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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 2/5/10

The "Madness" of Drone Warfare

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There is a certain "madness" that now reigns with our use of drones in conducting our war with terrorists. Of course it is not depicted that way by our political leaders. Essentially with them, we're the good guys and the "terrorists" are the bad guys. Whatever we do to pursue them anywhere, by whatever means at our disposal is the right thing to do. And the American public, according to polls seems to agree.

It appears only a few deep thinkers step back critically, analyze and contemplate what we're doing and how we're doing it.

There are the Scott Ritter's and Jeremy Scahill's and a some others who have written respectively about our quagmire in Afghanistan (Ritter) and our fighting an undeclared war in Pakistan (Scahill), but their keen-eyed analysis and investigations seem to have no impact on our decision makers, our president's and most members of Congress. Their warnings fall on deaf ears, where they should count the most.

Ritter, a former weapons inspector in Iraq, after the first Gulf War in 1991, knew from personal experience Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction at that time in January 2002 when President Bush announced (absurdly) Iraq was part of an "Axis of Evil" with Iran and North Korea. Bush and Cheney paid no heed to Ritter and others, determined as they were to invade Iraq and topple Saddam. Ritter was all but dismissed, particularly by Joe Biden, then the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Scahill, the author of "Blackwater: The World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army", and the first to expose Blackwater (now known as "Xe") and the outsized role this outfit plays as a Defense Department private contractor, first in Iraq, now in Afghanistan and more ominously and clandestinely in Pakistan. [1] Scahilll clearly sees the madness of our wars and how we conduct them using extralegal means to fight them.

These men (and other like minded observers) represent sanity and clear-eyed analysis, but to what avail?

President Obama has not only escalated the war in Afghanistan, (acceding to his military commanders requests by authorizing an additional 30,000 troops, adding to the 21,000 he approved shortly after coming into office) but has dramatically escalated the use of drones, particularly in the undeclared war in Pakistan. It is here where the "madness" of our war against terrorists has taken a dramatic leap.

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