Friday Comments-Symposium Topic:
“First of all, I didn’t set a red line. The world set a red line. The world set a red line when governments representing 98% of the world’s population said the use of chemical weapons are abhorrent and passed a treaty forbidding their use even when countries are engaged in war. Congress set a red line when it ratified that treaty. Congress set a red line when it indicated that—in a piece of legislation titled the Syria Accountability Act—that some of the horrendous things that are happening on the ground there need to be answered for.”
So, no shit, there you were, balls deep in the Senate mud of ratifying a treaty which you thought only stated that your own nation, in a bargained-for exchange, promised not to use Chemical weapons in consideration of other major threats promising to do likewise, when suddenly, Charlie popped up telling you that treaty meant you wrote a blank check to empower your President to unilaterally enforce that treaty through armed attack on a non-signatory, and without a UN security council resolution or even in coalition with your closest ally. In other news, could you please explain to me why you’re just slightly reluctant to sign more treaties these days?
I will speak as long as it takes, until the alarm is sounded from coast to coast that our Constitution is important, that your rights to trial by jury are precious, that no American should be killed by a drone on American soil without first being charged with a crime, without first being found to be guilty by a court.
I’ve never argued against any technology being used when you have an imminent threat, an active crime going on. If someone comes out of a liquor store with a weapon and fifty dollars in cash. I don’t care if a drone kills him or a policeman kills him.
And once upon a time the nostalgia for pre-gunpowder warfare was not unknown. Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, Don Quixote:
Blessed be those happy ages that were strangers to the dreadful fury of these devilish instruments of artillery, whose inventor I am satisfied is now in hell, receiving the reward of his cursed invention.
Anyway, the point is that many people do seem to care as much, or more, about the technical means by which a government terminates a life, than about whether the life should be terminated.
You are hereby tasked with providing your insightful speculations as to why this may be.