We’ll Get ‘Em in Mexico
Imagine, if you will, a notoriously violent Mexican drug dealer being pursued in San Antonio, Texas. The televised chase suddenly turns into a quick hostage crisis that goes horrifyingly wrong, 8 Americans are dead and the drug dealer somehow escapes over the border in the melee.
Six weeks later American intelligence gets complete confirmation the killer drug dealer is on the road for the next six hours in Tabasco province. The information quickly goes to the Oval Office and after brief deliberation the order issues forth: take him out. An F-15 is quickly airborne with the relevant data, flies over Mexico, indentifies the target and decides to destroy with cannon. A 30 round burst at 1500 feet obliterates the drug dealer vehicle, which careens around a corner and crashes into a small bus, 8 Mexicans are killed there. The F-15 fed live video data to a White House situation room, and soon word is relayed to the President: collateral damage, mission accomplished.
Outrageous on multiple levels, of course. Such a scenario blows apart the international concepts of border and sovereignty, entering Mexican airspace with armed aircraft without written explanation and permission is a violation of treaty, is grossly disrespectful to Mexico in many ways, and stupidly invites American invasion of airspace by anybody with any purpose. Hey, we do it, why can’t the North Koreans?
There’s no due process here. The White House leaks to the New York Times the images of the torn body of the American Killer on a dusty Mexican road in the uproar to justify the killing, but of course leaves out the images of the 8 dead Mexicans killed in the van, 3 of them children. No American would consciously choose any process with the consequence of dead children, but in this American time and place, after review, the F-16 Mexico policy is kept in place anyway.
Such an action of course highly inflames the citizens and authorities of Mexico. Mexican jurisprudence is simply tossed to the winds, innocent Mexicans are dead, and such a horrifying and incredibly disrespectful act my occur again at any time. The arrogance and brutal ruthlessness of the Americans almost defies description in this scenario, which naturally will breed consequence. 2 boys survived the bus crash, they’ll grow up fast will not forget for as long as stars burn in the universe what Americans did to their family.
The reader may feel relief such a horror show is not going on just south of our border, but unfortunately America has been acting and killing in just such a precise way in Pakistan and the horn of Africa for years with drones (after those terrifying terrorists), along with serious surveillance of Iran. What’s the substantive difference in the scenarios between Mexican and Pakistan sovereignty? Nothing. What’s the substantive difference between F-15 cannon and drone Hellfire missiles? Nothing.
We creeped into this national security funhouse because the drone program—massively expanded under Bush—was declared Super Secret Forever and our servile lapdog journalism corps wags along in disgusting acquiescence. Congress, too, has ludicrously abdicated duty in the name of secrecy and completely given up on Executive oversight.
Just to add another slant in all the giggles here the alleged secrecy in all this has become downright disturbing. We blew away 24 Pakistani soldiers by mistake and they closed and Afghanistan supply route, another time the Iranians amusingly brought down some super stealth drone with ease, before our journalists obeyed smiling Iranians were plain to see next to the small flying wing. The secrecy game is up, Executive Branch, all right? Further pretense overseas military drones don’t exist results in some of the most advanced American humans on the planet—educated, qualified, experienced, attractive, wealthy, well-dressed—flapping their lips that drones are secret and the sky is green. Charming.
One more element in this story of human excellence is that of course legal justification would have to be cooked up for this somehow, so the Attorney General blathers dictator-esque nonsense on the justification of Executive drone killing of Americans, simply oblivious that other humans on the planet have rights and deserve due process too. Inspiring.
As a little person American one can only wearily chalk up another element of the US political landscape that is immensely disturbing in its ruthlessness, furtiveness, lawlessness, and ability to leave many humans dead and broken. Hope is always present Congress and the journalism corps will do their jobs, yet always as faint as exoplanets. Writhing embarrassment is the only reaction to what other global citizens must think of us, we frighteningly have the brains for drones and missiles but the political process and mindset for using them comes from a babbling political sanitorium.