A joint study, conducted by two renowned human rights organizations, recently concluded that US drone strikes are tantamount to war crimes. In their report, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch explained that the slaughtering of innocent civilians in Yemen and Pakistan with unmanned aerial vehicles in fact violates international law. Of course, most Americans needn’t be told that killing innocent people is wrong, or violates the law…UNLESS the practice is cloaked behind the oft-bandied rationalization, “collateral damage.” As though magical, mere mention of the term “collateral damage” by a presumed figure of authority seems to shed any trace of responsibility — any shred of moral restraint — associated with the horrific reality that is ultimately murder. Because innocent men, women and children are being killed in these voter-sanctioned, taxpayer-funded drone attacks, and most every American repudiates acts of violence against innocent American men, women and children, there must be SOME explanation..SOME rationale for permitting a pernicious platitude like “collateral damage” to bypass our innate sense of right and wrong, moral and immoral, and excuse acts which are already accurately defined as “murder.”
While an investigation into what creates this pseudo-distinction is certainly necessary, the deeply personal nature of the process precludes resolution in this exposition. Inasmuch as the rationale has to do with the nationality of the targeted/deceased, I shall gladly, earnestly address it. If murder is justly sanctioned because of the (mistaken) belief that the (innocent) deceased lacked the guarantee of rights cherished by Americans, they’ll be SHOCKED to learn that one of those innocent people killed in a US drone strike in Yemen was a 16 year old AMERICAN from Denver, Colorado.
What follows is (part of) my understanding of how an American citizen is able to murder an American citizen, with impunity, in 2013.
Appeal to the populace. Speak in sweeping generalities. Use broad terms like “hope” and “change” — and make them catchphrases.
Get elected on promise to “change” perception of reckless executive with wanton disregard for rule of law.
Drastically increase amount of reckless executive circumvention.
Meet with and befriend various members of the mainstream media..
who’ll (accordingly) be less likely to criticize reckless, blatantly-authoritarian (criminal) policy — and more likely to continue pushing mindless, divisive distractions.
Perfect your “doublespeak.” Give the appearance that you’re a figure of authority who is genuinely concerned that civilians are being killed by missiles in Israel — WHILE you’re authorizing missile strikes that KILL CIVILIANS in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya and Yemen.
Give the appearance that you’re deeply affected by the loss of innocent children in mass shootings on American soil — WHILE giving orders to conduct drone strikes responsible for the deaths of nearly 200 identically-innocent children.
Coordinate with the media to “leak” information which serves to bolster your credibility as a tough, effective leader, such as the 2012 disclosure of a “secret” extrajudicial “kill list,” which contained the names of several American citizens, and “teenagers, including a girl who looked even younger than her 17 years.”
— BUT —
Be certain to differentiate between “good leaks” and “bad leaks.” Prosecute and punish whistleblowers — who disclose evidence of war crimes like torture and the military targeting of civilians, first responders, and journalists — with unparalleled frequency and severity.
Change the definition of “militant” to include “all military-age males in a strike zone”…so as to limit the amount of innocent civilians included in a drone strike death toll.
Soften the concept of extrajudicially killing American citizens with drones by telling hilarious jokes about using drones to extrajudicially assassinate innocent American teenagers.
All these things, taken together, should paint a clear picture of (some of) what’s necessary to “get away” with murdering a perfectly innocent, due process protected, 16 year old boy from Denver, Colorado.
Of course, killing a teenager from Denver, like Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, wouldn’t be NEARLY as easy to dismiss if the person who authorized the killing wasn’t the recipient of a Nobel Peace Prize.
— IF — you’re absolutely, utterly disgusted with the hypocrisy and deception outlined in this article.. there’s a “step” for you.
Recognize that we’re ALL one. That NO ONE has the authority to kill innocent people. If one American is deprived of his/her rights.. we’re ALL deprived of our rights. If ONE innocent Pakistani person is deprived of their right to live..we’re ALL subject to that deprivation. The only way to realize justice in this world is to erode and erase the concept of separateness — otherness. We breathe the same air, dream the same dreams, bleed the same blood, cry the same tears…
A single step:
REMEMBER that we’re ONE — the rest will fall into place.