Make the Left Own the Drones!

Now that the United States has to suffer through four more years of Obama, conservatives planning to take the Senate in 2014 and the White House in 2016 have a duty to try to make the most of the time. Some of that time ought to be used to recover Conservative philosophy in foreign policy. While Romney was the only viable candidate who could defeat Obama, we basically had no choice but to keep quiet about what is going on. Romney would have left us with a growing TSA problem and all the other horrors of the national security state. He would have doubled down on supporting terrorists in Syria. And he was just fine with the drones.

Because Romney took a hawkish stance (in some ways, this was needed) it prevented him from revealing who Obama really was. People consider Obama a Nobel Prize Winner who wants to make peace. Romney’s rhetoric accusing Obama of an “apology tour” emphasized this identity. But it was false. Despite the rhetorical differences between Romney and Obama, the Harvard Marxists foreign policy is blood and brutal. It is also a sure recipe for manufacturing more terrorists.

According to a story Wired magazine posted yesterday, “The U.S. military is now launching more drone strikes — an average of 33 per month — than at any moment in the 11 years of the Afghan conflict.” Because we actually have troops in Afghanistan, this is somewhat understandable. But are they going to stay there forever, long after brought our boys back home? The fact is, even though Bush used some drones (under fifty), Obama has pioneered the widespread use of the Machines. Here’s another recent story from Wired:

“When Barack Obama took office, drone strikes were a once-in-a-while thing, with an attack every week or two. Now, they’re the centerpiece of a global U.S. counterterrorism campaign. Obama institutionalized the strikes to the point where he could hand off to the next president an efficient bureaucratic process for delivering death-by-robot practically on autopilot. Only now he’s the next president. Welcome to Obama’s second-term agenda for dealing with the world. As the Ramones sang: second verse, same as the first… Early in the first term, then-CIA director Leon Panetta observed that drones were the “only game in town” for attacking al-Qaida in Pakistan. By that he meant invading a country for the third time in a decade was a nonstarter, and the flesh-and-blood spies needed to do a traditional intelligence operation weren’t available in sufficient numbers. So the Obama administration all but crafted its counterterrorism strategy around the drones, turning their surveillance and lethal operations into a bureaucratic apparatus led by White House aides with minimal outside oversight. The CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command, elite forces that rarely operate visibly, have the lead for implementing the robot-based agenda — and augmenting it with commando raids.”

And now the machines rule the skies over Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and soon Mali.

If we had the capacity to keep someone from launching a nuke or putting it on a truck to disappear with the risk that it would be smuggled into the US, the risk of civilian lives could be justified. But nothing like that is going on. This is simply a means of killing evil people (or people who might be evil and might match our target assuming all our intel is good), even if it burns a little girl’s face off in the process. I suspect Jeremy Scahill is as leftist as any journalist, but unlike the faux opposition to the Bush wars that went away when Obama took office, he has continued to oppose what he sees as war crimes, accusing Obama of murder.

Romney rightly accused Obama of not defeating Al Qaeda. They or other similar groups are indeed growing. But it is highly likely that the drones are a major contributor to that growth–a recruitment tool for the terrorists. We are producing brothers and fathers and sons of people who were anonymously killed. They will be much more likely to become terrorists. We are in a de facto, secret forever war where we fight enemies in a way that produces them. That is not a conservative policy, and it doesn’t make the United States safer from terrorism.

Plenty of social conservative have questioned Obama’s drone policy. Isn’t it time we ceased to defend it and instead linked it with the President’s opposition to laws against infanticide?