Monday, June 4, 2012

Quote Of The Day

Caption: A U.S. Air Force MQ-9 Reaper UAV, in 2007

Image credit: U.S. Air Force photo/Staff Sgt. Brian Ferguson/Wikimedia

Glenn Greenwald, discussing the seemingly endless unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks on alleged terrorists in various countries:

I ask this sincerely: what kind of country targets rescuers, funeral attendees, and people gathered to mourn? If a Hollywood film featured a villainous King ordering lethal attacks on rescuers, funerals and mourners — those medically attending to or grieving his initial victims — any decent audience member would, by design, seethe with contempt for such an inhumane tyrant. But this is the standard policy and practice under President Obama and it continues through today. Recall the outrage that was sparked when WikiLeaks released its Collateral Murder video showing a U.S. Apache helicopter during the Bush era firing on unarmed rescuers, who had arrived to retrieve the initial victims who had been shot and were laying wounded on the ground. That tactic continues under President Obama, although it is now expanded to include the targeting of grieving rituals.

U.S. again bombs mourners

I've been wondering the same thing, especially when it seems like, with rare exceptions like Greenwald, few progressives have spoken up on this. Far fewer, for instance, than speak up every year about how awful it was that we dropped atomic bombs on a serious enemy sixty years ago. I'm willing to entertain the idea that those attacks were war crimes, although I'm inclined to think they're not, but I have yet to see more than a few progressives even pose the question whether what we're doing in these countries right now qualifies as a war crime. By just about any criteria I can imagine, these are war crimes as surely as Hiroshima and Nagasaki were, and we've signed a Geneva Convention that said so since then.

There was a time not too long ago when we'd be appalled at the idea that we would be deliberately attacking targets where we knew most of the victims would be civilians, and in circumstances that are clearly far less exigent than all-out war with another large industrialized nation. We used to be shocked at the notion of attacking a target to kill off rescue and medical personnel. That was something that awful people did. Yet here we are, doing that very thing, and it's a rare progressive who objects.


One Fly said...

It's the way we are now and that is not an out. It sucks and is not going to change. I hate to say that.

40 some different kinds of drones or more. Killing at will by the leader of your country and not the bad guys and most are plenty good with that.

Not me - fucking never!

Cujo359 said...

If this were a real war, and by that I mean an actual armed conflict that we had a chance of losing, I'd be more of an "ends justify the means" kind of guy. This is nowhere close to that, though. The people we're supposedly at war with are criminals who use failed states as bases of operations. The only real power they have over us is the power we give them - the power to make us so afraid that we forget who we are. As Lincoln warned a long time ago, we're the ones who will destroy us, not they.

We've done a fine job of that.