I promised some folks in a Facebook group that I would provide my take on Obama and the drones - indeed, Obama and things military and national security in general. And here it is. Short and sweet.
He's a Democrat and he's black.
I don't think I need to spell out what being a Democrat might have to do with thinking one must be tougher than the average bear on national security. Just remember who went to China.
President Obama, however, has another drawback. Not only is he black, which would likely be bad enough, but he had a Kenyan (furrin) father and a Muslim (terrorist)-sounding middle name.
I believe the people who say there are threats out there. I don't, for a minute, believe that all of those threats are viable, but then, I would not have believed, for a minute, the possibility of a "shoe bomber," not to mention an "underwear bomber."
There are so many reasons that this country should be very, very careful with our fancy technology - for one thing, tech has a bad habit of not staying put, and for another, well, there's that collateral damage, otherwise known as innocent human beings. We'll have to reap that harvest someday, and it will be deadlier than anything Monsanto has come up with so far.
But if you are President Barack Obama, and every day you see those reports that we never see, reports citing all of the possibilities of tragedies yet to come. When you remember that 9/11 wasn't carried out by an underwear bomber. When you know for a fact that the worst is always possible, what chances are you going to take of the worst happening on your watch?
Look at the hay the opposition tried - is still trying - to make of Benghazi. What would the size of the haystack be if he said "war with Iran is off the table"? What would be the inevitable fate of anything else he might wish to accomplish this term? There isn't much at this point that the opposition can get their teeth into when it comes to his foreign policy, gnash them as they will.
Domestic accomplishments - immigration, gun safety regulations, new bridges, high speed rail, universal broadband - may still be impossible, given the relentless opposition to anything this President, even with overwhelming support among the people, proposes. A stone that may or may not hide a terrorist left unturned is a stone that can be thrown through the window of the Oval Office.
So no, I don't support the drone program whole-heartedly. I wish my President was able to take on all the hawks at one time. But I also think that's asking too much. My take is that he knows that there are things he can, with any luck, do with his time in office. And there are things that he can't do. Taking a chance, any chance, that a tragedy on the scale of 9/11 could occur on his watch, is a chance I don't think he can take. I don't think I could, either.
The drone program - along with all the other national security measures that many of us progressives love to hate - will probably come back to bite us in the ass. When it does, the opposition likely won't be the only ones taking President Barack Obama's name in vain. I just hope we all have state-of-the-art broadband with which to voice all the I-Told-You-So's.