Peter Hitchens asks: “ How does David Cameron square his liberal opposition to the death penalty with executing people without trial in the middle of someone else’s desert?
Patrick Cockburn wryly comments in the Independent that stupid and arrogant political leaders in the US and Britain use drone warfare because it shows them as apparently effective against evil-doers – and avoids the public backlash caused by soldiers coming back in coffins. They stoutly deny the all too visible evidence that drone warfare does not wipe out resistance but inflames and recruits the angry young terrorists – or resistance fighters.
In September 2011, in Yemen, propaganda cited the drone killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who was one of the leaders of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) as a high point in its counter-terrorist campaign, but four years later Cockburn points out, AQAP has become stronger than it has ever been, spreading through Yemen and capturing a port city.
Sir Simon Jenkins once again writes powerfully, denouncing air-strikes as a ‘cruel delusion, a pretence of humanity, immoral and stupid’, In the days of conventional war, when international law was still observed to some extent, he points out that such ‘casual slaughter’ would have had an infantry unit court-martialled and jailed.