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us prefers extrajudicial kilings

by brian Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 5:33 AM

if the dead were CIA men, dn the killles were al-quaeda, this weld be called a terrorist act

Zap! Pow! The bad guys are dead. And they never knew what hit them. Living his presidency like Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, George Bush etched another notch in his gun butt this week, blowing away six "terrorists" in Yemen's desert. Their car was incinerated by a Hellfire missile, fired by a CIA unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone. Dealing out death via remote-controlled flying robots could be the spooks' salvation after the September 11 and Afghan intelligence flops. It makes the agency look useful. It is quick and bodybag-free. It is new wave hi-tech, a 21st century equivalent of James Bond's Aston Martin. And the hit had full authority, right from the top, judging by Mr Bush's comments. The president is keen on hunting down America's foes, on the ugly old premise that the only good Injun is a dead Injun. For redskin, read al-Qaida. It is part, he says, of his anti-terrorist war-without-end. All the world's a battlefield for Mr Bush. The United States of America, 001: licensed to kill.
Zap! Ping! Even as the bullets ricochet, it should be said there are some problems with this approach to international peacekeeping. For a start, it is illegal. The Yemen attack violates basic rules of sovereignty. It is an act of war where no war has been declared. It killed people, some of whom who may have been criminals, but who will never now face trial. It assassinated men who may have been planning attacks. But who can tell? It is, at best, irresponsible extra-judicial killing, at worst a premeditated, cold-blooded murder of civilians. And it is also, and this is no mere afterthought, morally unsustainable. Those who authorised this act have some serious ethical as well as legal questions to answer. That there is no prospect at all that they will, and no insistence by Britain or others that they do so, only renders ever more appalling the moral pit which gapes and beckons.

Zap! Crunch! So where next for the drones of death? What about Georgia or Turkey, where shady Chechens lurk? Russia would approve. Lebanon, Iran, or Gaza, as rehearsed by Israel's gunships? Or Finsbury Park perhaps? How would that feel? Stateless, gangster terrorism is a fearsome scourge. But state-sponsored terrorism is a greater evil, for it is waged by those who should know better, who are duty-bound to address causes not mere symptoms, who may claim to act in the people's name. As Alexander Herzen said in another age of struggle: "We are not the doctors. We are the disease."

http://www.guardian.co.uk/usa/story/0,12271,834306,00.html
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LATEST COMMENTS ABOUT THIS ARTICLE
Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 22 posted about this article.
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TITLE AUTHOR DATE
A violation of sovereignty? T-Mex Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 12:09 PM
Solution interested Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 4:01 PM
Hmmm. . . T-Mex Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 4:35 PM
Right-wing Fascists Slacker65 Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 4:50 PM
Amnesty Questions U.S. Over Yemen Strike Reuters Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 5:15 PM
yeah prole Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 5:22 PM
After the obligatory T-Mex Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 5:39 PM
Myopic View Slacker65 Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 5:42 PM
Simple Simple Simon Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 5:54 PM
Fascism, T-Mex style Slacker65 Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 5:59 PM
Bad Taste Slacker65 Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 6:10 PM
is that what they teach you in the military prole Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 7:22 PM
Simple Simple Simon Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 9:35 PM
don't speak too soon red-baited Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 10:56 PM
re: simplesimonsays greenguy Saturday, Nov. 09, 2002 at 11:34 PM
t-mex brian Sunday, Nov. 10, 2002 at 12:32 AM
velvet glove? interested Sunday, Nov. 10, 2002 at 1:13 AM
Less velvet, more fist interested Sunday, Nov. 10, 2002 at 4:59 AM
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