Drone Warfare – An Humanitarian and Moral Perspective

US Drone

I did warn you that in addition to my fixation on cars, I occasionally climb up on a soapbox to expound on topics that I am passionate about. One of those topics is how the Constitution of the United States relates to today’s world.

The people who wrote the Constitution were well aware that human beings are fallible. We all are subject to the sins inherent in our darker nature – avarice, the thirst for power and greed. The Framers did the best they could to rein in those normal and entirely predictable human foibles. That’s why they created the system of “checks and balances” we all heard so much about back in high school.

Some of us think that, despite the best efforts of Constitution’s authors, human nature has won out in the end. The boundaries and limitations the Founders hoped would protect us from ourselves have simply been overwhelmed and rendered moot.

One of those who thinks this way is Congressman Dennis Kucinich. In a lengthy interview with the online magazine, Gizmodo, he focuses on the moral issues raised by the use of drones to wage America’s military campaigns in the age of technology. You can read the entire article here.
In addition to questioning the morality of “inscrutable extrajudicial death from above,” Kucinich examines how the Congress has abdicated its powers and its prerogatives in the post September 11 age to the Executive Branch. The Constitution expressly reserves the right to declare war to the Legislature. But for the past 11 years, the Congress has failed to insist on its proper role in the scheme of government, handing the Executive a blank check to do whatever it chooses without oversight or restraint.

Drone On Runway

Like me, Kucinich has grave concerns that our current use of drones is contrary to international law and is fomenting enormous anger toward America – anger that will fuel the very terrorist attacks we seek to prevent. Historically, advances in the technology of warfare have percolated down to other countries, no matter how strenuously we have striven to prevent proliferation. Nuclear capability is almost a prerequisite to nationhood in today’s world. Millions of land mines have been sown throughout the world. Fighter planes and bombers are everywhere. ICBM’s can be found in most major countries.

Are we so naive as to believe drone technology will not also find its way into the hands of people who wish us harm? What will the reaction of Americans be when Hugo Chavez sends drones to Washington DC?

When it comes to drone strikes, Kucinich says it’s “not just a target that is obliterated, it is our own humanity.” Powerful words.

Anyone care to comment?


About Steve Hanley

Totally enamored with my family, my grandkids, and seeing the world.
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