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Wikileaks documents revealed in 2011 that U.S. military tallied about 100,000 deaths from incidents involving U.S. troops, in total, with about 66,000 of those constituting civilian deaths. War is hell. What follows from this true statement should not be, as is all too often claimed, “so get used to it.” Rather, what follows should be quite different: “so do not enter into wars unless absolutely necessary for national security.”
November 13, 2008, remains the defining moment when nearly all that I, and my immediate family, had ever created, nurtured, and owned turned into heat and light and ash.
The recent killing, by an unmanned U.S. drone, of Anwar Al-Awlaki, an American citizen living in Yemen and recruiter for Al Qaeda, has prompted a small but growing debate. I’m personally ashamed that in our advanced democracy we have a legal system that won’t even address due process concerns for its own citizens on a kill list in a foreign country.
“If we lose freedom here, there’s no place to escape to,” Ronald Reagan once said. Will we give up our freedom to special interests, and their money, that buy elections, and lobbyists who write legislation to favor their own greed and bottom line?