Ralph Nader on drones
Posted on September 28, 2011
Are drone strikes inherently any more or less ethical than manned aircraft strikes? Is there, or should there be, an ethical distinction between launching missiles from half a world away and sending fighter jets to carry out such an attack?
Those are the questions I posed in a recent essay here. My answers were no.
Not everyone agrees. Indeed, I was just alerted to a new article by Ralph Nader, who condemns drones as inherently unethical and illegal. Much of Nader’s argument rests on the notion that drone strikes are only causing more chaos in unstable regions of the world. Nader quotes columnist David Ignatius, who wrote that:
“A world where drones are constantly buzzing overhead — waiting to zap those deemed threats under a cloaked and controversial process — risks being, even more, a world of lawlessness and chaos.”
But again, I ask: is there really any ethical difference between the buzzing of drones and the roar of aircraft engines?