Obama did not run for president to preside over the codification of a global war fought in secret. But that’s his legacy. Administration officials embraced drone strikes because they viewed them as an acceptable alternative to conventional ground warfare, which it considered too costly and too public, but the tactic has now become practically the entire strategy. Micah Zenko at the Council on Foreign Relations writes that Obama’s predecessors in the Bush administration “were actually much more conscious and thoughtful about the long-term implications of targeted killings,” because they feared the political consequences that might come when the U.S. embraces something at least superficially similar to assassination. Whomever follows Obama in the Oval Office can thank him for proving those consequences don’t meaningfully exist — as he or she reviews the backlog of names on the Disposition Matrix.I'm told that the reason we must support Obama, seemingly beyond any limits and against any concerns, is because the Republicans are so much worse. Worse they are-- but they will take power someday. They will; that's the cyclicality of American politics. I don't know if that will be in 2013 or 2017 or when. But it will come. And they will have been handed the keys to a program that kills people, including American citizens, literally without any external review or restraint whatsoever. I'm told that Obama-supporting progressives hate and fear Republicans more than anyone else. If that's so, how can they possibly support such a reckless expansion of powers that will inevitably end up in Republican hands? Why are the willing to entrust this program in the hands of people they call insane and evil?
Robert Gibbs, questioned about the death of the 16 year old son of Anwar Al-Awlaki, recently said "I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father." Besides the surface level in which that's fucking insane (on account of its flippancy towards murder and also because YOU DON'T GET TO CHOOSE YOUR PARENTS, ASSHOLE), it essentially admits in its irrationality that there's nothing a young Muslim in the wrong part of the world can do to avoid being killed by a drone.
Because I have a talent for self-inflicted depression, I did a Twitter search for Robert Gibbs. Many people, I'm happy to say, expressed horror and revulsion. But many people supported Gibbs and called those who were outraged "emoprogs." And I really wonder: has it really come to this? That I'm frequently critical of American progressivism won't come as a surprise to anyone. But even I am amazed that things could have possibly come this far, to the point where many progressives are using pejoratives against those who object to lawless killing and the death of a teenager. Less than four years since the Bush administration, has it really come to this?