Saturday, May 25, 2013

A progressive defense of drones

From: Salon  

COMMENT - The article below is entertainingly explained by this article written by A. D. Coleman for his online blog, Photocritic International,  How to Talk Through Your Hat (3)   The original article, by a fellow Yalie of Bill Clinton's, explains the confusion with the word, 'is,' quite nicely.  


As a liberal I was against drones reflexively. But the moral debate is more complicated than I'd realized

A progressive defense of drones (Credit: AP/Leslie Pratt/Pixel Embargo via Shutterstock/Salon)
In Thursday’s speech before the National Defense University, President Obama reflected on the concerns about “morality and accountability” raised by drone strikes. Emphasizing the importance of “clear guidelines” and intelligence gathering to properly “constrain” the use of drones, the president also maintained a firm stance on their necessity: Even though drone strikes sometimes result in civilian casualties, in many circumstances they remain the most effective option for realizing specific military objectives.
As a liberal, I’m against drones essentially by reflex. At least, I used to be. Recently, I’ve begun to reconsider that view; and I’m no longer sure where I come down on the morality of drone strikes. Disturbing as I find state-sponsored violence, when drones do the killing instead of soldiers, it seems apparent that we have an easier time recognizing the violence as horrific. War, in its traditional form, distorts our moral reasoning. Drones do not. And as much it grates against my broader political commitments to say so, this is plainly a benefit of drone warfare, other shortcomings notwithstanding.
Many detractors have pointed out that drone strikes, because they put none of our soldiers in harm’s way, are “less costly.” Without our own lives on the line, the theory goes, leaders will feel little compunction — not even the minimal compunction of political exposure — about condemning other human beings to death, especially when those other human beings live many thousands of miles away. To me, this critique seems undeniably right: the numbness that results from using machines rather than soldiers to carry out our dirty work is obviously a moral shortcoming of drone warfare. Simply put, when violence is employed more easily, it will also be employed more often. Hence the nightmarish image of an 18-year-old drone operator basically playing video games from the detached safety of a Nevada bunker.


No comments:

Post a Comment