Periscope Depth

shama lama ding dong

I really shouldn’t write about politics, so deep in book promotion season and so close to the election. But some items demand comment.

From Foreign Policy (the SERIOUS blog/magazine), a Rosa Brooks article on the ‘wildly overblown’ case against Predator drones:

Let’s review the case against the drones.

1. Drone strikes kill innocent civilians.

This is undoubtedly true, but it’s not an argument against drone strikes as such. War kills innocent civilians, period.

[...]

2. Drones strikes are bad because killing at a distance is unsavory.

Really? If killing from a safe distance (say, Creech Air Force Base in Nevada) is somehow “wrong,” what should be our preferred alternative — stripping troops of body armor, or taking away their guns and requiring them to engage in hand-to-hand combat?

[...]

3. Drones Turn Killing into a Video Game.
[...]
But are drones more “video game-like” than, say, having cameras in the noses of cruise missiles? Those old enough to remember the first Gulf War will recall the shocking novelty of images taken by cameras inside U.S. Tomahawk missiles, the jolting, grainy images in the crosshairs before everything went ominously black.

Ahem.

But you can’t hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn’t we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn’t this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg – isn’t this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we’re not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!

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