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Mark Bratlie. Fargo, Published June 14 2013

Letter: Assassinations in our name

When I voted for Barack Obama for president, I did not realize that I was voting for a leader who would condone and promote assassination on a grand scale.

How serious is the issue of assassination by drones? To give some perspective, during Obama’s presidency there have been approximately 135 people murdered in mass shootings within the U.S. During that same period, according to The Washington Examiner, Obama’s drones have killed between 158 to 233 civilians, some of whom were women and children. In addition, some casualties have been U.S. citizens. In other words, we should not believe government propaganda that tries to convince us that drone attacks target and kill only foreign terrorists.

When our president acts as commander in chief, he is acting in the name of all Americans. Therefore, when a drone assassination is carried out on behest of our president, then as citizens we are all guilty of that crime. And when innocent civilians are killed, it follows that we are all responsible.

In addition to being against U.S. and international rule of law, our drone strikes are carried out with virtually no checks and balances. Also, this policy is counterproductive in the long run, since it tends to create new enemies all around the world.

We should also be aware that, by carrying out our policy of drone assassinations, our country is once again acting as the leader in yet another arms race. Do we really believe that other countries (as well as terrorist groups) will not be able to copy and make use of our drone technology?

If we are at all serious about helping to create a more just and peaceful world, then as American citizens we might help our government to change course concerning drone warfare and assassination. It’s really up to us.