A blog of politics, law, religion, and the tricky spots where they collide.

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Drone Strikes and the American Way

War means death. If you order a BLT sandwich, don’t act surprised when it comes with bacon in it. Bacon is an integral part of a BLT. You got exactly what you ordered. Support for war is support for death. You don’t get to choose who dies. Many of the dead will be non-combatants. Some will be children.

I don’t want anything in this post to trivialize, understate, or excuse any of the horrors of war. Those we kill or fail to protect are also every bit as human and every bit as important as you and I are. Their families mourn their deaths just as our families would our mourn deaths. A lesser evil is still evil.

Nor do I intend to criticize anybody’s condemnation of those we kill. If the political cost of killing civilians is sufficiently high, perhaps we’ll try harder not to kill civilians. This has certainly worked in the past. We no longer firebomb cities. Our weapons are increasingly precise. Again, a lesser evil is still evil.

I do, however, want to explain both why I haven’t been more vocal in condemning President Obama’s continued use of drone strikes along the Afghanistan/Pakistan border and why I don’t consider a strict anti-interventionist policy to be a morally superior policy.

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