Being an immigrant to this country, I really bought into the metaphor of America being the 'Shining City on a Hill.' that the persistent strove to reach. America was the greatest country on earth. It was a hero to all struggling democracies. When I read Tolkien's stories where the eagles always came in at the last minute to save the world, I saw them as the American army rescuing Britain in World Wars I and II.
But look at us now. The eagles are crapping on the citizens of the plains. These drone strikes, while safer for US military personnel and more surgical than boots on the ground or aerial bombing attacks, make us look bad. We are flying above sovereign countries and zapping their citizens at will. The strikes are being made by members of the CIA with little oversight by other members of our government.
Is it just my bad memory or wasn't there a time when we used to say that the CIA didn't have the authority to assassinate people overseas?
It's tough for an old hawk like me to admit it but I don't like the way these drone strikes make our country look bad. I cannot imagine a kid in Yemen or Pakistan looking with pride and envy at America after a building next door explodes and some of his school-mates are killed just because they happen to be near an alleged terrorist.
The whole thing seems like Hercules' hydra to me. For every terrorist we 'surgically remove' three more are encouraged to take up arms against our country to avenge the insult to his pride.
The topic is becoming big news now with Brennan's confirmation. The Times recently ran an article about a Yemeni sheik who had just given a speech against Al Qaeda and was meeting them for talks when he was wiped out by a drone targeting the terrorists. Would have been nice to have his tribe on our side.
David Brooks wrote a nice editorial analyzing the Machiavellian thinking Obama is going through on this issue.
The Huffington Post has an emotional video showing the number of children killed by these drones on this post.
What do you think?