President Obama never served in the military, he is not the first president not to have served his country in this capacity and he probably will not be the last. For example, Presidents Coolidge, Harding, and Wilson also didn’t do service in the military. It does seem strange, though, for an academic to gravitate to the position in which Obama was quoted as saying in the book: Double Down that he was “…really good at killing people,” in reference to drone strikes performed by USA forces against enemy combatants as authorized and approved by the Commander-in-Chief.
Perhaps in today’s day and age, becoming President necessitates that you must kill other people, by any means necessary, even Americans, if it is perceived to be in the country’s best interest as decided by the President, but this definitely seems wrong. The taking of another human life should seldom be celebrated and certainly is not anything worth bragging about. Additionally, and more importantly, the President of the United States should not be our designated Mafia chieftain, or our Godfather, especially in a country that purports to represent to the world: freedom, democracy, and a Constitutional republic.
The other very perplexing thing which is very hard to get one’s hands around, is how do you take a middle-age man, who hardly seems the warrior type and morph him instead into someone that is just fine with killing not just the “bad” guys, but all the collateral damage that goes along with this, which obviously includes civilians who at worse are at the wrong place at the wrong time, or sadly are wrongly targeted in the first place. None of this should even be necessary or contemplated since the United States is not under attack by any other country on our soil, nor are we being invaded, nor are these killings being done on American territory, so this is hardly a conventional defense of our liberties.
What is it with this rush to judgment, this rush to take the life of our perceived enemies? Apparently, with the technology and sophistication of our weaponry, our drones, our intelligence, it is fairly straightforward to target individuals or groups of individuals with some certainty that they do match the description of the target that we are intending to eliminate. The use, however, of lethal force to take out these enemies is hardly becoming of a great country, especially since it is invariable that innocent parties, including good Samaritans, will also be injured or killed and the arbiter of who lives or dies is in the eyes solely of the United States, and no other principalities or powers.
To make these sorts of judgments, these sorts of decisions, obviously has consequences to our country, to our people, and to our future. After all, how difficult is it for another country to argue, if targeted killings are good enough for the United States, they are good enough for us. These types of killings also make a mockery of international tribunals and international law, if the United States believes that it is, alone, above the law, than there effectively is no universal international law.
The saddest thing is that these targeted killings will never stop, as there will always be one more, and one more, and one more. And for all this, we get justice, security, and peace? Never, and the President knows it.