“The government’s power to kill must be carefully controlled – or it could turn into a tyranny worse than terror.” – Former CIA lawyer
“How many women and children have you seen incinerated by a Hellfire missile?” And: “How many men have you seen crawl across a field, trying to make it to the nearest compound for help while bleeding out from severed legs?” – Heather Linebaugh, former UAV operator.
“In the absence of better of options, they [extrajudicial assassinations] are not only effective but moral as well.” – Douglas Murray, Associate Director of Henry Jackson Society.
If there was any further evidence required that neoconservatism – not democracy – is driving the policies of the present government, David Cameron’s recent defence of the assassination of Britons abroad is it.
For the Love of War
Before analysing the justificatory rhetoric, it is worth looking at the context in which Cameron revealed this unprecedented action. The use of emotions, which is a staple neocon technique to influence public opinion, was demonstrated in the speech in the most twisted manner. Whilst pouring over the refugee crisis, he called for a “comprehensive approach that tackles the causes of the problem as well as the consequences.” Predictably, this meant “stabilising” Syria and Libya; a euphemism for more military escapades in the Middle East as explained towards the end of the speech:
“I believe there is a strong case for the UK taking part in air strikes as part of the international coalition to target ISIL in Syria as well as Iraq.”
The pertinent absence of the cause of the present mayhem which has now triggered the displacement of populations is conspicuously absent: the West’s militarist, hegemonic foreign policy, resulting in a genocide of Muslims; bitter sectarian conflict; and hundreds and thousands of refugees.