Burch: Droning on

Thursday, May 23, 2013 at 10:05pm
By Michael R. Burch

While I believe President Obama has been a major upgrade over Dick Cheney, the Penguin-like Dark Knight to whom George W. Bush played a baffled and incredulous Robin, and while I believe Obama is less likely to start World War III than Bishop Romney and Private Ryan, who sealed their political nuptials by running down the gangplank of a battleship, laughing and waving ... still, I have major reservations about President Obama’s joystick-enabled Drone Wars.

It will be interesting to hear what the “smartest man in the room” has to say about the use of drones when he addresses the nation (and the world) on the subject. It seems to me that the U.S. is setting a very dangerous precedent by claiming that we have the “right” to assassinate people we don’t like with robots controlled by CIA spooks. What happens when Iran and other countries claim the “right” to assassinate people they don’t like with drones, and those people they don’t like happen to be Americans?

Heaven knows that we have given foreigners plenty of reasons not to like Americans. While Americans vehemently protest terrorist attacks against our women and children, the simple truth is that since 1948 the U.S. and its allies, particularly its two staunchest allies, Great Britain and Israel, have done many terrible things to create massive suffering for millions of innocent women and children in the Middle East. And while no one can accurately gauge the number of innocent people who died prematurely as a result, it seems to me that the numbers must now be in the millions.

How many Palestinians have died prematurely over the last 60 years, as a result of being rendered homeless and destitute? Homeless people often die prematurely. How many people died prematurely in Iran as a consequence of the CIA-inspired coup that established the bloody Shah of Iran as a U.S. puppet? How many Iranians died prematurely in the following purges? How many more died prematurely when the U.S. provided Saddam Hussein with money and weapons, knowing he intended to use them against Iran? How many Iraqis died prematurely because the U.S. supported Saddam, then went to war with him when he defied our leaders? It has been estimated that more than half a million Iraqi children died of starvation due to economic sanctions before the invasion of Iraq. Now millions of Afghanis and Iraqis have been either killed or displaced as a result of U.S.-led invasions of those countries.

Do we as a nation have the “right” to use drones to murder people who oppose us, after we and our allies did so many stupid, evil and terrible things to inspire that opposition?

I doubt that President Obama will be honest with the American public about the real reasons for all the mayhem. But there is a chance that he will at least start to cut back on the use of drones, because he knows that to keep using them sets a very dangerous precedent. But the U.S. has become addicted to the use of lethal force abroad, and it can be very difficult for junkies to kick their habits. So no matter what he says, the possibility remains that the U.S. will continue to rely on drones. And that means that one day Tennesseans may look up and see Iranian or Syrian drones attacking American women and children, like a scene from a Terminator movie.

Advanced weaponry makes the Golden Rule more important than ever. But the U.S. and its staunchest allies hypocritically insist that acts of violence against them are always “terrorism,” while their own acts of violence are always “defensive.” People in other countries are not fooled, and if we’re not careful we may have to consult drone alerts the way we now consult weather alerts, before venturing outside.

Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Michael Burch

57 Comments on this post:

By: Loner on 5/24/13 at 5:05

Amen, Brother Mike, Amen.

Barack Obama promised hope & change; but most of us adults know that the special interests control every federal level politician, including the POTUS and the VP.

As I have said before, the War Super-lobby is running the show....Defense, Israel & Energy (DIE)... a tripartite consortium of powerful special interests whose interests overlap in the Middle East.

The Israeli PM, not the POTUS, is the functional US Commander-in-Chief...anyone who complains is "an anti-Semite".

The US has been sucked into Israel's eternal holy wars; this love affair with a foreign theocracy is something that George Washington's farewell address warned us about.

Using today's standards, I suppose, that Washington was an "an anti-Semite" too.....he knew that holy wars suck.

By: yogiman on 5/24/13 at 5:10

So, Mike,

You don't believe Obama will start WWIII. What do you call killing people anywhere in the world for your reason, at your desire, with a drone? How long do you think leaders of other nations are going to let him get away with it before they "wake up"?

