Friday, November 28, 2014

drone strikes Obama must reconsider policy

Posted on Feb. 6, 2013 at 12:00 a.m.

I worked hard for Barack Obama’s election in 2008 and his re-election in 2012, and on countless counts I think he’s a much better choice for president than Mitt Romney. I’m happy that Obama won, but I’m also very concerned about something: The drone attacks he and military officials continue to order against suspected terrorists in Afghanistan and other countries.

The use of unmanned drones probably saves some U.S. military lives, but it annihilates the lives of those who are attacked, including many innocent civilians — yes, women and children among them. Further, the attacks violate the sovereignty of other nations.

Suppose Canada labeled some people in Elkhart County “bad” or “terrorists” and launched drone attacks against structures or vehicles in Goshen and Elkhart — and, oops, killed a number of ordinary folks in the process. Can you imagine the U.S. national outrage (and retaliation) regarding such actions?

In a Feb. 3 Nation of Change op-ed piece called “Barack Obama, Drone Ranger,” Bill Moyers and Michael Winship pointed out that drone attacks are being made not only in Afghanistan, where there’s a declared war, but also in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia. They quote the Brookings Institution’s Peter Singer, who said a year ago: “... A new technology is short-circuiting the decision-making process for what used to be the most important choice a democracy can make. Something that would have previously been viewed as war is simply not being treated like war.”

In the August 2012 edition of Sojourners, Editor Jim Rice wrote: “Drone warfare takes our country — and Obama, who according to the (New York) Times, personally approves many drone strikes — far down (a) moral slippery slope.”

From both a Christian and geopolitical perspective, I ask President Obama to search his soul about the devastation of drones — and to stop using them.

Dan Shenk

Goshen