Sometimes someone sets their sights so firmly on the goalposts that they don’t realize that they are moving, sometimes into an entirely different ballpark*.
Of course, the Jane Fonda question is the easy one. Realistically, the American government is not going to deliberately (in both senses) target and extrajudicially execute “an American not engaged in combat on American soil” anytime soon. Nor, as far as we know, has it ever done so. The only time the American government has adopted a formal policy of killing American citizens on American soil was during the Civil War, and the citizens it set out to kill were most definitely “engaged in combat.”
That statement is so white, i used it to find my emergency lamp during a power cut.
Drones are different. Apart from austere pacifists who reject war or violence in any form, hardly anyone rejects drones as a matter of principle, the way much larger numbers of people reject torture. Nor are there many who maintain that drones are just another weapon whose use should be subject to no more checks or restraints than an infantryman’s rifle.
“We talked it over at the New Yorker, guys, and as long as you keep us informed, blast away. We’ll handle the dirty fucking hippies!”
A common thread that runs through many of the American foreign-policy misadventures of the last couple of generations—the overthrow of Mossadegh in Iran and of Allende in Chile, the Bay of Pigs fiasco, the Vietnam War, the Iran-Contra debacle, the catastrophic Iraq war that was launched ten years ago this week, the torture scandal—is the manipulation of secrecy, deceit, and unchecked executive power.
Is it Rudyard Kipling week at the New Yorker? I mean, ‘misadventure’? really? like really, really?
Apparently the other common thread in evidence; that of gaining control over ‘resources’, using violent force on entire populations, and the loss of millions of human lives across the world, collectively known in earlier times as colonialism is too slender to grasp for Mr. Hertzberg, let alone question. What matters is that those dastardly republicans/tea partiers not gain any ground.
* = Is that metaphor twisted enough to qualify me for the Annual Thomas L Friedman vacation “i can’t believe it’s not a blog” op/ed in the NYT?