How a Drone War Works

1. President orders somebody killed, based on God knows what.
2. By their mystic arts, people operating drones decide they have found the person the President wants dead.*
3. Drone blows up that person and whoever else happens to be around.
4. All victims (funeral goers, teenagers, etc.) are labeled “combatants” for the crime of happening to be in the area of the guy the drone operators are pretty sure was the guy the President wanted dead.
5. Kids are labeled “collateral damage”.
6. Administration labels strike a success.
7. If somebody asks, “What about that kid?” court prophets say, “War is hell. Better the innocent should perish than the guilty escape.”
8. If somebody asks, “How do we even know if the target was guilty of anything? How do we even know the target was the guy on the President’s kill list?”, Administration retorts, “Everywhere is the Battlefield in the War on Terror!” and ponders adding subversive questioner’s name to secret kill list. Return to step 1.

Feel safe, or you you may be a Enemy of the State.

*Or we kill “suspected militants”, even when their full identities are not known. Previously, the CIA was restricted in most cases to killing only individuals whose names were on an approved list. Since 2008, however, it has been US policy to target nameless individuals if it looks to the CIA like they might be up to something terroristical, based on God knows what.**

**On a related note, readers on the “Lying for Jesus” thread are asking me, “Agencies like the CIA lie for the Greater Good and *that’s* obviously okay and never leads to grave mischief, so clearly it is crazy to suggest that Christians should not make lying a regular part of their complete breakfast. You, sir, are a rigid black and white fundamentalist”. Yes, that’s right. “Faithful conservative Catholics[TM]” are declaring it “fundamentalism” to repeat the obvious teaching of the Catechism and warn that instead of the ends justifying the means, the use of evil means leads to evil ends–as the God-damned (and I use that term with theological precision and not as profanity) murder of that child above demonstrates.

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  • Timothy of Seattle

    Note that this process needn’t involve, y’know, actually establishing the identity of the guy we target to begin with, either.

  • I’ve been an enemy of the State since I became a Roman Catholic, which was the day I was born.

    • At least you know where you stand when you are deemed an enemy of the state because I would not trust anyone from the government when they say they are my friend!!!

      • Ted Seeber

        Which of course does not absolve you of the duty to form communities, and therefore governments, with your fellow human beings.

    • MD

      I think you meant, when you were conceived.

  • B.E. Ward

    Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on us.

  • Seems under Bush we tended to capture suspected terrorist and tortured some of them to get information. Under Obama the tendency seems to be to blow them to pieces instead with anyone else who happens to be standing around. The latter is easier to deal with politically. It’s more of the “Change you can believe in”.

    • At least they can say they aren’t torturing….right?

      You’re right….”change” is not always for the better. I didn’t believe it then, and I sure as heck don’t believe it now.

    • Michael

      It is easier to deal with domestically politically. We have forever lost the battle for the hearts and minds of those we originally set out to “uplift”. The entire world sees what we are doing and hates us for it now. That is a big price to pay for a man’s re-election.

      • Along the lines of change you can believe in. What do you think of this list on how Obama’s term is like Bush term #3? Dems should be happy with Obama. Right?
        – Bush tax cuts extended
        – Patriot act extended
        – No child left behind continued
        – Corporate bailouts continued
        – Fiscal irresponsibility continued and is worse
        – Polarization of the country continued and is worse
        – Iraq war continued in a way Bush would be proud of
        – Military surge in Afghanistan Bush would be proud of
        – Massive military attack in the Middle East with no strategy (Libya)
        – Military option “on the table” for Iran
        – Gitmo Terror prison continued

        • Chris M

          I vaguely remember something about McCain being elected and THAT being Bush’s 3rd term. I don’t even know how to talk to people that still support Obama. It’s like they’ve moved entirely and altogether beyond reason.

          • Loud

            *cue sarcasim*.
            No, no! That isn’t politically correct at all! They must be called “transendees of rationality” or “differently reasoned” people. After all, isn’t the watermark of true, faithful liberalisim the idea that all ideas are equal? They can’t go against anyone wearing the liberal name, be that person radical feminist or outright communist! And nither should you.

    • Mark Gordon

      I think it has more to do with the development and deployment of the technology. Do you really think that a third Bush Administration wouldn’t have yielded similar numbers of dead from drone strikes? As importantly, when it’s President Romney with blood on his hands this time next year, how many tut-tutting drone war now will have changed their tune?

      • Mark Shea

        This *is* a third Bush Administration.

        • …with perhaps two exceptions:
          – Government healthcare
          – More choice…killing (abortion)

          • Ted Seeber

            In what way do you label Obamacare “Government” health care? Seems to me it’s largely meet the new boss, same as the old boss, but with more centralization- not in Washington DC but in Wall Street.

        • Dan C

          The current President makes GW Bush look like a liberal. And Republicans, well, their budget champion is a hardly reformed Randian and they wouldn’t accept Obama’a far right proposed budget in summer 2011 because a small tax on some of the very wealthy was associated. That budget was far more conservative than any Reagan or Bush budget ever proposed. The whole political scheme is skewed so far right as to have lost any sense and balance.

          Except on sex. And then it’s a whole lot of posturing.

          If only GWBush had a third term.

          • You’re using the word “conservative” as it’s defined today. In my view, there are no real conservatives in government or in the media today.

            • Ted Seeber

              Or liberals for that matter. Just libertarians who believe in sexual liberty vs libertarians who believe in economic liberty- and both sides denying the sin of their blind spots. I actually had a guy claim to me that usury was no longer a sin because it got passed over in the catechism.

    • Ted Seeber

      Thus following the political rule “Evil is best done quickly with no witnesses left behind”

  • This is a wonderful post – which I have already shared on my FB page. Furthermore it hit a nerve. Note that very shortly after, The Daily Dish published a video of an administration official justifying the use of drones.

  • Mark S (not for Shea)

    Stuff like this happens because we have entirely dehumanized war.

    Not to get too philosophical about it, but the ancients were certainly a lot wiser on this score, even if it was only by necessity. When war meant swords and spears and arrows, you actually had to stare at the face of the person you were killing. That isn’t easy to do. It takes very severe ritualized training to be able to do that. It was never done lightly.

    That certain doesn’t mean such a warrior system didn’t breed monsters. It very often did. But those monsters still had to see the person they were killing.

    Not anymore. We have entirely dehumanized warfare. People are no longer beings created in the image of God. They are numbers on a spreadsheet, able to be snuffed out with the press of a button, and those giving the orders never have to deal with their handiwork.

    If you can look at a photo of a dead child and not feel anything but utter heartbreak, then you are in severe danger of losing your soul.

    God help us.

    • Video games….that’s all this is for them. So I agree with your point.

  • Thaddeus

    These drone will be used domestically as well, it seems, using the same eight step logic. How to prevent this?

  • Bruce in Kansas

    Drones being so inexpensive and effective and all, what’s to stop the guys we’re targeting from joining the trend, closing the drone gap, and “shooting us with our own gun” before too long?

  • Tom Sea

    We see Dick Cheney blamed for torture, I hope we see Mark go after using the President’s name, Obama concerning drone strikes.