrajudicial killing of Anwar Awlaki via a remote controlled aircraft launching a missile shouldn't be hard to do. And as you can see from many of the comments on any articles about this, most people don't consider the violation of his constitutional rights to be an issue. And many that do think that killing a terrorist is worth trumping the law. Instead, celebrate that we killed another terrorist.

1 comment:

Tobias said...

CIA and Joint Special Operations Command are already there. The SEALS can probably launch from San Diego and be home for dinner. Reaper drones on the border. I think it's coming regardless of who the Comander in Chief is.