Muslim agitprop Waleed Aly, (w)academic and (token) ABC host, is angry that US soldiers are fighting in ways which makes it impossible for the Taliban to kill them:
[Drones] so radically and fundamentally alter the nature of war that they risk making war seem far less grave, and far easier to wage.Â Each side confronts the other, with the risk of death and defeat. In short, war should come at a cost. That contract is shredded when you’re attacked by something that cannot itself be killed.Â It’s not remotely a fair fight.
A word to Aly.Â There is no contract of the kind you imagine. The contract a society has is actually with its citizens, not its enemies. That contract is to fight for the society’s self-protection using whatever means it has to minimise its own losses and maximise those of its foes.Â For the US to do anything other is not remotely fair to its citizens and to those it asks to fight for them. It has next to no obligation to be fair to terrorists.
But what we are seeing in the battlefield is not just a clash of technology – drones against AK 47s and roadside bombs. It is a clash of cultures, and the weaponry is a product and a measure of each.
“Clash of cultures?” No. Its not. It is the oldest war in the world. Its the barbarity and savagery of Islam againstÂ our culture and civilisation….
The reason the US has drones is it has cultural qualities that Islamic societies – especially those producing Talibani – have so long lacked. It has honored learning, put reason above dogma, encouraged free thought, defended free speech, governed by the rule of law and tolerated heresy. It has opened itself to the world and given its citizens a voice and power through democracy, perhaps the greatest source of its power.
Such a society will inevitably have a scientific edge over its enemies. That edge helps it to survive against even against terrorists who do not share, for instance, its respect for the lives of not just its own soldiers but of the innocent in the lands of its enemies. The culture behind the weaponry is what makes this fight not fair, and no person of reason should wish it otherwise.
For Aly to oppose the use of drones is not just to argue for more US soldiers to be killed. It is to demand the US give up the fruits of democracy and free inquiry, leaving those values more defenceless against cultures pledged to destroy them.
You can side with the drones or with the suicide vests. But in doing so you make a choice not just between technologies, but between freedom and oppression.
For Wally, freedom means sharia and the supremacy of Islam.