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We can only achieve justice through peace

I applaud Rosa Brooks’ Oct. 7 Viewpoints article warning about the use of armed drones for targeted assassinations. She correctly argues that it will lower the threshold for future armed conflict, and bulldoze the moral high ground upon which we now – or did – stand to criticize the injustices of other countries. It is very troubling that the choice of human targets is made shrouded in extrajudicial secrecy.
But she wrongly dismisses the death of civilians by drones as a minor concern – it would have happened anyway using other weapons against the intended target.
Brooks has her priorities backward; the continued life of a human being should be paramount. The taking of a life, which I strongly oppose, should be done through the third branch of government, not the executive – a grand idea sketched out in the Magna Carta almost 800 years ago.
At Nuremberg, we tried the German authorities for their role in executing 6 million Jews. We gave the accused access to the courts and robust representation to challenge evidence. Germany is now a peaceful and prosperous country not seeking revenge.
Why not use the Nuremberg model on the accused instead of targeting them with drones? If Washington has clear-cut evidence of wrongdoing, why not present that evidence to an independent body for evaluation and subsequent action?
Peace can only be achieved through justice, not by war, and especially not by secret-war-on-the-cheap: drones.
Charley Bowman
Interim Executive Director
WNY Peace Center