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Monday, April 22, 2013

Nixon's Secret War--and Obama's

Thirty-three years ago I was in college and we shut down the school that spring over Kent State and the U.S. bombing of Cambodia.  Now here's an important piece in The Atlantic drawing links between then and now--the Obama drone war.   One point is that, as Williams Shawcross showed, the bombing made things worse in Cambodia and helped bring the Khmer Route to power.  Now:
The thousands of people killed so far by drone strikes represent a fraction of the several hundred thousand who died beneath the B-52s between 1969 and 1975. But the level of fear and anger -- and the opportunity for insurgent groups to harness those emotions -- cannot be so easily calculated.
In the words of retired General Stanley McChrystal, the former commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan, one can't help but hear an echo of Charles Meyer, Richard Dudman, and other observers of the Cambodia campaign. "What scares me about the drone strikes is how they are perceived around the world," McChrystal said last month. "The resentment created by American use of unmanned strikes...is much greater than the average American appreciates. They are hated on a visceral level, even by people who've never seen one or seen the effects of one."

1 comment:

Colin Brace said...

Just wondering aloud why McChrystal (ret.) was unable or unwilling to speak out against drone strikes when he was in a position to (possibly) shape military policy. Why is it these guys apparently only develop a sense of morality when they are safely ensconced in the confines of academia?