Yes, Killing Innocent People Is Kind of Frowned Upon, But What’s the Alternative?
I picked on the Atlantic yesterday for publishing some hack promotionalism by Scott Gerber.
Today, in passing, I just want to draw attention to another bizarre editorial choice by that outlet. See to my right.
Joshua Foust is their go to write for drone coverage. And in fact he is many people’s go to guy for that topic. I had read some criticism of him, somewhere, at some point, but which I can no longer find, alleging that he had strong ties to the defense industry and thus his analysis was perniciously skewed.
Whether or not that is the case, I find him on average to be rather middle of the road on the use of drones abroad and at home. However, the sub-heading for the front-page story took me by surprise.
“Yes, they’re unpopular. What’s the alternative?”
What?! We’re not talking about something like the the debt here. “Yes, sequestration is unpopular. What’s the alternative?” the sub-heading puts forth the implicit argument that killing people is a problem because it’s unpopular. Which is sick.
This piece of Foust’s in particular doesn’t get much better from there. He takes a look at the “pros and cons” of drone use, but from the unexamined position that what they are used to achieve, for instance killing terrorists and “militants,” is unquestionably necessary, and thus it’s just a question of whether the drones are the best or only way to achieve this.
Working from that constrained and toxic framework, it’s not wonder that the piece and its title are able to address the question of the incidental but inexcusable killing of men, women, and children from such a cold and sociopathic position.