Friday, February 15, 2013

The Archbishop admonishes

This letter was published in the New York Times on February 12.
I am deeply, deeply disturbed at the suggestion in Court to Vet Drone Strikes (news analysis, front page, Feb. 9) that possible judicial review of President Obama’s decisions to approve the targeted killing of suspected terrorists might be limited to the killings of American citizens.

Do the United States and its people really want to tell those of us who live in the rest of the world that our lives are not of the same value as yours? That President Obama can sign off on a decision to kill us with less worry about judicial scrutiny than if the target is an American? Would your Supreme Court really want to tell humankind that we, like the slave Dred Scott in the 19th century, are not as human as you are? I cannot believe it.

I used to say of apartheid that it dehumanized its perpetrators as much as, if not more than, its victims. Your response as a society to Osama bin Laden and his followers threatens to undermine your moral standards and your humanity.

It's so easy, here behind two oceans and cocooned in our fabulous wealth, to lose track of how others see us. Archbishop Tutu asks us to remember and re-evaluate.

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