On August 5th, a missile materialized out of the Pakistani sky and blew Baitullah Mehsud into itty-bitty terrorist chunks. Mr. Mehsud wasn’t especially well-liked. He was widely vilified by Pakistanis for his messy suicide bombings against civilians. The CIA accused him of masterminding the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto. There are unconfirmed reports that Mehsud left the top unscrewed on the red-pepper flake container at a Chucky Cheese.
He was a very bad man.
Mehsud was messily eliminated via “fire from the sky” – a missile fired from a military drone. These drones cruise high above Pakistan and Afghanistan in what we’re told are missions to seek and destroy high-value al Qaeda targets.
President Obama approves of these missions. He said so on the campaign trail. He’s given the thumbs-up for more drone operations. Al Qaeda thugs squirm beneath their own skies, wondering if the next run to Taco Bell will be their last.
The hits keep coming. On Thursday (August 27), two missiles allegedly fired by a U.S. drone struck a militant hideout, killing six fighters in Pakistan’s South Waziristan tribal region. Boom goes the dynamite!
We’ve launched more than 50 of these attacks since last September, killing about 480 people, including al Qaeda chemical and biological weapons expert (and scumbag), Abu Khabab al-Masri. Even with sticky pieces of Mehsud’s corpse atop the body pile, Pakistan isn’t exactly thrilled with an omnipresent robot patrolling their borders.
You want some of this?
Me, I like that our own military troops are far from danger as we drop Kung-Fu death blows from the sky like Zeus. I derive pleasure by imagining how nervous these al Qaeda creeps must get every time they emerge from their caves for sunshine. (“Dude, it’s your turn to get the beer!” “No! It’s your turn!”) I even like the message we are sending to Pakistan: You guys suck, so we’re doing the terrorist-killing for you.
Yeah, I like military drones. I like them in Pakistan.
I won’t like them when they are hovering over the Mexican-U.S. border in search of illegal aliens and drug runners. I won’t like them when they are cruising over the highway monitoring speed limits. I won’t like them when drones are flying over my neighborhood, making sure I’m not smoking a big J in my backyard. I don’t have to consult my crystal balls to know that that day is a-coming.
Today, hysterical conservatives are screaming that the threat of universal health care is a harbinger of a government take-over. Where were these conservatives when the government was eavesdropping on the phone conversations of American citizens? Where will these conservatives be when airborne drones monitor every booger we pick? Will that be too much government? Or will they simply supply the usual cop-out: If you’re not doing something wrong, you have nothing to worry about?
The military’s airborne drones are clever tools that save lives, eliminate dangerous foes, and look cool in an army recruiting television commercial. That they are directed against our enemies is a good thing.
That they will one day be directed at us is only a matter of time.