Sunday, July 5, 2015

The ones that got away -- drones

The ones that got away -- drones

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Out of sight/everything's NOT alright:

A few conservatives have raised one practical concern: Killing terrorists is justified, they say, but we need to kill fewer and capture more to gain intelligence. You don’t have to support waterboarding, as some of these critics do, to agree with that point.

Another concern, raised by a few liberals, is that the strikes have increased anti-Americanism abroad. (On “Homeland,” one of them turns an American soldier into a terrorist.) The Pew Research Center has found strong opposition to drone strikes in almost every country. The strikes may also be setting a dangerous precedent, goes another argument, since “more than 70 countries now own some type of drone.”

But the morality of the policy is what most deserves scrutiny. The tradition of thinking about wartime ethics holds that it is permissible to cause the death of innocent civilians under certain conditions: when the war itself is just, the deaths are unintended and the number of innocents killed is proportional to the good the military action is expected to achieve.

Just a footnote -- the author of the piece is Ramesh Ponnuru, a senior editor at the conservative National Review of William F. Buckley. When he and I see eye-to-eye om an important issue, that's worth noting!

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Will Bunch
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