Liberals Can’t Say “Not In Our Name” Anymore About Drone Strikes
For the most part, the same shrieking ninnies who wanted to see George Bush on trial for war crimes have simply clammed up about Barack Obama continuing many of the policies they objected to so much in the first place. Still, there have been a handful of dissenters whose desperate urge to coddle terrorists hasn’t been stilled by having a Democrat in the White House.
For example, Tom Junod in Esquire is posting Travon Martin style kiddie pics of Anwar al-Awlaki’s 16 year old son Abdulrahman, who was just recently delivered to his 72 virgins courtesy of an American drone strike.
Let’s start there. He was an American boy, born in America. Though he’d lived in Yemen since he was about seven, he was still an American citizen, which should have made it harder for the United States to kill him.
It should at the very least have made it necessary for the United States to say why it killed him.
His name was Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, and he was 16 years old when he died – when he was killed by a drone strike in Yemen, by the light of the moon. He was the son of Anwar al-Awlaki, who was also born in America, who was also an American citizen, and who was killed by drone two weeks before his son was, along with another American citizen named Samir Khan.
…Now, there will be some who read what I just wrote and say that the death of the son of an avowed enemy of America – the death of another al-Awlaki – is more an inevitability than a tragedy, and perhaps even a boon: a case of a son reaping what his father sowed. There will be some who will shrug and say that we’re at war with Al Qaeda and bad things happen in wars, and there will be some who will believe Nasser al-Awlaki – father of Anwar and grandfather of Abdulrahman – when he says that “We can prove that Abdulrahman was not collateral damage at all, that he was intended to be killed.”
In fact, what is most striking about the death of Abdulrahman al-Awlaki is both the lack of outrage and the lack of information about it – or, to be more exact, the lack of outrage over the lack of information.
Let me tell you something: After 9/11, I want as many members of Al-Qaeda dead as possible and I’m not too particular if any of its supporters or family members get greased in the crossfire. Furthermore, the President is the Commander-In-Chief and he has been authorized to make war against Al-Qaeda on our behalf. My biggest concern is not that he’s waging his war too aggressively; it’s that he’s not waging it aggressively enough.
He pulled out of Iraq before we were certain the country was stable. He didn’t send enough troops to Afghanistan; he has a deadline there, too. He has allowed our relationship to detoriate with Afghanistan and Pakistan, burned intelligence sources for political reasons, and we’re no longer aggressively questioning terrorists on his watch.
In fact, as John Yoo notes, that last two bit explains why Obama’s so hot to use drones.
The administration has made little secret of its near-total reliance on drone operations to fight the war on terror. The ironies abound. Candidate Obama campaigned on narrowing presidential wartime power, closing Guantanamo Bay, trying terrorists in civilian courts, ending enhanced interrogation, and moving away from a wartime approach to terrorism toward a criminal-justice approach. Mr. Obama has avoided these vexing detention issues simply by depriving terrorists of all of their rights–by killing them.
When we were really working these terrorists for information under Bush, it made more sense to capture them. Now that they’re going to camp at Club Gitmo and Obama is terrified that the peacenik wackos in his base will complain that he’s being too mean to terrorists that we’ve captured, it’s simpler just to kill them.
If people like Abdulrahman al-Awlaki are dead, then Obama doesn’t have to worry about Esquire, the Red Cross, or Amnesty International moaning that he isn’t being given a fluffy enough pillow after soccer practice at Gitmo.
Still, Obama’s drone policy suits me just fine. In fact I think we should be expanding the power of the government to kill enemies of our country (See Julian Assange). If liberals can’t live with that, then they shouldn’t have voted Obama into office. Remember all of those “Not in Our Name” liberal whiners during the Bush years? Well, guess what? If you voted for Obama, it’s in your name now, too.