President Stark

Soon after hearing President Obama's speech today, I read this tweet from Teju Cole: "President Tony Stark."

Tumblr_mbckywntHl1qh36kvo1_250Spot on.

Here's the part of the President's speech that will be the most amenbable to deconstruction:

"As I've said, even small Special Operations carry enormous risks. Conventional airpower or missiles are far less precise than drones, and likely to cause more civilian casualties and local outrage. And invasions of these territories lead us to be viewed as occupying armies; unleash a torrent of unintended consequences; are difficult to contain; and ultimately empower those who thrive on violent conflict. So it is false to assert that putting boots on the ground is less likely to result in civilian deaths, or to create enemies in the Muslim world. The result would be more U.S. deaths, more Blackhawks down, more confrontations with local populations, and an inevitable mission creep in support of such raids that could easily escalate into new wars.

". . . Indeed, our efforts must also be measured against the history of putting American troops in distant lands among hostile populations. In Vietnam, hundreds of thousands of civilians died in a war where the boundaries of battle were blurred."

The argument is, drones make things easier than they would be if we didn't use drones. Missing in the logic: the bypassed impediments might be something that should be in the calculus of intervention.

Image from this Tumblr blog.

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