From “The Daily Show”, 5 May 2009:
FAREED ZAKARIA: I have some friends in Pakistan who used to always denounce the American drone attacks, you know these Predator strikes on the al-Qaeda, and in the last month what I’ve noticed is they’re all in favor of them.
JON STEWART: Really? So now they’re afraid.
ZAKARIA: Yeah, yeah. They say that: “You know what? If that’s the only thing that’ll work, kill those guys.”
STEWART: Wow. You know what this is a perfect time for? India to attack.
Of course, the problem with the Predator attacks (and really any aerial bombardment strategy back through WWII) has been the number of innocent civilians killed and maimed as a reult of poor intelligence, uncontrolled munitions, or simply bad judgment. It’s not, as Zakaria implies, simply a matter of national soverignty. Of course, if you scare people enough, I suppose they’ll approve of their government doing anything to “protect” them, including torture.
Don’t you know we got smart bombs,
It’s a good thing that our bombs are clever.
Don’t you know that the smart bombs are so clever,
They only kill bad people, now
Don’t you know though our kids are dumb,
We got smart bombs, what a joyous thing, now
Here we go so let’s drink a toast,
To those clever bombs, and the men who built them
There they go now, there go all my friends
There they go now, marching off to war again
Smiling proudly, with their heads in the clouds
Don’t you know this is better than any video friend,
It’s an action movie
Here we go watch the bad guys get their butts kicked
Really makes me feel good.
Here we go watching CNN, the adrenaline rushes through my veins now
Don’t you know it’s a feel good show, electronic bliss
It’s a video, video…
Boingo, “War Again,” Boingo
[UPDATE] And then there’s this:
The International Committee of the Red Cross confirmed yesterday that “dozens of people, including women and children,” were killed in U.S. air strikes on villages in Western Afghanistan Monday night.
You might think something like this would weigh heavily on President Obama’s heart.
Yes, it’s a war he inherited from George W. Bush, but it’s one he has ardently advanced as his own. Air strikes in Afghanistan — along with missiles fired from drones in Pakistan — have continued to be a staple of the American approach to the region. And now, under his command, the U.S. military appears to have made a tragic mistake.
So far, however, Obama’s public response has been muted. This could be because the military is refusing to confirm the reports from the ground.
But it makes me wonder: Have we all, including Obama, gotten so desensitized to the violent death of civilians at our hands, ostensibly in the name of fighting terror? Is this another tragic Bush legacy?