Lately I have been noticing a number of articles, blogs, etc., regarding “targeted killings”. Now, for anyone who has been living in a paper bag for the past few years, targeted killings are when a drone aircraft (usually a Predator) flies to a given location and fires a missile at said location. It is all very clinical — and very fatal. Boom, the bad guys are dead and we all live happily ever after.
I am sure that, in spite of the reassurances from our military, civilian leaders, and CIA, that ever so often an innocent person also meets his maker (or, more likely, is simply turned to dust). Using a bomb or guided missile to kill a person is not very clinical. It is not exactly like using the firing squad, hanging, electric chair, etc.
Now, when we killed this bad guy, he may have been home visiting his wives, playing with his small children — who, as a result of their early, and unplanned, introduction to the business end of a Hellfire Missile will never grow up to discover the cure for cancer, global warming, the secret for mideast peace, etc. Why? Well, we in our wisdom killed him.
I remember a number of years ago when some Palestinians captured a number of Israeli athletes at the 1976 Olympics and, as a result of a botched rescue attempt the Palestinians as well as the Israelis were killed. The Israelis, to extract their revenge, sent the Mossad (Israel’s CIA) on a killing spree in Europe. They did indeed strike fear into the hearts of the bad guys, but, eventually something went very very wrong. They went to Norway to get one of the men on their hit list. Unfortunately, the person they killed was a Middle Easterner who, in an effort to get away from all the Middle East violence, moved with his wife and children to Norway. There, the Israelis killed him. The Norwegian intelligence service found the Mossad hit team and had them imprisoned. Thus ending the Israeli killing spree. The Israelis received lots of bad publicity and lost a lot of their best agents. Was all this worth it?
I can’t answer that question. In the case at hand, the US is going on an accurate, and very effective killing spree. Are we doing the right thing? I think that most would regard that as a silly question. We seem to have reduced the scum of the earth — the Islamic radicals — into a very ineffective organization. We have killed their leaders. They are on the run. It is hard to judge, but it does seem to me that we are doing the right thing.
It is good that in our free society people can bring up opposite points of view without fear of reprisal. So far, the opinions that I have read are intelligent and thought provoking. I hope they will continue. But as of right now, I wish the President, the CIA, and Military lots of luck and to continue the good work! But, never forget, eventually this will probably cause some huge embarrassments.