Zap! Pow! The bad guys are dead

  • From: "Muslim-News" <editor_@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 6 Nov 2002 08:37:13 -0000

Drones of death 

Bush takes the law into his own hands 

Zap! Pow! The bad guys are dead. And they never knew what hit them.
Living his presidency like Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan, George Bush etched
another notch in his gun butt this week, blowing away six "terrorists"
in Yemen's desert. Their car was incinerated by a Hellfire missile,
fired by a CIA unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) or drone. Dealing out death
via remote-controlled flying robots could be the spooks' salvation after
the September 11 and Afghan intelligence flops. It makes the agency look
useful. It is quick and bodybag-free. It is new wave hi-tech, a 21st
century equivalent of James Bond's Aston Martin. And the hit had full
authority, right from the top, judging by Mr Bush's comments. The
president is keen on hunting down America's foes, on the ugly old
premise that the only good Injun is a dead Injun. For redskin, read
al-Qaida. It is part, he says, of his anti-terrorist war-without-end.
All the world's a battlefield for Mr Bush. The United States of America,
001: licensed to kill. 

Zap! Ping! Even as the bullets ricochet, it should be said there are
some problems with this approach to international peacekeeping. For a
start, it is illegal. The Yemen attack violates basic rules of
sovereignty. It is an act of war where no war has been declared. It
killed people, some of whom who may have been criminals, but who will
never now face trial. It assassinated men who may have been planning
attacks. But who can tell? It is, at best, irresponsible extra-judicial
killing, at worst a premeditated, cold-blooded murder of civilians. And
it is also, and this is no mere afterthought, morally unsustainable.
Those who authorised this act have some serious ethical as well as legal
questions to answer. That there is no prospect at all that they will,
and no insistence by Britain or others that they do so, only renders
ever more appalling the moral pit which gapes and beckons. 

Zap! Crunch! So where next for the drones of death? What about Georgia
or Turkey, where shady Chechens lurk? Russia would approve. Lebanon,
Iran, or Gaza, as rehearsed by Israel's gunships? Or Finsbury Park
perhaps? How would that feel? Stateless, gangster terrorism is a
fearsome scourge. But state-sponsored terrorism is a greater evil, for
it is waged by those who should know better, who are duty-bound to
address causes not mere symptoms, who may claim to act in the people's
name. As Alexander Herzen said in another age of struggle: "We are not
the doctors. We are the disease." 

Source: The Guardian

You can choose whether you prefer to receive regular emails or a weekly digest 
by visiting


You can subscribe by sending an email to request@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word 
"subscribe" (without quotes) in the subject line, or by visiting

You can unsubscribe by sending an email to request@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx with the 
word "unsubscribe" (without quotes) in the subject line, or by visiting

You are welcome to submit any relevant news story to submit@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

For regular Islamic cultural articles by email, send email to 

Other related posts:

  • » Zap! Pow! The bad guys are dead