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Dead Enough: The Reality of the "Lesser Evil"

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Cross-posted from Chris

To all those now hailing the re-election of Barack Obama as a triumph of decent, humane, liberal values over the oozing-postule perfidy of the Republicans, a simple question:

Is this child dead enough for you?

Resized Image

This little boy was named Naeemullah. He was in his house -- maybe playing, maybe sleeping, maybe having a meal -- when an American drone missile was fired into the residential area where he lived and blew up the house next door.

As we all know, these drone missiles are, like the president who wields them, super-smart, a triumph of technology and technocratic expertise. We know, for the president and his aides have repeatedly told us, that these weapons -- launched only after careful consultation of the just-war strictures of St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas -- strike nothing but their intended targets and kill no one but "bad guys." Indeed, the president's top aides have testified under oath that not a single innocent person has been among the thousands of Pakistani civilians -- that is, civilians of a sovereign nation that is not at war with the United States -- who have been killed by the drone missile campaign of the Nobel Peace Prize Laureate.

Yet somehow, by some miracle, the missile that roared into the residential area where Naeemullah lived did not confine itself neatly to the house it struck. Somehow, inexplicably, the hunk of metal and wire and computer processors failed -- in this one instance -- to look into the souls of all the people in the village and ascertain, by magic, which ones were "bad guys" and then kill only them. Somehow -- perhaps the missile had been infected with Romney cooties? -- this super-charged hunk of high explosives simply, well, exploded with tremendous destructive power when it struck the residential area, blowing the neighborhood to smithereens. 

As Wired reports, shrapnel and debris went flying through the walls of Naeemullah's house and ripped through his small body. When the attack was over -- when the buzzing drone sent with Augustinian wisdom by the Peace Laureate was no longer lurking over the village, shadowing the lives of every defenseless inhabitant with the terrorist threat of imminent death, Naeemullah was taken to the hospital in a nearby town. 

This is where the picture of above was taken by Noor Behram, a resident of North Waziristan who has been chronicling the effects of the Peace Laureate's drone war. When the picture was taken, Naeemullah was dying. He died an hour later.
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He died.

Is he dead enough for you? 

Dead enough not to disturb your victory dance in any way? Dead enough not to trouble the inauguration parties yet to come? Dead enough not to diminish, even a little bit, your exultant glee at the fact that this great man, a figure of integrity, decency, honor and compassion, will be able to continue his noble leadership of the best nation in the history of the world?

Do you have children? Do they sit your house playing happily? Do they sleep sweetly scrunched up in their warm beds at night? Do they chatter and prattle like funny little birds as you eat with them at the family table? Do you love them? Do you treasure them? Do you consider them fully-fledged human beings, beloved souls of infinite worth?

How would you feel if you saw them ripped to shreds by flying shrapnel, in your own house? How would you feel as you rushed them to the hospital, praying every step of the way that another missile won't hurl down on you from the sky? Your child was innocent, you had done nothing, were simply living your life in your own house -- and someone thousands of miles away, in a country you had never seen, had no dealings with, had never harmed in any way, pushed a button and sent chunks of burning metal into your child's body. How would you feel as you watched him die, watched all your hopes and dreams for him, all the hours and days and years you would have to love him, fade away into oblivion, lost forever?
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What would you think about the one who did this to your child? Would you say: "What a noble man of integrity and decency! I'm sure he is acting for the best." 

Would you say: "Well, this is a bit unfortunate, but it's perfectly understandable. The Chinese government (or Iran or al Qaeda or North Korea or Russia, etc. etc.) believed there was someone next door to me who might possibly at some point in time pose some kind of threat in some unspecified way to their people or their political agenda -- or maybe it was just that my next-door neighbor behaved in a certain arbitrarily chosen way that indicated to people watching him on a computer screen thousands of miles away that he might possibly be the sort of person who might conceivably at some point in time pose some kind of unspecified threat to the Chinese (Iranians/Russians, etc.), even though they had no earthly idea who my neighbor is or what he does or believes or intends. I think the person in charge of such a program is a good, wise, decent man that any person would be proud to support. Why, I think I'll ask him to come speak at my little boy's funeral!"

Is that what you would say if shrapnel from a missile blew into your comfortable house and killed your own beloved little boy? You would not only accept, understand, forgive, shrug it off, move on -- you would actively support the person who did it, you would cheer his personal triumphs and sneer at all those who questioned his moral worthiness and good intentions? Is that really what you would do?

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Chris Floyd is an American journalist. His work has appeared in print and online in venues all over the world, including The Nation, Counterpunch, Columbia Journalism Review, the Christian Science Monitor, Il Manifesto, the Moscow Times and many (more...)

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  Part of Speech by Dr. Dahlia Wasfi to congr... by Deborah Dills on Saturday, Nov 10, 2012 at 11:15:55 PM
and may it come soon, that the American people wil... by Lois Gagnon on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 9:53:18 AM
The first charge against George W Bush and Anthony... by Lance Ciepiela on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 9:54:40 AM
I not only agree, every day, I hope that those, de... by Bea on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 2:51:52 PM
It is not just Bush and Blair, Obama and Brown and... by Richard Pietrasz on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 10:37:52 PM
Since less than 60% of eligible voters actually vo... by Stephen Klemmer on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 10:10:20 AM
The thing is ... by MadAngel on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 11:14:35 AM
LOL!  Michael Moore is a world class hypocrit... by Sister Begonia on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 11:38:58 AM
Don't forget to stand up and give three cheers for... by Sister Begonia on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 11:40:43 AM
the trial and conviction of omar kadr is by far th... by Isa Kocher on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 2:29:42 PM
I can figure out what exactly you were huffing bef... by Mrt Baggins on Monday, Nov 12, 2012 at 3:31:34 AM
It is truly tragic that so many good, intelligent,... by Stephen Unger on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 5:24:00 PM
is inherent in all wars.  Not a single war ha... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 7:56:01 PM
As best I can tell, there is no collateral damage ... by Richard Pietrasz on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 10:42:24 PM
You have been there and speak with first hand know... by Doc McCoy on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 11:23:23 PM
I wasn't in any battles in WW2.  But, I know ... by Richard Pietrasz on Monday, Nov 12, 2012 at 4:50:15 PM
When decisions are carried out, it is often obviou... by Doc McCoy on Monday, Nov 12, 2012 at 5:30:55 PM
What I don't know is the detailed rationale of the... by Richard Pietrasz on Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012 at 6:17:48 PM
I would have been proud to write and publish this.... by Richard Pietrasz on Sunday, Nov 11, 2012 at 10:44:15 PM
Every heartless, callous liberal progressive who b... by Dan MacElReavy on Monday, Nov 12, 2012 at 7:53:39 PM
I was harsher than Chris today. I said that anyone... by wagelaborer on Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012 at 1:11:49 AM
...probably appoint the next couple of Supreme Cou... by Jill Herendeen on Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012 at 8:32:39 AM
I pretty much wrote the same thing in first commen... by Richard Pietrasz on Tuesday, Nov 13, 2012 at 6:19:12 PM
do we now resemble those we vilified, captured, ar... by James KOSS on Saturday, Nov 24, 2012 at 3:04:24 PM