Drone strikes raise questions about U.S. morals

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Kudos to U.S. Sen. Rand Paul and, in his wake, the Post-Gazette, for seeking to "put the lid on unilateral executive branch killing" of U.S. citizens through drone technology ("Drone Assurance," March 8 editorial). Clearly, U.S. citizens should be protected from extrajudicial execution by their government.

I'm compelled to ask, however, when will it be time to stop this type of execution of non-U.S. citizens, those we deem "suspected" terrorists? Why don't those living beyond the borders of the United States and the reach of our Constitution deserve the same due process rights as we do? Perhaps, as Bishop Desmond Tutu suggested in The New York Times (Feb. 12), it is because they are not considered to be "as human" as we are and, thus, their lives are not seen to be as valuable as ours.

Of course, I would never expect any U.S. leader to admit to such selective valuation of human life; after all, we like to see ourselves as a benevolent superpower that merely seeks to spread democracy, justice and peace throughout the world. However, by praising the now prevalent use of drone technology for the fact that it keeps U.S. troops out of harm's way while "neutraliz[ing] by drone action" those we "suspect" pose a threat to us, what other conclusion can be drawn?

There is a sad irony, indeed, in the fact that by dehumanizing non-U.S. citizens, our current techniques of warfare simultaneously dehumanize us and raise serious questions about our moral standing the world.

North Side



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