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obama’s ‘kill list’ would make thrasymachus proud

June 1, 2012

In my opinion, President Obama has set another dangerous precedent with his new role as judge, jury, and executioner, personally selecting and ordering the deaths of suspected terrorists and militants around the world via drone strikes and other means. And if you think what Obama is doing in that regard is bad, just wait until a hawkish Republican or Democrat who isn’t a Nobel Peace Laureate or as concerned about civil rights gets into the White House now that that cat is out of the bag.

Despite his apparent conviction that we’ve been able to “restore a sense of America as the sole, indispensable power” and “mobilize around a set of values and a set of principles, and ensure that the international rules of the road are followed,” what Obama really seems to be doing is solidifying our reputation as ‘the Great Satan,’ a global bully who personifies the spirit of Thrasymachian justice, which is nothing but “the advantage of the stronger.”

Just take the recent reports about Obama’s acceleration of cyberattacks begun in the Bush administration as another prime example. If a foreign nation were to use a cyberattack against the US to cripple our infrastructure, it’d be considered an act of terrorism and war (e.g., from the Wall Street Journal, May 30, 2011: “The Pentagon has concluded that computer sabotage coming from another country can constitute an act of war, a finding that for the first time opens the door for the U.S. to respond using traditional military force”). When we do it, however, it’s totally legitimate and the other country must obviously deserve it. If that’s not the epitome of Thrasymachian justice, I don’t know what is.


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