He has never given a reason why he has had anyone killed. Ever wonder why? Could it possibly be because they know too much about him?

By: yogiman on 5/24/13 at 5:23

One sad thing about the killings over the world means it is helping to keep the world population under control because the population of the world has increased every year since Adam and Eve.

Can you imagine how many people would be on this earth today if there had never been any wars and they simply died a natural death?

I guess the US and her allies are concerned about their enemy nations being kept under control better than theirs

By: Rasputin72 on 5/24/13 at 5:44

I am just an observer of 2000 years of human civilization but from a historical standpoint it appears that "Might Always Makes Right"

It would not surprise me to see this continue for another 2000 years

By: pswindle on 5/24/13 at 6:16

Yes, if we are the target. Are we to sit back and be targets, and not fight back.? The Americans that were killed, turned on us and they wanted to kill us. I congratulate this President on doing his job.

By: Kosh III on 5/24/13 at 7:37

Apparently our "Christian" nation cannot grasp simple concepts like "Thou shalt not kill" or "love one another" or "turn the other cheek" nor "vengeance is mine says the Lord; I will pay back."

By: BenDover on 5/24/13 at 7:46

This talk of Drones and closing Gitmo is just a distraction from the numerous scandals by this administration that are, unusually, being reported for the first time in Obama's political career.

Closing Guantanamo Bay's terrorist holding facility? It's operated under Obama just as long now as it did under Bush. A good question to ask Obama would be, "Why now?". If you discovered it was important enough to keep open after using it as a political football against Bush (and McCain by proxy) why bring it back up at this moment in history? And why now abandon your favorite tough-guy tool, the Drone with which you consumed every last bite of the Bush / Cheney intel. apparatus with your kill rather than capture and interrogate mandates?

The obvious answer is to try to get another head-line on the top of the political pages. Something your liberal sycophants in the media could not resist.

By: govskeptic on 5/24/13 at 8:07

If George Bush allowed Mr. Cheney to serve as POTUS, then the same can be
said of a little known Chief Adviser to this President in the form of Ms. Valerie Jarrett.
An Iranian born, London educated Muslim that gave the First Lady her first job
as an Attorney and closest friend and adviser to this President from his political
beginnings. This hungry strike going on presently at Guantanamo by 120 of the
approx 180 prisoners there has the President and others in a panic. One can
place a bet that any returned to Yemen or most other places will be soon freed
to continue their killings of the Infidels and American soldiers at will Worldwide.

By: BenDover on 5/24/13 at 9:24

Terrorists at Gitmo on Hunger strike? Sounds like this problem may solve itself.

By: yogiman on 5/24/13 at 9:58

Good, maybe they'll stay on it 'til the end.

By: yogiman on 5/24/13 at 9:59

Then we'll have only 60 to worry about with Barry.

By: dargent7 on 5/24/13 at 11:27

"Obama is a major upgrade over Cheney & Bush"? Yeah. And Elvis and The Beatles were good, talented musicians. Understatement of the year.
It should be cyrstal clear by at least now, Cheney ran the Bush Presidency into the ground...or Iraq. For OIL.
Didn't work out so good.
Every day 4-5 people, soldiers, civilians, homesteaders are killed in Iraq.
Drones? It's the future. Want to spend $4. billion a copy for that winged- bat B-2 piece of sh!t that evades radar?
If America goes to war...attacks another country, invades, occupies, it had better be based on 100% solid evidence. Not some conjured up horsesh!t by the Oval Office.
Haven't we learned, yet? Christ Almighty...Vietnam was 40 years ago.

By: Captain Nemo on 5/24/13 at 12:16

At 6:44 Rasputin say he has observed human Civilization for 2,000 years. Well if he was an educated man as he has,say on many occasions, he would know that civilization is much older. Or maybe he was just talking about the 2,000 years he had been alive.

