Nothing has changed since the immortal words of “War is Hell.” A war without collateral damage is not a war. The admission of President Obama this week that regretfully, innocent hostages were killed in Pakistan in January was a tragic event and a sad admission. The deaths of the hostages was an awful reminder of the use of drones. It was a personal tragedy for the families of the family members lost in the drone attack.
The President and Congress will look, once again, at the issue of whether or not to use drones in the war on Al Qaeda and ISIS. It is clear that we are trying awfully hard to make it impossible to make mistakes but mistakes are made and collateral damage always occurs in a war and in a war zone.
We should first admit that drones are effective. Without any risk of life to our men and women in uniform, military attacks are being made to take out our sworn enemy, al Qaeda. Some argue that by using drones we create more terrorists. But is it not more important to our own safety to rid the world of the leadership of Al Qaeda? They are a group that has a sordid and murderous history of killing not only innocent civilians in our country but throughout the world. Al Qaeda is still plotting to kill Americans and other innocents. We have the legal right to go after al Qaeda, as part of our own self defense.
Sorry, but I have no regrets that two traitors to our country were unknowingly the victims of the two drone strikes. I am only sorry that no one collected on the million dollar reward for the propaganda spokesman for al Qaeda. Don’t forget that we had another war, World War II, when we had Tokyo Rose, who betrayed our country when she became a spokesperson for the Japanese.
We sometimes forget that it was Al Qaeda who has declared war on us. We also forget that Pakistan should be held responsible for giving sanctuary to our enemies. There is a reason why the part of Pakistan where the drone attacks took place is called the outlaw area of Pakistan. Pakistan either willingly chooses to look the other way or else parts of their hierarchy are in cahoots with out enemies. Periodically when the Taliban kills Pakistanis they do something, but their actions are horribly inconsistent. Pakistan does not have control over two of its provinces and as a result of their being a dysfunctional country, we are at risk. Pakistan tries to walk a fine line and have it both ways, a friend to al Qaeda and a friend to the Taliban and still claim to be our ally. Really! And how many years was Bin Laden safely housed in Pakistan? If Pakistan were a true ally, they would have given up the terrorists in their midst, and drones would never have been necessary.
As to the question of whether or not by killing two American citizens we have somehow violated their rights. I am all for protecting the rights of our citizens and giving all Americans the right to due process of law. But and it is a very big but when a citizen abrogates his rights by being an enemy our country he has willing given up his rights as a citizen when he became a traitor. As our former Justice to the Supreme Court, Jackson, once said, our Constitution is not a suicide pact.
For those of our citizenry, who are against war and against all wars, I hear you. Until human beings are willing to give up war for peace and turn their guns into plowshares, we have to defend ourselves against those who would kill us. In order for our safety to be maintained we still need to use drones. We can not make the use of them devoid of danger to civilians but at least we are trying to eliminate the deaths of innocents. Al Qaeda never considers the value of the lives of civilians when they bomb, kill and maim people. War is still hell and it will never be an act where innocents are not collateral damage.