From Balloon Juice:
War is hell. The Pentagon is in the business of conducting said warfare in the most casualty-efficient way possible that still achieves the goal of ending the metabolic processes of The Bad Guys. The problem isn’t drones, the problem is the perpetual war machine that’s predated this President for a very, very long time. We’re screaming about al-Awlaki’s kid when My Lai, the bombing of Dresden, and Nagasaki and Hiroshima happened. Let’s face it, for America, that’s effing progress.
Angst over drones is the kind of Nation liberalism that created the electoral defeats leading to the destruction of labor as an American political entity. It also gives the Naderite intifada grist for their mills.
There are people who, for example, feel revulsion at the fact that we killed Bin Laden. I understand the kernel of that sentiment. The sentiment worries about state killing, like the people shot for delivering newspapers by the LAPD. From there, you decide that states should never kill (if they would just stop—especially the United States—there would be world peace). But this can only be explained as some sort of religious conviction, because it doesn’t actually achieve anything real.
Yes, all of it is killing. But that linguistic coincidence is where it begins and ends. If your convictions are predicated on the equivalence between the killing of Osama bin Laden and police abuse victims, you must at least own that you’re in a tiny minority (and one crippled by over simplicity).
Line-drawing is hard. I’m not sure how far below Bin Laden the line should fall. Definitely above police being able to shoot at anyone. But life, especially in government, is basically about drawing lines between shades of grey and almost never about intellectually facile consistencies.
If I were a cynic, I would say that they hate drones because the less collateral damage there is, the more difficult opposing war “just because” becomes. When pacifism becomes an agenda instead of a means to a better world, then you get this kind of horeshit.