Torture vs. Systematic Killing

12 Dec

When I was living in England, I developed a thick skin over time with Australians and New Zealanders there. It had to do with a line of questioning they often had about our treatment of native Americans during U.S. history.

When they would ask about why we were so cruel to native Americans, I eventually learned to say that it was a mistake in our history. “However,” I would add, “your countrymen are hardly the folks to ask me about that. The reason we know about our mistreatment of the native American population is because we didn’t exterminate them. Our native population was still alive after they encountered us–alive to complain about the treatment.”

I am with John McCain. I think torture, when we truly cross a line from “not being your enemy’s BFF” to “torturing your enemy,” is untenable for many, many reasons. I am not arguing for torture in any way.

What I *am saying is that, just as I would not let Australians and New Zealanders who wiped out their own native populations act all righteous in accusing us of bad behavior to our native peoples, so I will not accept hearing people who condone targeted killing by drones lecture others about torture.

Think about it. Why have we decided that it is morally preferable to be dead than to live under less than optimal circumstances? Why have we started treating people like animals that need to be put down when their quality of life is gone? When have we crossed over philosophically to believe that it is less cruel and morally more righteous to kill members of Al Qaeda and ISIS by way of targeted drone attacks than to torture them? Hmmmmmmm?

Remember, drone attacks are executions without a trial. Just saying.

Maybe you can make a case for execution by drone. We can probably both make a case against torture. Just don’t make your case for drone attacks, then get all righteous and in-your-face with advocates of extreme measures in Guantanamo Bay.

If you do that, you are a hypocrite. So say I!


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