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Wittes on Drones

Benjamin Wittes takes Eugene Robinson to task for getting just about everything wrong about drones:

Over at the Washington Post, columnist Eugene Robinson has a piece decrying the morality of drone strikes—a piece that expresses with an admirable economy of words nearly every conceptual error one can make on the subject.

Let’s dissect….

…“I don’t see how drone strikes can be considered a wholly legitimate way to wage war,” he writes. It may be “understandable” why President Obama would want to use “Armed, pilotless aircraft[, which] allow the CIA and the military to target individuals in enemy strongholds without putting U.S. lives at risk. But efficacy is not legitimacy. . . .” Robinson here is tapping into the weird idea that there is something disreputable—one might say unchivalric—about keeping one’s people too safe while they wield lethal force. Real men fight mano a mano.

Healthy societies just don’t react this way.  Mounted knights weren’t very happy about the long bow, either, but I doubt there were a whole lot of Englishmen second-guessing after Agincourt.

I stopped paying attention to Robinson long ago, but I suppose it’s always useful to see what the conventional leftist wisdom is on a subject, and better to take it apart once in a while, if only for reference for future use.

Posted in Defense, Law.