Last weekend saw yet another parade of Republican presidential hopefuls auditioning before a group of people in Iowa. Senator Lindsay Graham was one of them and during his 10-minute speech he said the following:
If I’m president of the United States and you’re thinking of joining al Qaeda or ISIL – anybody thinking about that? – I’m not going to call a judge. I’m going to call a drone and we will kill you.”
And he chuckled while the audience laughed and applauded.
This is how president Obama’s routine use of drone murders has debased our sensibilities. We have a sitting US senator saying that he would order the murder of someone just for thinking about joining a group, and the audience loved it. Although he chuckled, it was clear that he was serious because this kind of extrajudicial murders by the US government of people who have not even been charged with a crime is now considered perfectly acceptable. That is the kind of ‘courage’ that our putative leaders seem to think the public wants, using the massive power of the US military to murder people who may well be innocent.
Of course, all this macho posturing comes from someone who seems to be in a state of perpetual terror himself, saying “Oh my god, we’re all going to die” because of his fears of Saddam Hussein or al Qaeda or ISIL or Ebola or Iran or whatever the current threat is. The Daily Show rightly mocked his perpetual fear and fear-mongering.
(This clip aired on September 15, 2014. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Nightly Show outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)