Pro-Life… October 27, 2012

…Means Anti-Drone:

As the UK Guardian’s Glenn Greenwald noted: “Klein’s justification–we have to kill their children in order to protect our children--is the exact mentality of every person deemed in U.S. discourse to be a ‘terrorist.’ Almost every single person arrested and prosecuted over the last decade on terrorism charges, when asked why they were willing to kill innocent Americans including children, offered some version of Joe Klein’s mindset.”

Last year, the parody website The Onion ran the headline: “Could The Use Of Flying Death Robots Be Hurting America’s Reputation Worldwide?” while also asking in a correlating video “Should We Stop Using Robots That Randomly Kill Children?” The faux “news” panel in the video dispassionately debated whether or not killing kids with drones was wise U.S. policy. It was a funny video that emphasized the horrors of our nonchalant regard for the death of innocent children.

But this is exactly what Klein did. This is exact what President Obama does. When moderator Bob Schieffer asked both Mitt Romney and Obama about the use of drones during the last presidential debate, Romney confirmed that he would continue the program. Obama ignored the question. Many Americans, from government officials down to the average citizen, ignore the question. Many Americans are unaware that there is even a question—thanks to a liberal media that continues to kowtow for Obama and a rightwing media that still defends Bush’s legacy.

But for pro-lifers, there must be a question: If life is sacred, how can we justify killing so many innocent children?

Good question.  But as years of torture apologetics from “prolife” conservatives made abundantly clear, the defense of the human life takes a firm back seat to the needs of the GOP for a huge number of people in the ranks of the Thing that used to be Conservatism.  Indeed, torture is still a huge applause getter and laff line for Romney as he addresses many a T-shirted “prolife” conservative, as a general rule.

So the GOP thinks an Executive with the power to secretly and unilateral murder whoever he likes (to keep us safe and advance the cause of Salvation Through Leviathan by Any Means Necessary, of course) is even kewler and shinier than one who merely tortures people!  Therefore, Romney and his handlers are down with this and the State-Run Media made sure not to make any untoward fuss about it during the debate.

"Quantum Entanglement for Babies.Truly brightened my day."

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  • Mark,
    I’m with you and Glenn on this one.
    Fr. Philip Neri, OP

  • Elaine S.

    It’s one thing to admit that innocent civilians, including children, will inevitably die in war (even in a “just” war waged for sufficient cause) despite our best efforts to keep them out of harm’s way or avoid targeting areas where civilian deaths are likely to occur. That is simply acknowledging an obvious fact. It’s another thing entirely, however, to argue that killing innocent civilians in war is “necessary” and we need not bother trying too hard to avoid it.

  • “If life is sacred, how can we justify killing so many innocent children?”

    Well, and we talk about “innocent children” and “4-year-olds” because adults have an emotional predisposition to protect children, but of course it’s no more pro-life to kill innocent men and women.

  • Janet O’Connor

    Life is sacred whether it is unborn or a Muslim women or child to me and I believe to the Church. Others keep saying it is the 5 basics life issues Abortion, Embryonic stem cell research cloning, euthanasia and Homosexuality, but where does Romney stand on the last two? If he seems to support some kinds of birth control like plan B and same sex-partnerships than he can’t be seen as the “lesser of 2 evils because homosexuality and euthanasia are the part of the essentials. Ron Paul does not support the use drones and he should not have been cheated out of the Nomination by massive voter fraud.

    • Ted Seeber

      Life is sacred regardless of what that life does, is the next step up.

  • B.E. Ward

    What happens when other countries have the same (or similar) drone technology and start launching them our way?

  • Balin

    President Obama has said that his health insurance mandate is analogous to auto insurance. He claimed that just as people are mandated to have auto insurance people must have health insurance. Now, driving an automobile is a privilege we can opt out of and/or the State can prevent us from enjoying. Hmmmm… Considering that Obama sees life not as a right but as a privilege permitted us by the State are these drone strikes all that surprising? If life is no longer a right in this country it’s only a matter of time when the drones or the domestic equivalent will be turned upon us. Since we no longer have a right to life we are now officially a Culture of Death. And Romney appears to have no problem with this new America. And people still think there’s a difference between the two parties. No matter which candidate we vote for the Republicrats win. “Meet the new boss…” And we’ll do it again four years from now. And again four years after then. Even dictatorships hold elections.

  • Geoff

    Torture and the use of drones are one of the things discussed on your blog on which I completely agree with you. I cannot understand how any person can call themselves Christian (let alone Catholic) and say that either the intentional infliction of physical/mental pain or the indiscriminate killing of anyone near the target is a good thing.

    This can only do us damage. On an international scale this is the equivalent of a person saying “oh, its just a small sin for a good reason”. Such attitudes inevitably open us up to greater and greater sin until we hit that point where the sin kills our soul: mortal. As ridiculed as the slippery slope analogy has been in the past few years, these two issues (torture and drones) are just one point in our slide down. If they are not decried as the evils they are then we will rapidly lose the ability to stop the descent. And, unlike St. John Bosco, we are not being led down the slope by an Angel with the power to bring us back unharmed.

    This makes me fear for the future of our country. Pray that God will grant us a St. Frances, St. Anthony, anyone willing to speak Truth to power.

    Thats one mans opinion anyway.


  • Tom R

    Yes, I agree with Mark on the wrongness of using drone strikes against non-Huguenot civilians (I am assuming he would still allow their use against armed combatants, but the days are gone when America’s enemies would separate themselves from the civilian population, wear uniforms or other fixed insignia visible at a distance, so the question is academic).
    Even the pragmatic hard-heads should admit that the long-term consequences of drone strikes are bad. Kill one, anger a hundred.
    Having said that, I am curious why the supposedly anti-war “Left” (barring a few like Glen Greenwald) are so relaxed with the policy. Sure, Obama is a Democrat, but so was LBJ yet this didn’t make the anti-war Left any happier about the Vietnam War. My guess is that it’s the same reflex as was pointed out by conservative critics of Steven Pinker’s recent “Better Angels” book: that humans haven’t become any less violent, we’ve just become more squeamish; that what we’ve gained isn’t the virtue of compassion, but the vice of cowardice. We want the steak, but can’t stand the sight of blood.

    Likewise, the Bush/ Obama move away from “boots of the ground” (which, for all its capacity for atrocity, seems less inhuman, in every sense, than relying on killer robots) was an entirely pragmatic response (which is not to say it was a morally right one) to the “Cindy Sheehan” effect – ie, the tendency of people who vaguely support, or don’t care either way, about a war to become zealously anti-war as soon as someone close to them is killed. Once boots on the ground become bodies in bags, the President is in deep electoral trouble.

    Not to downplay the tragedy of a death, even of a willing military volunteer, but it seems that war critics and the media seem to assume rather lazily that the justness of a war is in inverse proportion to the number of American soldiers killed in that conflict; ie, not that Vietnam or Iraq War II were unjust wars and would have been wrong even if they had been as militarily easy as Grenada or Iraq War I, but that they were self-evidently wrong *because* thousands of Americans soldiers died in them. As if World War II would have moved from the “just” to the “unjust war” column if the Nazis had been more willing to employ civilian human shields and IEDs to drive up the Allied body count.