Oliver Willis wrote a sensible defense for liberal support for the use of predator drones.
I don’t mind saying that I also support the careful use of drones for all the reasons Oliver wrote about, but — and this is a very big qualifier — I obviously don’t approve of civilian casualties. I’m reasonably certain that the president doesn’t either. Nobody is out to kill civilians. So clearly the drones need to be used with more caution to prevent the heinous collateral damage we’ve been hearing about. There’s a way to achieve this through more selective targeting and advancements in technology.
Likewise, no one relished the idea of killing hundreds of thousands of civilians during World War II and, to take the point further, I don’t know of any liberals who have taken FDR to task for civilian casualties in Japan and German-occupied Europe. (Truman, on the other hand, is often castigated for his use of the bomb in Nagasaki and Hiroshima.)
Oliver made the following point as a parenthetical, but it was an important note on this civilian issue:
It’s worth pointing out that the usually deceptive Glenn Greenwald writes about drone strikes saying, “Obama has used drones to kill Muslim children and innocent adults by the hundreds.” I don’t deny that innocent people have been killed by drone strikes, but Greenwald writes it like these people are intentional targets. They aren’t. Those of us who support the drone strikes shouldn’t pretend as if they are clean weapons, but those opposed should be honest as well.
There’s quite a bit of hyperbole being tossed around — not to mention way too many dead civilian photographs, which is a tactic best reserved for the disgusting anti-choice wackaloons.
UPDATE: I’m suggesting that we use drones in a way that won’t kill civilians in the process. There has to be a way to get the job done without creating more terrorists. So instead of screaming and whining — exploiting the bloodied corpses of drone victims to prove a point on a goddamn blog — while calling the president a baby-killer, I’m making a case here for drone strikes that don’t risk civilian lives. I’m urging the president to be more selective. Anyone who thinks otherwise is either kneejerking to conclusions or they haven’t read what I wrote here.