The White House has released its drone reports for the season in order to maintain its strict policy of drone transparency. Not only is the United States government fighting terror with terror, but the reports also reveal to the public that President Obama’s recent drone campaign is extremely inaccurate. Throughout the recent summer, the campaign has killed 36 civilians and has yielded an almost ninety percent failure rate as the strikes kill only ten percent intended targets and ninety percent innocent bystanders.
A double standard, as stated by the Oxford English Dictionary, is “a rule, principle, judgement, etc., viewed as applying more strictly to one group of people, set of circumstances, etc., than to another.” There is a clear distinction in the consequences for reckless behavior between nations. The United States sends highly inaccurate drone strikes; killing more innocent people than criminals. While the U.S. shows reckless behavior, other countries wouldn’t dare harm U.S. citizens for fear of retaliation. The simple action of holding two crimes to different consequences shows discrimination. All humans are made equal and should be treated in the same manner.
The argument presented in response to these inaccuracies has two polar views. One of these notions endorses the more “belligerent” side of the spectrum holding that a few civilian casualties are worth it to stop a major threat such as ISIS, while the alternate view expresses repulsion at this notion. It holds that that innocent lives are not to be ended without their due choice.
This double standard appears in any first world country as the nations feel the actions don’t harm their civilians; thus, the actions do not affect them. This concept is as childish and ill witted as covering your eyes and pretending that no one can see you. The United States practises a belief called “Habeas Corpus,” which, in Latin, means “you may have the body.” The phrase is commonly associated with the belief that one is innocent until proven guilty. However, with the recent inaccurate drone strikes performed by the Obama Administration, this belief has been abandoned. Instead of following our own set of morals, we desert them in a failed attempt to save lives.
The drone strikes are dehumanizing innocent people by making their deaths visible by camera and determined by buttons. However, had these people been Americans,the actions would spur civil backlash and riots would ensue. The United States government, although doing a good thing while combatting terrorism, is killing innocent civilians and hiding the truth under the excuse that it is all for the greater good, ignoring the lives of the people who are suffering from this terror in the first place.
The dilemma presented here is the fact that the argument of justification for these errors is that they are not civilians of a first world country so we don’t have to worry. However, the fact is that everyone is created equal. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,” a phrase found in the United States Constitution itself. So what country has the power to determine whether or not one has the right to live or not?
According to an article from The Atlantic, between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special forces alone has killed over 200 people with drone strikes, 35 of whom were suspected terrorists; that means that nearly 90 percent of the casualties were innocent civilians. Perhaps killing a few criminals is worth a brave life but hundreds of innocent people to kill tens of SUSPECTED terrorists seems very counterproductive. As a society from the west, we have no right to decide whether a person deserves his fate at the hands of a drone.
The present double standard that first world countries experience while combatting terrorism is appalling and must be terminated. The global nations should hold themselves to the same standard. Had Syria dropped bombs on the United States and killed 9 innocent civilians while only killing one intended target, the United States would then immediately go to war with Syria because the United States would see it as an unacceptable act. However, the United States is doing the exact same thing without consequences.
It is essentially fighting terror with more terror because of the horrid double standard and the popular modernized opinion that some people are more important than others. Everyone should be treated as humans and a human life is something of great importance that is not to be destroyed by an inefficient method of salvation. These first world countries are supposed to help the situation for the people being attacked. Instead they are putting them between a rock and a hard place.