Some of you might know that the United States staged some sort of attack on three homes in a border region of Pakistan. The alleged purpose was the assassination of Al-Qaeda's second-in-command Abu Hamza Rabia. I don't know what he's guilty of, but based on videotapes of the man I know that he's not exactly someone I'd want to have over for tea and jam sandwiches. But it appears that he wasn't in any of the houses, and 17 people (many of them children) were killed instead.
The reason we are worth saving as a civilization is that we don't believe in extra-judicial killing. We also don't believe in lobbing missiles into populated areas just on the off chance that someone we don't like is there. These are things that terrorists do, and I would rather see us disappear fighting for what makes us great than survive by becoming the devil. There is no such thing as "acceptable collateral damage" in a non-warzone attack against a non-military target.
If we have evidence of Abu Hamza Rabia's crimes, then we need to bring him to trial and see that he spends the rest of his life in jail. If we don't have evidence, then we need to keep working to find some. Within our own borders we have a word for someone who simply goes out and kills someone he suspects of a crime without the benefit of due process: vigilante. We don't tolerate vigilantism at home, and we certainly shouldn't tolerate it being done in our name abroad.
I thought they were shooting at Zawahiri. But whatever. The use of unmanned Predator drones is what troubles me. Somehow it removes the human element of murdering someone you dislike. Nobody is responsible and the CIA has a terse "no comment" about the latest massacre.
by anna at January 17, 2006 7:48 AM
Same dude, I think. Pseudonyms out the wazoo in that part of the world. And don't get me started on these drones. All I need to hear now is a news report calling the drone controller a 'hero.' No, someone who takes human life at night via remote-controlled missile with absolutely no risk to himself isn't a hero, thanks for playing, try again.
by Adam at January 17, 2006 8:01 AM
We'd get that sucker if he would just stay still. Why doesn't he play by our rules?
Do the people who man those drones pretent they're playing a video game?
We should send him a fake invite like the police do to catch parole violators.
"YOU'VE WON A NEW TV!!! JUST COME PICK IT UP AT THE BORDER TO AFGANISTAN."
I bet he would fall for it.
by Long Time Lurker at January 17, 2006 11:36 AM
I agree that it's better to disappear fighting for what we believe in. I like that.
People have different opinions about turning the other cheek, or things similar to it though, which is hard.
by jean at January 17, 2006 11:25 PM
I don't know, vigalanttes aren't bad. What about Spider-Man, Batman, and Bernard Goetz?
by mg at January 17, 2006 11:42 PM
You can't lump Goetz in with those guys. You know what I hate? When you read the writings of Zawahiri or for that matter, Osama himself, some of it actually makes sense. I hate them for that. I wish their mothers had undergone forced abortions.
by anna at January 18, 2006 7:41 AM
If Goetz had a cool costume we could include him in that group. He's no superfriend.
by Long Time Lurker at January 18, 2006 11:00 AM
"We also don't believe in lobbing missiles into populated areas just on the off chance that someone we don't like is there."
So, whats this then? Do some research before you wave that little flag of yours. I mean, don't you realise why America is hated by most of the world (east and west)? Your ignorance on so many issues is astounding.
by 7Horns7Eyes at January 25, 2006 10:43 AM
"General Richard B. Myers, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said that United States forces would change the color of the yellow food packets being dropped from the air. “It is unfortunate that the cluster bombs — the unexploded ones — are the same color as the food packets,” he said, but he couldn't say when the change would take place “because there are many in the pipeline.” Human Rights Watch called on the Pentagon to stop using cluster bombs, each of which contains 202 soda-sized yellow bomblets, because “they have proven to be a serious and long-lasting threat to civilians, soldiers, peacekeepers, and even clearance experts.”"
by 7Horns7Eyes at January 25, 2006 10:54 AM
Horns & Eyes:
Your stupidity stuns me. I agree with your position and you're attacking me. Do you bother reading what people write before you criticize? I argue here that the USA is committing acts that are at odds with what we claim to believe. Be more careful before you call others ignorant - the ignorant one may be you.
by Adam at January 25, 2006 5:35 PM
You are correct and I apologise. My only excuse is that it was a bit late and I was feeling slightly anti-american. I shall endevor to read things in their entirety before jumping to conclusions.
by 7Horns7Eyes at January 26, 2006 7:43 AM