Quotes Suitable for Framing: Winston Churchill and the Maccabees

Saturday, November 14, AD 2015

ChurchillQuoteMay1940

 

 

Today is Trin­ity Sun­day. Cen­turies ago words were writ­ten to be a call and a spur to the faith­ful ser­vants of Truth and Jus­tice: “Arm your­selves, and be ye men of val­our, and be in readi­ness for the con­flict; for it is bet­ter for us to per­ish in bat­tle than to look upon the Out­rage of our nation and our altar. As the Will of God is in Heaven, even so let it be.

Winston Churchill, Radio Address, June 19, 1940.  Churchill was quoting, slightly altered by him, I Maccabees 3: 58-60

58. And Judas said, Arm your­selves, and be valiant men, and see that ye be in readi­ness against the morn­ing, that ye may fight with these nations, that are assem­bled together against us to destroy us and our sanc­tu­ary: 59. For it is bet­ter for us to die in bat­tle, than to behold the calami­ties of our peo­ple and our sanc­tu­ary. 60. Nev­er­the­less, as the will of God is in heaven, so let him do.

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Drone Killings and the Slippery Slope

Monday, October 24, AD 2011

There have been worries expressed on both sides of the political spectrum about the use of drone killings against Al Qaeda, and more especially so as it’s come out that the Obama Administration has a secret “kill list” which even includes American citizens who are working with Al Qaeda overseas (as was the recently killed Anwar al-Awlaki).

It seems to be that there is a legitimate worry here. In a sense, drones are the modern American equivalent of pillars of the Victorian British Empire such as Charles “Chinese” Gordon — gallivanting about the world to put down disturbances wherever they occur. However, they’re also relative unobtrusive and cheap. Thus, I would imagine that there is more danger of them being used to embroil us in conflicts that we really don’t want to be in. (Which, come to that, is more or less what Gordon managed to do for the British Empire on an occasion or two.) While I think that US hegemonic power, like that of others such as the British and Romans in the past, is generally a positive force in the world, power is often a temptation to over reaching. Putting international intervention only a joystick away, without any need for congressional approval or oversight, seems to put just a bit too much power in the hands of an already imperial presidency.

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5 Responses to Drone Killings and the Slippery Slope

  • I would have to agree. After all, political assassination has been around a lot longer than drones, and assassination (at least in the literal sense) of political opponents has not been a regular feature of American domestic politics. I don’t see how drones, which would be very easily traceable to the occupant of the White House as he is the only one with access to them, would make assassinating political opponents more attractive.

  • Now for the brighter side. I’m amazed that some defense corporation has not come up with an armed mini helicopter ( based on the toys one sees e.g. at Brookstone stores) that could enter a building prior to infantry doing so and do room to room fighting before humans risked ambush. Cost per shot down mini drones is probably the reason in battle. But such could be used by police in high crime areas with stun gun technology attached. The precinct sees a mugging or rape….they swoop in remotely. The prescence of surveilling mini helicopters itself would reduce crime due to photos stored of faces and cars involved. Imagine such a cop copter buzzing a heavy drug corner.

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  • Sabelius says she is @ war with the pro-lifers. I don’t know…perhaps she has the president’s ear when it comes to sidewalk counselors.

  • Oh the irony. John Walker Lindh is one lucky dude that he was captured during Bush’s tenure.