By: yogiman on 5/24/13 at 4:28


You and your "friends" on this site have constantly accused me of being wrong on my remarks about you man Barry and you're still blaming George Bush for Barry's faults.

You've "demanded" I prove my arguments so I'm now "demanding" you to prove Barry's problems are Bush's fault... even after over 4 years.

By: budlight on 5/24/13 at 4:57

I doubt that President Obama will be honest with the American public about the real reasons for all the mayhem.

Said by Burch.

Burch that is the smartest think I have ever read from you. Obama does not have an honest bone in his body. And he is the reason for the mayhem because he is at the top of the pecking order and does not know the definition of "leadership" and "integrity" and patriotism.

By: Loner on 5/24/13 at 5:45

Dargent made a good point, drones are the way of the way of the future....they are much cheaper and generally better at performing their missions than manned aircraft; and with drone aircraft, there is no risk of a lost or captured pilots/crews. Training drone operators is cheaper, faster and easier than training flight crews. Lots of bang for the buck.

The US Navy recently announced the first-ever take-off and landing of a drone from an aircraft carrier....I would hope that the three US nuclear carriers now under construction will be armed with at least as many drones as manned aircraft...an all-drone-aircraft carrier could be coming soon.

Drone aircraft, that is remotely controlled aircraft, date back to WW2; they were used as targets for gunnery practice back then....but the drone aircraft has evolved, from being a target to targeting...from prey to Predator.

Armed drones will become more powerful, more stealthy, more deadly....and they will eventually become easily obtainable on the international arms market.

The US must maintain its superiority in drone design, construction and deployment...that cannot be farmed out our our "closest ally", or to any other country...IMO, drones are the next big thing in warfare.

By: Loner on 5/24/13 at 5:47

Pardon my typos...need meds....have a great weekend, everyone.

By: Mike Burch on 5/24/13 at 8:43


Although I often agree with you, on the subject of drones I disagree. I think the US is foolishly trying to use its advantage in drone technology to win the so-called "war on terror." But the war cannot be won with weapons, and pretty soon drone technology will be available to any nation with a few million bucks to spend. Then, because the US set the precedent of using robots to assassinate human beings, what is to prevent other nations from doing the same things? I think drones need to join the "banned" weapons list, along with chemical and biological weapons. The US is setting a terrible precedent, in my opinion, and as the technology gap narrows, I'm afraid we'll see the consequences.

By: govskeptic on 5/25/13 at 5:08

"So called war on Terror"? While it may not be The Battle of the Bugle", It sure as
hell is more than a scrummage or short time police action. The rantings televised
by the recent London assassin is raging through the thoughtless minds of
hundreds of thousands with similar views.

Changing the language of what's going on by this President or any other will not
change anything in those twisted 7th century minds. Recent speeches are mainly
to get the press talking about something other than the discussions of the past
month, which are finally pointing out that "the Emperor has no clothes".

By: yogiman on 5/25/13 at 7:34

I wonder how big 'Obama' has built his [civilian national security force] so far.


By: pswindle on 5/25/13 at 1:39

Of course, we have the right to kill the ones that killed us. Did 911 have to happen? No, but they killed us.

By: yogiman on 5/25/13 at 1:56

Well, pswindle,

If you've been killed, how in the hell are you getting on the internet from hell?

By: Captain Nemo on 5/25/13 at 2:45

You do it all of the time, yogi.

By: yogiman on 5/25/13 at 3:43

I'm trying to imitate you, dumba$$. What do you mean when you post "us"? I would think you mean all of your 'gang'.

By: Rasputin72 on 5/25/13 at 5:15

NEMO..........If you do not agree with my time frame of AD then by all means pick your self. another moment in history. I think you will find that "Might Makes Right" still and always will apply.

P.S. I think it safe to say that from a genetic standpoint that your gene will will still be in the underclass column 2000 years from now as well.

By: pswindle on 5/25/13 at 7:01

Yogi-----------US means----The United States of America.

