|JOURNALIST MARK MAZZETTI|
ON U.S. 'TARGETED KILLINGS' AND THE
UNSUPERVISED 'WAR ON TERROR.'
"EVERY DRONE STRIKE IS AN EXECUTION. AND IF WE ARE GOING TO HAND DOWN
DEATH SENTENCES, THERE OUGHT TO BE SOME
PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY AND SOME PUBLIC DISCUSSION ABOUT THE WHOLE THING."
EXCEPT THERE ISN'T...
In The New American Militarism, Andrew Bacevich writes:
“The marriage of military metaphysics with eschatological ambition is a misbegotten one, contrary to the long-term interests of either the American people or the world beyond our borders. It invites endless war and the ever-deepening militarization of
policy. As it
subordinates concern for the common good to the paramount value of military
effectiveness, it promises not to perfect but to distort American ideals. As it
concentrates ever more authority in the hands of a few more concerned with
order abroad rather than with justice at home, it will accelerate the hollowing
out of American democracy. As it alienates peoples and nations around the
world, it will leave the U.S. increasingly
isolated. If history is any guide, it will end in bankruptcy, moral as well as
economic, and in abject failure.” United States
Bacevich is no aging peacenik toting a “What If They Gave a War and Nobody Came? sign: he’s a professor of international relations at BU and a retired career Army officer who lost a son in
One of the most terrifying and cold-blooded weapons ever devised is the remotely-controlled military drone. In Drift, Rachel Maddow describes the anonymous ops who work from air-conditioned comfort in suburbia, picking off targets from thousands of miles away. “The Air Force joystick operators show up at their virtual consoles in actual flight suits; they call the video feed there Death TV, and they have a name for the Pakistanis on the ground who make a run for it when they see the drone approach: ‘squirters.’”
That by some accounts half the U.S. budget is given over to the military should give us profound pause. That the number one cause of death among U.S. soldiers is suicide should lead us to bow our heads in mourning. "If you think you know the one thing that causes people to commit suicide, please let us know," (now-retired) Army Vice Chief of Staff General Peter Chiarelli told the Army Times in2010, "because we don't know what it is."
Here's what it is: the human soul is neither formed for nor meant to commit systematic, institutionalized, state-sanctioned violence. Murder is murder and at some point the human soul breaks beneath its weight, as it should.
The violence we direct at others from behind closed doors, from classified compounds, from hidden torture chambers—and that is accepted without resistance from both political parties and largely, to our shame, in the Church—is not protecting our freedom. It is steadily diminishing our freedom. It is breeding ever more violence. It is turning us against ourselves from within.
In our arrogance, we think we can contain the violence we unleash upon the targets of our hatred. But we are deeply, willfully naïve if we think those
playing "Death TV" are not splattering blood in all directions. We
delude ourselves if we think that, from their air-conditioned consoles they are
“only” picking off suspected terrorists in U.S. or Pakistan or Afghanistan . We are very much in
error to refer to the civilian men, women and children who happen to be in
harm's way as their collateral damage. Yemen
They--we--are lining up the Amish schoolgirls.
We are shooting the children of
We are aiming at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.