For all its advantages to this administration – no awkward prisoners to be housed at Gitmo, no military casualties for the evening news – the unheard, unseen, unmanned drone raining down death from the skies confirms for those on the receiving end al-Qaida's critique of its enemies: as they see it, we have the best technology and the worst will; we choose aerial assassination and its attendant collateral damage because we are risk-averse, and so remote, antiseptic, long-distance, computer-programmed warfare is all that we can bear. Our technological strength betrays our psychological weakness.
The guys with drones are losing to the guys with fertilizer – because they mean it, and we don't. The drone thus has come to symbolize the central defect of America's "war on terror," which is that it's all means and no end: We're fighting the symptoms rather than the cause.
Do you remember the way it was before the "war on terror"? Back in the Nineties, everyone was worried about militias and survivalists, who lived in what were invariably described as "compounds," and not in the Kennedys-at-Hyannis sense. And, every so often, one of these compound-dwellers would find himself besieged by a great tide of federal alphabet soup, agents from the DEA, ATF, FBI and maybe even RRB. There was a guy named Randy Weaver, who lost his wife, son and dog to the guns of federal agents, was charged and acquitted in the murder of a deputy marshal and wound up getting a multimillion dollar settlement from the Department of Justice. Before he zipped his lips on grounds of self-incrimination, the man who wounded Weaver and killed his wife, an FBI agent named Lon Horiuchi, testified that he opened fire because he thought the Weavers were about to fire on a surveillance helicopter. When you consider the resources brought to bear against a nobody like Randy Weaver for no rational purpose, is it really so "far-fetched" to foresee the Department of Justice deploying drones to the Ruby Ridges and Wacos of the 2020s?
Of course, as the state becomes more and more rabidly secularist---though with a strange bye for the radical Islamists with whom lefttists share an antipathy to the Judeo-Christian foundations of Western Civilization--it will be those Christian believers who insist on obeying God rather than kowtowing to the statist gods who will have these drones hovering over their homes and churches. It is sobering to realize that pro-life groups, for example, are listed among dangers to national security, and many seem to think Christian "fundamentalists" are as much a threat to America as radical Islam. Mark Steyn has been right all along that our real problem is civilizational suicide not any external threat.
H/t Kathy Shaidle