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The real problem with David Petraeus

Military EquipmentU.S. CongressMedia IndustryDennis J. KucinichGeorge W. Bush

There are a lot worse things going on in our country right now than Gen. David Petraeus cheating on his wife, and one of them is our country's invidious use of drone warfare. The worst part about it is that we have been brainwashed to believe that it is an acceptable plan of action. The only television commentators that I have seen express moral outrage are Tavis Smiley and Amy Goodman — both on Public Broadcasting.

It appears that we ordinary citizens, along with President Barack Obama, Congress, the military, and the money-making drone manufacturers, have given our consent to invade, at will, independent countries and kill and maim indiscriminately with impunity. Our egregious arrogance and stupidity assume that these heinous acts will not generate an all-consuming hatred that will, at some future date, manifest itself in catastrophic retaliations. It is just a matter of time as to when our incensed victims will take their revenge. We learned that we are not invincible on 9/11.

The seeds of hatred against the United States have been recklessly sown throughout the world. Take for instance, President George W. Bush and his neo-con cronies and their foolhardy, grandstanding invasion of Afghanistan. They had no understanding whatsoever of the horrifying carnage and chaos they created with the help of drones. Hatred for the U.S. abounds in Afghanistan.

Then there was President Bush's lie-laden invasion of Iraq, also accompanied by drones. More accrued hatred for the U.S. Presently, Pakistan and Yemen, to name just two countries, are festering with hate because of drone attacks. Had Congress shown some backbone, we could have avoided this never-ending slaughter of human beings, often referred to as "surgical strikes." One of the few members of Congress who vehemently denounced the immorality of our country's unscrupulously cavalier attitude was former Ohio Rep. Dennis Kucinich. He continually spoke out against the machinations of war. Mr. Kucinich called the drone attacks "killing by execution ... vigilantism conducted by robots." Not enough people were willing to support Mr. Kucinich when he challenged both parties to stop this "journey into moral depravity." Gerrymandered districts and invested interests made sure that Mr. Kucinich did not return to Congress to rock the ship of state.

As it now stands, the U.S. has sanctioned preemptive strikes which pave the way for any country to do the same to us. You do not have to have a PhD to figure that out. It is a universal law — As ye sow, so shall ye reap. Immanuel Kant called it the Categorical Imperative which "commands that one should act only on universal principles, principles that could be adopted by all rational agents."

If our leaders have lost their moral compass, then it is up to the rest of us to "Occupy Integrity" and stand up for what is right. We have to rise above our apathy and fear and start writing letters to our members in Congress and to newspapers; speak out on radio talk shows, and get some bumper stickers that say "No more drones." Flood Facebook and Twitter and everything else you can think of with constructive ideas on how to transform our country from one of fear, greed, and aggression to one of peace, compassion, and integrity.

For the sake of our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren we have to make our voices heard if we are to keep the United States safe from hate-induced retaliations. We must not allow our military to continue to use drones. A general's marital infidelity is unimportant compared to what we need to address — the same man's instigation and popularization of drone warfare.

Agnes Merrick, Towson

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