The Obama Administration is celebrating this morning the murder of yet another Al Quaeda leader, U.S. born Anwar Al-Awlaki, who had been operating from Yemen.
Although it took a crew of Navy Seals to execute Osama bin Laden, American forces reportedly took out Al-Awlaki with a drone attack on a convoy in which he was traveling.
But hold on: the AP reports that civil liberties groups are questioning our government’s authority to kill an American without trial.
We have to ask ourselves, where and when will the violence come to an end. In a post here several years ago, I quoted Vietnamese Buddhist Thich Nhat Hanh, who, in his book, Calming the Fearful Mind: a Zen Response to Terrorism, wrote:
Many of us claim to be disciples of the Buddha, of Jesus Christ, of Mohammed, but we don’t listen to their teachings. Hatred cannot overcome hatred. Violence cannot overcome violence. The bible, the Koran, the Torah, and the Sutras teach us that. But we don’t always believe in our spiritual path. We must think that our spiritual teachings are not realistic, because we have put so much faith in military and financial power. We think that money and weapons can make us strong. But our country has a lot of weapons and a lot of money and we are still very afraid and insecure.
America’s love affair with drones as our weapon of choice in the so-called war on terror, both abroad and possibly here at home, is evidence of our escalating fear and insecurity.
Tom Engelhardt offers a chilling post on the latest in guarding the empire:
In the world of weaponry, they are the sexiest things around. Others countries are desperate to have them. Almost anyone who writes about them becomes a groupie. Reporters exploring their onrushing future swoon at their potentially wondrous techno-talents. They are, of course, the pilotless drones, our grimly named Predators and Reapers
As CIA Director, Leon Panetta called them “the only game in town.” As Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates pushed hard to up their numbers and increase their funding drastically. The U.S. Air Force is already training more personnel to become drone “pilots” than to pilot actual planes. You don’t need it in skywriting to know that, as icons of American-style war, they are clearly in our future -- and they’re even heading for the homeland as police departments clamor for them.