By: yogiman on 5/25/13 at 7:18

I understand US means The United States of America, pswindle, but I was never taught 'us' had the same meaning. I was taught 'us' mean [we]; as a group of people.

By: yogiman on 5/25/13 at 7:24

It looks like Clint Eastwood's 'done it agin'. A one sentence editorial appeared in the Peoria Journal Star...

"A pen in the hand of this president is far more dangerous than a fun in the hands of 200 million law-abiding citizen."

He then added: "We Americans are so tied of being thought of as dumb asses by the rest of the world that we went to the polls this past November and removed all doubt".

Clint Eastwood -

It couldn't have been said better...


By: yogiman on 5/25/13 at 7:27

oops, That should have been 'gun' in the hands. We have enough fun with other things in our hands even though we can have some fun with guns in our hands also when target practicing.

By: yogiman on 5/25/13 at 8:52

Interesting: 4 Supreme Court Cases define "natural born citizen". Look it up on Bing or Google.

By: Loner on 5/26/13 at 7:06

Yogi...you are a fool's fool...many of us tried to reason with you, but all have failed....you wallow in your racist fantasies like a hog in his own shit...you are a poster boy for today's Republican Party, the Party of Jeff Davis.....the Slack-jaw Party.

By: Loner on 5/26/13 at 7:13

Mike Burch:

I have nothing against the US maintaining it's qualitative military edge on the competition....it's a mean and nasty world out there.....dog eat dog....eat or be eaten....my problem with Defense is that Israel and Energy have seized control of Defense...the DIE Super-Lobby is what I am railing against....Holy Wars and Wars for natural resources, like petroleum, are what I firmly oppose...I have nothing against a strong Defense, per se.

Defense should be used for just that; not as a hired gun for Zionism and the robber barons.

By: Loner on 5/26/13 at 7:44

The word, "drone" is an interesting one.

From Merriam Webster:

noun \ˈdrōn\
Definition of DRONE
: a stingless male bee (as of the honeybee) that has the role of mating with the queen and does not gather nectar or pollen
: one that lives on the labors of others : parasite
: an unmanned aircraft or ship guided by remote control
a : drudge 1
b : drudge 2

Origin of DRONE
Middle English, from Old English drān; akin to Old High German treno drone, Greek thrēnos dirge
First Known Use: before 12th century

(end snippet)

Sometimes, we say that a boring speaker "drones on and on". Bag pipes have droning pipes, to augment the speaking pipe.

Now, we talk about "drone strikes"....you gotta admit one thing, the English language certainly is adaptable.

By: yogiman on 5/26/13 at 7:45


I'm afraid you're going to soon find out you and your "buddies" on this site are not only fools, you're damn fools to accept someone to usurp the President's office unquestioned.

And me being a racist? Gimme a break, Loner. You're the racist on this issue by supporting the man simply because of his race, not his eligibility for that office. Why do I say that? Because you don't even know the man's legal name. The only thing you know about him is his race.

Please explain to me how Barry could be a natural born American citizen with a Kenyan father who was a British subject who was adopted as an Indonesian citizen in his childhood.

Loner, even if he had been a natural born American citizen, he lost that status when he was adopted into Indonesian citizenship. He can only be one of two things today; an Indonesian citizen, or a naturalized American citizen if he is even an American citizen. But we don't know, do we?

By: bfra on 5/26/13 at 7:51

Loner - Yep "drone" is what yogi is, among other lowlife things. He drones on & on about nonsense, LIES, garbage sites he finds on the internet & has never put a FACT on this board that he has PROOF of. He is a lowlife, "tries to be" trouble maker. Nothing more.

By: budlight on 5/26/13 at 8:07

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama was interrupted three times by a woman who shouted about drones and detainees in Cuba as he delivered a speech on national security.
The woman was identified as Medea Benjamin from the anti-war group Code Pink. Benjamin yelled from behind a bank of cameras before security removed her from the hall at National Defense University in Washington.
Obama at one point said he was willing to "cut the young lady some slack" because the issues he was addressing are worth being passionate about.
Benjamin shouted, quote, "86 were cleared already. Release them today!"
That appears to be a reference to detainees who remain in Cuba despite being cleared for transfer from the facility.

ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. Plant! Staged! Obama set this heckler up for sure. If that were a parent at a PTA meeting they would be escorted out by cops. Or if it were a true heckler, the secret service would be flattening them and hauling them o ut. So no way Jose. Or shall I say No way barrack! She was your "insider" for sure. How about you cut the U.S. some slack and resign?

By: budlight on 5/26/13 at 8:09

bfra, you're a droner, loner, goner, boner! Leave Yogi alone. You are a troublemaker for sure.

By: yogiman on 5/26/13 at 9:04

Take is easy on 'um, budlight. I'm having a ball proving their ignorance with them making fools of themselves.

Anyone who doesn't know what a natural born citizen is shows proof of ignorance from the outset. And anyone who accepts someone as their president when they have no idea who in the hell the man is show their absolute idiocy.

It's funny, really, I can offer evidence but they refuse to. Why? Because they can't? Sure looks that way to me, and they don't want to admit their ignorance.

By: yogiman on 5/26/13 at 9:10


I refer you one more time to the book written by a man named Barack Hussein Obama II titled "Dreams from My Father". Was he lying in his autobiography? Was he lying when he 'said' he was adopted into Indonesian citizenship at age 4 so he could go to school in Indonesia?

Please explain to me how he got his 'natural born citizenship' repatriated after becoming an Indonesian citizen.

That is, if you can.

By: yogiman on 5/26/13 at 9:13


You're an "expert" on the computer. Check out the issue where [4 Supreme Court Cases define "natural born citizen"]. Were those cases in order or were they fakes?

By: yogiman on 5/26/13 at 9:16

uh o, I didn't finish a sentence in my 10:04 post. I meant to post [Because they can't prove me wrong?]

By: yogiman on 5/26/13 at 9:19

And I'll post one more time, bfra: You keep accusing but you do no proving. Why not? Can't you? Don't you have the proof to prove me wrong?

By: bfra on 5/26/13 at 9:33

Loner - Trolls alert! Troll alert!

By: pswindle on 5/26/13 at 9:46

Sentence structure in using the word us.

Clint Eastwood the talking chair.

By: yogiman on 5/26/13 at 10:02

True, pswindle, but it depends on the reference you're using.

By: yogiman on 5/26/13 at 10:09


If you knew as much as you're obviously claiming by constantly calling me a liar, you wouldn't hesitate to correct me. Or do you just favor your lack of knowledge in calling me a liar?

Hellfire, bfra, you obviously can't even prove me to be a liar. But keep it up, gal, I enjoy your exposition of your ignorance.

By: Loner on 5/26/13 at 11:25

We are having a beautiful day here, today, weather wise, that is.

I had to put my old hound dog down yesterday...he could not walk and he yelped when I picked him up...he stopped eating....not even bacon...it was time.

My vet came in on a holiday weekend to do the job...said she'd bill me later, she was very understanding and kind...it was a very sad thing...I admit it, I wept...I lost my best friend.

Buddy came from Basset Rescue, though he had a lot of beagle in him. He survived what could have been a death sentence.

Buddy went on to work in a nursing home as a therapy type dog for years...he served humanity with dignity and grace....he deserves a decent burial.

Now, I'm going out with a spade and pick out a burial site...I draped a small US flag over him last night...he deserved it.


By: bfra on 5/26/13 at 11:59

Loner - So sorry to hear about Buddy. Every time you have mentioned him in the past, it has always been with great affection & I know he will be missed. RIP Buddy.

By: bfra on 5/26/13 at 12:26

Loner - I'm in Chicago and it is nice. About 65 & partly cloudy, calling for rain tomorrow, but I will be back home by then. Really enjoy the Navy Pier, like a kid at heart. LOL

By: Captain Nemo on 5/26/13 at 1:32

I am so sorry to here ,Loner.