Andrew Harrell: Missed the mark

December 21, 2013 

I was glad to see the topic of drone strikes Dec. 7 but was disappointed it was dealt with in such a halfhearted way by Eugene Robinson’s column “Morally questionable go-to weapon.”

Robinson’s opening sentence asserts that U.S. drone strikes in countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan “are killing innocent civilians in a way that is obscene and immoral.” I am not aware of the decent and moral ways of killing innocent civilians. His closing argumentwas that, despite the Affordable Care Act and “a good-faith effort to close the detention center at Guantanamo,” President Obama’s reputation might be tarnished by drone strikes in the eyes of future historians. For those of us living in the present, larger concerns include foreigners turning against the U.S. because of an innocent family member killed in a strike and the U.S. citizens arrested for protesting drones outside of Air Force bases.

Robinson’s column struck me as cute rather than serious, fashionable rather than genuinely concerned. I hope your future coverage will focus less on hand-wringing over presidential legacies and more on the implications of this practice for the rest of both the U.S. and world.

Andrew Harrell, Raleigh

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