1. It turns out my primary prediction regarding the debate failed, the debate did indeed address drone strikes. My secondary prediction, however, did come true, Romney lavished Obama with praise over his use of drone strikes. I repeatedly heard people who are commenting on the debate note that there was so little difference between the basic worldview of Romney and Obama in this debate.
2. This morning Time Magazine’s Joe Klein, defending Obama’s use of drones, has resorted to the following sad conclusion: “the bottom line in the end is - whose 4-year-old get killed”. This is where Mr. Klien’s foreign policy worldview takes him. There are two possibilities, either American 4 year olds are killed in terrorist attacks or drones kill 4 year olds in other countries. No options in between, no other way to deal with terrorism than killing non-combatants with drone strikes. If Mr. Klien’s reasoning is horrible to the ears of many Americans, imagine what it sounds like to a Yemeni or Pakistani person!
3. In case anybody is interested, here are the basic areas where I feel drones, as they have been used recently, are problematic:
- They are not targeted well-they are obviously leading to tons of civilian casualties in proportion to actual terrorists. And the U.S. government is not being forthright in reporting civilian casualties from them. Women and children are being torn to shreds and neither of the major political parties is even proposing a minor adjustment to procedure to try and avoid it!
- They are shrouded in secrecy. The CIA is operating them, and there is a questionable amount of oversight or accountability.
- They are being used in countries that the U.S. is not formally at war with. And used without permission.
- They de-personalize military actions.
4. American exceptionalism came clearly throughout the debate. Just as one example, Obama said that the U.S. is the “indispensable” nation. And Romney said that America is “the hope of the world”. From a biblical worldview one can clearly see that no nation is indispensable, and the hope of the world is not America.
5. Here is what a recent poll shows about the American people’s view of Middle Eastern interventionism: