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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Texas Faith: The morality of drone warfare



Drone warfare is one of the greatest inventions of civilization. It has allowed us to take Anwar Awalaki out (One of the top Al-Qaeda operatives) with least collateral damage and minimal revenge multiplier. However, the abuse of drone warfare has gone too far….. We don’t like the terrorist killing innocent men and women. Why should they like us when their innocents are being killed? We need to find responsible people to man these machines and have them go through frequent psychiatric evaluations, if they are distressed - Mike Ghouse, continued at: http://theghousediary.blogspot.com/2012/10/texas-faith-morality-of-drone-warfare.html

 

TEXAS FAITH: The morality of drone warfare

Drone warfare. It’s become a major new way to fight battles. Except those doing the fighting may be in a cubicle in a town here in the United States. In fact, the chances are they will be working here, far from the battlefield.

Of course, the good news is the soldiers operating the drones are not in harm’s way. Nor are they spending months, if not years, away from their families in a distant country.

But they are using the advances in technology to track and kill people halfway around the world. This new form of warfare has raised a number of moral questions. This collection of posts from Andrew Sullivan on the subject provides an insight into some issues in play. And here is another link worth looking at from the Wall Street Journal.

Also, the Journal reported this week in a front-page article that there is not much international law on this subject. That vacuum matters in numerous ways, but especially when it comes to determining whether we are actually declaring war on nations that only tacitly give us approval to use drones in their countries.

I am not looking for applications of international law here, but I would like to hear how your faith informs your thinking about drone

strikes. So, here’s this week’s question:
What moral issues, if any, give you pause about drone warfare?
MIKE GHOUSE, President, Foundation for Pluralism, Dallas

The morality of drone warfare becomes justifiable when its purpose is to remove the specific cancerous cells, and prevent damage to the fabric of the society at large.

We have a responsibility to protect each other from the ones bent on hurting us. This responsibility comes with the obligation to guard ourselves from holding the line and not becoming evil ourselves. We instead need to prevent the evil.

Drone warfare is one of the greatest inventions of civilization. It has allowed us to take Anwar Awalaki out (One of the top Al-Qaeda operatives) with least collateral damage and minimal revenge multiplier. No significant group has shed tears for this man.

No matter where we go, the people want justice, which simply means removal of the individual criminal, without slapping the blame on his political or religious affiliations, and family members or friends. Let’s not forget, the Muslims did not protest or demonstrate against his killing. Osama Bin Laden was gone, but his wife was respectfully left alone. This is one of the greatest successes we need to build on in our foreign policy ideals: Blame and get the bad guys, but do not torch others.

However, the abuse of drone warfare has gone too far. The Bureau of Investigative Journalism estimates the minimum civilian death toll to be 447 during the campaign. It must be condemned vigorously, and corrected instantly. We don’t like the terrorist killing innocent men and women. Why should they like us when their innocents are being killed.

The president said on CNN, “It has to be a target that is authorized by our laws, it has to be a threat that is serious and not speculative, and it has to be a situation in which we can’t capture the individual before they move forward on some sort of operational plot against the United States.” That is indeed a good policy worthy of implementation.

We need to find responsible people to man these machines and have them go through frequent psychiatric evaluations, if they are distressed. We need to take them out before they drown us in the abyss of immorality. Civilians are not game animals to be targeted.

As Americans we need to set high standards of morality and live by it. At the least, we need to prevent other nations from developing the drones and abusing them. What if we are the targets?

Texas faith is a weekly column, where panelists from different traditions respond to the issues of the day - for all the responses, please visit Dallas Morning News at http://religionblog.dallasnews.com/2012/10/texas-faith-the-morality-of-drone-warfare.html/

Mike Ghouse is committed to building a Cohesive America and offers pluralistic solutions on issues of the day. He is a professional speaker, thinker and a writer on pluralism, politics, civic affairsIslamIndiaIsrael, peace and justice. Mike is a frequent guest on Sean Hannity show on Fox TV, and a commentator on national radio networks, he contributes weekly to the Texas Faith Column at Dallas Morning News and regularly at Huffington post, and several other periodicals across the world. The blog www.TheGhousediary.com is updated daily

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